Category Archives for Positive Employee Relations

Carnival of HR – Scary HR Stories for Halloween 2017

  • October 31, 2017

It was a dark and stormy night full of scary HR stories

Hello and welcome to this “scary”  Halloween edition of the Carnival of HR in which I suggested that people share a story about a scary HR practice or manager issue that they had to deal with in the past.  As is the norm for the Carnival,  most people ignored that request and sent in posts talking about whatever they thought was important to them.   Okay.  I can deal with that.

Let’s start with a Halloween reminder from the legendary Steve Browne that we need to beware the HR Zombie!

It’s the week of Halloween, and I know that HR is scary overall. It doesn’t have to be, but many people position it as a field that is daunting, challenging and often overwhelming. When I hear these descriptions of human resources, I can empathize that there may be seasons where these feelings occur.

Next up is the mad scientist of HR, the Dr. Frankenstein of HR bloggers, Matthew Stollak who shares an article from the Zenefits website about “constructs”.

HR professionals are busy, but many of us spend a lot of time trying to tackle fleeting concepts like constructs. Most, if not all, constructs in business and psychology are hypothetical (including such notions as satisfaction, equity, quality, and diversity). They are not ‘things.’ We cannot take one and place ‘it’ on a table for examination.

Not sure what he is constructing on that table in his hidden lab below the old castle, but you can find out what Matt thinks about the construct we call culture.

The image below is sent to us by the folks at Labor Union Report, pointing out the protracted negotiations at Disney, and a scary demand for a 37% wage increase by Disney employees who have protested several times in recent weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Prasad Kurian’s blog on HR, OD and Personal Effectiveness, our next beastly story covers a horrific practice in people management that is also surprisingly common – ‘designed to fail’ roles!

Stretch roles are very popular these days as a development tool especially for high-potential employees. They provide an opportunity for accelerated learning. They can also lead to significant value creation that can benefit both the organization and the (credentials of the) employee.

So what is the problem?

Check out Prasad’s answer here.

Generally, we try to keep the Carnival fun and kind of lighthearted in tone, but with all the issues related to sexual harassment and other kinds of abuse in the headlines lately, it’s appropriate to take a serious look at the issue  with this very appropriate comment from Stuart Rudner who points out that after the Weinstein scandal, sexual harassment can no longer be seen as ‘cost of doing business’.

My social media feed has been filled with stories about Harvey Weinstein and the sexual harassment and assault that has apparently been allowed to continue for decades, interspersed with mentions of the recent International Day of the Girl. What an interesting dichotomy. At the same time that we celebrate the fact that girls should not be limited in their aspirations or goals, and should not be scared simply because they are girls, we hear about the horrific treatment that aspiring young actresses have endured and are reminded that “being a woman remains the least safe you can be.”

These weren’t the only looks at harassment that came up, unsurprisingly.  We shared some thoughts here on the CUE blog in the post “Harassment in the Headlines” where labor union leaders found themselves in trouble.

Several leaders in the Fight for $15 effort led by SEIU were removed from their positions after allegations of harassment were brought forth by female staffers. According to Labor Pains and Buzzfeed, Executive Vice President Scott Courtney, who had led the union’s Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign, recently resigned from his post. The union had to fire the leader of its Fight for $15 campaign in Illinois, Caleb Jennings, as part of an investigation into misconduct and abusive behavior. Jennings allegedly grew violent toward his employees, and even reportedly shoved a female subordinate against a door frame. The SEIU also placed Mark Raleigh, the Detroit campaign’s top official, on administrative leave for similar reasons.

Kristina Minyard says then when she thinks about scary HR stories, this is the scariest one she knows.  She hopes this post challenges HR professionals to sharpen their investigation skills and ability to speak up for the right thing. Sexual harassment is a sensitive subject that has to be addressed in all of our workplaces.  Go to Human Resources….if you dare.

Go to Human Resources.

In a time when sexual harassment victims are speaking up in a variety of industries, I’m seeing more and more people ask, “Where was HR?” … “Did anyone go to HR?” I’ve just scrolled past these comments and kept my mouth shut as people have argued one way or the other whether employees should or should not go to HR. Ironic right? That I would choose to keep my mouth shut (and not just because I have a big mouth)

Wouldn’t it be great if our employees all came to work in their “Employee of the Year” costumes every day?  Wait, what?  Don’t you have that kind of workforce?  That’s frightening!

A recent Gallup research study shows that employees who do not feel properly recognized are twice as likely to say they will quit within the next year.

