Thursday, December 31, 2009


So a blue moon and a new decade. May 2010 find each of you with the people you love and love to work with, with a job that challenges and stretches you and the health and wealth that comes from being your best at being you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yes, it does happen to Tampa companies!

And the EEOC announces it with a press release and photo of the EEOC trial lawyers...

Outback Steakhouse To Pay $19 Million For Sex Bias Against Women In 'Glass Ceiling' Suit By EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today
announced that Outback Steakhouse has agreed to pay $19 million and
furnish significant remedial relief to settle a major class lawsuit
alleging sex discrimination against thousands of women at hundreds of
its corporately-owned restaurants nationwide.

According to the EEOC, Outback discriminated against its female
employees with respect to the terms and conditions of employment, and
denied women equal opportunities for advancement. The EEOC alleged in
the lawsuit that female employees hit a glass ceiling at Outback and
could not get promoted to the higher-level profit-sharing management
positions in the restaurants. Moreover, the EEOC also alleged that
women were denied favorable job assignments, particularly kitchen
management experience, which was required for employees to be
considered for the top management job in the restaurants.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Update for this week on COBRA

On Monday, President Obama signed legislation extending the eligibility period for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) premium reduction through Feb. 28, 2010 — an additional two months — and the maximum period for receiving the subsidy for an additional six months.

Implications? Sometimes the reduced rate with the government (tax funded) subsidy is less than the amount if employed-so why take the position when unemployment checks have been extended too?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Did you know: possiblly 5 new leave bills for employers to manage next year? YIKES! Who will be available to work and what will the administration of these plans cost? Guess I think that good companies respect their talent and don't need this type of system. The companies I know do what is right.

Monday, December 14, 2009


U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on the Privacy of Text Messages by employees using employer provided pagers.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it would hear arguments in a case involving sexually explicit text messages sent by employees using their employer-provided pagers. The issue for the court is whether the employer violated its employees' privacy rights by reading the messages. The Court is expected to hear arguments in the case next spring.

Are they really 1099ers?

Are your independent contractors truly independent? or are they employees? Wondering? let's chat! call now: 813-920-9030

Thursday, December 10, 2009

IRS Mileage Rate Lowered for 2010

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the standard-mileage-reimbursement rate for 2010. The standard-mile rate for business miles driven will be 50 cents per mile in 2010, down from 55 cents per mile in 2009 and from 58.5 cents in the second half of 2008.

Starting January 1, 2010, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 50 cents per mile for business miles driven; 16.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations .

Friday, December 4, 2009

Time is running out!

The Department of Homeland Security and Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) released new data regarding the current FY2010 H-1B quota. There were 58,900 filings against the fiscal year cap of 65,000. In order to qualify for the H-1B quota, an employer must file its H-1B petition before the numbers run out. CIS counts an H-1B petition against the quota when the case enters the mailroom, and not when the petition is approved. When CIS determines that the H-1Bquota may have been reached, then all petitions received on that day and the following day, will be placed in a lottery for the remaining slots. Hurry to the Post Office!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Are you confused about the law's definition of religious discrimination?

Are you confused about the law's definition of religious discrimination?

A Charlotte, N.C.-based equipment rental company will pay
$64,641 to settle a religious harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S.Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just days before the case was scheduled for a jury trial.

The EEOC had sued Sunbelt Rentals, Inc., the nationwide commercial rental company, on behalf of a Muslim worker who was allegedly discriminated

against because of his Islamic faith at a company facility in
Gaithersburg, Md.

In its suit (EEOC v. Sunbelt Rentals, Inc., Civil Action
No. PJM 04-cv-2978) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the EEOC charged that Clinton Ingram was subjected to derogatory comments and slurs based on his religion, Islam. The comments, according to the EEOC, included suggestions that Ingram might be a terrorist because he is Muslim. The suit alleged that various other hostile incidents were also directed at Ingram because of his religion, such as subjecting him to an anti-Muslim cartoon. The lawsuit
settled just a few days before it was scheduled to go to trial.

In addition to paying over $64,000 in compensatory damages to Ingram, Sunbelt must also take other actions set forth in the consent
decree resolving the case, including providing anti- discrimination
training to its Gaithersburg staff and posting a notice about the settlement. Further, the company is enjoined from engaging in religious
harassment and must report complaints of religious harassment at itsGaithersburg facility to the EEOC for monitoring.

