Mega Group Online

Happy Thanksgiving from Mega Group Online

Mega Group Online will be closed Thursday, November 28, 2013 and Friday, November 29, 2013 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Our office will reopen on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 8:30am PST. 

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

We Love Friday

Survey Says: Fifteen Percent of American Workers Hate Their Jobs

“The relentless drudgery of working nine ’til five is a common gripe all over the world, but according to a survey by recruitment website Monster.com, U.S. workers hate going to the office the most.

The survey, which was sponsored by Monster.com and conducted by market research firm GfK, found that 15 percent of American workers said they disliked or hated their jobs. This was the highest level of job dissatisfaction among workers surveyed in seven countries.

GfK interviewed 8,000 people as part of the survey over the telephone, including 1,007 respondents based in the U.S. For the countries profiled – Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, UK and U.S. –respondents were asked to choose one of five options when asked how they felt about their jobs: love it, like it a lot, like it, don’t like it, don’t love it at all.

Of the U.S. candidates, just over half said they liked or loved their jobs, while 31 percent said they were merely satisfied. However, despite having the highest level of dissatisfied workers, the U.S. also clocked the highest amount of workers who said they loved their jobs so much they would do it for free, at 22 percent.

Canadians are the happiest workforce, according to the findings of the survey, with 64 percent liking or loving their jobs and only 7 percent saying they disliked or hated work.

Other happier workforces included the Netherlands and India, where 57 percent and 55 percent of the respondents said they were happy in their jobs, respectively. India had the lowest level of respondents saying they hated their jobs, at 5 percent.

“What is striking about the findings is that the strength of a country’s labor market doesn’t necessarily correlate with workforce contentment,” said Chris Moessner, vice president for public affairs, GfK. “While workers in challenged markets may have had fewer opportunities to advance in terms of promotions or salary during the recent downturn, it has not necessarily affected their happiness,” he added.

The survey also delved into possible links between monetary compensation and job satisfaction and found that U.S. workers with the lowest salary were the most likely to be unhappy at work. More than one in five paid less than $50,000 per annum said they either disliked or hated their jobs.

“Regardless of what a worker’s priorities are – being challenged, feeling valued or even making more money – it’s important for anyone who is not in love with their jobs to remain vigilant about finding [a] better [job],” said Joanie Ruge, employment industry advisor and senior vice president of Monster.

From a regional perspective, workers in the Northeast of the U.S. are most satisfied with their jobs, with 60 percent saying they liked or loved their jobs. Only 48 percent in the Mid-West and 45 percent in the South said the same.

On average, U.S. workers have longer working weeks and a smaller allotment of vacation time compared with other countries worldwide.

According to economic research website FRED, the average employee in America works around 1,700 hours per year, while the average employee in France worked around 1,480. Workers in Asia work much longer hours, with Singaporeans putting in a whopping 2,300 hours a year.”

 

Originally posted by CNBC and can be viewed at http://www.cnbc.com/id/101212752

 

Cheer Up…It’s Friday!

TOP 10 REASONS TO HIRE A MILITARY VETERAN

“Capitol Hill Democrats and Republicans lowered their swords long enough to pass the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which dangles tax credits at employers as incentive to hire military veterans.  But Veterans Day is a reminder that there’re plenty of other reasons to hire military vets. Here are 10 of them, courtesy of the U.S. Labor Department:

Accelerated learning curve: Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter your workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real-world situations.

Leadership: The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation, and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.

Teamwork: Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues. Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.

Diversity and inclusion in action: Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion, and economic status as well as mental, physical, and attitudinal capabilities.

Efficient performance under pressure: Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.

Respect for procedures: Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates’ actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to exist.

Technology and globalization: Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.

Integrity: Veterans know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances.

Conscious of health and safety standards: Thanks to extensive training, veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. On a company level, their awareness and conscientiousness translate into protection of employees, property, and materials.

Triumph over adversity: In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina, and flexibility.”

 

Originally posted by ABC News and can be found at: http://abcnews.go.com/US/veterans-day-top-10-reasons-hire-military-veteran/story?id=20814395

 

MGO would like to thank all of our veterans and active service men and women for their service.  

TEXAS SUES THE EEOC OVER ITS CRIMINAL BACKGROUND GUIDANCE

“For the second time in less than six months, the EEOC finds itself on the wrong side of a lawsuit.  On November 4, 2013, the State of Texas sued the EEOC in the Northern District of Texas seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the EEOC for issuing its 2012 arrest and conviction guidance (the “2012 Guidance”). In short, the Texas complaint argues that the EEOC did not have the authority to issue this  rule (described in detail below). The lawsuit also claims that the EEOC’s position that Title VII trumps conflicting state laws violates its state sovereignty. As it stands, Texas state law allows for blanket, no-felons policies at certain state agencies. Through this lawsuit, Texas, in its role as an employer, attempts to preemptively force the EEOC to defend its 2012 Guidance. Importantly, this lawsuit follows a pointed letter from nine Attorneys General stating that the 2012 Guidance is “misguided and a quintessential example of gross federal overreach” and attempts in Congress to prohibit the EEOC from spending funds enforcing the 2012 Guidance.

