What do you think?

What You Need to Know about the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA)

I got an email today from SHRM to tell me more about the Paycheck Fairness Act. It could go to a vote as soon as tomorrow, April 9, you want to get versed on it pretty quickly.

SHRM’s take on the PFA is that the PFA would significantly limit the flexibility of HR professionals to compensate their employees.

After doing a bit of research, I’m inclined to agree. We have the Equal Pay Act of 1963 — why do we need the PFA? I’m not sure that I totally buy that it will help equalize pay between men and women. I actually still have some questions on the “wage gap.”

Here are a few more points from SHRM (quickly and nicely packaged) in why the PFA is not a good idea:

*  Restrict employee compensation – The PFA would effectively prohibit an organization from basing its pay decisions or compensation system on many legitimate factors, such as an employee’s professional experience, education, or the company’s profitability. In practice, this would take away many factors HR professionals use to compensate their employees and could particularly discourage employers from providing bonus pay. Also, employees would be barred from negotiating for higher wages because of the wage disparity that could result.

*  Allow government wage data collection – The PFA would empower the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor to collect wage information from employers of all sizes, a time-consuming and unnecessary exercise that would only facilitate litigation.

I personally am not all about the second bullet — one, it feels too “big brotherish” and two, its one more administrative thing for HR pros to have to spend time on managing.  The bill is suppose to help impact the wage gaps between men and women… but I don’t think that this is the way to go about it.

Here are a few other reads that I think you should check out — but you know me, I’m always going to tell you to do some research, get the information, and arm yourself with knowledge — make your own opinion. Put down Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram and get after it.

Now this isl egislation — as always, don’t think about this from a “party line” issue — look at it objectively — look at the issue and THEN make up your own mind. Let’s discuss — but keep to the issues of HR and pay — and not the politics. Although so many of the articles are pinning things one party against the other — try to ignore that and stay neutral.

These will help you get started:

So what do you think?


Get your research on!


Hey Girl in HR, Whatcha Reading April 7, 2014


What a week that I’ve had… and what a week for HR. I was keeping an eye on NLRB (college athletes who are now allowed to unionize), baseball players taking paternity leave, and more on STEM careers and the overall lack of skills. AND — I also found time to hang out with some new friends and some old friends … and do some training for the upcoming Junior League year (I’m going to be the league’s website manager — surprise surprise 😉 ).

So here are some other reads that caught my eye this past week:

  • Evernote’s Libin a Big Believer in Wearables from the Wall Street Journal — this space fascinates me. I honestly don’t totally get Google Glass — but think about some of the other wearables that are out there — have a fitbit or another similar device? Underamour and Nike are working on other types of wearable clothing — think its not related to HR? It screams wellness programs to me…  Its also one of the big trends for HR tech according to a conversation I had a few months ago with a board member from IHRIM.

  • March Was a Darn Good Jobs Report Any Way You Slice It from TheStreet.com — so technically I didn’t read it, I watched it — its a video 😉 but still a good watch …  plus, ” … unusual number he discovered was that female unemployment in March was worse than male unemployment” … unemployment is always an HR concern, and looking at numbers from a gender perspective always fascinating… not sure what it means… yet.

  • … and speaking of unemployment, check out this story: It’s more than a lack of jobs. Why Do Graduates Leave Their State by Payscale.com — in some states, that same student body leaves after graduation, essentially causing the public system of higher education to invest in the workforce for other states. I don’t know that I got a whole lot of real answers from the article, but there is an interesting graphic (although I wish it was laid out differently) and some real questions here as to what might be the underlying cause. Potentially a big impact on university relations, intern programs, work-study programs right??? … worth looking at another look to your relocation program (and maybe offering to new grads?),  what do you need to do from a recruiting standpoint to attract the talent if you are in one of the states where people are getting degrees and the fleeing?

Just a few — but there were many more. I also got some great recommendations from you — keep ’em coming! Its times like this I miss Google Reader — it was such a great way to get news — were any of you fans and now using another RSS reader that you just love love love?