There are some quick q and A's for employers on this link:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009


Frustration can come at this time of year--especially with so much to do with the Holidays, the fiscal year end for some businesses and the unspoken "I need to get everything done I haven't gotten done this year." Here's a tip to

What Is Next?

It is a way to stay focused and in the now moment:

What Is Next is your key to WIN!! Try it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Latest I-9

Just be sure you are using the latest I-9 form. There is a pretty well written booklet as well on the gov site. The latest form has a revision 8/7/09.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Secret Words We Use?

I was going though some paperwork over the weekend with the tv on and got caught up in a previous season of Hell's Kitchen; one of those back to back to back. I like Gordon Ramsay though I don't care for his language. He is from the UK and the employment laws are different there. He has restaurants in the US but I wonder if we saw a slip. In the season I watched, the two finalists were a 25 year old Culinary Student and a 47 experienced executive chef. His decision for choosing Christine, the student was "potential." He said he was thinking "long term"... Hmmmmm--code for youth? What would have happened if he chose the seasoned (;-0) chef who mentored the student. The opportunity to work in a kitchen run by this business man would be an epxerience, but would he also help the discipline with an example in mentoring?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

POSTER now includes GINA!

The EEOC has updated its EEO poster to include the GINA requirements. This poster is available for free on the EEOC’s Web site at As an alternative, you can post just the GINA requirement next to your current EEO poster, and the EEOC also has provided a supplemental poster online (again, free of charge) at
So, be sure to update your workplace posters to include the GINA information before the November 21 effective date.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A lesson from my beloved Redskins...

A lesson from my beloved Redskins: How not to hire someone. 1-hire the person then tell your main guy (coach) ; 2-don't define role until "he shows up" 3- Announce "Nothing Changes."

So, why hire the guy? I'll post the link.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A little over a month away.

On November 21, 2009, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of
2008 which was signed into law on May 21, 2008, will go into effect. This Act
is intended to prevent employers from discriminating against individuals
based on genetic tests and information. It affects all private employers with 15 or more employees, certain public sector employers, employment agencies and labor organizations. I'll keep you posted with more information. Just wanted to be sure you had a heads up.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Are you clear about them with your employees? Does your boss know what you expect from him/her? There is a saying that "Expectations are premeditated resentment." How many times a day do you think someone knows what you want? Be clear and concise. It is the little things that we don't communicate to each other that gets us in trouble with each other. If you want an employee to stay late, tell him/her early in the day and explain the reason. If you can't stay late and your boss asks you, explain the reason and offer a solution. Can you get the work done just not right after the 'regular" hours but later in the evening?
Respond to the non verbal signs you get when explaining something. You see the signs but in your rush to get your point across, you may ignore the signs. Take time now and save time later.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

100 to go

So, 100 days to the end of the year. You have the opportunity to change your employees' lives in the next 100 days. Let them know the challenges of your business. Ask for their ideas. Praise the actions you want publicly. If someone got the results but in a way not in line with your values-tell them. The stress of year end will be here--but the dawn of resolutions does not have to wait until Jan 1. Today, speak with a person you haven't had a discussion with--it could be a peer, a boss or an employee. Communicate eye to eye. Email is for information. Strive in the next 100 days to listen more, be grateful more and be a human being-not a human doing!

Monday, September 21, 2009

OH BOY!! A new piece to the compliance pie!

Starting September 8, federal contractors and subcontractors are obligated to use E-Verify to verify that all new hires, as well as other staff, are legally employed.

