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    Frequently Asked Questions of Laid-Off Employees

    Frequently Asked Questions of Laid-Off Employees
    As the recession results in business closures, bankruptcies and thousands of layoffs, a growing number of jobless Maine residents are left with questions about their rights and their former employers' responsibilities. Maine's February unemployment rate reached 8 percent as the state lost another 2,600 jobs. For the year ending in February, the state lost 15,500 jobs across all economic sectors. Back ...
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    Etiquette 101: Planning and Hosting a Business Meal

    Etiquette 101: Planning and Hosting a Business Meal
    You will find yourself attending many business dining events during your career and you may find that you are (or will become) the host of your own business meetings, as well. The key to a successful and smooth get-together over a meal lies in your pre-planning. The Initial Planning Generally, lunch and breakfast are the more common meals around which business ...
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    Don’t Incentivize Workplace Safety

    Don’t Incentivize Workplace Safety
    Let’s say you work for one of these companies that has heavy machinery, sharp blades and furnaces. Sounds pretty cool, right? Okay, maybe that’s just me. I love industrial workplaces. Places where things are made, where real work gets done and you shake an employees hand and it feels like you just put your hand into a sandpaper vise. You wear ...
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    Breaking through the Border: Tips for Companies Employing Cross Border Employees

    Breaking through the Border: Tips for Companies Employing Cross Border Employees
    TORONTO, March 11 /PRNewswire/ - The globalization of business is occurring at an unprecedented rate. Focusing a corporation only on home soil dramatically limits the size of market a firm can serve. With this realization comes a push for business leaders to seek growth opportunities. This leads motivated companies across the border, expanding into the U.S. or Canada. Unlike many locations ...
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    How to Manage a Problem Employee

    How to Manage a Problem Employee
    A reader writes: As you hail from the non-profit sector just as I, you can probably lead me down the right path with this one. I'm a new HR rep for this mid size organization, and have inherited this situation: We have two employees who work in our fundraising department. They both work full time, but telecommute at their will, which ...
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    False Security: Face Time With The Boss

    False Security: Face Time With The Boss
    I read this story today and shook my head. The headline (More workers choosing fear over flex time, experts say) is designed for clicks. The amount of data supporting this assertion is nonexistent (there is literally not a single statistic cited about the decrease in flex time usage). The issue is presented in the boring way it is always presented: no ...
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    Can You Avoid Online Application Processes?

    Can You Avoid Online Application Processes?
    A reader writes: Is there a way to get around what seems to be some very ridiculous online application processes? Redundant questions (like what grade school you attended, and major declared!) make me want to put a shoe through my computer screen. I'm applying for positions that demand skilled labor and have whipped up some pretty attention-getting letter and resume material ...
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    Creating an Onboarding Plan

    Creating an Onboarding Plan
    There have been some very good posts written on the subject of onboarding. You can check them out here, here, and here. Some people think of orientation and onboarding as the same thing. I view onboarding as a longer process which includes orientation. Unfortunately, in many companies, orientation has become that half-day event where employees sign paperwork and review the employee handbook. That’s ...
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    Transgendered Coworker Using the Right Bathroom?

    Transgendered Coworker Using the Right Bathroom?
    A reader writes: I have a question of how/if/when transgendered coworkers get to be treated as such in the workplace. Specifically, there is a man in our office (widely known as such) who wears women's clothing, hairstyles, shoes, makeup, etc. every day, and refers to himself as "she". Some women in the office have been claiming that his use of the ...
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    The Importance of Recordkeeping

    The Importance of Recordkeeping
    In the human resources world, we sometimes get on this kick about recordkeeping. It's boring, tedious and can translate into being labeled bureaucratic. But I read an article this weekend that reinforces the need for paperwork and proper recordkeeping. The article was titled, "The Fisherman and the Tax Man." It's about British Petroleum (BP) requesting tax records from fisherman seeking compensation ...
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    Handling Inappropriate Coworker Behavior

    Handling Inappropriate Coworker Behavior
    A reader writes: I found your blog while searching for help with a very uncomfortable and embarrassing problem. My co-worker has started wetting himself during work. I'm not kidding, this is not something to joke about as it could be a sign of serious health problems. He wears beige colored pants and around the middle of the day, when he stands ...
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    Does HR Have to Keep it Confidential?

    Does HR Have to Keep it Confidential?
    A reader writes: I had a conversation with the HR Director about something happening in my department. She went to my boss with the issue, citing me as the source. This was not an official complaint by me, as we were not in her office but in the lunchroom. However, I considered conversations with HR professionals to be in confidence. Was ...
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    Should You Warn Potential Employees?

    Should You Warn Potential Employees?
    A reader writes: I'm finally coming to the end of my contract at an incredibly poisonous company, and I've been tasked to replace myself. We don't have an HR department, and my own boss just split suddenly, leaving behind massive amounts of debt, so the parent company has tasked me to do this. My question is, how can I explain the ...
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    Re-Listing a Job Posting

    Re-Listing a Job Posting
    A reader writes: I applied for a job with an organization, passed the phone screen, and was given a second interview less than a week later. I interviewed with a panel of people and was told at the time there were several candidates interviewing for this position. In my opinion, the interview went well. After the interview, the recruiter also let ...
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    Can Your Boss Legally Open Your Mail?

    Can Your Boss Legally Open Your Mail?
    A reader writes: My own postman is unreliable, so I often have book orders from amazon, half.com and ebay sent to me at work. The other day, my boss opened a package addressed to me and was offended. He wasn't offended that I had something mailed to me at work, he was offended by the subject matter that the book dealt ...
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    Two Weeks Notice Not Enough?

    Two Weeks Notice Not Enough?
    A reader writes: I have been working at the same company (my first post-school job) for about 2 years now, and I've been moderately to very unhappy for most of my time here for a variety of factors (different working style from my boss which has lead to clashes in the past, public belittlement if something goes wrong, a team that ...
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    Enforcing Company Policies

    Enforcing Company Policies
    A reader writes: I recently started managing a department of approximately 15-20 people. I have found that there are a lot of rules and procedures in place but most are not being enforced. Obviously I've started to have all of these rules enforced or adjusted so what we are telling people to do matches what our written policies state. The problem ...
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    HR Secrets You Don’t Know About

    HR Secrets You Don’t Know About
    Human Resources. A real department of mysteries. Are they your advocate? How do they really decide if you're right for the job? And why can't you ever get a straight answer out of them? A lot goes on behind the closed cubicles of HR. Curious? Take a peek at a few insider secrets about how HR really functions to better understand ...
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    Proper Processes Yield Good Outcomes

    Proper Processes Yield Good Outcomes
    If you have an effective process in place, follow it. Processes exist for a reason. Many times it's to demonstrate that proper care and attention is being taken in reaching an end result. So when an organization creates a process, it's important to respect it and allow the process to happen. Otherwise, why have the process at all? Of course, if ...
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    Should Bashing Your Boss on Facebook Be Legally Protected?

    Should Bashing Your Boss on Facebook Be Legally Protected?
    Employees have been criticizing their bosses since the beginning of time. Until the birth of social media, these conversations generally played out in lunchrooms or restrooms, around the water cooler, over a few cocktails at the local pub after working hours, and in the smoker’s circle outside the office building. Regardless if the criticisms were true or not, the context remained ...
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