The Texas suit itself highlights several state agencies that absolutely bar anyone convicted of a felony, or certain felonies, from employment, including the Department of Public Safety,  the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the General Land Office, the Juvenile Justice Department, the Lottery Commission, the Parks and Wildlife Department and the public school system.

Since 1987, during the chairmanship of Clarence Thomas, it has been the EEOC’s policy that an employer should avoid blanket, one-size fits all, criminal record policies.  The EEOC’s 1987 guidance incorporated the test set forth in Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Co., 523 F.2d 1290 (8th Cir. 1975) (the “Green factors”). The Green factors include the gravity and severity of the crime; the nature of the job at issue; and how long ago a crime was committed. The Green factors were, in the 1987 guidance, and remain under the 2012 Guidance, the touchstone in examining criminal record use policies. While the 2012 Guidance expanded on the Green factors to include an “individualized assessment” component, the EEOC, as it must, explicitly recognized that Title VII “does not require an individualized assessment in all circumstances.”

To date, the Commission has lost three major cases in this area, but none of those courts actually reached the merits of the EEOC’s underlying theory. The EEOC lost in Peoplemark  because it pursued a violation based on a companywide policy that did not exist. The EEOC lost in Kaplan because it failed to show a prima facie case of disparate impact and, at least in part, because the EEOC maintained a credit and criminal background check policy for its own employees. Finally, the EEOC lost in Freeman because its expert analyzed data from the wrong period of time. The Commission is in active litigation alleging that employers’ criminal background policies had a disparate impact on minorities and as such, violated Title VII.

The Texas action is not without its quirks. For example, the Department of Justice is the governmental arm that litigates Title VII violations against state agencies and not the EEOC. The State of Texas’s lawsuit nevertheless highlights the Hobson’s choice for employers where state laws prohibit felons from obtaining certain positions. When Congress enacted Title VII in 1964, it specifically exempted individuals from federal liability for following state law, unless that state law “purports to require or permit the doing of any act which would be an unlawful employment practice under [Title VII].”  42 U.S.C. § 2000e-7. That Title VII standards preempt conflicting non-federal employment law requirements is viewed by many as a given.

The 2012 Guidance, however, fails as a practical matter to clarify what the Commission would expect an employer to do when faced with a state law provision that potentially violated Title VII.  Likewise, the 2012 Guidance fails to specifically inform employers what they can do when considering felons for employment, but rather merely outlines what the Commission believes that employers cannot do. Enter: the Lone Star State and its current suit.

Regardless of recent setbacks, the Texas suit is likely to yet again galvanize the EEOC to rally around its embattled background check theories. The EEOC’s agenda is fairly characterized as “high risk – high reward,” where pushing the boundaries of EEO laws is an explicit EEOC national priority. Whether the EEOC is successful prosecuting these cases, or defending its policy in Texas, remains to be seen. The implications of these cases will likely clarify the bounds of how courts will view the EEOC’s interpretation of Title VII in this area. The Texas suit, however, has ensured that this area remains in the spotlight.”

 

Originally posted by Seyfarth Shaw LLP by Christopher DeGroff and Paul Kehoe and can be found at: http://www.workplaceclassaction.com/2013/11/the-background-backlash-continues-texas-sues-the-eeoc-over-its-criminal-background-guidance/

Work Week Evolution

How Millennial Employees Can Embrace Older Colleagues

“The presence of millennials in the U.S. workforce is set to rapidly  increase, according to a 2012 study from the University of North  Carolina. Next year, millennials, usually defined as those born between the early 1980s and 2001, will comprise 34 percent of workers. By 2020,   that number will jump to 46 percent.

Working  alongside millennials will be baby boomers (people born between 1946  and 1964) and Generation Xers (usually defined as those born between the  mid-60s to early 80s). While relations between the older and younger  generations in some areas are healthy, in others, there’s a real rift.  For example, a recent study by The Hartford, a financial services group,  showed that millennials resent some baby boomers for not retiring  earlier, thus preventing millennials from getting hired or promoted.  Meanwhile, the same survey showed 74 percent of Gen Xers agreed that the  “entitlement generation” is an appropriate nickname for millennials.

While  some resentment may last, there are ways millennials, also known as  Generation Y, can grow from having a quality relationship with their  senior co-workers. We’ve detailed some below.

Be a good listener. Lending  your ear can pay dividends, especially if you’ve run into a problem  that your knowledge can’t resolve. Also, don’t perceive seeking advice  as an admission of weakness or inexperience. “It doesn’t mean that  you’re not fully capable of executing on your own, but getting diverse  perspectives at any age is always going to be valuable to your success,”  says Lindsey Pollak, a millennial generation expert and author of  “Getting from College to Career.”

