Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Boards are Reluctant to Replace Themselves

Why Boards are Reluctant to Replace Themselves

Category: Chief Executive Officer & Board of Directors
Tags: board of directors
Reprint from: Heidrick & Struggles

Let me be blunt. At some critical points in their careers, the executive management of many of our largest and most august companies do not have the interests of their organizations at heart.

By this I mean that they, like the rest of us, are subject to that most basic of human characteristics: vested self-interest.

Here are a couple of examples from our experience:

In a multi-billion merger situation, management decided not to embrace the suitor, even though it would have been of benefit to shareholders, because they were all likely to lose their jobs! The buying entity already had a good management team.
A global corporation with a need and desire for a top team succession plan, were just too uncomfortable with the notion of going into the market to identify their own potential replacements.
A fantastic executive with a great job and assured future, simply up and quit, putting his reputation and livelihood at risk, because someone else got the job he wanted. Again, putting it in emotional terms, the issue was jealousy, but there was a big financial cost both to the organisation and to the executive.
Sometimes it’s not clear where the authority really lies in a major enterprise. The BP oil spill disaster is an example, and I commented on this in an article on the BBC website.

When you read the financial press, you are generally reassured that British companies in general are sophisticated, well-oiled and amazingly run machines. But despite the fact that executives running these businesses are smart and well-educated, at the very top, in reality, there is often “hand-to-hand combat.”

Just because the executives have reached a level of well-paid seniority and achievement, this doesn’t mean they don’t care about the things that all the rest of us care about, like losing our jobs, or being overlooked, or finding it tough to open ourselves up to critical evaluation.

In fact it’s very much harder at the top. Less senior executives have little choice – they get succession-planned whether they like it or not. They are basically told: “We're going to look inside and outside our company to check out the talent pool for your job and if we feel we can do better, or you decide to leave us, you are replaceable.”

But when you’re talking about the prestigious, top-level C-suite, the same rules don’t necessarily apply.

The worst examples of leadership failure were seen during the recent global financial crisis, and the backwash of bad behavior is still playing out in some boardrooms and executive suites as we see companies struggling to find their feet after months of economic and emotional devastation.

But as we’ve seen in recent times, it’s not the executives who suffer financially, but the shareholders.

The solution is not only good governance, but also better leadership. The best boards with whom we deal are those with outstanding chairmen who know when to leap in and when to stay back. They are able to interrogate management and give critical feedback while also being supportive..

In big events such as potential acquisitions or mergers, chairmen must step up and take a leading role, as the chief executive is invariably conflicted.

As we say in our publication Purposeful Partners, written after interviews with more than 50 chairmen and CEOs, the role of the chair is changing dramatically. Chairmen can’t be hands-on, but they must be head-on, challenging assumptions and getting more involved than they have been. Intense and strategic working relationships between chairmen and CEOs will become the new norm rather than the exception.

For a print copy of Purposeful Partners, email David Peters.

PRESENTED BY: Executive Leadership, LLC SPECIALIZING IN: Career Transformation/Change and Executive Coaching/Development WEBSITE: http://www.exec-leadershipLLC.com
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Legal Alert: Ninth Circuit Finds Employer Has Burden of Proof When Denying Reinstatement After FMLA Leave

