NYC bars employers from discriminating against jobless applicants | Startup gives grades to millions of software developers | U.S. firms need to find spots for veterans, Michelle Obama says
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March 15, 2013
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NYC bars employers from discriminating against jobless applicants
New York's City Council has overridden a mayoral veto to approve a measure making it illegal for employers to discriminate against unemployed job seekers. The measure is the first in the U.S. to allow unemployed job seekers to sue employers for damages over claims of discrimination. The Seattle Times/The Associated Press (3/13)
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Recruiting & Retention
Startup gives grades to millions of software developers
A startup company has created a program that gives talent scores to 4 million software developers based on work they've posted in forums, open-source projects and online developer hangouts. The service could someday rate teachers, journalists and other professionals, CEO Sheeroy Desai says. MIT Technology Review online (3/7)
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U.S. firms need to find spots for veterans, Michelle Obama says
U.S. companies need to do more to hire veterans, first lady Michelle Obama told The Business Roundtable, which represents the CEOs of the 200 largest U.S. companies. "Think outside the box, take real risks and work together to make big, bold commitments to hire our veterans and military spouses," she said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (3/13)
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Other News
Benefits & Compensation
N.Y. firm urges employees to exercise each hour
Employees at Overit Media in Albany, N.Y., are urged to take a two-minute exercise break each hour. The "OverFit" program specifies which exercises are to be done each hour, and Managing Director Jen Graybeal says it boosts creativity and helps people feel and look better. Fast Company online (3/13)
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Calif. should force public workers to take vacation time, study says
California owed workers $3.9 billion for unused vacation time in 2011, compared with $1.4 billion in 2003, according to a report from the state Legislative Analyst's Office. The report recommended that the state impose a "use it or lose it" cap on time-off accruals, similar to limits imposed by New Jersey and many private companies. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/14)
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Regulatory & Legal Update
Firms use contract workers despite payroll audits
Small companies are relying increasingly on independent contractors, even as the Internal Revenue Service cracks down on employers who have incorrectly classified their workers. "As economic situations get tougher, that's when everyone is looking to cut costs," according to Lisa Petkun, a partner at the law firm Pepper Hamilton. "It's significantly cheaper to have an independent contractor." The standards for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor can be confusing, which may contribute to improper classification. The Wall Street Journal (3/13)
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The HR Leader
Bedrock principles for success
Management trends come and go, but certain business principles will be true forever, Jeff Haden writes. Own up to every one of your mistakes, stay focused on your next project and continually strive to connect with knowledgeable people. "Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Explore. Indulge a curiosity," he writes. Inc. online (free registration) (3/6)
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Workplace Chatter
Iran's new enemy is "Argo"
The Iranian government is reportedly discussing a lawsuit against the producers of "Argo," the Oscar-winning movie about how the CIA rescued six Americans from Iran after the 1979 revolution. Iran has criticized the film's accuracy and called it a "violation of international cultural norms," though Iranians can acquire the film on DVD through the black market. ABC News/Consumer Report blog (3/12)
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Adventure is not outside man; it is within."
-- George Eliot,
British writer
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