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HR Soapbox

HR Soapbox

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The scandal de jour in Washington swirling around Omarosa Manigault Newman, a fired White House aide who wrote a tell-all book, has ignited a debate about the appropriate—and legal—use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) to block employees from disclosing information about a past employer.
Some employers have given up on notifying unsuccessful candidates—not a smart move. Use these 7 tips for drafting simple, well-written rejection letters.
It’s every company’s worst fear: A horrible employee decision leads to front page news and a PR crisis. In many cases, HR is on the front lines of such responses. Having a crisis plan ahead of time can literally save the company—and your career. Some recent examples: Starbucks faced protests and lots of negative press […]
This week, America’s “Second City” was first in HR knowledge and networking as 15,000+ HR professionals converged on Chicago for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) annual conference. You weren’t able to attend this year? No problem. Here are 18 of the most informative and inspiring quotes from the more than 230 sessions during […]
Maybe your company is growing fast and your HR department is short-handed. Or maybe your HR staffers aren’t as up-to-date on compliance requirements as they should be. As a pair of recent cases show, don’t expect any slack from the courts if you plead ignorance or overburden. In fact, not making an effort to learn […]
Public pressure, a major new court ruling and new state and local laws are pushing more employers to make the decision to stop asking applicants how much they’ve been paid at previous jobs. So far, about a dozen states and more than 150 municipalities make it unlawful to ask about past salary information on job […]
When it comes to employment law, hope isn’t a strategy. And rather than sitting back and hoping the spinning wheel of legal trouble (Lawsuits! EEOC claims! Agency fines!) won’t land on their organizations, hundreds of HR pros each year get updated on their HR compliance duties at the Labor and Employment Law Advanced Practices (LEAP) […]
A Virginia woman created a social media storm last month when she was photographed giving the presidential motorcade the middle finger while riding her bike. When she notified her bosses at Akima, a federal contracting firm, that she was the woman in the photo, they instantly fired her and escorted her out.

The flood of accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has given women new confidence to publicly denounce sexual harassment and other misconduct by powerful leaders. How would your organization handle a bombshell complaint against your top brass?

This year, America's largest annual gathering of HR professionals rolled south to the Big Easy, as 15,145 HR and business leaders attended the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference in New Orleans from June 18-21. Here are some of the leading thoughts from the dozens of thought leaders at the podiums:

When the combative 2016 election culminated in a surprise Trump victory last November, most people thought the inter-office political debates would ease as the calendar turned to 2017. In fact, all the workplace talk and tension has only increased, says a new study. How should employers respond, and can you ban political talk at work? ...

Hundreds of HR professionals descended on Bellagio in Las Vegas from March 29 to 31 to soak up employment law advice from more than two dozen of America's finest employment lawyers at the 13th annual Labor & Employment Law Advanced Practices (LEAP) Symposium. Here are 17 pearls of wisdom from this year's LEAP presenters. (Note: You can register for next year's event at www.LEAP2018.com.)


Complying with the alphabet soup of employment laws takes a big portion of HR's day. And compliance will get even harder in 2017. How well do you know employment law? Take this quick quiz ...

Employee legal complaints against their employers have spiked in the past decade. For HR professionals, one small misstep—by themselves or a supervisor—can cost an organization dearly in time, energy and legal costs. Here are the six most important legal mistakes that HR professionals need to protect against ...

The American workplace has had 10 days to absorb the most surprising presidential election in our lifetimes. Since then, the full range of human emotion, from grief to glee, has played out in offices, shops and warehouses—a volatile mix that caused arguments and some violence among co-workers. Here are four things that any supervisor or HR professional should remember when facing a highly charged emotional issue in the workplace ...

This summer, baseball's historical cellar-dwelling team, the Chicago Cubs, are having a season for the ages, led by their guru/mad scientist manager Joe Maddon. HR professionals and front-line bosses face many of the same challenges as baseball managers in putting a successful team on the field. Here are six things you can learn from Maddon and the Cubs ... 

Most political conventions are scripted, made-for-TV affairs with much sound but little fury. This year's versions of the Democratic and Republican gatherings were highlighted by loud and public internal squabbles. That same sort of commotion is playing out in workplaces across the country. Here are the new statistics about workplace debates, plus advice on how HR can set up a smart, legally safe policy on political discourse at work ...

This year, the HR Soapbox didn't need to travel far to cover the big annual HR-palooza that is the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference. We joined more than 15,000 other HRers right here in Washington, D.C., from June 19-22. If you weren't able to make it, no problem. Here are some of the best nuggets of wisdom left behind by the 200+ speakers ...

“Stupid” … “loser” … “pathetic” … “lightweight” … “a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain.” All those insults—and worse—have been hurled on the campaign trail during this especially ugly election year, with the harshest attacks lobbed by GOP nominee-in-waiting Donald Trump. But what happens when supervisors use that kind of verbal venom on employees […]

The U.S. Department of Labor just announced its much-anticipated final changes to federal overtime rules, which willl bring big changes to the way employers pay, classify and manage their employees. Here is a compliance Q&A on those changes:

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