Legal Alert:
Ninth Circuit Finds Employer Has Burden of Proof When Denying Reinstatement After FMLA Leave
In a case of first impression on a claim that an employer interfered with an
individual's exercise of her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act
(FMLA), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the employer
bears the burden of proving it had a legitimate reason for not reinstating the
employee to her former position following FMLA leave. The court further held
that the employee is not required to demonstrate that her employer lacked a
reasonable basis for its refusal to reinstate her. Sanders v. City of Newport
(9th Cir. March 17, 2011).
Sanders, a former utility billing clerk who had worked for the City of Newport
for approximately 10 years, began suffering health problems after the City
moved her office to a new location and started using lower-grade billing
paper. After being diagnosed with "multiple chemical sensitivity" triggered by
handling low-grade paper at work and poor air quality in her work area,
Sanders requested and was granted one month of FMLA leave. This leave
was later extended because of an unrelated medical condition.
Subsequently, Sanders submitted a letter from her doctor stating that she
had recovered from her unrelated medical condition and she could return to
work, so long as she avoided use of the problem-causing low-grade paper.
Sanders also submitted a fitness for work certificate from the surgeon who
treated her unrelated medical condition.
On May 5, 2006, the City informed Sanders that she would not be permitted
to return to work because the City could not guarantee that her workplace
would be safe for her to due to her chemical sensitivity. On January 8, 2007,
the City sent Sanders a letter advising her that her employment would be
terminated that same day "due to the restrictions placed on [her] by [her]
physician, Dr. Morgan, which the City is unable to accommodate." Sanders
filed an administrative appeal. In response to her appeal, the City informed
her: "The decision to terminate your employment was made for the reason
that the City could not provide a safe workplace for you given your sensitivity
to chemicals and the lack of knowledge as to the chemicals or
concentrations that may cause a reaction."
Sanders subsequently sued the City in federal court, claiming violations of
the FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Oregon Family
Leave Act (OFLA), as well as other federal and state laws. After the jury
returned a verdict for the City on Sanders' FMLA claim, she filed an appeal
with the Ninth Circuit. Sanders argued that the court's FMLA jury instruction
improperly placed the burden on her to prove that she was denied
reinstatement without reasonable cause and that by adopting a reasonable
cause requirement, the court incorrectly stated the elements of her FMLA
The Ninth Circuit agreed with Sanders and reversed the lower court's
decision, remanding the case for a new trial.
FMLA Interference Claim
Under 29 U.S.C. §2615(a)(1), it is "unlawful for any employer to interfere
with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise" the
substantive rights guaranteed by FMLA. When a party alleges a violation of
§2615(a)(1), it is known as an "interference" or "entitlement" claim. The Ninth
Circuit held that the right to reinstatement is the linchpin of the entitlement
theory because "'the FMLA does not provide leave for leave's sake, but
instead provides leave with an expectation that an employee will return to
work after the leave ends.'" (Citations omitted). Thus, evidence that an
employer failed to reinstate an employee who was out on FMLA leave to her
original (or equivalent) position establishes a prima facie denial of the
employee's FMLA rights. See 29 C.F.R. §825.220(a)(1),(b)[1].
Citing decisions from the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, the Ninth Circuit
summarized the elements of an employee's prima facie case where the
employer fails to reinstate the employee: "the employee must establish that:
(1) he was eligible for the FMLA's protections, (2) his employer was covered
by the FMLA, (3) he was entitled to leave under the FMLA, (4) he provided
sufficient notice of his intent to take leave, and (5) his employer denied him
FMLA benefits to which he was entitled." The court also noted that in
interference claims, the employer's intent is irrelevant to a determination of
The court then held that although the FMLA creates a statutory right to
reinstatement after taking FMLA leave, this right is not without limits. The
court noted that the Department of Labor (DOL) has interpreted this part of
the statute in various regulations that set forth the limitations on an
employee's right to reinstatement. However, the DOL regulations do not
clearly state which party has the burden of the proof when an employer
defends against a denial of reinstatement by asserting one of these
limitations and the federal appeals courts are divided on this issue.
Burden of Proof for Failure to Reinstate
The regulation at issue in this case, 29 C.F.R. §825.214, addresses an
employee's right to return to work following FMLA leave and states that "if
the employee is unable to perform an essential function of the position
because of a physical or mental condition, including the continuation of a
serious health condition, the employee has no right to restoration to another
position under the FMLA." Although the text of this regulation is ambiguous
with respect to the parties' respective burdens, the Ninth Circuit held that it is
clear from other regulations that the burden rests with the employer to
establish whether the employee can perform the essential functions of the
job. Thus, the employer has the burden of showing that it had a legitimate
reason to deny the employee reinstatement and the trial court's contrary jury
instruction was erroneous.
The Ninth Circuit also held that the trial court erroneously instructed the jury
that Sanders was required to prove that the City did not have "reasonable
cause" to deny her reinstatement. The court noted that the DOL regulations
interpreting the limitations on an employer's obligation to reinstate an
employee include no reference to a "reasonable cause" standard. The Ninth
Circuit held that by adding a reasonable cause requirement as an element of
Sanders' reinstatement claim, the trial court's instruction permitted the jury to
assess the City's overall response to Sanders' complaints rather than
directing the jury to consider the specific reasons under DOL regulations
why the City refused to reinstate Sanders to her former position after taking
FMLA leave. The court held that this approach is contrary to the FMLA.
Further, the court held that this instruction was not harmless because it
added an unnecessary element to Sanders' burden of proving her FMLA
reinstatement claim.
Accordingly, the Ninth Circuit vacated the judgment on the jury's verdict and
remanded the case for a new trial.
What This Means for Employers
The effect of the court's decision in Sanders is that when an employer seeks
to establish that it had a legitimate reason to deny an employee
reinstatement, the employer must be prepared to prove the employee had
no right to be reinstated. This is true even though the right to reinstatement
from FMLA leave is not absolute. Unlike FMLA discrimination or retaliation
cases, which apply the type of burden shifting framework recognized in
McDonnell Douglas v. Green to evaluate such claims, employers in FMLA
interference and reinstatement cases are at a disadvantage in the Ninth
Circuit because they carry the ultimate burden of proof that the employee
was not entitled to reinstatement. Thus, employers considering discharging
an employee who has taken FMLA leave must ensure that the legitimate
business reason for the discharge is clear and adequately documented.
If you have any questions regarding this decision or the requirements of the
FMLA, please contact the author of this Alert, Angela M. Quiles,
aquiles@fordharrison.com, an attorney in our Los Angeles office, or the Ford
& Harrison attorney with whom you usually work.
[1] The DOL amended its FMLA regulations effective January 16, 2009;
however, the regulations discussed by the court were virtually unchanged in
substance. Because the events in this case took place prior to the effective
date of the amendments, the court cited the 2008 FMLA regulations.