What was on your list of reads this week — and if you are curious to know about all the articles and news that piqued my interest over the week check out the Facebook page or the Girl in HR board on Pinterest (or other boards).

‘cuz you’ve got to know what people are talking about in order to make the HR connections,


We Should Applaud NY Mets’ Daniel Murphy for taking Paternity Leave

So many of you know, I’m not a “big” sports fan (Horns, tennis, boxing, and MMA is about all I follow .. and poorly at that), but we’ve got a big story with some HR implications coming out of sports news.

photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy put fatherhood ahead of baseball, and now, some outraged New York Sports radio hosts are outraged.

Since 2011, Major League Baseball has allowed players up to three days paternity leave, but some outraged New York Sports radio hosts say that when you’re making millions, “one day off is plenty.”

“All right, one day, I understand,” said WFAN morning host Mike Francesa. “In the old days they didn’t do that. One day, go see the baby be born, and then come back. You’re a Major League Baseball player — you can hire a nurse!”

“You get your a** back to your team and you play baseball,” added WFAN’s Craig Carton. “That’s my take on it. There’s nothing you can do anyway. You’re not breastfeeding the kid.

Read more: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/04/mets-player-daniel-murphy-s-paternity-leave-causes-controversy-101816.html#ixzz2xv5D3JLk

You know me. I’m going to have to throw out my typical “girl in HR” catch-phrase, “seriously?!?” Three days is hardly extraneous… and I find the other comments just offensive. Just because a man doesn’t birth the baby doesn’t mean that he has any less right to have bonding time with the child. These radio hosts views are just off, imho. Do they think its ludicrous for the man to be in the delivery room, to go to parenting class — I border that their comments might lead someone who doesn’t know them better that they think that birth and raising children is “woman work.” We’ve moved SO far past that.

photo credit: bavia.com

So stepping off the soap-box and let’s make the HR connection. Paternity leave. In the US, women AND men can take up to 12 weeks off to care for a newborn if they qualify for FMLA leave. Some companies go beyond that and have added additional maternity and paternity benefits to help encourage employees to take that time off by helping to eliminate some of the financial burdens of staying home to care and bond for a child. I wish I could put my hands on some updated data, but the trend is that many men don’t take full advantage of benefits that may be available to them — now the reasons for that can be anything from financial to thoughts on their place on raising children — and every combination in between.  I think that one thing that we can do in HR is to help put programs in place that will help facilitate and encourage expecting parents, regardless of gender, to take the time off that they need… if they want to. We should also applaud and speak positively about examples, such as Daniel Murphy, of men who are taking the time off and using their benefits. Parental leave is not a “working woman’s issue” anymore… its an issue of work-life balance and that is bigger than either gender alone.  We don’t need to force the choice, but provide options for people to use and make their own decisions — and don’t talk crap or be negative when people take advantage of benefits afforded to them.

As an aside, on this story Daniel Murphy takes high road while Terry Collins fires back after Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiasion question Mets’ paternity leave from NY Daily News there is a poll for readers to partipate in that asks: Do you think Mike Francesa is over the line questioning Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave? When I took it the results showed 86% YES and 14% NO.

I’m interested to see where the story develops — from a work-life, parental leave, and HR perspective — I’m sure that the story will continue to be popular over the next few days or week — but let’s try to keep the underlying point of the story developing and out front.

Making the HR connection, yours,




Want to see more of the story — here’s a few more links and a videos:


Social Media Oversharing #makingthehrconnection

I read this recently article from Time.Com, Social Media: Sex, Alcohol and Oversharing and on this Friday morning, as we look forward to the weekend, I wonder how many of us are “oversharing.” Hopefully those of you who are job seekers understand the line between what is appropriate for social media and what is not. People ARE looking — when I’m hiring, I’m not sure that I’m necessarily looking at people’s facebook account — although I’m for sure looking at people’s LinkedIn. But… just because I’m not looking doesn’t mean that others on the interview panel or other co-workers aren’t. Same is true anyone really — be mindful of what you share, who you tag (“where you tag” if you’re using locations), and who you share it with.

