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Feb 042013

lester_rosenEmployers have long recognized that conducting due diligence on new hires is a mission critical task. Firms cannot afford to be sidetracked by employee problems such as workplace violence, theft, false resumes, embezzlement, harassment or trumped-up injury claims. Employers can be sued for negligent hiring if they hire someone they should have known, through the exercise of due diligence, as dangerous, unfit, dishonest or unqualified.

In this week’s episode of The Proactive Employer, we’ll be talking with Les Rosen about the top 10 trends and best practices for 2013 when it comes to background checks and safe hiring. We discuss the use of social networking sites, the EEOC approach to the use of criminal records and credit reports, international background screening, resume fraud, dealing with temporary workers, privacy and off shoring of personal data, and tools to protect against workplace violence. We wrap up the conversation with some legally compliant best practices to keep businesses productive and out of court, as well as steps businesses can take immediately to avoid a bad hire.

This show will air live on Thursday, February 7th at 3 PM Eastern / 12 Noon Pacific on BlogTalkRadio.

Tweet your questions using the hashtag #TPESHOW or call in at 1-888-553-6673 to talk to our guests. The show will be available for on-demand listening at The Proactive Employer website, on BlogTalkRadio and via iTunes following the broadcast.


Jan 242013

This week’s Safe For Work Video looks at transgender discrimination.

In this video, Chai Feldblum, Dan Vale, and Melissa Brand present a brown-bag seminar on transgender discrimination.

Take a look at the video, and be sure to join us this afternoon at 3PM Eastern for The Proactive Employer Radio Show - we’ll be talking with Timothy Long and Lauri Damrell about the various types and forms of gender discrimination.

Jan 232013

equalworkequalpayPaying Employees Fairly: Examining Compensation Systems for Internal Pay Equity

Friday, March 15 from 1:00 to 2:30 PM Eastern

Eventbrite - Paying Employees Fairly: Examining Compensation Systems for Internal Equity

The last three years have brought major changes in the legal and regulatory environment regarding compensation discrimination, and there are even more changes on the horizon. These changes affect the policies and procedures employers need to have in place to combat pay discrimination. The compensation review is a valuable tool in the employer’s risk management arsenal, yet few organziations put this tool to use. Employers can no longer afford to ignore this important tool.

In this webinar, we discuss how employers can manage the risk of pay discrimination claims by conducting a compensation review. Each stage of the compensation review is discussed, from the planning stage through the application of analysis inferences to business processes. Common pitfalls and data issues are discussed, and the importance of proper grouping of employees for comparison purposes is emphasized. Concrete examples drawn from real-life situations are used to illustrate each step in the review process and to highlight the effects of common pitfalls.

Areas covered inlude:

  • Recent changes in compensation discrimination laws and regulations;
  • Compensation challenges presented by the evolving legal and regulatory environment;
  • How a compensation review can assist in mitigating the risk of a compenstion discrimination lawsuit;
  • Successfully planning the compensation review project;
  • Types of compensation that can be examined by a review;
  • Construction of similarly situated employee groupings;
  • Identification of the determinants of compensation;
  • Pay data collection, assembly and cleaning;
  • Common compensation data pitfalls;
  • The use of multiple regression analysis to examine compensation for internal equity;
  • Evaluation of analysis results in terms of statistical significance, practical significance, sample size and explanatory power of the model;
  • Follow up investigations of potential problem areas identified in the analysis;
  • Making adjustments to compensation based on analysis results;
  • The importance of compensation decision documentation.

This program has been submitted to the HR Certification Institute for review.

About Your Presenter: Stephanie R. Thomas, Ph.D., is the CEO of Thomas Econometrics Inc. She is a noted authority on compensation gender equity and the quantitative analysis of discrimination. Dr. Thomas provides consulting services to Fortune 500 companies, major law firms, and government agencies such as the Department of Justice and the FBI. She has testified as an economic and statistical expert on questions of discrimination in employment decisions in federal and state courts throughout the United States.
Eventbrite - Paying Employees Fairly: Examining Compensation Systems for Internal Equity

Jan 212013

timothylonglauridamrellDealing with complex gender discrimination issues in the workplace is very challenging. From pay to promotion to pregnancy, employers are facing risks they may not be prepared to manage. Understanding what these risks are, and knowing what internal processes you should have, and what data and documentation you should maintain is a critical component of reducing these risks and ensuring your workplace is free of gender discrimination.