PRESENTED BY: Executive Leadership, LLC SPECIALIZING IN: Career Transformation/Change and Executive Coaching/Development WEBSITE: http://www.exec-leadershipLLC.com
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Key Elements of Effective Organizations: Bridgespan’s Organization Wheel

Key Elements of Effective Organizations: Bridgespan’s Organization Wheel

High performing nonprofits think about their organizations as much more than the boxes and lines on an “org chart.” Bridgespan finds that truly effective organizations exhibit strengths in five key interrelated areas: leadership, decision-making and structure, people, work processes and systems, and culture (see Exhibit 1). Effective organizations pay attention to 10 key characteristics across these five areas. For example, effective leadership requires having a clear vision that is translated into well understood priorities, and supported by a cohesive and aligned leadership team.

Culture is linked to and affected by each area of the organization wheel. As such it enables organizations to meet their strategic goals to achieve impact. In fact, because it is about how people in the organization behave, it can be either a powerful ally or a real barrier to implementing a strategic change. Because of its linkages to other areas of the organization wheel, Bridgespan has found that levers that change behavior are often found within these other areas of the organization wheel (see Exhibit 2). Therefore, leaders who need to change culture to support strategy need to determine what levers in other areas of the organization wheel will support the right behaviors. For example, these may include choices about what people to have in the organization, how to align them to priorities and motivate them, who has what decision-making authority, how people are expected to work together using key processes, etc. To see this process in action, please read the article, “Strategies for Changing Your Organization’s Culture,” in which two nonprofit leaders share their stories of aligning their cultures to support new strategies.

PRESENTED BY: Executive Leadership, LLC SPECIALIZING IN: Career Transformation/Change and Executive Coaching/Development WEBSITE: http://www.exec-leadershipLLC.com
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Lockdown - 4 Steps to Salary Negotiation Success

The Lockdown - 4 Steps to Salary Negotiation Success

Jack Chapman Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Anything that affects your confidence level negatively in negotiations is going to cost you and that’s just a fact. And while it certainly may be difficult to keep your confidence (and chin) up in an economy that’s this down, there are still always some things working in your favor. I’m going to explain one of them, a technique I call the lockdown maneuver.

I’m assuming you now have an appointment where you will sit down and finalize compensation with your new boss(s). Use the “lockdown” maneuver when you want the option to negotiate up but don’t want to risk what you already have - a firm offer! What if you plan to ask for something seriously out the employer’s range? In an employer’s market, there is some danger that an attempt to negotiate may prompt them to call in the next [cheaper] candidate. The lockdown maneuver helps prevent that.

