More Money = Meaner and Greedier

I came across this article and video this weekend and just had to share it. Take Two ‘Normal’ People, Add Money To Just One Of Them, And Watch What Happens Next.  We should be interested in this for a number of reasons — but I was actually doing some research related back to the debates on the rise of minimum wage when I discovered this.

The research that they discover is so interesting — you should watch it and come to your own conclusions, but suffice to say, money (even fake money) can change you .. but I wonder why :(.

I’m still trying to make sense of this from and HR perspective. What would the research suggest about a company’s senior leadership and board members? Specialized or hard to obtain talent? Would this, or could it, have an impact on corporate and core values? Is this driving engagement and trust. Way more questions that I have answers for at the time. Hope to circle back around on it though.

See more: A special Upworthy series about work and the economy, made possible by the AFL-CIO. Read more, then check out more in Workonomics.

Wanting to find out more, so that I can better understand, the HR connection, yours

The Girl in HR Explains It — What is DOMA and What Does the Reversal Mean

Maybe you’ve heard some of the talk about DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and not exactly sure what it is or what it means in relationship to your company. I had a lot of people asking questions about it this weekend so I thought that I’d do a quick recap. As a disclaimer, I know that topics like DOMA can be a bit controversial. This is not meant to discuss any personal beliefs (I’m all about opinions, but  let’s keep it friendly), rather let’s lay out the facts and what’s important for you to know as an HR person for your company and your employees.

What Is It?

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a US  federal law that says that individual states to can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states. Until the reversal, DOMA, basically had prevented same-sex married couples from being recognized as “spouses” for purposes of federal laws, or receiving federal marriage benefits.

What Happened?

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday by a 5-4 vote that DOMA was unconstitutional. “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

What Does It Mean?

In simplest terms the reversal of DOMA means that same-sex couples are now eligible for spousal benefits that they had been denied in the past. Its estimated that “1,138 federal benefits provided on the basis of marital status. All of those benefits will now be available to same-sex married couples who reside in the 12 states where same-sex marriage is legal.”   What benefits are we talking about? Not just the opportunity for healthcare benefits offered to opposite- sex couples, but also things such as immigration, FMLA (to take care a spouse or family member) and numerous tax benefits.

Here is a quick video that discusses DOMA and the recent reversal in a bit more detail

What Does This Mean To You As An HR Pro?

  • This is on the mind of some of your employees and some of your leaders, so do the research and be able to talk intelligently about it.
  • Understand the impacts to your current benefit programs — do you need to do some communication or sessions to help people with their benefit selections if they elect to make some changes to their benefits — make yourself (or your team) available to answer questions and to help make any needed changes in your systems or with providers.
  • Understand what your policies look like — do you need to update or review them — do you already have a policy in place for domestic partners of same or opposite sex? — do you need to change the wording of your policies?
  • Talk about it with your employees and leaders — do you have a GLBTA ERG (whoa that’s an acro — Gay, Lesbian, Bi Sexual, Transgendered, and Allies Employee Resource Group)?  If so chat with them and partner with them.

Arm yourself with the knowledge and do the research — know your stuff and be a guide — its your responsibility as an HR pro.  I’m just here to help get ya started.

Making the HR connection, yours, the Girl in HR!

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.

HR Practitioner’s Corner – Pregnant Woman Allegedly Fired For Premarital Sex

This one is interesting – according to this story, she did sign a contract that said that she would not engage in “sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex.” But then they offered her position to her finance — the father of her baby. Seems to be a bit of a double standard — but I’m not sure that I have all the facts yet. If you were the manager of HR manager for this school (note its in California) what would have done and why? How do you take into consideration facts such as: the type of school, the state that its in, the contract, and the fiance (now husband)?

What do you think and/or what things do you consider?

Making the HR Connection, yours, thegirlinhr

A former employee at a Christian college has enlisted the help of high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to sue a California school that allegedly fired her for engaging in premarital sex, NBC’s “Today” reports. In a bizarre twist, the school reportedly went on to offer the pregnant woman’s job to her then-fiance.

Teri James, 29, told the news outlet that she did sign a two-page contract with San Diego Christian College that included a provision agreeing not to engage in “sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex.”

“I needed a job in this economy and so I never thought that anything would happen,” James explained to “Today.”

But James said she was humiliated after being pulled into her supervisor’s office last fall, where she was asked if she was pregnant and then was let go. After James lost her job, she claims the school offered a position to her now-husband, even though they were aware he’d had sex before getting married, too.

During a news conference featured in a KTLA report, James said she felt she was treated unfairly.

via Teri James, Pregnant Woman Allegedly Fired For Premarital Sex, Sues Christian School.

HR Practioner’s Corner ->Bartender Reports Drunk Driver To Police

I found this article this morning while doing a quick news search (one of the only things that wasn’t Oscar related)

The link to the full article is below — and I have a quick recap for ya here on both sides of the story.  From what you read below, what would YOU have done if you were the HR or Manager and this had happened in your business. What are some of the things that you consider and what would you have done?

Its the HR practitioner’s corner – yours, thegirlinhr

Twyla DeVito, an Ohio bartender, was shockingly fired after reporting a drunk driver to police.

Devito thought she was doing the honorable thing when she called police during her shift as a bartender at the American Legion Post in Shelby, Ohio. However, her employers disagreed and she was allegedly fired for her goodwill efforts.

Employee’s Side:

I called the police and said we have a very drunk person leaving the bar. He is going to kill someone or himself.

Her Employer’s Side:

An article by 10TV News writes that Mic Hubbard, a commander of the post, believes DeVito made the correct decision morally, he disagrees with her actions on a business level.

He explained:

“If every patron who comes in here has to worry about the cops waiting for them when they leave, the place would be empty.”

via Bartender Fired For Reporting Drunk Driver To Police.

Could be a Case to Promote Work From Home Programs: Gas Prices Jump

Its more news in for the economy — gas prices are on the rise.

Its certainly an economic indicators – and its something that many of your employees are thinking about. Its not the only reason, but its one to help consider in designing a work from home or remote working  arrangement.

This blog is mainly just to focus on the fact that the prices are up. I’m not an economist, but I can’t help but to think that the prices would continue to go up in light of the upcoming Spring Break holiday — and then a few months after that, its Summer break. So once again, your peeps are thinking about this – even if they don’t have children in school or college.

Le’ts take a moment to prime the pump — can work from home programs work? What does a successful program look like?

This is a topic near and dear to me — so keep your eyes on the current events and do a little thinking about what you think about the topic and we’ll explore it more on the blog.

Making the HR Connection, yours, TheGirlinHR

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) – The average price in the United States for a gallon of regular gasoline rose nearly 25 cents in the past two weeks, up steadily since December as refineries passed along their costs, a widely followed survey released on Sunday showed.

Gasoline prices averaged $3.5918 per gallon on Feb. 8, up 24.75 cents from Jan. 25, said Trilby Lundberg, editor of the Lundberg Survey.

“The amount of change is very big,” Lundberg said.

via Gas Prices Jump Nearly 25 Cents In Last 2 Weeks.