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Does Your Company Still Embrace The Practices Of A Bygone Era?

April 24th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Career - (Comments Off on Does Your Company Still Embrace The Practices Of A Bygone Era?)

Is it possible that in the 21st century a pregnant woman would have a hard time getting hired? You can bet every dollar you have, that this is a pervasive attitude in some organizations. Is it a bad business decision to refuse to hire pregnant women? Of course it is. The Canadian Human Rights Act reads, in part,

Women in the workplace are valued employees entitled to equality, dignity, respect and accommodation of their needs when they are attempting to become pregnant, while they are pregnant, and as they return to work following a pregnancy-related absence’.

Priyansha Mistry article for HR Digest titled, ‘What can you do when you face pregnancy discrimination? is a useful guide, for pregnant women and has some useful tips if you feel you are or have been discriminated against, because you told the boss, you plan on starting a family.

Does Your Company Still Embrace The Practices Of A Bygone Era?

“As a pregnant employee feeling you have been discriminated, there are procedures to gain justice easily. But let’s first look at your rights and protection under the U.S. federal law referred to as Pregnancy Discrimination Act before outlining the necessary procedures. This should help to identify the exact conduct that has been violated by your employer (or potential employer) and also clarifies your feeling of being discriminated.

 

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is against discrimination in all areas of employment such as promotion, hiring, pay, firing, and all employment benefits. Corporate policies that impede women from working because they are pregnant or fertile are also forbidden by PDA.
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) only applies to workplaces with at least 15 employees. Consider visiting the office of the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau in your locality to know if there’s an agency in your state that can assist you if your office is having less than 15 employees. However, many state laws cover for employees working in companies with as little as 5 workers.
  • Your boss cannot fire you for filing a complaint against him/her, provided you believe that the employer has violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
  • Work leaves received due to maternity or pregnancy is treated exactly as other employees on leave due to disability or sickness, this includes the duration at which a position would be held open.
  • Your promotion cannot be skipped because of your pregnancy.
  • As long as you’re able to discharge the duties of a potential position, your employer cannot decide not to hire you because you are pregnant. Employers do not have the right to ask if you are pregnant or intend to be pregnant and you are not entitled to inform the employer that you are pregnant.
  • Different offices may treat pregnant employees that are not married differently. Some religious organizations with authorization from courts may discriminate employees who violate the institutions’ code of conduct, including premarital sex. Although these employers are required to show that men engaged in premarital sex are treated the same way and not different from the women. However, benefits related to pregnancy are not limited to employees that are married in most organizations.

Bottom line:
You have a variety options at your disposal if you encounter pregnancy discrimination. However, let’s face it, not all companies embrace a 50’s medieval mentality when it comes to dealing with pregnant women and, the ones who do likely have a high turnover rate anyway, because employees can’t stand to work for them in the first place.

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Speak to any HR manager about the list of challenges they face each day and, hiring and retaining talent is likely to top that list. As an HR manager, have you thought of about introducing fingerprint technology as a tool to help with the recruiting process?

If your organization is interested in deploying a fingerprint solution to streamline the process of hiring, here are some suggestions from an article titled New Fingerprinting Tech Gives Hiring a Hand by Meghan M. Biro of Talent Culture:

“Check the requirements for your field. Depending on industry and state, you may be required to fingerprint your new hires. This includes a number of licenses, public, and private agencies.

For instance, fingerprints are required for those working with pari-mutuel betting and racing. Indian tribal governments may require fingerprinting for anyone who is going to have regular contact or control over Indian children. Private security officers, criminal transporters, adoption or foster-parent evaluators, and school employees may all be subject to fingerprinting. (Fingerprints are processed for a reduced fee for a number of organizations or firms whose employees will work with children.) Other common industries that may require fingerprinting include healthcare, insurance and financial services. Other dependencies include whether or not applicants are located in or out of state.

If You Are An HR Manager Add This Solution To Your Hiring Tool Kit

Don’t expect fingerprinting to do all the heavy lifting. If you think one fingerprint can magically produce everything you need to know about an applicant, think again. For example, a fingerprint may disclose an arrest record, but not a conviction. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it’s ill-advised to deny someone a position solely on the grounds of an arrest record. A summary of the EEOC’s guidance with regard to conviction record screening policies is provided in HireRight’s white paper, Checking in on Employment Background Checks: Are You in Compliance with the EEOC, FCRA, Federal and Local Requirements?

