Daily Archives: November 7, 2011

“Medro Calls Me Masta:” Sears Employee Wins $5.2 Million For Racial Harassment.

Medro Johnson, 49, says life has been a struggle since his 2008 firing by Sears Home Improvement. "We depleted all our savings, our retirement, our kids' college fund," he said. He added that he hopes the jury award "will send a message to Sears" and prompt change.

A Sacramento Superior Court jury awarded a former Sears employee $5.2 million in damages after he endured humiliating racial slurs, physical abuse and harassment by a co-worker who received no reprimand for his actions, the Sacramento Bee reported on October 26, 2011. The incidents reportedly began in 2008 when 49-year-old Medro Johnson attended a company barbecue with his family. Co-worker Paul St. Hilaire walked up to Johnson’s family at the event and told his wife and children, “Medro calls me ‘masta.”  Read the full account in the Sacramento Bee here.

HR Healthcare Pros Face Huge Issues In 2012.

They’ve got there hands full.

In an interview with Richard Pizzi, editor of Healthcare Finance News, Jay Weiss, vice president at Symphony Corporation, offered readers insight into trends in healthcare human resources management over the course of the next year. His firm, based in Madison, Wis., specializes in healthcare management technology and services, with a heavy emphasis in human capital management solutions.

What are some issues that are top of mind for healthcare human resources executives as we move toward 2012?

Recruitment and retention of the correct number of qualified staff is very high on the list. Everyone knows there is a big nursing shortfall, but there is a need for highly qualified individuals all around. Due to the rapid growth of the healthcare sector and its sheer size, it is a challenge to fill jobs. And despite this need, there are obvious pressures for cost containment with people accounting for the lion’s share of an organization’s costs.

Because of that, there is a pressure to make the HR organization world-class, or at least strive to be better. As a result, it has become an imperative to employ better processes and technologies to overcome the challenges – talent management, workforce planning and scheduling, self-service applications, business intelligence, etc.

Compliance with new standards is another key issue.

Lastly, keeping up with the technological change is an issue for healthcare staff.  Advances in technology require continual training and career development for employees to remain effective and maintain standards of care.

How is HR management at healthcare organizations different from HR at other companies?

I don’t see too much of a difference except in a couple of areas…or, at least, there shouldn’t be too much of a difference. One significant difference right now is that healthcare organizations are essentially hiring instead of firing; hence, recruitment and retention are one of the most significant issues. This is not necessarily the case in other industries.

Another key difference is in regulatory compliance. While all organizations have some form of universal compliance – EEO, etc. – and others have their own regulatory issues, healthcare has some unique requirements which must be met, such as JHACO, which requires compliance with quality standards to ensure that the consumers of healthcare are receiving consistent levels of safe, quality care and includes constant monitoring of performance and patient safety records.

Lastly, I think as a result of the recent emphasis placed on recruiting and retention and the recognition that people make up 50 percent or more of the resources of a healthcare institution, these institutions have a renewed focus on HR Management and the need for better technology to manage human resources. A case can be made that healthcare institutions have lagged in this area relative to other industries.

You’ve mentioned employee recruitment and retention as a big issue. What are some other trends you see in these areas in healthcare?

First off, I think healthcare is embracing the processes and technology necessary to effectively manage these processes. More and more, organizations are implementing talent management and workforce planning solutions. As part of that, better performance management practices will enable them to identify, develop and retain not just all employees, but the right ones. Additionally, as the pressures in the workplace mount, we’re starting to see a focus on quality of life initiatives. Source:  Richard Pizzi, Editorial Director, Healthcare Finance News.

How To Support Unions At Your Next Tailgate Or Party. Really?

This from, the AFL-CIO blog site.

For millions of Americans, fall marks the time to obsess over football – be it on the couch, in the bleachers, or in the stadium parking lot. Football season is a great opportunity to bring people together for the shared love of the game. Whether fair-weather football fans or fanatics, it’s likely not everyone in the crowd will be a die-hard union fan. Understandably, when fewer and fewer people have had direct experience with a union, there’s less of a chance they see unions as key to rebuilding America and the middle class. But you can help clear up myths and help shed light on what unions are all about. In fact, game day is a great place to start creating a bigger union cheering section. We’re here to help with some simple facts and talking points so you’re ready the next time you encounter someone who simply misunderstands or stands against unions – on or off the field.

MYTH: There’s nothing made in the USA anymore, especially not by unions.

FACT: Union-made products are all around us and at affordable prices. Chances are you’ve hosted a union-made tailgate without even knowing it.

Snacks – Doritos, Lays, Crunch & Munch, Corn Nuts, Oreos, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Kraft snack products, Wise snacks, Snyder of Berlin, Planter’s Nuts

Meats – Hot dogs: Oscar Meyer, Nathan’s, Hebrew National, Ball Park, Hormel; Sausages & Brats: Johnsonville, Armour, Eckrich, Poultry: Butterball, Healthy Choice, Hormel, Smithfield, Tyson

Condiments – Heinz ketchup, French’s mustard, Gulden’s mustard, Land O’Lakes butter, Open Pit BBQ sauces, Pace salsa and picante sauce, Vlasic pickles

Soft Drinks – Coke and Sprite products

Juices – Welch’s, Minute Maid

Beers – Anheuser Busch, Budweiser, Busch, Icehouse, Labatt’s Blue, Leinenkugel’s, Michelob, Miller, Molson, Pabst, Rolling Rock

Footballs – Don’t forget to play catch at halftime, with a football made by Wilson. The game balls used in professional games are made by union workers in Ohio.

BONUS: You can feed and entertain your friends and family at a tailgate or in your living room and support good jobs by procuring these union-made, USA-made snacks and beverages.

MYTH: Professional athletes don’t need unions.

FACT: All workers deserve a voice on the job.

Players’ unions have given the athletes that entertain and amaze us a fair share of the revenue they create and help protect them on and off the field.

The National Football League Players Association and the Major League Baseball Players Association, for instance, fight to protect the health and safety of the players who put their bodies on the line for the team. Their efforts have improved player healthcare coverage and helped implement needed protections for injured players.

Because of the players’ unions, retired players are not left behind. Unions give the retired players who built the industry pensions and healthcare coverage.

By uniting as a group, the players form a needed counter-balance to the owners. When discussing rule changes, scheduling matters, disciplinary issues, and the future of the game, the players’ unions give the players a voice.

Like our sporting heroes, many stadium workers that help make our fan experience so enjoyable are union members. These seasonal employees have better job security and wages because of their unions.

Read the rest at American Rights at Work blog via AFL-CIO.org here.


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