News briefs: religion at work, wellness penalties, addiction, are your employees videotaping you, and more...
Religion at work - Although religion remains a taboo topic at some companies, more employers are allowing workers to embrace their spiritual beliefs while on the job. At Workforce (free subscription required), Fara Warner explores some of the ways that companies are finding ways to fit religion in their corporate culture in the article Professionals Tap a Higher Power in the Workplace. Related: In a recent post at the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, Daniel Schwartz used Easter and Passover as a springboard to revisit the topic of religious discrimination issues.
Legal ruling & wellness penalties - Can an employer impose a penalty for non-participation in a health risk assessment? In a brief Employee Benefit Advisor podcast, Karen McLeese talks about a recent legal case, in which the court found for the employer in a court challenge related to a wellness program's financial penalty. She discusses the implications for employers and their wellness programs.
Of mice, men and addiction - "Recovering addicts are often told to avoid the people, places, and things connected with their addiction — tried-and-true advice that may be gaining support from neuroscience." Is an addiction a learning and memory disorder? Scientific American reports on new neurobiology research, which found that, "...repeated use of alcohol can make the brain more susceptible to forming reward-based associations. Mice given a weeklong binge of alcohol were more likely to remember the environment in which they later received cocaine. In human addicts similar associations could explain why certain environments are apt to trigger relapse." See: Mouse Study Suggests Why Addictions Are Hard to Forget.
Lights, camera, action - At Ohio Employer's Law Blog, Jon Hyman asks Are your employees recording you? He suggests steps that you can take to protect yourself and your business against these covert tactics.
When men are the abused partners - Although most domestic abuse is committed by men, sometimes men are the victims and not the perpetrators. At Domestic Violence and the Workplace, Kim Wells posts about two new papers published by the American Psychological Association which show that men who are abused by their female partners can suffer significant psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts.
Sleepy workers - As a follow up to our recent post on Shift Work Sleep Disorder, we note that Human Resource Executive's Michael O'Brien has an article on the topic: Asleep at the Shift-Work Wheel. He discusses shift work, biological clocks, and the impact on safety.
Salary secrets - At Compensation Cafe, Chuck Csizmar talks about organizational transparency vs. secrecy when it comes to the compensation program. He asks: "Why not disclose the key elements of your job evaluation and base salary structure? What's the harm in letting employees know where they stand, and what their career progression could look like? What's the harm? What's the big secret?" He also discusses the two key elements that secretive companies most frequently tend to guard.
Silly fun - What?! You haven't been exposed to Business Cat yet?! It's an internet meme that is sort of a cross between lolcats, Dilbert and the ubiquitous motivational posters. It's a cat in a tie that thinks like your boss would if your boss were a cat. Here is The Absolute Best of the Business Cat Meme.