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Short takes: religious accommodation, wellness, and cool tools

Reasonable religious accommodations - Lou Michels discusses reasonable accommodation and religious beliefs in the context of a recent decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. He notes that religious accommodation suits seem to be on the rise, and that " ...this decision provides some well thought out guidance on the limits of what an employer has to do to satisfy its obligations under the law in dealing with these claims."

A modern conundrum - When Work's Invisible, So Are Its Satisfactions - "In the past, people could see the fruits of their labor immediately: a chair made or a ball bearing produced. But it can be hard to find gratification from work that is largely invisible, or from delivering goods that are often metaphorical." (thanks to Race in the Workplace for the pointer.

Wellness compliance - Does your wellness program pass muster in terms of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act? The Employee Benefits Security Administration has recently issued a Wellness Program Checklist to help you determine if your program is compliant.

An unhealthy duo - New research indicates that the combination of depression and hostility may be factors that contribute to a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The study measured the levels of some inflammatory proteins that have been predictive of future heart disease, finding that those who reported feeling both depressed and hostile had especially high levels of the inflammatory proteins in their blood over the six year study.

Avoiding duds - Whether you are hiring for a HR Manager/Director position, or interviewing to become one, Kris Dunn offers helpful advice to help you avoid hiring or being an HR dud.

Your Rip Van Winkle moment - Wally Bock talks about the challenges of waking up as a boss - making the transition from being a worker to a manager after a sudden promotion.

A fruity idea - Employee Benefit News pointed us to a fun wellness resource - The Fruitguys, a service founded on the idea that bringing healthy brain food to the office can boost productivity and help companies improve their bottom lines. Their service allows you to have crates of mixed fresh fruits delivered to your workplace - a simple but great idea.

Cool work tools

  • PDF Hammer is a free online PDF editor that allows you to edit PDF documents right now inside your browser.
  • Marker board walls - nothing better for a brainstorming session than a big white board. Why not build a whole wall?
  • Ta-da lists is a free tool that allows you to create and share simple online to-do lists.
  • 10 smart and lazy ways to save your workday - some productivity tips from Lifehacker.
  • The printable CEO - be your own CEO with a series of printable forms that help manage the day-to-day chore of achieving your goals.

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