Most Important Development in HR for May 31st

May 31st, 2019

This bombshell from the NYT this week: Mindy Cruz had an offer for a full-time position at another big tech company when she accepted a temporary job as a recruiter at Google in 2017. The pay was less and the benefits were not as good, but it was one step closer to her dream of becoming a Google employee. Cruz became one of Google’s many temps and contractors — a shadow work force that now outnumbers the company’s full-time employees. But she never made the jump to full time. She was swiftly fired after a Google manager, who she said had harassed her for months, told the temp agency that had hired her that he wanted her gone. Google temps are usually employed by outside agencies. They make less money, have different benefits plans and have no paid vacation time in the United States. Better treatment for those workers was one of the demands made by organizers of a Google employee walkout last year to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment complaints. The New York Times

The boom is broad based. Unemployment among unskilled workers and the young is tumbling, as is long-term joblessness. No one can argue about the scale of the jobs boom. But it has become a shibboleth at either end of the political spectrum that the quality of jobs on offer has nosedived. The despondency might be justified were not popular perceptions about the world of work so obviously wrong. In fact, official estimates of America’s gig economy, whereby short-term freelance work is accessed through online market places, put it only at about 1% of total employment. Temporary employment may be a little higher than it was in the 1990s, yet the rate has been falling for a decade. The Economist

SHRM has come out in support of the DOL’s proposed overtime rule that increases the salary threshold for overtime eligibility to $679 per week. SHRM supports regular updates to the overtime salary threshold and has argued for reasonable increases to ensure that HR professionals and employers are able to classify employees with certainty while maintaining the ability to offer flexible schedules, opportunities for advancement and access to the professional development that many employees currently enjoy. SHRM opposed the 2016 Final Rule on overtime exemptions which would have fundamentally changed the rules for employee classification and has since been invalidated by the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas in its Aug. 31, 2017, decision. In order to provide employers with a clear understanding of the status of their obligations, SHRM urges DOL, as part of this rule-making, to formally rescind the 2016 Final Rule. SHRM

Technology puts the world at our fingertips — with a click and a swipe, we can have a pizza delivered, book a flight to Japan, or even find a date. But the way we work seems stuck in a time warp. In the office, we deal with clunky, complex processes that frustrate and demotivate employees. And disillusioned, unmotivated people simply don’t bring their best to the business. The technology we encounter at work has to catch up with the real world for organizations to thrive. As technology disrupts nearly every industry, in nearly every sector, businesses worldwide are confronted with a single, possibly existential, question: How do we make this digital evolution work for — and not against — us? This is where digital transformation comes in. Once a corporate buzzword, digital transformation is now a strategic imperative. Forbes

We’re reading more and more about celebrities talking openly about their struggles with mental health. Olympian Michael Phelps disclosed this week that he has been close to suicide. Princes Harry and William started a mental health foundation, Heads Together, with Harry disclosing he has struggled for 20 years with mental issues after the death of his mother, Diana. It just goes to show, despite staggering successes, fame and a world stage, depression and mental health issues don’t play favorites. Long a taboo topic in the workplace, mental health is coming out of the shadows there, too. It’s HR’s job to make sure employees are happy in the workplace, and along with stress, work-life balance, burnout, and a whole host of other issues, mental health should be on that list, too. Bleacher Report

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