This issue of HR New Roundup coincides with both Valentine’s Day week and Random Act of Kindness Week – if you haven’t seen our February newsletter, we offer some thoughts on how to make a difference. As for Valentine’s Day, a few of our news items talk about love in the workplace and when things go awry.

Here’s our Valentine’s Week HR News Roundup

“Can I bring my peacock to work? It’s for emotional support”
Jon Hyman, Ohio Employer’s Law Blog

“Only two species can ever qualify as service animals under the ADA—dogs and miniature horses. That’s it. Any other animal, even if trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, is not a animal for which the ADA requires the consideration of an accommodation.”

Review your company dating policy in light of #MeToo Movement
Allen Smith, SHRM

Dating policies have become pretty common among employers of all sizes. But with the advent of the #MeToo movement, legal experts say employers should give their policies another look to be sure they are logical, easy to follow and are presented in the best light to employees.

Harassment by emojis
Max Mihelich, Workforce

“There have been numerous cases that involve the use of emojis as well as ‘likes’ on social media that involve claims of harassment. Such communications have been cited by employers as evidence of a hostile environment,” Scott McIntyre, partner at law firm BakerHostetler, wrote in an email. “Likewise, employers sometimes rely on such symbols used by employees in a positive fashion as evidence that a claimed hostile environment did not rise to a level required to constitute actionable harassment.”

The future of HR: 10 Strategies for every Human Resources team
Sharlyn Lauby, HR Bartender

” … articles like the INC one should prompt HR departments to have dedicated, intentional conversations about their function. Not simply what policies and programs do we want to implement in the year ahead, but where do we see ourselves going and is our work supporting it. To offer some perspective, here are a few of the most popular posts from HR Bartender that relate to the human resources function.”

Can we talk about mentoring?
Peter Cappelli, Human Resource Executive

Here are three tips for creating a viable mentoring program that will provide employees with the feedback they need without putting undue burdens on mentors.

Getting new hires to come to you (and stay)
Bridget McCrea, tEDmag

“In October, the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 4.1%, its lowest level since December 2000, according to the Labor Department. Determined to get their piece of the ever-shrinking pool of available human resources, companies across all industries are sharpening their pencils and coming up with interesting ways to get onto new hires’ radar screens.”

The 3As of leading difficult conversations
Marlene Chism, SmartBrief

“Whether you need to tell Steve he stinks or talk to Tanya about tardiness, some conversations are more difficult than others. I’ve never known any leader with an ounce of compassion or a pound of self-awareness who actually enjoys initiating difficult conversations. When it comes to difficult conversations there are three types of leaders. I call them the Three As: the Avoider, the Aggressor and the Accomplished.”

Workplace litigation report offers a mixed bag
David Shadovitz, Human Resource Executive

“The bad news? The monetary value of the top workplace class-action settlements skyrocketed, shooting up more than $1 billion to a record high of $2.72 billion.
Nor was that the only bad news for employers. The report also found that Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filings more than doubled, rising to 184 lawsuits in 2017 from 86 the previous year.”

Your project failed. Now what?
Perry Hewitt, Quartz at Work

“First of all, congratulations! If every single one of your projects succeeded, it would mean you were coasting. Failing once in a while is a good sign. While failure can certainly come from inattention or poor decision-making, it often is associated with experimentation and innovation. No one seeks out the sting of a failure and its repercussions, but smart professionals embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.”

More noteworthy HR news

HR News from the lighter side

This episode of the lighter side is for the birds. It all started on Super Bowl Sunday, which some naturalists and scientists on Twitter rechristened as Superb Owl Sunday, prompting a flock of handsome owl photos being posted. Perhaps inspired by this, or just coincidentally, @planetpics posted a different kind of bird, noting “Our office building has a Peregrine Falcon who recently took a liking to me and my office window.” This led to other people posting photos of cheeky, curious birds peering in to offices and homes.

And in our final bird story of the day: We can’t decide whether to file this under the “find and do work that you love” or the “delight your customers” category. Either way, it’s pretty nifty. Christian Moullec of Cantal France began flying with birds to help the birds migrate to protected areas. He loves sharing his passion with others, taking people up on his microlight and encouraging them to reach out and touch the birds mid-flight.

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