EverythingPeople This Week!

3

Mar

2020

What is Biophilic Design and How Can it Improve Workplace Productivity?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Biophilia is defined as the inherent human desire to affiliate with nature.  Biophilic design, an extension of biophilia, is the practice of using architecture and building design to connect people and nature.  This is accomplished through incorporation of natural building materials, natural light, vegetation, and nature views into an urban environment.  So how can using biophilic design in a work environment improve employee productivity?

18

Feb

2020

The Ultimate Employee Perk – Travel Stipends

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

It’s winter and we still have a long way to go.  Many of us will look out the window at the cold and gray and imagine being somewhere warm and on the beach.  How would you like to work for an employer that actually provides you money on top of your paid time off to take that dream vacation?  The newest perk some generous employers have rewarded their employees with are travel stipends, or as some call it, “paid, paid vacation” that helps to take care of...

4

Feb

2020

Four Michigan Cities Top the 2020 Biggest Bed Bug Locations – Have They Hitched a Ride to Your Workplace?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to the CDC, while most of the time bedbugs typically live within eight feet of where people sleep, they can infest areas that don’t have any sleeping areas.  They can be found in movie theaters, libraries, and yes, even found at work. Over the last several years bedbug infestations have been on the rise, and employers should take note.  While the reasons for this rise are unknown, the EPA believes that increased travel, resistance to pesticides, ineffective pest...

21

Jan

2020

Employers Should Be Prepared for a Tough Flu Season

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

This year’s flu season is predicted to be one of the worst in decades.  Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told CNN that it could be as bad as the 2017-18 season, which the CDC says was the deadliest in four decades.  Flu activity has been elevated since the start of November and is only expected to continue climbing. Newly released data from the CDC estimates that so far this season, at least 6.4 million...

7

Jan

2020

Chipotle Settles Sexual Harassment Suit – Female Supervisor Propositioned Male Subordinate

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In early December, fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill settled a lawsuit in which a male employee alleged he was sexually harassed by his female supervisor.  He also alleged that he was later subjected to retaliation by his supervisor after he reported her behavior.  Chipotle has agreed to pay $95,000 to the employee and make substantial changes to their sexual harassment policies and training in order to settle the sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S....

10

Dec

2019

Should the Office Secret Santa be Banned? 1/3 of Millennials Say Yes

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to a recent UK study from Jobsite, 35% of Millennials would like for the annual office Secret Santa gift exchange to be banned.  One of the many reasons Millennials provided for feeling this way is the pressure of the holiday tradition and the anxiety that it triggers.  Some of the issues they face include:

19

Nov

2019

Record Setting November Snowfall - What is Your Inclement Weather Policy?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Snow, snow, and more snow!  Last week Michigan was hammered with a record-breaking November snowstorm that surprised many, closing schools and making work commutes difficult.  The National Weather Service recorded a daily maximum snowfall of 8.5 inches at Detroit Metro Airport on Monday November 11 that broke a record that had stood for nearly 94 years. It was the highest November daily snowfall, topping the previous high mark of 6.2 inches set on Nov. 15, 1925. 

12

Nov

2019

Suicide Awareness – Workplace Strategies for Employers

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to federal data, suicide rates in the United States have recently hit their highest rate since World War II.  There has been a 33% increase just since 1999.  High rates of stress, pressures, isolation factors of social media use, and opioid abuse are some of the larger contributing factors. 

1

Oct

2019

What Managers Do That Make Employees Quit

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

We’ve all heard the saying, “people leave managers, not companies.”  Managers have the most direct influence on the employees they supervise, and creating effective retention strategies to decrease turnover should be one of their most important jobs.  With the tight labor market and the unemployment rate hitting a record 50 year low, many employers have indicated that finding and retaining good talent is their greatest obstacle for growth. 

17

Sep

2019

Vaping Deaths and E-Cigarette Use in the Workplace

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to the CDC, as of September 16, 2019, six people have died from vaping-related lung illnesses, and the number of possible cases has grown to 450.  In Michigan, six individuals have been hospitalized according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  All patients had vaped within days or weeks of getting sick, and many had used e-cigarettes with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  While the CDC continues to investigate these illnesses and deaths, they advise...

3

Sep

2019

The Explosion of Employee Monitoring Technology

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Innovation and the sophistication of employee tracking technology has grown exponentially over the last several years opening up a wide range of options for employers to track their employees' activities.   Some of the earliest technology that employers implemented included video cameras, phone listening, and keyboard stroke recording.  Technology from there evolved to the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices installed in vehicles, laptops, or through apps installed...

20

Aug

2019

Employee Memo Goes Viral - “I'm Not Returning to Google After Maternity Leave, and Here is Why”

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In late July, a woman who worked in the Seattle/Kirkland branch of Google posted a memo titled “I’m Not Returning to Google After Maternity Leave, and Here is Why,” to an internal message board for expecting and new mothers.  After the initial posting, it was also posted to other internal message boards within the organization and from there went viral.  It has been viewed by over 10,000 employees, and it alleges that Google has discriminated and retaliated against...

