Blog Posts in 2013

  • Auditing Your Career

    The end of the year is always a busy time in our office. A lot of employment changes occur at the end of the year and a lot of business deals get closed. When you are in the midst of the whirlwind of wrapping up a year and celebrating the holidays, it is hard to set aside time for reviewing the past 12 months. However, before you start planning for next year, it is important to take inventory of ...
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  • Remembering Nelson Mandala's Broad Impact on Equality

    Mr. Nelson Mandela passed away last week at the age of 95. Many remember him for his instrumental role in dismantling apartheid in South Africa, fighting racism, his Nobel Peace Prize, and spending twenty-seven years in prison. He was also critical in promoting all forms of civil rights. He advanced equality for women and the LGBT community. Due to his leadership, the South African Constitution ...
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  • Starting a Business While You Have a Job

    A few weeks ago Barbara Corcoran (TV Personality on “Shark Tank”) published a LinkedIn Blog on How to Start Your Own Business on The Side . It’s not much of a “how to,” but she does relay some interesting stories about businesses she has invested in that were started on the side. We work with a lot of entrepreneurs and, unless you have investors, we echo Corcoran’s mantra of testing your idea ...
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  • Human Resources Doesn't Represent Humans

    Earlier this week Bernard Marr posted Why We No Longer Need HR Departments on LinkedIn. He advocates for dividing HR Departments into two divisions: People Analytics and People Support. This proposition has a pleasant sound to it. One division represents the corporate interests and the other is there to keep employees happy. Marr’s recommendation comes from a good place. However, that place is ...
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  • The Senate Passed a Law to Protect LGBT Employees, but House Passage is Still Necessary

    Current federal laws prohibit employment discrimination based upon gender, race, religion, and national origin. Unfortunately, federal laws do not prohibit an employer from firing an employee due to the employee’s sexual orientation. Politicians are attempting to increase federal protections for LGBT employees, and are currently debating the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”). The bill ...
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  • Do performance evaluations matter?

    Motorola Solutions, Inc. has ended its practice of labeling employee’s performance . Instead of the typical check box method of identifying employees as “meeting expectations,” “exceeding expectations,” or “failing to meet expectations” (or something akin to those labels), Motorola now requires managers to give ongoing feedback and an annual review focused on achievement of objectives. Bonuses are ...
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  • Human Rights Laws Fail to Protect Unpaid Interns

    This summer, rights for unpaid interns became a national story. In June, a judge ruled that the production company for “Black Swan” owed back pay to two unpaid interns. In addition, numerous people criticized Sheryl Sandberg after she recruited unpaid interns for her Lean In Foundation. A recent decision in New York should bring greater attention to these issues. A New York federal district court ...
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  • What are "Clothes"?

    The United States Supreme Court will answer that question during its upcoming term. In Sandifer, hourly workers requested that the company pay them for the time it takes to put on “personnel protective equipment.” Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp., 678 F.3d 590 (7th Cir. 2012). The equipment includes flame resistant pants and jacket, work gloves, and work boots containing steel. However, the ...
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  • Giving is Good

    When I quit my secure job and started my firm, I did so because I believed I could build an office that emphasized service over billing. The goal was to help people turn adverse events into opportunities to build their careers and businesses. Four years later, I work with a team that is focused on aligning with client goals, improving skills, working together and providing the best service ...
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  • EEOC Settles Religious Discrimination Lawsuits

    After it won a favorable ruling in court, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) settled two lawsuits with Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. On September 3, 2013, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the District Court of the Northern District of California found that Abercrombie failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to a Muslim employee that wore a hijab at work. A hijab is a ...
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  • A Class of Women Receive a Nearly $2 Million Dollar Settlement in a Discrimination Lawsuit

    The City of Chicago recently settled a lawsuit with a class of women that alleged that the Fire Department’s testing process was discriminatory. The settlement was for $1.98 million, with potentially an additional $1.7 million in legal fees. The women filed a lawsuit in 2011 and alleged that the Fire Department applied a discriminatory test that measured upper body strength, which would be ...
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  • The Real Meaning behind Labor Day

    For most of us, Labor Day marks the end of summer and is a great excuse to squeeze one last barbeque in before the weather starts to change. Most of us take for granted the true meaning behind Labor Day and the efforts of those that came before us which the day is meant to commemorate. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 was celebrated to honor the American labor movement and its social and ...
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  • A Revolutionary Road to Success: Give and Take

    Recently, our office read Professor Adam Grant’s new book, “Give and Take.” The book has already climbed the bestselling book lists for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, and Apple. Professor Grant is one of the youngest tenured professors at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and routinely makes himself accessible to his students. He even follows a strict rule ...
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  • Protecting Your Job

    While there might be legal relief for employees that lose their job, there are important steps employees can take prior to termination. Self-awareness is an important skill for an employee. Employees should attempt to determine their strengths and weakness, and how those skills fit within the corporate goals. An important question to ask is what is the company looking for out of the position? And, ...
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  • What does the DOMA ruling mean for you?

    On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as a deprivation of equal protection and due process under the Fifth Amendment. Specifically, in the case of United States v. Windsor, the Court found that it was unconstitutional for DOMA to deny, for federal law purposes, state-recognized valid same-sex marriages. Accordingly, ...
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