Employment & HR

Thinking about hiring a vet? They might be the answer to your skills gap

Almost every state official says Wisconsin must do more to find employment for returning veterans, whose unemployment rate has ranged between 13% and 15% in recent months. Gov. Scott Walker says it, declaring 2012 the “Year of the Veteran.” State Veterans Affairs chief John Scocos says it. Reggie Newson, secretary of the state Department of Workforce Development, says it loud and clear. Lawmakers in both political parties have said it with words and votes. This is one example where state officials are not just talking the talk, they are intensifying efforts to link veterans with jobs.

Workforce development: Wisconsin employers to become familiar with Walker cabinet

Reggie Newson didn’t say state government is coming and will be there to help, but that was the gist of his comments about the Walker administration’s 2012 workforce development plans – recall election or no recall election. The Governor’s cabinet secretaries don’t intend to wear out their welcome when they visit employers, but they do hope to identify the ingredients of that elusive secret sauce that will better align workforce training with employment outcomes.

Ergonomics: Posturing Science

The U.S. Department of Labor treats ergonomics as a science, but if creating the perfect ergonomical work space is a science, it's a science of little things related to correct posture and avoiding risks associated with repetitive motions. Whether it's for a home office or a separate workplace, ergonomics is something that is continually refined over time, and that is reflected in new product lines that attempt to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

Adding an employee? don't try an "HR" solo

When entrepreneurs reach the point of adding one or more employees, the complexity of their business increases exponentially. Given the judgment calls they've already had to make about core competency versus the business side, the decision process is not unfamiliar to them, but if they resist the inevitable human resources partner, the business they have painstakingly grown could be put at risk.

Social Media Put Downs & The Law

So you never gave much thought to the employment law implications of co-workers griping about their boss on Facebook? If not, you're probably in the same boat with a lot of executives, but a recent Connecticut case will force employers to pay more attention to their social media policies. While the case has yet to be fully adjudicated, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that such carping is protected activity and employees who engage in it cannot face disciplinary action. IB sought the expertise of local attorneys to help sort out its ramifications.

Employment Law: New employment laws you need to know, and comply with.

Ripping on a supervisor on your Facebook page, which led to the firing of a Connecticut woman and her subsequent complaint before the National Labor Relations Board, might well be next year's point of employment law. But there is plenty of new employment law created in 2010, and local attorneys Cynthia Van Bogaert of the Boardman Law Firm and Meg Vergeront of Stafford Rosenbaum, both well versed in employee benefit law, stepped up to offer their compliance advice.

Waiting for a Better Economy

The Madison region lost 25,000 jobs in the recession, but it will take some time to make up all of that lost ground.

Teeing Off a New Career

Todd Vernon left professional golf for the "real world," but his job was caught in a bunker until his resume got noticed.

Is there any hope for meaningful job creation?

This Friday, the February jobs report will be released by the U.S. Department of Labor, against the backdrop of Congressional attempts to jump-start job creation. To assess whether the legislative Cavalry is really on the way, at least in terms of what the federal government can do to incentivize hiring, IB spoke to local accounting executive Peter Oettinger, partner in charge of Wegner CPAs' Baraboo office.

Opening Doors: Local LGBT Professional Group Enlightens Peers, Employers

"Gay people live as satellites in a straight world," said Patrick Farabaugh, publisher of Our Lives magazine, Madison's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) publication. "Unless they have some sort of support or infrastructure in place, they don't know how to speak up because they don't have the support behind them to help them feel validated. It's really about bringing your full, authentic self to work."

That is the impetus behind the formation of OPEN (Out Professional and Executive Network), a new professional LGBT networking, mentoring and business resource organization in town.

"Challenge" Best Describes 2009, Say Area HR Execs

Now that 2009 is nearly over, we thought we'd speak to area HR professionals for a look back on a tumultuous year, and a look ahead into 2010. All year long, HR managers everywhere were at the forefront of employee layoffs, counseling and government regulation. Are they happy to see the year end? Or dreading 2010?

Faith in the Workplace — Holiday Considerations

With Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in the air, among other lesser known holidays year-round, there's no doubt the United States "melting pot" is responsible for a rich diversity of employees in the workforce — many bringing with them a myriad of religious beliefs and celebrations. Those we are most familiar with during the latter part of the year are just a few of many celebrated annually.

Many Steps to Creating an Ethical Business Culture

When it comes to ethical conduct, Edgewood College professor Denis Collins appreciates the idealism of undergraduate students. But like the first bloom of love, he knows their knee-jerk ethics likely won't last forever. Collins, author of Essentials of Business Ethics: Creating an Organization of High Integrity and Superior Performance, said undergraduate students are always a lot of fun, in part because they haven't seen as much questionable corporate behavior as upper classmen.

H1N1: Coming Soon to a Business Near You

We've written about it before for IBMadison.com readers, but H1N1 hasn't gone away, and since this flu is perhaps of greater immediate danger to your business continuation plans than the economy in the next month, we're now writing an update.