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Workforce Management January 2004

January 6, 2004
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Who will fold first?
By Andy Meisler
As business people, unionists and politicians watch closely, Cintas, a proud company with a long history, and UNITCE, heading up a resurgent union coalition, are locked in a ferocious battle. Many of their principles and tactics are old-fashioned. Others are as up-to-date ad a smart bomb.

Think globally, act rationally
By Andy Meisler
Offshoring jobs and salaries is all the rage in corporate America. But this panacea du jour has as many pitfalls as potential cost advantages. At a recent closed-door conference in Houston, promoters of offshoring to India touted the benefits to a rapt audience. But there were some sobering asides amid the hoopla, such as news of a 50 percent failure rate and savings that aren't so spectacular.

A higher calling
By Gretchen Weber
There was a time when board directorships existed above the scrutiny of human resources leaders. Today, nominating committees are tapping them to create candidate profiles and conduct due diligence on potential appointments. Rob Reindl is one of the people fueling the transformation. As corporate vice president of human resources at Edwards Lifesciences, an $850 million cardiovascular technology company headquartered in Irvine, California, Reindl is deeply involved in the recruitment and selection of the company's board members

The bookstore battle
by Sarah Fister Gale
 
If you're trying to make your company stand out from your competitor, a look inside Borders and Barnes & Noble may be a good start. Each establishment operates with a different business philosophy and recruits with passions that support its unique niche. There are tattooed and pierced employees at Borders who know the cutting edge of fiction and world music. The tidy and efficient booksellers at Barnes & Noble team up to find the literature customers are looking for. Each style is key to the company's version of success.

Between the Lines
Courting and keeping
If you're playing the field, your employees are playing it, too.
  Reactions From Readers
Letters on drug testing, chief learning officers, American's fat phobia, a know-nothing editor and the last work on rank and yank.

In This Corner
Guerillas in your midst
Like a fighter hidden in the foliage, "guerilla bias" is concealed by good intentions.

Legal Briefings
A deaf employee's right to apply for a job. A no-dating policy trumps privacy claims.


Data Bank
Ratcheting down pay

A tale of offshoring's allure
An Indian call center is cast as Aladdin's wish-granting lamp in a new play. Also: Michael Eisner's succession secrets. No downside for employers in Medicare reform. Unanswered questions from the Supreme Court on preferential rehiring for disabled workers.
 
 
HRMS
Odds of a successful software implementation improve
The bad news is that only 34 percent of them are deemed successful But that's up from 16 percent in 1994. Fixing mistakes is big business. One company after another has tried to implement its own system and then given up and decided to hand the headache over to someone else.
 

Legal Issues
In any language, English-only policies are touchy
The policies are legal when companies can make a case for English as a business necessity. That's a tricky definition. Just ask a casino that required its housekeeping staff to speak only English, and wound up paying a $1.5 million legal settlement.
 

Compensation
The rise of restricted-stock grants
A 2003 PricewaterhouseCoopers human resource services survey shows that 5 percent more companies use restricted stock than in 2002. Switching from options to restricted stock is not necessarily all that easy to pull off.
 

Legal Issues
The Supreme Court's workplace docket
The court will consider such issues as reverse age discrimination, ERISA's primacy over state-court lawsuits and the limits of existing sexual-harassment case law.
 

Retirement Benefits
Early-retirement offers that work too well
Verizon had a great idea to save money: offer early retirement. It expected about 12,000 workers to take the offer. Instead, 21,000 did.
 
 


December  2003



November  2003



October 2003
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