On a personal note re: oversharing — IF I know YOU as a real person outside of social media — then I really don’t mind. Likely its something that you would have told me in person anyways – and I’m probably already used to the “TMI” affect — we’re friends and we’ve already established that relationship. I know a person who gave a very detailed account of the birth of her child (DETAILED!) — but she doesn’t do it very often and it was in the spirit of information sharing for other expecting mothers or those who were thinking about it. I think of it as a way of connecting with others and trying to share a common experience.. and to show a sign of trust.

Ask yourself: Is your online persona an accurate reflection of you from the POV of a close friend? a total stranger? What does your social media profile SAY about YOU? Friends AND strangers DO make a judgement call about who you are once they look at your social media outlets — once it out there, its out there.

What do you think of Social Media Oversharing? TMI or just people being authentic?

Making the HR connection, yours, the girl in HR (TGIF!)

There it is. On your Facebook feed: a picture of a tall, clear glass full of what looks like a red smoothie. “That looks good,” you think. And then you read the caption: “Mommy’s First Placenta Shake. It tastes like heaven. I put lots of pineapple, orange and mango sorbet. Yummmm!”

Congratulations: you’re a victim of an extreme social-media overshare. Maybe your annoying neighbor told everyone about his appendectomy. Or perhaps you sister posted too much about her attempt to conceive Baby No. 3. Either way, you’re surrounded by people who blab their business online — and it’s happening more and more

via Social Media: Sex, Alcohol and Oversharing | TIME.com.

Three Things I wish that [HR] Conferences Would Consider Doing

So last week was the start of conference season for me — I had a great time at the South Texas HR Symposium #STXHRS and made some GREAT connections and heard some amazing sessions!

I average 3-4 conferences a year and try to to go to a number of webinars or local meetings as well (gotta keep up with my continuing ed right!?!!?). This was the first year that I’ve been on a chair for a conference and I learned SO much! … but it also got me thinking — what are some things that I wish were different about conferences.

1. Loyalty Program for Regular Attendees

Okay — I know about early bird registrations and corporate rates for companies that send a certain number of people — but what about a true loyalty program for those people who come back to your conference again and again. Take a page out of the retail book and find a way to reward the INDIVIDUALS who support your conference time and time again. Sure these are probably the same folks who sign up for the early bird even before all the details are released — so they are getting a good deal — but how cool would it be to have some kind of recognition or reward program for those who come back again and again (and maybe even bring their colleagues with them). Don’t want to knock off any more money — maybe give them a special name badge or VIP area — or special lunch. Just a little something to say “thank you for your continuous support.” Maybe its a silly idea — but then again, I’m the gal with a wallet and key ring full of reward cards — I LOVE ‘EM!

2. Ditch the Conference Briefcase Bag

… and give me a cool reusable bag. Let’s face it, I don’t need another briefcase (I probably already have mine with me — and no matter how great the logo is on yours, I’m not going to swap mine for the one I got). What I could use another one of — a great eco friendly tote. I am an Austin hippie and tree hugger so I don’t go anywhere without my bags — and I have closets and drawers full of them. The conference bags are great for the conference for holding papers and other goodies — but then what do you do with it? I’m likely going to donate it to a charity or school (what do you do with yours?), but not sure that its really sturdy enough for school books. Now a days there are SO many options for bags that can be used for the conference AND beyond. Hey, you probably have a sponsor who is paying for their logo to the on the bag, might as well put it on something that people want to use after the conference. I’ve gotten some cool small bags that work well for lunches and even a duffel that was perfect for the gym — and a ton of others in between.  If I get a few of these at a conference and bring the swag back to the office, these are always some of the first things to get snatched up (right behind t-shirts).