Strike up a mentorship. Your  company may have a mentorship program that matches up employees from  different generations. Or you can take a less formal route and find one  or two senior co-workers to regularly chat with over coffee or lunch.  Through these interactions, millennials can get “a leg up in terms of  the ability to learn about the culture of the company, the ins and outs  of the politics that are going on [and] general business etiquette,”  says Lisa Orrell, a California-based consultant who specializes in  generational dynamics in the workforce. Fortunately, many millennials  like the idea of a mentor. MTV’s 2012 “No Collar Workers” survey showed that three-fourths of millennials would like to have a mentor and eight   out of 10 want feedback from their boss.”

Originally posted by US News and can be found at: http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2013/11/07/how-millennial-employees-can-embrace-older-colleagues

15 Essential Tips for Job Success

Achieve Job Success

“Gone are the days of simply climbing the ladder: In this economy, it’s hard to even know which way is up. But if you’re on the hunt for a new job, these 15 tips will be even more essential.”

Online Networking

“Use resources like Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with people in your field. Just be sure to keep the unprofessional aspects of your personal life out of your profile. And remember that social networking is like a cocktail party: If you talk only about yourself and your accomplishments, you’ll bore people. Start a dialogue.”

Networking in Person

“Shy? Don’t be defeated by networking. Set goals for yourself at networking events, and your skills will improve with time. Fortunately for you, being a good listener is an asset in networking, so make your introverted personality your advantage.”

Stand out

“An important question to keep in mind as you write your résumé is “What did I accomplish in this job that someone else wouldn’t have?” Thinking about the answer to that will give you some great talking points for your interview, as well.”

Be Discreet

“If you’re looking for a job while you’re already working, let recruiters know that discretion is key. You can use an offer to negotiate within your own company, but be prepared: Some employers do not take kindly to your interviewing with another company, and you could lose your current job.”

Beware of Blunders

“The most common pitfalls in résumé-writing: not being specific about accomplishments, being too wordy, including a generic objective statement, and keeping college accomplishments on your résumé for too long. And watch the small stuff, like typos in your correspondence with the hiring manager. Tiny mistakes can mean the difference between an interview and a rejection.”

Phone Prep

“If your interview will be conducted over the phone, keep your résumé and a list of talking points in front of you and a pen and paper handy to take notes. To make your voice clear and strong, stand up and smile while you speak. Some people find it helps to look at themselves in the mirror while they speak, but practice with a friend first to see what is best for you.”

Interview Info

“Do your research on the company beforehand, and come prepped with a few questions. Ask for the name of your interviewer, and research his or her background online. Then, when the interview is over, send a thank-you note immediately.”

Straight Talk

“When asked about your weaknesses, don’t pretend you have none or that your biggest weakness is “perfectionism.” It’s a good way to get an eye roll from your interviewer. Think about your weaknesses before the interview, and how you are able to overcome them, so you’re prepared for this common interview question.”

Keep Anxiety at Bay

“The wait to find out if you got the job can be interminable, and it’s tempting to call and E-mail the hiring manager to check in. But a single thank-you note, and patience, are recommended instead.”

Accept the Job with Class

“If you get the job, it’s tempting to celebrate your new move, but now is not the time to burn your bridges. Leave your current job with grace, and you’ll be able to keep your old coworkers in your network. Give notice according to your company policy, and volunteer to help find and train your replacement. Finish your projects, and organize all of your loose ends so your coworkers can take over with ease. Work up until your last day.”

Negotiate Your Benefits and Pay

“Not sure what you’re worth? Check websites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and Salary Scout to find out the salaries of comparable jobs, and use that information to negotiate your starting salary.”

Get Off To a Good Start

“For your first week of work, be sure to ask questions and pay careful attention to the company culture. Get an outline of your boss’s expectations for your first month in the job. And remember these four tips to make you an invaluable asset to your company: Be überreliable, outer directed, common-sensical, and bottom-line oriented. Thinking about the big picture will help you move ahead.”

Post Prudently

“If you have a personal blog, tread carefully. First rule: Never write about work. You also shouldn’t use work time to blog. Consider password-protecting your blog so that only your selected audience can see it.”

Play Nice

“When you get frustrated with your boss or coworkers, look inward. Changing your own behavior can stop a boss from micromanaging, and showing more appreciation can soften a difficult coworker. Share credit when a project goes well, but don’t avoid the blame when a project ends poorly.”

Climb the Ladder

“Before you ask for a raise, ask for more work—even the work no one else wants to do. It shows your employer that you can handle greater responsibility. Then, overperform. ”

 

Originally posted by US News and can be found at:  http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/slideshows/15-essential-tips-for-job-success

 

Happy Friday!