Deloitte Says It’s Time To End Affinity Groups

by Evil HR Lady on July 21, 2017

Does your company have a bunch of “affinity” groups? For instance, a women’s group, a gay group, or an African American group? Lots of companies do. The idea is that if you bring people who share characteristics together they can help each other succeed.

Bloomsberg Businessweek reports that Deloitte is moving away from these affinity groups.

With diversity progress stalling in parts of corporate America, Deloitte is beginning to shift away from traditional approaches built around gender, race, or sexual orientation and instead working to get a broader buy-in, particularly from white males. After 24 years, WIN, the women’s initiative at Deloitte, will end. Over the next 18 months the company will also phase out Globe, which supports gay employees, and groups focused solely on veterans or minority employees. In their place will be so-called inclusion councils that bring together a variety of viewpoints to work on diversity issues.

To keep reading, click here: Deloitte Says It’s Time To End Affinity Groups


Businesses in Maine that operate in the summer tourism industry have a problem: Not enough visas available to hire their summer staffs. So, horror of horrors, they are having to (gasp!) do things like increase salary, and changing schedules to attract local talent.

Makes me want to cry in the corner or something. Poor businesses.

Okay, enough with the melodrama. It is tough for businesses that have relied on cheap foreign labor to suddenly have to pay market rates for local employees. The Bangor Daily News wrote, back in April:

Businesses in Maine that rely on summer help are hoping that Congress will come to the rescue.

Because of new limits on the seasonal worker visa program, restaurants, hotels and other tourist-centered operations are scrambling to find seasonal employees. Until Congress opens the door to more H-2B foreign workers, those businesses are finding ways to attract locals onto the payroll.

They begged Congress and got what they wanted: more visas. The Department of Homeland Security just approved 15,000 new visas for low wage seasonal workers.Was this the real solution or should Maine and other states with high summer tourism employment needs have been forced to keep raising wages and benefits until they found US Citizens and Permanent Residents to fill the jobs?

To keep reading, click here: Homeland Security Issues New Non-Skilled Visas to Save Maine from Hiring Local


The Feng Shui of Office Designs

by Evil HR Lady on July 18, 2017

Office designs are often the last thing on a manager’s mind. You want the best people doing the best job, but does wall color or cubical height matter? Can’t you just stick the new guy in the corner? It may be easier to just move into whatever space you’ve rented, but instead, you should stop and think. Your office design may have a big impact on your employees.


How you light your office can impact how you and your employees work. Marketing consultant, Andrew Jensen, advised companies to use as much natural light as possible. Employees who work in natural light are happier and more productive, in addition to having fewer absences.

To keep reading, click here: The Feng Shui of Office Designs

Note: I did not write the headline. This really has nothing to do with Feng Shui, so I don’t want any nasty comments about my Feng Shui incompetence. Well, if they are funny, I want them.


In a free market, the company with the most to offer an employee gets the best employees. That’s fair. Idaho just made it one of the hardest places to attract new talent. Why? Non-compete agreements.

A non-compete agreement limits what someone can do after they leave a job. Traditionally used only for executives, some companies have branched out and used them for everything from fast food cashier to salesperson to CEO. States vary with how enforceable non-competes are and how much they can limit a person’s future opportunities. In California, they are pretty much unenforceable, which has been great for Silicon Valley.

Idaho, which has a strong tech industry, made enforcing non-competes easier, which means bad news for employees. Why? If your company has you trapped by a non-compete, they can underpay you or treat your poorly with the smug knowledge that you’re stuck. After all, a below market paycheck is better than no paycheck while you sit and wait for your non-compete to expire.

To keep reading, click here: Have a Great Startup Idea? Don’t Move to Idaho. Here’s Why.


5 Ways to Approach Open Enrollment Correctly

by Evil HR Lady on July 14, 2017

Your employees can only change their health insurance once a year during the open enrollment period, unless they have a qualifying life event, according to The Balance. With this in mind, it’s important that they get it right when they make changes. What can you do to help your employees make the right decisions? Here are five tasks to consider:

1. Have an Insurance Broker Present Options

The person who convinced you this is the best policy for your company is often the right person to explain the new plans. The insurance broker has answers on the tip of their tongue that you’d normally have to research. This can be a great kick-off for open enrollment.