3. Internet Please

So this is a gimmie in this day and age (I mean, McDonald’s has free internet)– and I know that it can be expensive to provide at some event centers, but let’s face it — people want to be connected — and they want to connect with you (or whoever)! I want to tweet, blog, take/send photos, check my email, connect with you on LinkedIn — kinda hard to do without a great wireless signal. Many folks have 3G or 4G or can make their own hotspot — but many people don’t. It’d be a great addition to have an awesome, reliable, strong, wireless signal. If you don’t have the resources to get wireless everywhere, consider having a publicized wireless spots/areas. And on a related note, publish or post your event hashtag and encourage your speakers to publish or post their hashtags or twitter handles or other soc media contact information. Yes I get that not everyone is into it — but those who are (and want to help spread the message to others) would really appreciate it.  I promise you, I’m not ignoring you, but multi-tasking 🙂 — taking notes and sharing ideas/streams of consciousnesses with others.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE going to conferences — I love the information and energy — but just a few ideas that I had — and you know me, this girl always has an idea and an opinion to share.

What do you think — what are some of the things that you wished that  conferences did that many of them don’t do?

Let me know your thoughts! Making the HR Connection, yours, the girl in HR

Millennials want healthy stuff — big worry for McD!

I can’t say that I’m surprised by this one — more and more people, not just millennials want the choice of healthy food that is also convenient and economical.  There is a choice and some groups are starting to speak with their wallets. Do you have a corp cafe or meal service — and if so —  what are the healthy options like — are they affordable? Do people use them or are they more prone to eat outside the corp cafe or simply brown bag it? In light of the article earlier in the week regarding employees having more skin in the game when it comes to their health and health care costs — this is one that employers and benefit folks HAVE to be talking about. It matters to you AND your peeps.

My two cents — its always great to have options and choices — and accountability.

Making the HR connection, yours, thegirlinhr

For McDonald’s (MCD), the biggest worry of the moment may be Doctor’s Associates Inc.

No, that’s not a medical organization. It’s a business that owns a very large restaurant chain. While it’s true you could be excused for not knowing them, you’re almost certainly familiar with their well-known operating unit. That would be Subway, the Milford, Conn.-based submarine sandwich shop that’s grown at an extraordinary rate and is approaching 40,000 restaurants worldwide. It’s nearly doubled its store count since 2003, the year it reached 20,000 units.

Chicken McWrap Image Provided by McDonald’s Shouldn’t the headaches for Ronald McDonald & Co. come mainly from Burger King (BKW) and Wendy’s (WEN)? They without question pose their own challenges, but, according to a report this week in Advertising Age, Subway also appears to be prominent among the things that cause angst for the Oak Brook, Ill., burger giant, in particular with regard to its appeal to the millennial generation.

Citing an internal company memorandum it obtained, Ad Age says McDonald’s has referred to the wide launch of the chicken McWrap as the “Subway buster,” viewing it as a product that will help keep younger eaters from choosing the sub chain when they’re looking for a fast meal. McDonald’s has learned that, without the McWrap, some 22% of diners in the roughly 18-32 age range would pick Subway, the article indicates. In addition, the quarter-pounder seller says in the memo that it “is currently not in the top 10” of the demographic’s favorite chow establishments.

Lynne Collier, a Dallas-based restaurant analyst with Sterne Agee, has followed McDonald’s for around three years, and she found it a bit curious that Subway would be at the front of the company’s mind. After all, in addition to the found-everywhere chains noted above, other similar-to-McDonald’s and quite widespread restaurants include Jack in the Box (JACK) and Sonic (SONC).

“I don’t automatically think Subway,” she says. “But apparently they are viewing Subway as somewhat of a major competitor.”

What the (young) people want

Stresses about the eating trends of those born in the 1980s and forward aren’t new, says Nick Setyan, a restaurant analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “The problem with millennials, that’s been a category-wide problem,” he says. “It hasn’t just been a McDonald’s problem.”

A crucial influence in that has been the advent of “fast casual” chains, names like Panera Bread (PNRA) and Chipotle (CMG). Companies in this group might, for instance, go out of their way to emphasize ingredient quality or awareness of social issues, he says. That’s important to the young, and it’s fine that, on the price spectrum, these restaurants would be located a step above a McDonald’s or a Burger King for most menu items.

via McDonald’s Fires Volley at ‘Underground’ Competitor | The Exchange – Yahoo! Finance.

Do Startups Have a Sexism Problem?

What do you think? Take a look at the article — and maybe even do some other research on the topic — if you were the HR person or manager would you have done the same thing? Why or why not?