Keep in mind, the FBI database may not receive a record of all outcomes of all arrests, and in some cases, a state may have chosen not to fingerprint. Certain issues may not even appear on the database, which could cause problems later — including possible litigation.

Use fingerprinting to confirm the identity of your hire. Fingerprinting is the best way to confirm identity. It’s been called the gold standard of identity confirmation — and for a background check, this is the straight line between your potential hire and the FBI database. In terms of employee experience, there are plenty of complications involved in the hiring process already. You can eliminate one by making sure your new hires understand the purpose of fingerprinting. Now that identity confirmation is becoming a new normal, and technologies like biometrics are commonplace, you may be pleasantly surprised by younger generations who are comfortable with fingerprinting — many already protect their smartphones with their fingerprints, for example.”

Fingerprint technologies have been around for a while and are used across many industries to track and report on employee time and attendance. That being said, no two fingerprint technologies are the same-for example, biometric fingerprint technology used to track employee time is different from the ones used by law enforcement.

If you decide you want to use fingerprint technology for hiring employees, make sure you are using a reputable company. And, if your company is unionized, also be prepared to get challenged by either your shop steward or the local President of the union. When selecting a vendor, make sure you choose one that has deep industry expertise, and who is able to clearly espouse the virtues of fingerprint technology, discuss the pros and cons and ally the fears of all stakeholders.

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Business Jargons That Outlived Their Time And Should Perish From Everyday Conversations

November 14th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | HR | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Business Jargons That Outlived Their Time And Should Perish From Everyday Conversations)

Have you ever being in a meeting and feel like you have been transported to another universe when you hear useless business jargon being used by some of the attendees? We’ve all being there! Yes, even some folks, here at ATS are guilty of using jargon.

Below is a list of business jargons or crap speak (as it’s referred to in some quarters) that were extracted from a Forbes.com article titled ‘The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon’ They are listed in no particular order. Here goes:

Leverage
Meet the granddaddy of nouns converted to verbs. ‘Leverage’ is mercilessly used to describe how a situation or environment can be manipulated or controlled. Leverage should remain a noun, as in “to apply leverage,” not as a pseudo-verb, as in “we are leveraging our assets.”

Think Outside the Box
This tired turn of phrase means to approach a business problem in an unconventional fashion. Kudos to a Forbes.com reader who suggested: “Forget the box, just think.”

Lots of Moving Parts
Pinball machines have lots of moving parts. Many of them buzz and clank and induce migraine headaches. Do you want your business to run, or even appear to run, like a pinball machine? Then do not say it involves lots of moving parts.

Corporate Values
This expression is so phony it churns the stomach. Corporations don’t have values, the people who run them do.

Make Hay
This is jargon for being productive or successful in a short period of time. The phrase ‘to make hay’ is short for ‘make hay while the sun shines’, which can be traced to John Heyward’s The Proverbs, Epigrams and Miscellanies of John Heywood (circa 1562). A handy nugget for cocktail conversation, but that’s it.

Buy-In
This means agreement on a course of action, if the most disingenuous kind. Notes David Logan, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business: “Asking for someone’s ‘buy-in’ says, ‘I have an idea.  I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you.  I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.’”

S.W.A.T. Team
In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit.

Of course, not everyone loves using these nonsensical words. But for the ones who simply cannot get enough of it during the day, check out Lucy Kelleway’s columns on business jargon or “business guff” as she calls it, and her compelling reasons why saying what we really mean, can go a long way.

Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

October 18th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | Employee Productivity | HR | Telecommuting Employees | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Building A Business Case For Telecommuting)

Want to convince your boss that you should work from home? Make sure you have a compelling case, including facts to prove that working remotely will not impact your productivity. In other words, do your due diligence, talk to your HR personnel, other work colleagues, and be sure to take time to learn about your company’s history as it pertains to telecommuting, otherwise, it could backfire on you.

Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

Here are some tips from Melanie Pinola’s blog on LifeWire titled What You Should Know Before You Ask to Work from Home

“The first thing you should know, if you’ve never worked from home before, is that telecommuting has awesome benefits but it’s not for everyone.

There are many pros and cons to telecommuting. That said, if you want to give it a try, start with the basics below.

