Monday, March 27, 2017

That is SO last week

Last week, HR Dive highlighted the benefits and drawbacks of the use of electronic tracking to assess how employees engage with one another. Use of tracking technology to assess employee interaction has joined employee location monitoring as a useful, but sometimes risky, management tool.  As recently discussed in the National Law Review, GPS-based tracking of employees must comply with state law limitations, and privacy rights may also become a concern.  As HR tech tools related to tracking increase in number and capacity, the employer risks we noted almost two years ago remain significant.

Discrimination

SHRM covered a recent Eighth-Circuit decision which held that a manufacturer’s dismissal of an employee because of concerns about his skills was not age discrimination.

New York Magazine reported on recent allegations that the female CEO of Thinx created a company culture of fear, ageism, and sexual harassment.

The Second Circuit held that Rite-Aid was within its rights to fire a pharmacist who refused to give immunization shots to customers because he suffers from a fear of needles, holding that, even under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employees are required to be able to perform their jobs.

A janitorial company agreed to pay $70,000 to a former employee who alleged that he was fired in retaliation for his participation in an internal investigation concerning a coworker’s sexual harassment complaint.

Technology

IBM, a pioneer of telecommuting, is recalling its remote marketing employees to six IBM offices across the U.S. in an effort to inspire innovation and foster new ideas.

Google rescinded a policy requiring new employees to waive their right to sue if they see adult content at the office.

Quartz covered the push for coding transparency to reduce bias in predictive software used by police departments.

In Other News

In his Senate confirmation hearing, Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta noted that the federal overtime requirements have not been updated in ten years.

Harvard Business Review traced income inequality among workers to inequality among companies, explaining that the best-educated and most-skilled employees cluster inside the most successful companies and receive dramatically higher incomes compared to outsiders.

SHRM reported on a recent survey of 25,000 remote workers who say working remotely increases their productivity, but causes them to worry that their colleagues in the office think they don’t work as hard.

The New Yorker took a close look at the real experience of gig economy workers.

Baristas at Starbucks presented the company with a petition containing 80,000 signatures asking the company to give equal parental-leave benefits to store and non-store employees.

The Boston Globe reported that Massachusetts’ ban-the-box legislation has not improved hiring rates of ex-offenders in that state.