New briefs: EEOC on disabled Vets, GINA, health information, solo workers & more
Veterans and the ADA - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released a new Guide for Employers on Veterans and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). EEOC says that, "The revised guides reflect changes to the law stemming from the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which make it easier for veterans with a wide range of impairments – including those that are often not well understood -- such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to get needed reasonable accommodations that will enable them to work successfully." John Hyman of Ohio's Employment Law Blog talks about The ADA and reverse discrimination, or whether employers can give hiring preference to a disabled veteran.
In addition, the EEOC released a Guide for Wounded Veterans which answers questions that veterans with service-related disabilities may have about the protections they are entitled to when they seek to return to their former jobs or look for civilian jobs.
Do you know GINA? - The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which took effect in late 2009, makes it illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire workers based on their "genetic information" — including genetic tests and family history of disease. Adam Cohen of TIME Ideas reports: According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s annual report, released last month, there were 245 genetic-discrimination complaints in fiscal year 2011, up more than 20% from a year earlier. At the same time, the EEOC reported that the "monetary benefits" it helped collect related to genetic discrimination — in damages, back pay and other penalties — jumped more than sixfold, from $80,000 to $500,000.
Making sense of Health News - Can you believe what you read in the news about health studies? Journalists ought to know, right? Well, not always. It's a complex topic that may or may not be handled clearly. Plus, the waters are muddied by reports from special interests. But increasingly, there are tools to help consumers weigh health information. HealthNewsReview.org is one such tool. It's a website dedicated to reviewing the accuracy of news stories about medical treatments, tests, products and procedures and helping consumers evaluate the evidence for and against new ideas in health care. See, for example, the recent reviews on these health news stories: Vitamin A may slash melanoma risk and citrus and strokes. And of particular use for consumers, don't miss the Toolkit, which includes tipsheets, primers, links and other resources to help journalists and consumers do a better job of evaluating claims about health care interventions.
Caring for the Caregivers - Carol Harnett of Human Resources Executive offers three lessons for HR leaders to help workers balance caring for loved ones with their productivity at work.
Solo workers & safety - Do you have employees who regularly perform their work offsite or at remote third party locations? You are still responsible for their health and safety. In a pair of articles, The Safety Daily Advisor offers advice and tips for how to protect off-site Workers and decrease your liability:Safety Issues for Off-Site Employees and
Safety Precautions for Solo Workers.
In the "Yikes" Department - While this story isn't specifically work-related, it is one for the insurance fraud hall of fame. For more incredible tales about the lengths people will go to be larcenous, see the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud's annual Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame.
Office toy of the week - You know those little squishy stress balls that you get at trade shows? Well here's a little variation: infectious disease stress balls. Available in four varieties: Bubonic Plague, Cooties, Smallpox, and Zombie Virus.
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When complex employee issues arise, ESI EAP offers member employers direct access to Certified Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHR) and senior clinical counselors. If you need an Employee Assistance Program give us a call: 800-535-4841.