I understand, through many sources, that the NFL tried to keep the movie, Concussion, from being released and once it was realized by the NFL that this was not going to happen, they did their best to tone down the rhetoric for the movie. For the record, I saw the movie and Will Smith’s performance was fantastic….the movie had me on the edge of my seat….I knew the outcome but I never knew the story as to how we got to where we are today…
Being a parent of a child that played a ‘contact’ sport, I know that football is NOT an anomaly when it comes to head injuries, however, one thing I realized is that in a soccer game….a concussion or head injury is far less common than the constant battering of the head of an average football player….I also learned that some players get hit in the ‘head’ much less than others….and for purposes of this BLOG, I don’t understand the game of Football enough to state which positions are hit more often but I know enough to state that the ‘defense’ normally does the hitting and the ‘offense’ normally get hit….but, when it comes to CTE, it doesn’t matter if one is ‘hit’ or if one has been ‘hit’….all that matters are those blood vessels exploding/expanding in one’s head….
How does one decide to spend one’s career at a vocation where there is the ever gnawing possibility of attaining a serious injury? A popular men’s magazine recently listed the 25 most dangerous ‘jobs’ in America with being an NFL Football Player as #12….the top of the list is a Suicide Assailant and the #25 spot goes to the Smokejumpers….please note that if you would like to see the entire list please click the link: 25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America. Some of the jobs on the list one would question and I’m sure that OSHA has a different list for what Suicide Bomber is going to register their profession….no more than Urban Prostitutes will register theirs…
I cannot fathom how anyone or any organization would put an individual in a position of power, management, finance, authority, etc. without properly ascertaining that individual’s strengths, weaknesses or competencies….and please note, just because someone is competent in one area, it does not mean that person is competent in many areas…..
I’ve seen it time/time again….especially with Human Resources’ professionals…an individual is placed in a position that they have no expertise in but their resume looks good, the interview went well (the very WORSE method to identify a new member of an organization) or they have seen the individual in one aspect of a profession and they think that the individual is ‘omnipotent’ and can do all….that is almost NEVER the case….I’ve seen too many failures occur for both the individual and the organization….
Vetting is a simple process that occurs with the ordering of background checks (credit check/criminal records check/work history check) that will, basically, give an organization the ‘history’ of the individual that is being considered for a particular position…either in a profit or non-profit environment.
There is some argument that ‘history’ is not the sole criteria for hiring a particular individual or assigning an individual a position, however, a combination of the three (3) background checks will give an organization some idea as to whether the individual that is being considered is going to perform well in a particular position.
An organization has an OBLIGATION to itself as well as the customers/members and the employee or designee to hire or place properly. The employee has as much to lose by being placed in a position that they are not qualified to hold as the company or organization that has placed the individual in that particular position. By placing someone in a position for which they are not qualified is irresponsible and the organizational decision maker should be evaluated in the same manner as the individual that was unfairly expected to perform at a level or in a manner in which they are not qualified.
How will it come down?
The Supreme Court may rule against the union ‘fair share service fee’....we are talking about the case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a lawsuit that could possibly have major implications for organized labor.
You need to know that an employee of a school district in California that is unionized does not have to join the union but at present, the employee is required to pay a ‘fair share service fee’ because the union has a legal obligation to fully represent all assigned bargaining unit employees, members and non-members alike. Non-members pay a fair share fee in the amount of no more than regular union dues. This fee covers the cost of bargaining, implementing and enforcing the contract.
In order to understand this lawsuit, one has to have the history behind it….Abood v Detroit Board of Education, in 1977, established that, while public sector unions could not require members to contribute to non-chargeable spending (what one would consider ‘political’), they could charge all employees for chargeable spending (activities related to ‘collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment purposes). The plaintiffs argue that all spending by the union is inherently political and mandatory employee contributions to it thus constitute ‘compelled speech’, which is generally prohibited by the first amendment. According to these plaintiffs, the Supreme Court was wrong in Abood when it asserted that the importance of promoting ‘labor peace’ and preventing ‘free rides’ justifies making chargeable dues mandatory.
The union looks at it quite differently….and they feel that this argument is quite flawed. Chargeable dues contributions are a condition of a specific type of employment – they aren’t ‘compelled’ by any reasonable definition of the word. Teachers who dislike this employment condition are perfectly free to seek employment at a non-unionized school. The unions feel that unless the plaintiffs consider all conditions of employment in any profession to be ‘compelled’, which I’m sure they don’t, they can’t logically argue that chargeable dues contributions are.