Here’s how it works. They’ve extended you an offer. You response might sound something like this:

“An offer! Thank you. That’s really great news. Of course there will probably be a few points about the package that we’ll need to iron out and I have a question. Sometimes talking about money can get a little uncomfortable. Tell me, I wouldn’t be putting this offer as it now stands in jeopardy by discussing it with you, would I?”

Or you could say. “Thanks for this offer. I presume this offer is firm, right? I would like to negotiate on a few points and want to make sure that the offer, as is, is firm.”

This “lock down” move gives away a little negotiating leverage, but that’s the price of safety. It doesn’t guarantee they won’t talk to an interloper, but it has the strength of a handshake if they agree.

Now it’s time to shoot for the moon. Let them know your ideal compensation – ideal means the absolutely biggest package you could possibly imagine getting. Tell them the number, or range, and, most importantly, share as many indicators as possible that validate that amount. Use salary surveys, other offers you’re entertaining or applying for, projected earnings or savings you’ll create on the job, past earnings, recruiters’ estimates, and anything else you can think of to corroborate your number.

You can use a softening statement if you wish. “Mr. Employer, I’d like to tell you my absolutely ideal compensation; that would make me ecstatic; it’s probably out of your range, but I thought it would be valuable to share it.”

Imagine their offer of $150,000; you want $200,000. Traditional negotiations would ask for $200,000 and settle for something in between, like $175,000.

Instead, if you “lock down” the $150K, then you can share an ideal comp plan that would pay you $250,000 made up of salary, bonus, commissions, etc. You must then substantiate your gambit. You give the reasons your position should earn that, and then say, “So while the $250 is not unreasonable, it’s probably more than you planned on. Can we discuss how we can start to approach that number?” Those negotiations are much more likely to reach the $200,000 or higher level.

This is a result of a scientifically proven pattern of human behavior, called anchoring that can actually “lift” one set of numbers higher to meet another higher set of numbers that’s already “out there.”

Let me explain. In a controlled experiment, they brought in a piece of original artwork and selected a random group of people to participate in a bidding process. Before the bidding opened though, they had all the participants write down on a piece of paper the last two digits of their social security number. Without exception the bidders with higher numbers on the tail end of their SSN, bid higher for the painting. Why? Certainly not because their SSN had anything to do with the value of the painting but because we are hard wired to think of higher numbers once a higher number (in this case the act of writing down the last two digits of their social) is in play.

A word of caution: anchoring works both ways. Pick a number that’s too low and you can actually drag the whole process, and the offer along with it, down.

So, in summary, if it is security alone you’re looking for, let them go first and accept the offer and try to pull it up. If, however, you’re willing to sacrifice a little security and a little leverage, follow this procedure:

1. Wait for the offer

2. Follow the lockdown maneuver to lock the offer in with a “gentleman’s agreement.”

3. Share your ideal compensation package with full justification acknowledging that your ideal is probably not a realistic option in this situation. Remember, the purpose is to get a higher number “out” which will almost by magic draw their counter number higher than the original top of their range.

4. You settle on a number somewhere in the middle, which will be less than your ideal but is guaranteed to be higher than their offer and almost assuredly higher than the top of their original range.

This process, depending on your salary range, can add five and even six figures to your compensation plan. I can tell you from experience, it already has – many times!

15 Suggestions for 2011 Executive Career Goals By: Christian Pielow

15 Suggestions for 2011 Executive Career Goals

Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We all know New Year’s resolutions are often just promises to ourselves that will be forgotten after a few weeks, but what about setting career goals? Knowing where you want to go over the next year is essential, and although this can be decided anytime, there is no better time than now to work that out.

To help you along, we have created a list of 15 suggestive goals for the year ahead. Ask yourself which ones appeal to you and begin to work out when and how you will achieve these goals.

1. Improve on last year
The most measurable target in this list, follow your figures month to month from 2010 and take steps to improve your results.

2. Diversify
Diversifying your experiences and knowledge base is essential if you wish to move up the ladder. Get involved in new projects and make connections with colleagues in new departments.

3. Become more educated
Gain a new professional or academic qualification and future-proof your career.

4. Build your professional network
Increase business opportunities, create a safety net in case of job loss and/or prepare for your next executive job search.

5. Get published in trade magazines, websites or blogs
A great way to build your name publicly, rise to the top of search engines and get on the radar of executive recruiters.