Find out what the current policy is

  • Check the employee manual. If there’s an existing remote work policy, then your chances of success are good. You can use the information provided to make your case in your remote work proposal.
  • If there’s no written information but some of your co-workers currently have flexible work arrangements, ask them for advice on proceeding. They’ll have the inside scoop on how easy it was to negotiate the work arrangement and how it’s working out for them.
  • Don’t worry if no one ever has established a flexible work schedule or remote work agreement at the company, though. You can be the first! (In my former job, I was the first person to start working from home regularly as a telecommuter as I was able to prove I could get my job done at home. See below for more details.)

Use your experience to your advantage

  • Because your supervisor’s support and approval will be key to getting your request granted, you’ve got a leg up if you are an established employee whom your supervisor trusts and values. Make sure you maintain that respect and continue to make yourself invaluable to the company.
  • Gather past employee evaluations that had positive comments related to critical telecommuting traits, such as: initiative, ability to work without supervision, and communication skills.
  • If you are a new hire, think about past experience at other companies that prove your ability to telecommute productively, such as occasionally working while traveling for work or working from home when needed on the weekends. If you don’t have past remote work experience, perhaps delay the request, however, until you’ve developed a strong rapport with your supervisor and proven yourself invaluable to the company.

 Be sensitive to your employer’s needs and goals
Look at the company’s mission statements, website description, and other materials to see how they present themselves. If they say they care about their employees’ well-being or are innovative/progressive companies of today, you can use these “branding statements” in your proposal.”

If you are still unable to convince your boss about the benefits of telecommuting, don’t be dishearten, simply try again in a few months. However, if your company has a no telecommuting policy, you should also be respectful of it by either abiding by the company’s policy, or find a company that offers telecommuting to its employees.

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Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?

April 20th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?)

The easy answer to this question is a resounding yes!  Which company in their right mind would deny its employees a meal and break and expect them to be productive, let alone happy? If there are companies out there that exhibit this pattern of behaviour, they are likely in the minority however, sooner or later, they will be found out. Most smart business leaders know that corporate profits will not increase with a tired and unproductive workforce.

Below is a list of 5 good reasons why meal and rest breaks help employees. It can also be applied, to the do-gooder of an employee who refuses to take breaks and have to be nagged by their manager to do so.

This list of reasons to take a lunch break is from an article, published by Belle Beth Cooper, co-founder of Exist for the online magazine Fast Company. We have rearranged their order of appearance:

  1. Spend time in nature to refresh your attention span
    To come back refreshed after a lunch break, spend some time in nature. Studies have shown that a walk in a quiet park is sufficient to refresh our attention spans so we can return to work with renewed focus. (A walk down a city street, on the other hand, was found to require so much attention to complete that it didn’t let the brain relax fully.)
  1. Take a real break for greater concentration
    Of all the ways to use your lunch break to set yourself up for a great afternoon, the most important might be, well, actually taking a break. In many industries, lunch breaks are getting shorter and shorter, or even nonexistent. These days, only one in five office workers reports taking an actual lunch break away from their desk, according to a survey by workplace consulting group Right Management.Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?
  1. Move to a café after lunch for improved creativity
    There are a couple of reasons working from a café could be a good change for your afternoon work period. Firstly, the ambient sound of a café has been shown to be the most beneficial sound level for creativity. Moderate noise levels, unlike silence or a noisy environment, increase processing difficulty just enough to push us out of our comfort zones and into more creative thinking.
  1. Eat! (The right foods for better brain function)
    OK, this one might seem obvious. But even if you’re trying to lose weight or run errands on your lunch break, don’t skip on eating a midday meal, or at least a snack. Your nutrition–particularly your glucose intake–will decide your productivity for the rest of the day.Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?
  1. Work out–the afternoon is the best time for exercise
    Another thing determined by our body clocks is the best time to work out. You’ll want a late lunch break to fit this one in as well: physical performance is generally highest, and the risk of injury lowest, from 3-6 p.m. Plus, from 2-6 p.m., muscle strength is at its peak, and even your lungs perform better in the late afternoon than at midday.

Are Employees Happier After A Meal Or Rest Break?

As illustrated by the above mentioned reasons, the benefits of taking meal breaks are both healthy and productive. In fact, studies show that just getting away from the desk and hanging out with coworkers during your lunch break can boost your mood.

ATS Time and Attendance solutions are designed around the unique operational needs of different industries and are available in the cloud, hosted, or on premises. Customers can better manage complexity and focus on core growth activities.

To learn more call; 866.294.2467 or go to our website to download a demonstration of ATS TimeWork OnDemand.