DOJ extends legal protections to transgender employees
“The Department of Justice has officially expanded its legal definition of sex discrimination – prohibited by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act – to include discrimination based on gender identity, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday.
The decision, circulated in a memo to all DOJ components and U.S. attorneys, marks a reversal in position, and bars the department from making arguments in court that transgender people are not covered under Title VII, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in employment. It also enables the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division to file Title VII claims against state and local public employers on behalf of transgender individuals.”Related: Dave Shadovitz on the DOJ’s Move to Protect Transgender Individuals
Guidance for HR when racial tension spreads from streets to workplace
Tammy Binford, HR Hero: “As anger peaks around the country, it’s likely some of the emotions displayed in protests will erupt at work. When that happens, HR has a job to do to keep potentially emotional conversations from escalating into workplace disruption and even discrimination or harassment claims. Effective antidiscrimination policies and training programs are a start.”

How You Should Manage Depression in the Workplace
At Inc., Evil HR Lady Suzanne Lucas talks about holiday depression and enlists the help of Counselor, Stephanie Meldrum: “Of course, if you suspect you should act, but from a business standpoint. Meldrum emphasizes that it’s critical to keep the relationship professional and business focused. “My general recommendation would probably be to have a conversation about the work performance issues only, and then ask a question like ‘Are there any contributing factors that are getting in your way of making changes? Would a referral to the EAP for support be helpful?'”

11 Tricks Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, And Other Famous Execs Use To Run Meetings
“Americans sit through some 11 million meetings every day — with the unproductive ones costing companies $37 billion a year … So we decided to look at how some of the most effective executives in history — from GM czar Alfred Sloan to Apple prince Steve Jobs to Facebook queen Sheryl Sandberg — run the meetings that invariably fill their calendars.”

Winter Smackdown!
Sandy Smith at EHS Today: “Whether it’s a polar vortex or simply a blizzard, winter weather can be tough on our bodies, our cars, our travel schedules and our psyches. Here are some tips to protect yourself and employees during the winter months.”

Another Reason Mondays Are The Worst
“In 2013, Mondays were responsible for about 167,000 instances of someone getting hurt at work — more than any other day. And this is a trend that holds up pretty well: Monday has been the most injury-prone day of the week in all but two years since 2007.”

Holiday focus
The 12 Days of Employment Law Christmas (2014)
Jon Hyman, Ohio Employer’s Law blog has posted his annual “The 12 Days of Employment Law Christmas,” amusing and informative, as he includes links to his coverage or important law related issues.

Santa Sued for Disability Discrimination Due to Reindeer Harassment
Reindeer co-workers harassed Rudolph on the basis of a perceived disability, and Santa failed to take prompt corrective action to stop the harassing behavior.
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When complex employee issues arise, ESI EAP offers member employers direct access to Certified Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHR) and senior clinical counselors. If you need an Employee Assistance Program give us a call: 800-535-4841.

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