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Technology's impact on privacy took center stage in news headlines this week. The New York Times and National Public Radio (NPR) both reported on alternative software tools to track employees in the workplace - one tool identifies inside security threats and another tracks employee productivity. Our blog post earlier this week also discussed this issue, highlighting both upsides to employee monitoring and some of the downsides and risks. In addition, there was big privacy news coming out of the United States Supreme Court this week. In a highly anticipated ruling, the Court ruled ...

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Technology increasingly creates opportunities to monitor employee performance and workplace behavior. Monitoring is generally considered to be a tool that is likely to increase employee productivity and performance. Interestingly, though, the New York Times recently highlighted a Harvard Business School paper on the topic describing what it calls the Transparency Paradox. 

Researchers conducted an experiment at a large factory in China, surrounding four of its 32 assembly lines with curtains to give a measure of privacy to the four lines. After five months, researchers found ...

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Can you imagine receiving just a few work-related emails a day? Click the link below to read about the innovative communication solutions that companies are exploring to try to reduce the biggest distraction for their employees the volume of their inbox. Speaking of distractions, as we mentioned in last week's Week in Review, were in the midst of the 2014 World Cup. Much like March Madness, the World Cup is a month-long event that can create productivity concerns for employers. Since the 2010 World Cup, technology advances have created greater challenges for employers who seek to ...

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June 2014 is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month, and President Obama is set to mark the month by using his pen and phone approach to expand workplace protections for LGBT individuals. Frustrated with the inability to get various employment-related laws through Congress, President Obama has taken to using his executive authority to make progress where he can primarily with federal government contractors.  So far this year, President Obama has issued executive orders raising the federal minimum wage for federal contractors and requiring contractors to ...
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Move over World Cup. Discipline based on employee social media activities is taking center stage this week. Well, maybe the World Cup has a few more headlines, but you can follow the links below to read four articles from this week about employees getting into employment trouble based on their social media activity. Also, a recent survey shows that 70 percent of employers have disciplined employees for on-the-job misuse of social media. One lawyer is making news, though, for his drastic protests of workplace discipline based on employee social media postings.  

Don't worry . . . we ...
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In a recent Week in Review post, we referenced a Wall Street Journal article about Zappos.com. It has abandoned job postings in favor of a radically different approach. Instead of posting job descriptions at online career sites, Zappos will maintain a social media network of Zappos Insiders. Through social media, people interested in working at Zappos will network and connect with current employees and provide (sometimes public) information about their skills and interests in hopes of being tapped to work in a specific job. As the Wall Street Journal article points out ...

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For months, the discussion about cryptocurrency - primarily "Bitcoin" - has steadily increased in technology news. This week, Dish Network became the largest company to accept Bitcoin payments, following Tesla, Virgin America, and Overstock.com. Click the link below to read about how legislators and regulators are working to find a way both to classify and regulate this bold new world of virtual currency. Also, if trying to understand cryptocurrency makes your head hurt as much as mine, check out the link below to the high-tech headband that de-stresses your brain. At the retail ...

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As if to accentuate the timeliness of last weeks post on the surge in non-traditional union organizing, adjunct faculty organizing in the Twin Cities has been in the news again this past week. The Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, is targeting additional local institutions for adjunct faculty organizing. In addition, the Macalester College adjunct faculty vote has been postponed, with union organizers claiming both sides need more time to consider the issues underlying the vote. Several outspoken adjunct from Macalester have voiced opposition to the ...
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