Just Management

Stray Comments Don’t Always Prove Age Bias Ms. Martin was a long-term, highly-valued employee of Lockheed Missiles & Space Company. In 1991, she was laid off as result of a stack ranking based on performance and seniority. She sued for age discrimination.

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When is it age discrimination?

When can we ask applicants for their dates of birth? Many employers feel that asking for the Date of Birth for a Criminal check is a violation of EEOC. Can you help me justify my need to check employees out before hiring and screen their background which requires disclosure of Drivers License and Date of

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Get Dates at Work and Don’t Get Sued

Antioch College is in the news because of its new “ask first” policy designed to prevent sexual harassment and date rape. Under the policy, a student must ask first before initiating any intimate contact. For example, a young man should ask a young woman, “Can I kiss you?” before kissing. If she says yes or

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Achieving Success Outside of the Pack

“Let’s be perfectly clear: I’m talent, not management.” Who said this? Bette Midler? J.D. Salinger? Michael Jordan or Johnnie Cochran? Maybe it was your family accountant or the pastry chef at that French four-star down the street. It might have been uttered by any of countless other performers, singles players, do-it-yourselfers and soloists — professionals

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Interview Small Talk Makes a Big Impression

“Oh, I notice you went to Whittier College. So did I.” “You were at Disney for two years? I worked for Disney, too.” “Toastmasters? I’m in Toastmasters, too.” All of the above are opening gambits that I’ve used while interviewing candidates. They often were greeted with an “uh huh” while the interviewee waited for a

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How Free-Agent Tactics Boost Your Job Security

As an independent consultant, I’m astounded when people say, “I’d love to do what you do, but I’d miss the security of a paycheck every two weeks.” What’s astounding isn’t that some professionals want to enjoy the benefits of free agency without taking any risks. There’s always a segment of the population wanting to get

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A Free-Agent Outlook Can Hurt Your Career

In his book “Free Agent Nation” (Warner Books, 2001), Daniel H. Pink focused on the more than 30 million Americans who, for a variety of reasons, have abandoned traditional employment and the idea of a job that lasts a lifetime. The free-agency movement promotes the notion that — because the loyalty contract between employers and

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Do Technology Experts Make Good Managers?

Even in the current uncertain environment, the U.S. economy is driven by nerds — a term that recently morphed from an insult into a quasi-compliment. Nerds specialize in computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, physics, biophysics, molecular biology, nanotechnology, bio-nano and who knows what. They are smart, sometimes arrogant, and not necessarily the most sociable folks

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‘Why I Want to Be A Corporate Director’

Dear Human Resources Manager: Hi! I’m writing to apply for a position on your board of directors. While I have only modest knowledge of polymer-based hollow-rod extrusion, stenciling and vapor recovery — and no actual office experience per se — I am eager to be well-paid for little or no work.

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Age Bias Persists In Silicon Valley

In Silicon Valley these days, precious few jobs are available for high-tech workers. In the past two years, hundreds of companies have folded and tens of thousands of employees have been laid off. Many of the job hunters who came here in the late 1990s for the dot-com rush are gone.

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How the Charisma Factor Affects Executive Pay

Can mere economics explain the meteoric rise of CEO pay since the 1980s? If we liberate our minds from that warped construct known as “perfectly competitive markets,” then the answer is yes. As we’ll soon see, economics can even explain the effect of such disparate influences as government intervention and charisma. Taking nothing for granted,

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