E-Verify is a free Internet-based system that allows employers to confirm the legal working status of new hires in seconds. With one click, E-Verify can match your new hire's Social Security Number and other Form I-9 information.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act info

The Employee Free Choice Act aka Card Check? F Do you know that this is a very BIG deal. Couple background items: today, if cards are signed and presented to companies can accept them or have those interested go to NLRB and file a petition. Then there is a period of time, determined by the NLRB for the unions and companies to communicate to the employees (under specific rules), and then here is a secret election conducted by the NLRB. If the "yes" votes win, there is a requirement to shave good faith bargaining. Just 2 of the items that would change with the EFCA: 1) no secret ballot. If cards are collected-you have a union. No communication period, no opportunity for employees to sign a card, learn more and then secretly vote without duress. Another big issue is the mandatory binding arbitration. The EFCA says the federal government step in and determines the contract. Feds determine the deal for biz and employees. No voting on the contract.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Info for Small Business HR 3047

So, here's a bit of info for the smaller businesses in the crowd. Watch HR 3047 and let your Senators and Representatives know what you think. This bill expands Family Medical Leave--thus the name The Balancing Act of 2009. Here's what's in it: currently FMLA covers employers with 50 + ees, who work 1,250 hr per yr--would expand to those employers with 15+ who work 1,050 ee per yr; The 12 weeks would be paid leave funded by the FML Insurance Fund jointly subsidized by the employers and employees (0.2% of earnings). Mandatory requirements include: 7 days of paid sick leave; extends protection to victims of domestic violence; broader category of family members to include domestic partners and same sex spouses and a new definitions for creating protected leave for "parental involvement" and "family wellness," I'll post a link to the bill.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An episode to learn progressive discipline!

So since this seems to be learning weekend from The Deadliest Catch; let's look at progressive discipline. There are 4 things to be sure to include whenever you discipline someone: what was wrong when; what is the expectation; what is the time period to fix it and what happens if you don't. In this clip I linked, Captain Andy covers those items. Also, he delivers the message to everyone at the same time. This didn't take 6 times; time outs or tons of forms. Yes, there are a couple things unique to this work environment, but you get the picture. Well done, Captain Andy!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Even Captains have HR issues

HR issues are in every business; even crab boats. Letting someone go is a tough thing but the Time Bandit's Captain Johnathan Hillstrand did it right. In one of the episodes on last year's The Deadliest Catch, Capt Johnathan had one person too many and the decision was to let long time friend Russ go. Capt J made the decision with his brother Capt Andy; informed Russ and then called a competitor to help place Russ somewhere else. Capt Johnathan also felt bad about the decision. When someone feels good about letting anyone go--that person is in the wrong position. Russ landed the job.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

quick note of 2 big items!

There are lots of changes to COBRA from the IRS. I am reading through things now but wanted to give you some information. Here's a Q & A page for you!,,id=204708,00.html

The second thing is this:

March 11 will be a FREE special teleseminar on Finding Your Next Great Job!
sign up at! Phone details will be sent to you!

Friday, February 27, 2009

What market value does: A recession for Albert Haynesworth?

I am a huge fan of the Washington Redskins--have been for a while.

One morning I woke up to ESPN's Mike and Mike in the morning comment, about the Washington Redskins-- it was the shooting with Sean Taylor. So, my ears really woke up quickly this morning when I heard the Redskins mentioned again.

Redskins' Vinny Cerrato was saying that the team needed the strong player and the market demanded a contract worth up to $115 million. What value are you bringing to the world? What would make your employer say you are worth the market-and in fact, set it as a new standard. How do you get a record breaking salary in a recession or as one reporter said last night-a depression?

It was Haynesworth's reputation. One of the Mike's said: with this move Dan Synder has changed the face of the NFL. WOW! That was an amazing comment. One person changes it for all. Dan Sndyer believed in the request from the team for such a player.

Vinny shared the process for signing DeAngelo Hall. Vinny said (I've condensed) "his teammates loved him, the coaches loved him, he performed for the half year he was with us, he is a grad of Virginia Tech, his family comes to the games, and he has been a lifetime Redskins fan."

Wow--Enthusiasm for the job. Now, there are plenty of people saying that it is too hard. That it is too hard out there.

I think there is plenty of room for people confident in their talent, confident in their ability to transfer their skills and enthusiastic for the job!

If you are unemployed--ask youself what you are doing to show your interest and show how you can solve your interviewer's problem?

If you are underemployed--what can you do to get out of that? Would your employer want to put a negative person into a higher level position? To do what-have a negative affect on more people?

Think about it? What can you do to get a record breaking salary in a recession?

Ready for the next great job? Be sure to sign up! There will be a pilot program kicking off shortly. Special FREE introductory teleseminar WEDNESDAY--March 11th at 8:30 am.

sign up here:
and receive the free report and phone in details.