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Talk at The University of Akron on John B Watson by Charles Brewer

By Dennis Published: February 26, 2011

The Center for the History of Psychology (CHP) Spring Colloquium Series kicks off with Dr. Charles Brewer, professor at Furman University and a renowned expert in the teaching of psychology. Brewer will speak on Thursday, March 3, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the CHP Reading Room. The title of his talk is 'John B. Watson: The Misbehaving Behaviorist.'

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Do Not Retaliate Against Employees Exercising Their Rights

By Dennis Published: February 25, 2011

Managers have a relatively easy time understanding most aspects of equal employment law, with two possible exceptions. Those exceptions are "do not discriminate based on age" and "no retaliation."  Human nature tells us to strike back when we think some one is lying about us or threatening our pocketbook or job. However, the law protects the rights of employees to bring discrimination and harassment charges.

This point was further emphasized in the recent Supreme Court case of Thompson v. North American Stainless.

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Employees Can Discuss Work Related Issues on Facebook

By Dennis Published: February 24, 2011

I have written a number of blogs on cybervetting and social media. One important case involved an ambulance company, American Medical Response of Connecticut that had fired an employee, Dawnmarie Souza, for criticizing the company on Facebook. The National Labor Relations Board argues that employers are in violation of the law when they fire workers for engaging in work related conversation, even negative ones, on social networking sites. This case was settled before it went to trial with the company  agreeing to make changes to its policy.

For a description of the settlement see the New York Times.

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No Visible Cracks, Front or Back.

By Dennis Published: February 23, 2011

I have to admit - I wrote a blog because I liked the title. Dress codes for employees are always a problem. Although employers can specify appropriate dress, rules about dress may expose employers to legal challenges and public relations disasters. Each new generation brings with it new styles of dress that clash with the views of company owners, managers and the public. In the end, my opinion is the question of of dress codes should be handled with a minimum number of simple rules driven primarily by concerns over employee safety with appropriate attention paid to the image being presented to the public.

For an entertaining description of a long, complex dress code see this article from National Law Review.

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Is Discrimination Against the Unemployed Illegal?

By Dennis Published: February 22, 2011

Can a company screen applicants based on their current employment status? It looks like the EEOC would say "NO." Most likely, the use of current employment as a screen would have adverse impact against minorities and prove difficult to validate.

The EEOC recently heard hearings on the matter. You can find a summary here.

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HR Degrees Online

By Dennis Published: February 21, 2011

Hannah Douglas has created a site that provides information on online degrees. This includes a mix of online programs from traditional universities, distance programs, and primarily online institutions.

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Dr. Richard Boyatzis on Coaching with Compassion

By Dennis Published: February 15, 2011

This Friday, the Psychology Department at The University of Akron will have as its speaker Dr. Richard Boyatzis. His talk is entitled "Coaching with Compassion." The talk begins at 12pm at the Center for the History of Psychology (the Archives, 73 College St) on The University of Akron campus and will last till approximately 1:15pm.

This session will address the following:

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