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More News From the World of HR

Compiled by SHRM Online Staff  12/19/2014
U.S. Announces Protections for Transgender Workers
The Justice Department is broadening a civil rights law to include protections for transgender workers, a reversal from how the Bush administration interpreted the measure. Attorney General Eric Holder said the law, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, will now ensure that workers who sue over discrimination in the workplace will get fair and consistent treatment.
National Public Radio

Why North Korea’s Attack Should Leave Every Company Scared Stiff
Watch your back, Corporate America, or you could become the next Sony. The attack on Sony Pictures inflicted crippling damage in a way that past hacks have not. Stolen corporate secrets, customer passwords and credit card numbers from previous cyberattacks haven't left a lasting impact on companies, and they haven't kept their customers away.

Files of More Than 40,000 Federal Workers Breached in Cyberattack
The computer files of more than 40,000 federal workers may have been compromised by a cyberattack at federal contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions, the second breach this year at a major firm handling national security background investigations of workers at federal agencies, the government confirmed Thursday.
CBS News

Government Hacks and Security Breaches Skyrocket
The North Korean hack of Sony Pictures that unleashed proprietary information, leaked embarrassing emails and brought the multi-billion dollar company's operations to its knees was unprecedented. But cyber security and intelligence experts warn that this is only the beginning.

HR Lessons in NFL’s New Code of Conduct
On December 10, 2014, the NFL announced a new and more stringent personal conduct policy (code of conduct) for all members of the NFL.  The new code is the NFL’s attempt to create clear standards and consistent procedures for misbehavior, after a year spent in a deluge of criticism for its handling of player wrongdoing.
HR Hero

Apple Failing to Protect Chinese Factory Workers
Poor treatment of workers in Chinese factories which make Apple products has been discovered by an undercover BBC Panorama investigation. Filming on an iPhone 6 production line showed Apple’s promises to protect workers were routinely broken.
BBC News

What Do Employees Want from Their Managers?
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re always looking for ways you can become a better manager, and ways you can help your managers improve as well. A new study from Addison Group has some insights on what employees of all generations want from their managers and what qualities managers think are important to have.
Small Business Trends

Employees Use English as Tool to Move Up in Ranks
Companies that have low-skilled, minimum-wage jobs to fill often hire applicants who speak little or no English. While many of the workers move up the ladder by learning the language on their own, a number of these businesses large and small take an activist approach by offering English language programs or partnering with government to provide them.
Valdosta Daily Times

Encourage Employees to Engage Them
You can’t go a day without hearing or reading about the benefits of engaged employees. Why is there so much attention and focus on employee engagement? Because when engagement increases within a company, productivity, profitability, and employee retention increase as well.

11 Great Questions to Ask Your Employees
Being a founder or CEO requires a lot of time, and you often can’t chat with your employees as much as you’d like to. So how do you know if they’re happy and doing the best work they can? To find out some direct, easy ways to learn this important information, we asked 11 founders the following question.
Small Business Trends

Scheduling Benefits Employees Love and Work Hard to Keep
It might seem counterintuitive, but many entrepreneurs are finding that being flexible — for example, by offering their team half days or an unlimited vacation policy — not only helps company morale, but increases the amount of work that gets done.

Obama Wants Parents to Know How Much Kids Will Earn Post College
Families could steer their children toward colleges churning out graduates who make a good living 10 years after graduation, according to an Obama administration proposal for a new higher-education rating system.
Bloomberg News

401(k) Loan Balances Remain Stagnant for Fifth Straight Year
The percentage of 401(k) participants with loan balances has remained steady in recent years, staying at 21 percent in 2013, the same level as in each year since 2009, according to a report issued Thursday by the Investment Company Institute and the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Pensions & Investments

Observers Hopeful New Canadian Rules Will Put More Women on Corporate Boards
Geologist Tabetha Stirrett still remembers a work dinner she was at nearly two decades ago with other managers from a Canadian oilfields services company. There she was, the only woman at a table with 20 of her colleagues, when the waitress approached her, assuming she was the group's secretary.
Canadian HR Reporter

When Working in Mixed Groups, Staying P.C. Boosts Productivity
Here's some advice for your next office meeting: Hold your tongue. Total freedom of speech, recent research showed, has the potential to squash creativity. As it turns out, if you're in a group of both men and women, adhering to standards of political correctness can help generate far better ideas than simply letting the conversation run wild.
National Public Radio

How One Technology Company Managed to Hire a More Diverse Work Force
When it comes to hiring, Silicon Valley has long been a bastion for white and Asian men. In fact, at several of the world’s most well-known tech companies, including Google, Apple, Yahoo and Facebook, women account for fewer than one in five tech jobs.
New York Times

Foes of Unions Try Their Luck in County Laws
Conservative groups are opening a new front in their effort to reshape American law, arguing that local governments have the power to write their own rules on a key labor issue that has, up to now, been the prerogative of states.
New York Times

How the High Cost of Medical Care Is Affecting Americans
Over the past two years, the New York Times series Paying Till It Hurts has examined the high costs of ordinary medical care in the United States, exposing the reasons and chronicling the human fallout behind the nation’s extraordinary $2.9 trillion medical bill. In response, more than 10,000 readers shared individual experiences like the ones above.
New York Times

Women See Glass Half Full on Financial Security
Women are feeling less financially secure than men these days, despite an improving economy, a new survey finds. “It’s not an anomaly,” said chief financial analyst Greg McBride. “This is a consistent reading, month-in, month-out.”
NBC News

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