Here are some tips from Judy Lindenberger, President at The Lindenberger Group, LLC that might help you with that.

Another scary harassment story from the hotter than hell HR kitchen by the Carnival’s owner and operator Robin Schooling.

We’ll close out the Carnival for Halloween with a post from the Other Mike – Michael Haberman who asks an always scary compliance question.  Are breaks paid or unpaid?

I find it amazing sometimes the extent to which employers go to try to get around rules. The Fair Labor Standards Act says that, while breaks are not required for nonexempt hourly employees, if an employer allows breaks then they must be paid if they are twenty minutes or less in length. The concept is that employees are to be paid for a continuous workday, excepting bona fide lunch or meal breaks of 30 minutes or more. I started my HR career working in a plant environment where we had three, around the clock shifts of 8 hours. There was no meal time, as this would require the employees to work less than 8 hours and they did not want to be shorted time. They were given two 15 minute breaks for which they were paid. All of that complied with the FLSA. I thought it was simple, but some employers have tried to get creative.

Don’t worry HR, if you get this compliance stuff wrong, the Courts are always happy to weigh in on compliance issues.

That’s it for the Carnival of HR for October 2017.  Don’t be scared and don’t eat too much candy!

Harassment in the Headlines

SEIU Harassment Scandal Causes Shakeup In Leadership  

Several leaders in the Fight for $15 effort led by SEIU were removed from their positions after allegations of harassment were brought forth by female staffers. According to Labor Pains and Buzzfeed, Executive Vice President Scott Courtney, who had led the union’s Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign, recently resigned from his post. The union had to fire the leader of its Fight for $15 campaign in Illinois, Caleb Jennings, as part of an investigation into misconduct and abusive behavior. Jennings allegedly grew violent toward his employees, and even reportedly shoved a female subordinate against a door frame. The SEIU also placed Mark Raleigh, the Detroit campaign’s top official, on administrative leave for similar reasons.

It’s not just an SEIU problem. Some union leaders say sexual harassment is a widespread problem within organized labor, just as it is in the rest of the workforce.

“Every woman that I know, whether they’re in management or punch the clock, has faced it,” including those working for unions, said Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO and former leader of the organization’s national LGBT group. “If it is a co-worker or a union brother or a union sister, it’s hard. You somehow feel the betrayal of trust.”

It’s been ten months since Mickey Kasparian, President of United Foodservice and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 was named in a complaint charging him with gender discrimination and retaliation by former union employee Sandy Naranjo.

A few days later, retired union employee Isabel Vasquez filed a complaint alleging approximately 13 years of quid pro quo sexual harassment. Anabel Arauz, another union employee, went through several months of harassment and was eventually fired for speaking out in support of Vasquez.

Some unions are talking about harassment and how they can help employees who face these problems in the workplace when their employers won’t. “There is stuff going on in restaurants that people are afraid to talk about” regarding employers, managers, and co-workers, says Nicole Battle, president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild. “Some women are concerned that if they come forward and speak out, they will be blacklisted and they won’t get a job.” Restaurant worker advocacy group Restaurant Opportunities Center United has reported that over 30 percent of sexual harassment complaints filed with the EEOC come from the restaurant industry.

It’s clear that one pillar of your positive employee relations program has got to be a robust strategy for preventing and correcting any form of harassment in the workplace.

Hatch reintroduces Employee Rights Act

  • September 7, 2017

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) re-introduced legislation today that would amend the National Labor Relations Act to restrict sharply the activities of labor unions.

The bill, which has a companion bill in the House, H.R. 2723 (115), would allow workers to withhold the portion of their fees that does not go toward collective bargaining; would require unions to hold re-certification elections when high turnover occurs; and would require secret-ballot elections for votes on whether to unionize or strike.

In addition, the bill would roll back the Obama NLRB’s 2014 rule to speed up the union election process by delaying virtually all litigation over eligibility issues until after workers vote to unionize. The rule also required that employers provide union organizers with eligible voters’ personal email addresses and phone numbers.

The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute declared the House version of the bill “a clear example of Republican contempt for workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively.” But in a statement, Hatch said that “this comprehensive workers’ rights bill does not include a single provision that empowers employers at the expense of unions … the only parties whose position will be improved by this legislation are employees.”

The bill’s co-sponsors include Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander and Sens. James Risch (R-Idaho), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), and Ben Sasse (R-Nev.).

Source: Politico Pro