Making the HR connection, yours, thegirlinhr

Sexism at startups has once again been thrust into the limelight following a bizarre chain of events at a recent tech conference.

It all began when two male attendees made a joke about “big dongles” and “forking,” a play on tech terminology at software developer conference PyCon on March 18. Tech developer and evangelist Adria Richards, sitting in front of the men, took offense. She snapped a photo of the two and posted the image along with their joke to Twitter.

The backlash was extreme. One of the men, who worked for mobile gaming platform Playhaven, was fired. Richards started to receive death threats, hackers exposed her private information, and both her personal site and SendGrid, her employer, were hit with cyberattacks. Soon after, Richards was fired for “publicly shaming the offenders,” according to a blog post by SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin.

All this raises the question: is the tech world, a sector largely dominated by men, a safe place for women to work and voice their concerns?

via Startups have a sexism problem – Mar. 25, 2013.


Your Thoughts on Marissa Mayer banning telecommuting at Yahoo!

While I do think that this is a step in the wrong direction — I not 100% in agreement for some of the discussion. My two cents — work life balance and flexible workplaces are not just a “woman” thing or a thing for “moms” — I don’t have kids yet (unless you want to count my four -legged kiddos) and I want work life balance and flexible work arrangements and my sig-0 wants those things to. Making this just about the message that she’s sending working mothers is a little off to me — I feel that its an easy connection since she’s a woman and a new mother.  IMO, if that’s the only argument that people are making, they are missing the point.

There are tons of studies that show the benefits of flexible work environments and flexible work schedules and how they benefit the bottom line– the question that people SHOULD be asking it — that despite all that evidence that shows that flexible work arrangements are THE THING that drive happy employees, bigger bottom lines, and employee engagement — WHY would she make the decision to steer the company away from that — what does Yahoo! stand to gain?  Is this a statement as to the overall productivity and culture of Yahoo! And speaking of culture — what is the culture at Yahoo like right now — and what has it been like since Mayer took the helm? Questions Questions Questions — I feel like I seriously need more information.

Anyhoo — my two cents — take ’em or leave ’em — my ask of you — get into the discussion and really take a look at both sides of the debate. As for Yahoo! — certainly a story to keep watching as it unfolds — I for one am really interested to see how it all plays out.

Making the HR connection, yours, thegirlinhr!

PS — your thoughts on the nursery that she built adjacent to her office — ingenious or hypocritical?

Why can’t a woman’s place be in the home and the office?

The struggle for work/life balance is back in the spotlight since a recent Yahoo! memo decreed the company’s staff can no longer work from home after June 1.

Parents reacted furiously online, accusing Yahoo! president Marissa Mayer (a new mom herself) of being out-of-touch with working-class families that depend on the flexibility of telecommuting .

Mayer made history last year when she became the youngest female CEO to lead a Fortune 500 company — while five months’ pregnant. Working moms hoped she’d pave the way for a more family-friendly corporate culture.

“We looked at her getting made CEO for a Fortune 500 company and cheered,” says Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Media. “We tried to make her our role model.”

But Mayer took just two weeks off at her new gig after having the baby (her former Google employer, in contrast, gives five months’ paid maternity leave) and installed a nursery next to her office — a luxury many working moms could only dream about.

Then came the memo restricting workplace flexibility — from a tech outfit expected to embrace the global workplace beyond the cubicle.

via Marissa Mayer bans telecommuting at Yahoo! and becomes the mother of dissension   – NY Daily News.

How To Deal With Negative People & Gossip in a Positive Way | Young and Raw

I got this post from one of my fav healthy eating sites — which you may want to check out sometime — another one of my interest, even though its something that I really struggle with. Anyhoo — as HR Pros, managers, and leaders gossip and positivity are a big part of what is going on within our companies, teams, and employees so I wanted to share and get some thoughts.

Do you have a “negative Nelly” on your team (or in your life) — or are you ever negative?

Its the new year — and for many people performance review time — and its a great time to think about change and re-enforcing the right behaviors!

How To Deal With Negative People & Gossip in a Positive Way | Young and Raw.