6

Aug

2019

HRCI Certification vs. SHRM Certification – Is One Preferred?

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

This summer marks five years since the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) announced the launch of their HR certification program intended to compete with the established HR certification program offered by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).  Many were left very frustrated by this development trying to determine whether the profession could sustain two HR certifications and if one would eventually emerge as predominant and more prestigious over the other. 

23

Jul

2019

Most Common Employee Handbook Mistakes

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

It’s hard to believe that summer is halfway over, and Labor Day is going to be here before you know it.  While the office is a little quieter due to heavier vacation schedules, this is a great time of year to tackle that handbook update project before things get busy again in the fall.

9

Jul

2019

Digital Addiction in the Workplace

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Technology over the past decade has found its way into practically every part of our daily lives.  It has transformed how we communicate, the way we interact through social media, the access we have to information, how we shop, and how we conduct business – just to name a few examples.  You look around anywhere these days, and people are staring at their electronic devices, and many feel helpless without them.  As a result of this heavy dependence on technology, it should...

25

Jun

2019

Employers – Ensure Your Grooming Policies Aren’t Discriminatory

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Most employers have policies that outline requirements regarding dress and appearance.  These can range from business vs. casual dress, if body piercings or visible tattoos are allowed, and some outline grooming standards.  Some employer grooming standards not only require a neat appearance but may also detail whether certain hairstyles or certain hair colors are prohibited or whether male employees must be clean shaven or have short hair.  As employers define their dress code...

11

Jun

2019

JP Morgan Chase Settles for $5 Million in Largest Paternity Leave Lawsuit

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In May 2019, JP Morgan Chase reached a tentative settlement of $5 million dollars to resolve a class action lawsuit alleging the bank’s parental leave policy was biased against dads.  It is the largest recorded settlement in a U.S. parental leave discrimination complaint. 

28

May

2019

Women are More Productive in Warmer Offices

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

More often than not women complain about feeling cold at much higher rates than men, and there are several scientific reasons behind this fact.  Women typically have a lower metabolic rate that results in being colder at rest.

14

May

2019

Summer Hour Programs on the Rise

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

While the weather recently hasn’t exactly been warm, Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and it marks the unofficial start of summer.  As the rain will eventually (we hope) start to let up, the attention of many employees will turn to thoughts of getting outdoors, spending more time with family, and having some downtime to unplug and recharge.  One benefit that is dramatically on the rise are employers who have implemented a summer hours program.

30

Apr

2019

Employee Request for Less Stressful Boss Does Not Qualify for ADA

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee must show that they have a physical or mental impairment and that the impairment “substantially limits one or more major life activities” in order to qualify as a disability.   The recent ruling in  Tinsley v. Caterpillar Fin. Servs., Corp., No. 18-5303 (6th Cir. Mar. 20, 2019) by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee), sends a good reminder to employers...

16

Apr

2019

Trial-by-Jury at Work? Amazon’s New Performance Improvement Process

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Amazon’s culture has certainly made headlines over the years at a minimum as being demanding and at the extreme described as being downright brutal.   In 2015 the New York Times wrote an article about employee life at Amazon and one former human resource director described a facet of the culture as “purposeful Darwinism.”  This is where employees either quit due to the inability to keep up with the demands of the job or there are routine “cullings”...

2

Apr

2019

Using Snapchat as Part of Your Recruiting Strategy

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

When many HR Professionals think of social media tools and platforms that can be used for recruiting, the app Snapchat is probably one that doesn’t come to mind.  For those that are not familiar with Snapchat, it is a mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos of up to 10 seconds, and drawings that are called “snaps”.     

19

Mar

2019

Failure to Stop Workplace Rumor About Employee “Sleeping Way to Top” Can Create Sex Discrimination Liability

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Gossip is a natural part of human behavior and an inevitable temptation in every workplace.  Evolutionary scientists believe that gossip among early humans was a way to communicate social norms and keep bad behavior in check.  A 2012 study conducted at the University of Amsterdam and later published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that 90% of office chit-chat is made up of gossip.  But employers should be aware that they have responsibility to investigate and...

5

Mar

2019

EEO-1 Filing Deadline May 31 – Tips for Completing Report

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

As a result of the federal government shut down, employers have two additional months to file their EEO-1 report.  The normal filing due date for the EEO-1 is March 31st, but the 2018 EEO-1 report for employers is due this year by May 31, 2019.  The tool will open up for reporting in two weeks per the EEOC.  Filing instructions will be posted soon on the EEO-1 survey website.

19

Feb

2019

Paid Time off for Parental Leave is on the Rise

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

While Michigan employers are preparing for the new Michigan Paid Sick Leave Act that takes effect on March 29th, another paid leave benefit is on the rise.  Employers offering paid parental leave benefits rose significantly between 2016 and 2018 according to SHRM.  Employers offering paid maternity leave increased from 26% to 35% in 2018, and paid paternity leave increased from 21% to 29% during that same time period.  Paid adoption leave increased from 20% to 28%, foster child...
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