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Dec 23, 201308:50 AMForward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

10 worthy charities for the holiday season

(page 2 of 2)

Wounded Warrior Project

Any discussion of heroes and gratitude would be incomplete without remembering the efforts and sacrifices of members of the armed services. We’ve got many military veterans returning after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Wounded Warriors Project strives to help service members and veterans who suffered a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound as a result of military service on or after Sept. 11, 2001. The organization’s mission is to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”

There are, of course, strong federal employment protections for veterans, and employers need to avoid discriminating against veterans who return to the workforce. However, Robin Shea notes on the Employment and Labor Insider blog that there are times when even a former service member’s actions justify discipline or termination. Find out the details in her post, “Sometimes You Have to Fire Your ‘Star.’ Here’s Why.”

ABC For Health       

Navigating the health care system is no small matter. Since 1994, ABC for Health in Madison has been helping link children and families, particularly those with special needs, to health care benefits and services. Its mission is to provide patients with the information, advocacy tools, legal services, and expert support they need to secure health care coverage. The organization helps patients understand insurance eligibility requirements and initiate administrative appeals when benefits are denied. It also works to increase the number of covered children and engages in litigation to secure coverage.

While patients have a difficult time navigating health insurance requirements, their doctors have a difficult time navigating the requirements of non-compete agreements. Are physician non-competes enforceable? Should they be void for violating public policy? Shouldn’t the patient have a right to use a doctor of her choice? Elizabeth Favro at the Non-Compete Counsel blog addresses these questions in her post “The Doctor Is In (or Out)? Physician Non-Compete Agreements.”

American Red Cross           

2013 saw its share of destructive natural disasters, the most recent being the typhoon in the Philippines. Whether the natural disaster is domestic or international, the American Red Cross springs into action to help with the relief efforts. In some instances, it has also taken a proactive approach by working with its sister organizations in other countries to develop first-responder capabilities and teach disaster rescue skills and essential first-aid skills.

There’s no smooth way to transition from discussing the harm from a natural disaster to something comparable in the workplace. Rather, I am comforted that there is nothing so tragic to report. Instead, I switch to a workplace issue that could be anything from a nuisance to a financial disaster for employers. What if an employer’s supervisors or officers were personally liable for minimum wage or overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

Over at The Employer Handbook, Eric Meyer explains why the idea is neither theoretical nor far-fetched. His piece “Your President/CEO May Have to Pay Your Company’s Wage and Hour Debts Herself” should give HR professionals a persuasive tool the next time they recommend a wage and hour audit.

Over at the Emplawyerologist, Janette Levey Frisch also has the FLSA on her mind. Janette asks, “What Can the FLSA, the US Supreme Court and Lady Gaga Teach Us About Overtime Pay?” Janette writes about how Lady Gaga’s personal assistant was paid a $75,000 salary. In return, the assistant had to travel the world and the seven seas and be available 24/7, including having to sleep in Lady Gaga’s bed at times so she could be available when the artist awakened. After three years of such work, the assistant claimed more than $300,000 in unpaid overtime. So was she an exempt or non-exempt employee? And did Lady Gaga have good reason to worry about the overtime claim? Review Janette’s post to find out.


In closing out this post, I want to give some thought to the future. Earthjustice is a nonprofit public interest law firm that takes on high-impact cases to enforce environmental laws. The organization focuses on preserving wildlife and public lands, limiting or eliminating toxins from the environment, and promoting clean energy and alternatives to fossil fuels.

What does the future hold for the workplace? At the Small Biz HR blog, Ari Rosenstein gives us a two-part sneak peek into legislative changes coming into effect in California. The 2014 California Labor Law Updates, Part 1 covers wage and hour and leave benefits. The 2014 California Labor Law Updates, Part 2 covers changes in discrimination, retaliation, and immigration protections.

Lastly, Sharlyn Lauby at the HR Bartender chats it up with fellow bloggers and workplace enthusiasts to ask about “The Top HR Compliance Issues for 2014.” Whether you care to venture a few guesses or want to jump right to the predictions, I am sure you will find the insights helpful for planning 2014 projects.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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About This Blog

 Diane Hamilton, PCC, SPHR, is the owner and founder of Calibra, a coaching and consulting firm focused on maximizing leadership potential. Nilesh Patel is the principal attorney of the Mahadev Law Group, LLC, which focuses on human resources and employment law issues for organizations. He can be reached at Both bloggers are members of Wisconsin SHRM, which is dedicated to being the state leader in HR management and the premier source for HR expertise and resources. More information can be found at You can follow the WI SHRM blog at



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