Forward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

July 2013


Same-sex couples’ workplace rights after DOMA’s (partial) demise

On the final day of its 2012 term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for same-sex couples, married in states that allow or recognize their marriage, to enjoy more than 1,000 federal rights and protections. Some of those protections include private-sector workplace rights for married couples. Employers must now evaluate their policies to determine which workplace benefits and protections must be extended to same-sex married couples.

Posted at 08:45 AM | Permalink | Comments


You’ve conducted an employee survey … now what?

It’s a common practice to collect feedback from employees to gauge how things are going. Whether it is an employee opinion survey, an assessment of employee engagement, or a focus group/interview study, many organizations periodically ask employees for their thoughts and/or input. The hard part isn’t asking the questions or collecting the data. It’s deciding what to do once you have the information.

Posted at 01:36 PM | Permalink | Comments


Things not to say or do when dealing with a pregnant employee

Considering the amount of training and advice available to organizations, there are some things supervisors should know not to say to a pregnant employee. For example, don’t suggest an abortion because of concerns of future absences. Don’t ask if a pregnancy means the employee will be quitting soon. Why? As the employer in Hitchcock v. Angel Corps, Inc. learned, such behavior is the start to a textbook example of how to stumble into an expensive lawsuit and jury trial.

Posted at 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

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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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