Friday, June 24, 2005

A Question of Citizenship - Title VII Protection Ends for Some

Title VII protection ends at the border for non-U.S. citizens

Non-U.S. citizens who work in a foreign country for an American-controlled operator may not bring suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 according to the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. From SHRM Online...

Under Title VII, persons working in a foreign country meet the definition of “employee” only if they are U.S. citizens. At stake was whether the courts would extend Title VII protection to a much broader range of plaintiffs, including “nationals”—citizens or persons that are considered by the Immigration and Nationality Act to “owe allegiance” to the United States.

Vladimir Shekoyan was born in Armenia and immigrated to the United States in 1994. He obtained the status of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in 1996, applied for citizenship in 2001, and became a naturalized American citizen in 2003. Shekoyan’s employment dispute arose during the period that he was an LPR.

Sibley International, headquartered in Washington, D.C., hired Shekoyan in January 1998. The parties entered into a 21-month employment contract stating that Shekoyan’s place of employment was Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia.

When Sibley did not extend his employment contract, Shekoyan sued, charging that his supervisor discriminated against him on the basis of his national origin in violation of Title VII. Shekoyan alleged that his supervisor told him that he was not a “real American,” mocked his use of English and generally disfavored persons from the former Soviet Union.

The trial court dismissed Shekoyan’s claim on the theory that Title VII does not protect aliens who work for American-controlled companies outside of the United States.

We will surely be hearing more about this in the news. To read the full article, click here (and have your SHRM membership number and password handy!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Work Out in the Workplace?

metronews: workology

What will the office of the future look like? Some experts believe that we will see a blend of exercise and productivity and that treadmill workstations and office walking tracks may someday be a reality.

"The idea is to introduce an environment that will encourage activity in the workplace," says Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, NY.

In his prototype 5,000-square-foot office, a two-lane walking track is used as a meeting area, since Levine and his colleagues prefer to walk and talk instead of sit and chat.

All employees wear cellphones along with a Mayo-designed standometer that measures their "vertical time" and recognizes when they sit down.

Using the desk-treadmill can burn 100 calories per hour, if walking at one m.p.h.

One thing is for sure...combining working and working out will definitely eliminate those tired excuses of being too busy to get to the gym. Check out the full story here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

But Does Fluffy Know Microsoft Office?

Posted by Hello

June 24th marks the 6th annual "Take Your Dog to Work Day" created by Pet Sitters International as a way to celebrate the great companions dogs make. The annual event encourages employers to experience the value of pets in the workplace, even if just for one day. Ultimately, it’s about encouraging pet adoptions from shelters, humane societies and rescue groups.

Think your organization wouldn't mind playing host to some furry friends for a day? Even if you can't bring in your pet, there are other ways to get involved. Check out the official site here for all of the details.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Ocean's Eleven Tops List of Aspirational Work Teams

Payroll & HR Press Releases - Lexis PR

How important is teamwork to your organization? Domino's Pizza recently commissioned a revealing workplace study which delved into the feelings of British workers on the subject. The answers revealed that not only does team structure impacts success, but that UK workers have a fondness for the A-Team too. Read on...

New research out today reveals that nearly half (40%) of Brits feel they work in teams that regularly fail to meet basic targets . 41% of these blame bad performance on poor team structures, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction and unfulfillment at work.

The workplace study highlights the problem of people being made to carry out roles to which they are unsuited. One third (32%) of those surveyed say they have experienced colleagues failing in their job and employees who lack the basic skills to get the work done.

The research, commissioned by Domino's Pizza which employs nearly 9,000 people in 370 teams across the UK and Ireland, identifies what makes the perfect workplace team and reveals that 60% of Brits find famous teams from films, TV or books, aspirational role models. The most admired team is George Clooney's loveable rogues from Ocean's Eleven, followed by Hannibal Smith's renegade soldiers in The A-Team with Charlie's Angels in third place.

To find out who their fictional choices for strategic work team positions would be, click here.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dull jobs are bad for the heart

Dull, low-level jobs linked to heart problems - Heart Health -

According to British researchers, dull, boring jobs may contribute to men's heart problems. Studies show that British men who held "low-grade" jobs had faster and less-variable heart rates, which could be a sign of heart disease. From MSNBC News...