6. Get a promotion
Be clear to your boss about what you want and take steps to achieve it. You should be planning your career ladder, not waiting for progress to come your way.

7. Change industry or function
Is this the year you decide to move into your ideal industry or function? Or do you think you want to gain more experience in your current role? If the answer is the latter, make sure you take steps towards transitioning through volunteer/part-time work experience, networking or higher education.

8. Change organization
If you plan to move into a new executive job without changing industries or functions, make sure you begin building your network and creating target lists of employers / positions – even if you don’t plan to move for the next 6-9 months it is essential you know where you want to go.

9. Relocate
So you want to move region altogether? Learn the necessary language, build your network through professional associations and online/offline networking, and research all aspects of the move.

10. Become a mentor
It is well known that if you help others, benefits will soon come your way. Help someone else out with their career this year and soon you will see the rewards.

11. Create more business partnerships
Has your business strategy become too insular or are you simply not taking advantage of all the partnership opportunities out there? Look to those organizations and people in your career space and build connections to reach a wider, more qualified audience.

12. Negotiate your salary –
Do you feel underpayed? Perhaps now is the time to negotiate – 4 Steps to Salary Negotiation Success.

13. Correct your work / life balance
Stop letting work take over your personal life! It is in your control and if you dont stop the inbalance now, you are creating a pattern that will last your entire career.

14. Solidify your stability
Work out what you are uniquely valued for in your position and ensure others know your value - 5 Ways to Market Your Talents and Build Personal Brand.

15. Discover your passion
Although this may seem like a self-help slogan, perhaps 2011 is the time to rethink your priorities and discover exactly what it is in your job and personal life that you are passionate for.

Once you have decided on your career goals for 2011, make sure you monitor your progress and celebrate as you acheive milestones. Goodluck!

PRESENTED BY: Executive Leadership, LLC SPECIALIZING IN: Career Transformation/Change and Executive Coaching/Development WEBSITE: http://www.exec-leadershipLLC.com
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8 Things to Avoid in Your Executive Job Search

8 Things to Avoid in Your Executive Job Search

By: Christian Pielow
Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Luoise Kursmark, a highly experienced resume writer and career coach, recently asked a number of senior executive recruiters in the AESC / BlueSteps Executive Search Network on Linkedin, ‘What are your biggest candidate turn-offs?’ Following a number of responses, read on to discover the DO’s and DON'Ts when contacting executive recruiters or headhunters, then make sure you join the conversation:

1. Do not mass email

DON'T: Many executives send their resume to every executive recruiter listed on the company website – letting everyone there know you are blasting your resume everywhere possible.

DO: Instead, target executive recruiters via industry, function and location – usually listed on their website, or comprehensively found in the BlueSteps International Search Firm Directory. Executive recruiters or headhunters want to deal with candidates who are focused in their job search, know where they have come from, and exactly where they want to go.

2. Read the job description

DON'T: Applying or expressing interest for a job that in no way matches your career history or path is a good way to leave a lasting bad impression with executive recruiters. Too many executives send off generic applications to every position they come across - seeing the job search as a numbers game.

DO: Only apply for executive positions that you strongly feel you are qualified for and match your career path, do not apply for every position out there as you will come across as desperate instead of a highly respected executive transitioning into the next stage of your career.

3. Attitude of entitlement

DON'T: Loiuse Kursmark rightfully mentioned this as it is a huge problem for executive recruiters and headhunters. Candidates often have the attitude that headhunters must dedicate themselves to the job seeker and find you a job. This is not the case.

DO: When dealing with senior executive level positions the executive recruiter is working for the client, not the candidate. Yes they look for great candidates, but their time is dedicated to the client and if you do not match any current executive searches they do not have the resources to find you a job. Be targeted and positive but do not expect anything.

4. Spelling / grammar mistakes

DON'T: Have you ever read an article with many spelling or grammar mistakes? What was the feeling left ? For me it demonstrates a rushed piece of writing with a lack of dedication and lack of second look – all things that should not lack in a carefully constructed CV or resume.

DO: Get a second, third or even fourth review of your resume by peers and professionals to eliminate this simple, but important problem. BlueSteps members get a free resume review after joining.