'Many times in the HR field one can find the same articles or information written by various bloggers, attorneys, HR associations, etc. Most of it is pretty practical information that all of us as HR professionals as well as employees/employers can benefit from…. I can’t stress enough how important it is to cross the ‘t’s’ and dot the ‘I’s’….what is unsaid or unwritten in many employment situations is just as important as what ‘is’….
There is an attorney in the State of Florida that focuses exclusively on employment law named Richard Celler….by way of another HR Blogger, HR Bartender, I will do a ‘paraphrase’ of his November 30, 2015 BLOG….He is much nicer to these employers than I could ever be…but then he probably never had to work for the minister or the fat lady….In case anyone would like to see/read the entire BLOG, please follow this link:
For every illegal action taken by an employer in the workplace, there is a moment of decision when it could have been avoided. A good….doesn’t even have to be great….HR department can stop unlawful actions before they happen, preventing any abuse before it occurs….in essence…helping both the employer and employee.
According to the latest data released by the DOL and EEOC, nearly 90,000 charges were filed in 2014 and $372 million was paid out in employment filed lawsuits. Each case could likely have been prevented if the employer had chosen an alternative to violating the rights of their employee.
An example of an Unfair Medical Leave 'retaliation' practice vs an Illegal Medical Leave 'retaliation' practice....
Unfair: Employee Eligibility for Protection: After taking an approved medical leave, you are told you don’t have a job to come back to. You were employed by a ‘covered’ employer, but hadn’t yet been on the job for the required 12 months, 1250 hours or work at a location with at least 50 employees within 75 miles. Family Medical Leave Act has employee eligibility requirements for protections to apply.
Illigal: Covered Medical Leave Retaliation: You are told you don’t have a job to return to after taking medical leave during your second year on the job. You meet FMLA protection requirements and you work for a ‘covered’ employer. Your employer felt you don’t qualify because your 12 months of work history hasn’t been consecutive. Any form of discipline or termination initiated by an employer because of covered leave is a violation and unlawful.
41.1% of all employment related lawsuits in 2014 were filed due to retaliation. This is particularly important for small businesses….an HR person can help direct the business owner/manager to the correct decision as well as any corporate employment lawyer, if the owner/manager chooses to go that direction. Unfortunately, many choose to rely on ‘consultants’ or ‘advisors’ that tell them what they want to hear…..oh my….have I gone down that rocky road….
Here is another example and this is for ‘discrimination’. I’ll just give these two (2) and, again, encourage you to go to Celler Legal, P.A. website or follow the link above:
Unfair: Employment Decisions Reflect Bias: After years of hard work, you have a rough week for personal reasons and arrive late to work. It happens again the next week and you are terminated for it. As a woman of color you think it is unfair and has to do with your race. The employer has also fired white employees after two (2) late starts. While you may feel it is unfair, the employer has a history of treating non-protected class employees in the same manner.
Illegal: Employment Decisions Reflect Bias: After years of hard work, you have a rough week for personal reasons and arrive late to work. It happens again the next week and you are terminated for it. As a woman of color you think it is unfair and has to do with your race. White employees have been late consecutively and weren’t fired for the offense. Despicable and unlawful. Evidence of dissimilar treatment when compared to people not in the protected category.
Over 35% of all employment related lawsuits filed in 2014 were for discrimination….comprising age, disability, pregnancy and race….one would think after all this time that any type of discrimination in the workplace is just NOT acceptable nor is it legal…however, it happens….over and over and over again. Again, a good HR professional or a good attorney can help prevent this kind of fodor….do not rely on a consultant or advisor who only wants to help the owner/manager line their pockets…..even though that is why the owner/manager continues to do it….
Did you know that $48.4 million dollars was paid in damages for sexual harassment in 2010 alone?
I must give one (1) more example for it is one that the minister and the fat lady continually engaged in for many ‘employees’ at all different levels in the business….that is Unfair and Illegal wage practices:
Unfair: Sent Home to Avoid Overtime (the minister and the fat lady NEVER did this): Your employer makes you (a non-exempt hourly employee) work 12 hours a day the first 3 days of the week. To prevent you from being paid time and one half for going over 40 hours, your employer (as soon as you hit 40 hours) sends you home for the rest of the week and only pays you for 40 hours because that is all that you worked. Abusive and unfair to the employee but, unfortunately, not illegal at this time.
