The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued two decisions that set a clearer path for employers to follow when deciding, after 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave expires, how much additional leave they need to provide, if any, as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). …read more

From:: Viewpoint: Court Decisions Scale Back Additional Leave After FMLA Is Exhausted


The Missouri Court of Appeals held that sex stereotyping can form the basis of a sex discrimination claim when the complaining party is gay, but should not be construed as a claim for sexual orientation discrimination. …read more

From:: Missouri Appellate Court Ruling Offers Some Protections for LGBT Employees


Meet the director of corporate HR and talent at Genesis Alkali, who is a member of the SHRM Young Professionals Advisory Council. …read more

From:: Member Spotlight: Aaron Abell



Workforce editors Rick Bell and Frank Kalman introduce you to our 2017 Optimas Award winners! Our General Excellence winner completely flipped a corporate culture considered to be one of the “worst ever seen” by a respected consultancy. They are just one example of this year’s best as we recognize HR’s success at solving some of the biggest business challenges of our time.

For more 5 Minutes of Management, check out our YouTube channel.

Read about the rest of our 2017 Optimas winners here

The post 5MM: The …read more

From:: 5MM: The Workforce 2017 Optimas Award Winners



From left: Kristy Lake, Sylvia Blair, Anne Boone, Corey Stowell, Philipp Schramm, Alisha Easterling, Charles Braxton, Tamala Meyers, Liz Beatty, John Wilder and Andre Schoenekaes.

The Great Recession hit Detroit and the auto industry hard. The federal government bailed out General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automotive as sales took a huge hit.

Webasto Roof Systems Americas, a Rochester Hills, Michigan-based automotive supply company, was not immune to the fallout. But unlike the automakers’ relatively quick turnaround, financial and cultural aftershocks of the economic decline lingered at Webasto, the North American division of Germany-based Webasto Group.

“There was so much fear in the organization …read more

From:: Webasto: Optimas 2017 General Excellence Winner



Simplifying employee benefits is difficult for any company no matter its size. When you consider the same challenge for a massive, global biopharma company with 27,000 employees scattered across 46 countries, a single solution seems impossible.

Bristol-Myers Squibb had many challenges embedded in its paper-based, low-tech benefits process, including language barriers, resource constraints and conflicting priorities. The New York-based company set out to transform its benefits offerings through technology — a task easier said than done. It had to centralize benefits and administration while still keeping a local touch because of local tax laws, language, cultural expectations and employee lifestyles.

Partnering with …read more

From:: Bristol-Myers Squibb: Optimas Gold Winner for Benefits



Many employers say they want a culture of health. Riverside Healthcare is one that is achieving that culture through its employee wellness program, Riverside Employees Actively Choosing Health, or REACH.

REACH focuses on holistic well-being rather than just physical health. Along with health risk assessments and annual wellness labs, employees can also access programs centered around emotional health, financial wellness and work-life balance through REACH. By creating an easily personalized, broad program that could be accessible to any employee, Riverside believed that the employees, the organization itself and the senior citizens Riverside serves could benefit.

The health care system has seen impressive …read more

From:: Riverside Healthcare: Optimas Silver Winner for Benefits



GAI Consultants has a simple belief: As employees and leaders grow and succeed, the company will grow and succeed right alongside them.

In order to put this belief into action, the engineering, planning and environmental consulting firm created a more effective training program with clearer, more precise directions. Their training program, GAI University, was designed in 2014 to develop the skills of employees and leaders alike. The program is constantly being evaluated and reworked to suit the company’s changing needs.

The program includes a partnership with Point Park University in Pittsburgh, a tuition reimbursement program, GAI-funded technical training offered both within and …read more

From:: GAI Consultants: Optimas Gold Winner for Business Impact



Startups have shown the ability to grow into successful organizations seemingly overnight, even as they face the myriad challenges that come with scaling a new business. Makespace, a storage and pickup company, started with four drivers, an excel spreadsheet and paper punch cards in New York City and quickly grew to 180 drivers in four cities across the country.

Because of its rapid growth, Makespace needed an easily accessible solution that could be effortlessly integrated with its payroll. So in 2013, they turned to Deputy.

Deputy is an online human resource and employee management system that aims to help companies with employee …read more

From:: Makespace: Optimas Silver Winner for Partnership



When hoping to grow the company’s workforce, SDI Gas LLC faced a unique challenge: Americans not seeking operations work. The company set out to share the benefits of working in construction.

Roundtable discussions with longtime employees and new hires helped the human resources team to develop a talent attraction strategy without the help of outside consultants. They dubbed the initiative R3, standing for recruit, retain and reactivate.

Creating websites and brochures and attending trade shows were the first steps to educating and reaching potential hires. This included four websites, which the team overhauled from clunky to streamlined and mobile-friendly. Simplification and easier-to-read …read more

From:: SDI Gas LLC: Optimas Gold Winner for Recruiting