“This finding helps explain why men with low-paying jobs and less education have a higher risk for heart disease, a trend that has been evident for the last 30 years,” said Dr. Harry Hemingway, of University College London Medical School, who led the study.

Researchers hope that these new findings will help prevent future heart problems.

"It may be possible to help prevent heart disease by changing workplace conditions," Hemingway said.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Moms' Annual Salary Determined to be $131,471

How Much Would Moms Earn in Annual Salary: $131,471
Some would argue that they deserve to earn even more! recently took on the task of determining what a stay at home mom's salary would be if compensated in cash. consulted with a representative sampling of stay-at-home moms before finalizing a list of the top seven job titles that fit the average mom’s job description. Ranked in order from most time-consuming to least time-consuming, the list included the titles of daycare center teacher, van driver, housekeeper, cook, CEO, nurse and general maintenance worker.

Moms seem to be pleased with the results. As one stay-at-home mom commented, "While I may have given up my salary, benefits and 401(k) to accept the position of stay-at-home mom—a position I can’t put on my resume—the rewards of viewing life through my childrens’ eyes has been priceless,” says Wendy Schulze, a CPA and stay-at-home mother of two, from suburban Massachusetts. “Besides, after being a stay-at-home mom and honing skills like self-confidence, multi-tasking and attention to detail, I feel confident I could take on any other challenging, but rewarding, job in the future, if I wanted to.”

The interesting compensation breakdown can be viewed here.

Are PDAs causing a distraction?

More effective meetings will keep their attention

SHRM Online has reported that more and more employees are bringing their Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to meetings in order to answer email, surf the web, etc. Although we all love modern technology, it's wise to leave the gadgets out of the conference room and focus on the subject at hand.

If PDA use is a distraction, the appropriate solution is for the facilitator to make it clear that electronic devices should be turned off and put away during the meeting. Notepads and pens can be provided for note-taking instead. Some organizations may choose to reinforce this message by instituting a policy that defines acceptable use of such devices at work. However, if disruptive behavior occurs during meetings, it’s possible the meetings themselves need improvement.
The article continues to offer a list of meeting guidelines. Check them out here.

Friday, June 03, 2005

New Poll Reveals that Weight is Indeed an Issue

Hiring Can Be a Weighty Issue, Poll Finds

It seems that looks DO matter, at least when it comes to getting hired.

A recent poll asked 552 participants, "Has someone's weight ever influenced your decision on whether to hire him or her?" The responses reveal that weight does effect the hiring process with 25% answering "yes." In addition, 35% believe that an applicant's weight could have unconsciously influenced their hiring decision.

For more information, and other interesting HR news, be sure to visit the site.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Adult ADHD Often Misunderstood in the Workplace

Workplace May Overwhelm Adults With ADHD

Adults with ADHD may be mistakenly labeled as "low-skilled fidgeters" according to a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

"They have difficulty with many of the things they need to do in the workplace, such as solving math problems or understanding a document dealing with new regulations," says researcher Joseph Biederman, MD, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Proper medications can help to control the behavior which includes fidgeting and inability to focus on particular problems or tasks.

For the study, 18 adults with ADHD and 18 adults without the condition participated in an eight-hour simulation work day. Those with ADHD were asked to abstain from taking their medications on the day of the study.

The participants sat at classroom-like tables, where they performed and were graded on a variety of tasks: reading passages, solving math and logic problems, watching videos, and writing.

Compared with those without the condition, ADHD patients were significantly less likely to comprehend what they read and correctly solve math problems.

While their performance on comprehending video messages and writing was not impaired, adults with ADHD reported they felt overwhelmed, inattentive, and fidgety during the tasks.

But asked to judge what was going on, "all the observers could see was their hyperactivity, their fidgeting," Biederman tells WebMD.

"And if your boss sees your fidgeting, this tends to work against you in the workplace."

Do you or your employees suffer from ADHD? You can gain insight into the condition by visiting CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder)

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