In this week’s episode of The Proactive Employer, we speak with Timothy Long and Lauri Damrell  about gender discrimination. We’ll discuss why gender discrimination is a family issue, not just a women’s issue. We’ll talk about the growing popularity of multi-million dollar gender discrimination suits and the trends in gender discrimination investigations from regulatory agencies. We’ll discuss specific vulnerabilities for employers in the areas of pay, promotion and pregnancy discrimination, and provide some practical suggestions for employers on how to avoid gender discrimination lawsuits, and what to do should an employer find itself involved in complex gender discrimination litigation.

This show will air on Thursday, January 24th at 3 PM Eastern / 12 Noon Pacific on BlogTalkRadio.

The show will be available for on-demand listening at The Proactive Employer website, on BlogTalkRadio and via iTunes following the broadcast.


Dec 212012

600-01195064Do you think what goes on behind closed exam room doors at the doctor’s office is a personal and private matter and confidential information about your health goes no further than the medical records department? Your employer’s policy may dictate otherwise.

Current and former employees of Dillard’s Inc., a national retail chain, found that to be the case. Just this week, the company agreed to pay $2 million and has committed to extensive injunctive relief to resolve a 4-year-old class action disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.

The suit challenged the legality of Dillard’s longstanding policy requiring workers to divulge confidential medical information to be approved for sick leave and terminated those who did not feel comfortable revealing such information. Dillard’s allegedly also violated the ADA by firing workers who took more than their allotted sick time.

Originally, the EEOC filed suit in 2008 on behalf of employees, including Corina Scott, a former cosmetics counter employee at an El Centro, California Dillard’s store, who had been required since 2005 to disclose specifics of their medical conditions in order to take sick time. Scott says, “It was humiliating to be fired after expressing my right to keep my medical information private.”

Although they had verifications from doctors ensuring Dillard’s that their absences were indeed medically- related, many of the employees did not feel comfortable sharing the specifics. According to the EEOC, Scott, who was absent just four days, was among those fired in retaliation for refusal to provide details of her medical condition after acting on doctor’s advice not to disclose personal medical information in accordance with the law.

The EEOC alleged that Dillard’s disclosure policy violated the ADA which prohibits employers from making inquiries into the disabilities of their employees unless it is job-related and necessary for the conduct of business and that the company failed to properly determine if additional leave was allowed as accommodation of the employee’s disability under the ADA.

The District Court sided with the EEOC ruling that that Dillard’s policy was facially discriminatory under the ADA and the parties entered into a three-year consent decree. Dillard’s will pay $2 million to identified victims and establish a class fund for currently unidentified victims who suffered similar discrimination during the relevant time period. “I’m grateful to the EEOC for assisting me and the many other workers who were also affected,” says Scott.

Additional persons may be eligible for monetary rewards as part of the settlement and the EEOC expects to identify thousands of victims across the U.S. through the claims notice process designed to distribute the class fund arising from the settlement.

Furthermore, Dillard’s must hire a consultant with ADA experience to review and revise company policies as deemed appropriate; post documentation related to the settlement; implement training for supervisors and staff on the ADA with emphasis on medical enquiries and maximum leave policies; and develop a centralized tracking system for employee complaints involving disability discrimination. Dillard’s will submit annual reports to the EEOC verifying their compliance.

Speaking on behalf of the EEOC, Anna Park, regional attorney for the Los Angeles District Office says, “We commend Dillard’s for agreeing to measures that will prevent and effectively address potential disability discrimination. Policies and practices that permit medical inquiries without proof of a valid business necessity run afoul of the law, often having large-scale consequences.” She also issues a reminder that “all employers should carefully examine their own policies and practices to ensure compliance with federal law.”