To keep reading, click here: 5 Ways to Approach Open Enrollment Correctly


Organizations that have busy seasons can have significant seasonal overtime challenges. Those challenges can include time management, filling shifts and compensating employees. When gearing up for a busy season, organizations are wise to anticipate obstacles and address them before they ramp up.

Who Is Eligible for Overtime?

In most states, employers only have to pay overtime when an employee works more than 40 hours in a week. In a few states though (California and Nevada), overtime may kick in when an employee works more than eight hours in a single day. All non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime, but what about exempt employees?

To keep reading, click here: Managing Seasonal Overtime: Rallying Your Staff for the Busy Season


Cracking the Trip Advisor Restaurant Code

by Evil HR Lady on July 12, 2017

Some people travel to see sightsI travel to eat. And, since there is only a limited amount of meals you can eat on any given trip, if you want to make the most of those, you use online tools to help you find restaurants. TripAdvisor is my favorite but sometimes the ratings can be pretty silly and flat out mysterious as to how other people drew such conclusions. So, my husband and I, in the interest of science, set out to crack the TripAdvisor restaurant rating code by visiting almost all of the top 100 restaurants in our town (Basel, Switzerland). Here’s what we found out, and hopefully it will be of help to you.

Check the Language

If you’re traveling outside of your home country, you’ll be tempted to read only reviews written in a language you understand–most likely English. The problem is, many English language reviews in non-English speaking countries are written by tourists. People like you who don’t know the local cuisine. They may say, “Oh, this is a 5-star Moroccan restaurant!” but frankly, this is the only Moroccan restaurant they have been to, so their judgment is questionable. Look at reviews written in the local language. You can interpret the stars, no problem and Google Translate can give you a pretty good picture of what the people said.

To keep reading, click here: Cracking the Trip Advisor Restaurant Code


Vacation Time for Exempt Employees

by Evil HR Lady on July 11, 2017

I received the following email from a reader:

All of our employees (exempt & non-exempt) receive vacation time. We have an issue with how some of our exempt employees report their vacation hours. If they answer (literally) an email or a phone call while on vacation, they consider that day a “working day” and do not use their vacation time.

I can find a lot of information regarding deducting pay from an exempt employee, but not regarding deducting vacation time.

Your employees are acting like they’ve found the brilliant loophole of vacation time. Spend 3 minutes every day reading an email and they never have to come into work again. Brilliant! Except, that’s not how this works.

To keep reading, click here: Vacation Time for Exempt Employees


Handle Mental Health Issues the Right Way

by Evil HR Lady on July 11, 2017

Mental health is an important part of your employees’ health, but while we know how to hand out ibuprofen for a headache or a bandage for a paper cut, we’re often at a loss when it comes to mental health issues. Depression is a common problem. At any point, 3 percent to 7 percent of adults deal with depression, and we all have a 17-percent lifetime chance of being diagnosed with depression, noted the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. This means there’s a strong possibility that someone at your office is either suffering today or will be in the near future. How can your business best help employees with depression?

To keep reading, click here:  Handle Mental Health Issues the Right Way


If You Give a Cop a Cookie You Might Get Suspended

by Evil HR Lady on July 10, 2017

Let’s say you manage a cookie store and you have a teenage boy working for you. A police officer, in uniform, comes through this boy’s line and orders a cookie. The boy, wanting to thank the police officer for his service uses his own money to pay for the cop’s cookie. Do you:

1. Tell your employee how proud you are of his generosity.

2. Ignore this. It’s neither good nor bad.

3. Reprimand the employee for treating customers differently.

4. Suspend the employee and threaten to fire him until the story goes viral.

If you picked number 4, you just might be senior management at Great American Cookies Katy Mills.

According to his mom’s account on Facebook, after he bought the cop a cookie, the next man in line became angry and threatened violence, even trying to come behind the counter. Thankfully, the threat didn’t come to fruition, but the angry customer added another threat: “I will get you fired.”

To keep reading, click here: If You Give a Cop a Cookie You Might Get Suspended