Illegal: Wage Theft in the Workplace (the minister and the fat lady VERY OFTEN did this): Your employer assures you that you ‘agree’ to waive overtime pay or that you only qualify for paid overtime for ‘approved hours’ (how accurate this is to describe some employers) Your employer requires you to work over 40 hours per week but paycheck after paycheck you aren’t being compensated for the time spent, and your boss has a new excuse pay period after pay period….Your employer is stealing from you. Period. It should not be tolerated. The employee has legal recourse for unpaid wages.
I haven’t harped about former employers for quite awhile and I really don’t like doing so….I’m pretty bitter about former employers but I'm also someone that likes to face a problem or issue and fix it….certain times along the way, I read an article or I hear of a story that someone has been ‘screwed’ by an otherwise respectably appearing ‘employer’ and my rancor rises and I think of all those ‘scums’ out there that look good on paper or that come across honest, religious, sincere and confident and are basically the devil in disguise….for I truly believe that when an employee or worker is hurt, in any way, manner or capacity, then we are all hurt….I know….some people do not feel this way….and life will go on….
If you would like more information regarding how to manage a fair and legal business, then please contact Rosanne Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 484-947-7063.
….and here we go again….it seems that this is the second look that the members of the United States’ Supreme Court are giving this case….Fisher v University of Texas is a Supreme Court case concerning the Affirmative Action admissions policy of the University of Texas at Austin. There is some concern in the Human Resources’ community that this decision may have a relevance to the workplace.
Higher education is one area where the Supreme Court has been the most tolerant about race being considered in some way, shape or form in selecting one person over another. If the court strikes down the University of Texas’ approach, employers’ voluntary affirmative action and diversity programs may be more open to race discrimination challenges.
Employers have learned that a diverse workforce results in benefits for most businesses. Employers prefer to recruit from colleges/universities with diverse student bodies. Many feel that achieving diversity on campus satisfies the goals of better employment opportunities for all students and directly meets businesses’ demand for well-qualified and diverse workers. As stated in a few other BLOG’s, the importance of diversity to success in business is supported by multiple studies showing that a diverse workforce provides significant business benefits. Specifically, increasing racial diversity in the workplace increases sales revenue, increases the number of customers, increases market share and, ultimately, increases profits….
So, getting back to Fisher v University of Texas…the basic premise is that the University of Texas has a policy of admitting 75% of its students in the freshman class who are in the top 10% of their graduating high school class throughout the state. The remaining 25% are admitted based on factors such as leadership qualities, work experience, community service, standardized test scores and, yes, race.
Abigail Fisher, a white student, not in the top 10% of her class was denied admission in 2008…she decided to bring a suit….challenging the university’s admission policy as unconstitutionally relying on race. The University defended its policy and stated that when it did ‘negate’ race from the picture, the number of minorities admitted during that time dropped.
Many liberals state that Amanda Fisher would not have been accepted into the University of Texas….no matter what….her grades were not good enough, she did not excel nor participate in any sports and she was not considered a class or school ‘leader’ by any stretch of the imagination…..however, as conservatives point out….none of those issues matter….it is not enough to say that she would not have gotten into the University when there is a racial criteria that is being considered….
When I read that Justice Alito makes a comment such as “There are those that contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school, where they will do well.”….I want to cringe/shudder/hide….I cannot believe that there are still ‘educated’ Americans that make comments such as those….
I think of my daughter’s high school English Teacher who told my daughter that she should consider applying to a school with ‘lessor’ credentials than aiming for Columbia University….which happens to be my daughter’s alma mater….to say that I had a visit with the hierarchy of this prestigious private school is an ‘understatement’….or possibly denying my niece entry into a Pennsylvania State college because her high school grades were sub-standard and her extra-curricular activities…..from an organizational perspective, were non-existent. My niece was accepted into the summer program and proceeded to make Dean’s List each/every semester….she has been employed by a major Philadelphia hospital and is presently working on her Masters in Nursing at an Ivy League University….so, let’s not be too hasty to state that activity in high school is indicative of futuristic performances……
There is very little indication as to how the Supreme Court will rule on this….it is a touchy subject….my recommendation would be to have the University of Texas eliminate the entire 10% rule and accept everyone based on a combination of grades, leadership, team skills, diversity, etc…..or just try to insure that everyone that has a dream is given ample opportunities to fulfill those dreams…..
If you have any questions regarding diversity in the workplace, please contact Rosanne Bennett at 484-947-7063 or at email@example.com.
Rosanne is a Senior and Global Professional in Human Resources as well as a Certified Personnel Consultant and has over 30 years of experience in human resources, recruitment and staffing.