Monday, June 19, 2017

That is SO last week

Last week, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the EEOC held a public meeting at which experts advised that age discrimination and bias against older workers persists. The meeting was entitled “The ADEA @ 50—More Relevant Than Ever” and featured a panel of experts including an AARP attorney, academic researchers, and directors from several centers on aging. Recognizing that people are living and working longer, Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic said that stereotypes about age and work stifle job growth and productivity and lead to age discrimination that wastes the knowledge, skills, and talent of older workers. Expert panelists reported that societal stereotypes of older workers and outdated business practices cause employers to channel older workers out of the workforce, even though research refutes the stereotypes that older workers are less productive, technophobic, or inflexible. The panelists discussed the need for employers to innovate and adopt practices to better integrate older workers into the workforce. 
Discrimination
The EEOC sued a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Georgia for disability discrimination, alleging the franchise fired a restaurant manager when it discovered she was taking medication to treat bipolar disorder.
The Commerce Department removed language from its equal opportunity statement that barred discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, then restored it after activists protested.
The New York City Department of Transportation agreed to pay more than $1.3 million to settle a race discrimination lawsuit which alleged that its managers used racial slurs and excluded minority candidates from preferred assignments and promotions.
An Uber board member resigned and apologized after making a joke about women during a company event focused on sexual harassment.  
Technology
Quartz covered new research in reinforcement learning, which focuses on how humans can help machines of the future learn.
Mashable speculated that Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods may signal greater automation in grocery stores—and fewer jobs—on the horizon.
Tech Crunch featured mobile intranet app Workwell that aims to improve the company intranet by integrating more services in a user-friendly mobile app.
The BBC asked whether employee-monitoring technology is worthwhile.
In Other News
BuzzFeed reported that the social news site NowThis requires new hires, including entry-level employees, to sign noncompete agreements that forbid them from taking a job at certain competitors—including CNN, Vice, BuzzFeed, and Vox—for a period of two years.
The Department of Justice reversed its position in a case pending at the U.S. Supreme Court, now arguing that arbitration agreements prohibiting employees from pursuing work-related claims as a class do not violate the National Labor Relations Act.
A New York state labor department judge granted three former Uber drivers unemployment benefits, reasoning that Uber created an employer-employee relationship with the drivers.