5. Not being to the point

DON'T: When contacting executive recruiters, not being extremely clear and to the point will lead your email to be passed by and forgotten.

DO: Make sure you know your elevator pitch and how to put this down on paper, and ensure that you are industry / function specific in your message.

6. Tailor / personalise

DON'T: To whom it may concern or using a company name is not acceptable when trying to establish relationships with senior executive recruiters – you would not start a relationship with anyone else this way.

DO: As related to mass emailing above, find the personal contact and tailor your message specifically to them.

7. Do not lie or exaggerate the truth

DON'T: Whether you are elaborating on minimal experience in one area or completely fabricating others, any exaggerations of professional accomplishments will soon be discovered in interviews or future discussions.

DO: Stick to your core strengths and you will soon realise exaggerating is surplus to requirement and just dilutes your professional image – we cannot and should not be experts at everything. And if you really do not meet the requirements, think twice about applying (not to discourage aspirations but you should be targeted in your job search).

8. Do not just have a functional resume – must also be chronological

DON'T: Functional resumes are used to highlight key achievements, usually in a section at the top titled ‘professional achievements’ or similar. However, executive recruiters will also need to see a chronological history of your career - omitting this suggests you may have something to hide.

DO: Once again, seek peer review and professional support to create a resume / CV that is effective at marketing you and your career achievements.

PRESENTED BY: Executive Leadership, LLC SPECIALIZING IN: Career Transformation/Change and Executive Coaching/Development WEBSITE: http://www.exec-leadershipLLC.com
If you no longer wish to receive email blog updates from Executive Leadership LLC please send an email to cb@exec-leadershipllc.com with "BLOG UNSUBSCRIBE" in the Subject box. Thank You.

BlueSteps 2011 Executive Mobility Report By: Christian Pielow

BlueSteps 2011 Executive Mobility Report

By: Christian Pielow Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011

Senior executives are open to new career opportunities, and expect to make lateral moves as competition for executive job opportunities increases. This survey of senior executive members of BlueSteps was conducted from March 1st – April 1st 2011, and received 1,348 responses, including 48% from the Americas, 32% from EMEA and 20% from Asia Pacific. See the end for key trends in the emerging markets.

Fewer Opportunities for Upward Growth as Executives Seek Lateral Moves

73% of Senior Executives Considering New Career Opportunities, But Not Expecting a Promotion

The BlueSteps 2011 Executive Mobility Report shows that 73% of employed senior executives are actively seeking new job opportunities this year, but the majority expects it to be a lateral move. In marked contrast to the 2009 Executive Mobility Report, where 34% of executives expected to stay at their level for just one year before progressing upwards, 65% of executives are now saying they plan to stay at their current level for the next three to five years.

The global job market for senior executives, while picking up dramatically since the global recession of 2008, varies greatly by region. Executives in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions report having more opportunities than they had 5 years ago (40% and 46% respectively) whilst respondents in the Americas said they have fewer opportunities (45%).

Peter Felix, President of the Association of Executive Search Consultants and BlueSteps.com, commented “Senior executives around the world are eager and ready to make career moves after waiting out the recession and the unstable economy of the last few years. That said, trends in the senior executive job market are making it more difficult to move up the ladder quickly, especially in the West where many executives have put off retirement. Trends in the Emerging Markets are slightly different - with the growth of multi-nationals in these regions, executives have more opportunity than ever, and can therefore progress their careers faster.”

The report shows that 58% of executives around the world believe there is now more competition for executive level jobs compared with 5 years ago, with the competition changing to include younger and out of work executives. A large percent of female respondents (46%) feel they now have fewer opportunities for senior level positions than 5 years ago.

Despite the growth in cross-border opportunities and the strength of the emerging markets, 2011 findings show a slight decline in the willingness to relocate internationally for a career opportunity (down to 63% in 2011 from 70% in 2009). Relocating family remains the biggest concern about relocation (47% in both 2009 and 2011).

Regional Trends:
Indian executives are looking to progress far quicker than the global average - 65% of global respondents plan to stay at their current level for the next three to five years, whereas 66% of executives in India are expecting to progress after only 1-2 years.
Indian, Australian and Chinese executives are some of the most mobile executives in the world, with 92% of executives in China, 87% in India, and 70% in Australia willing to relocate overseas for an executive position.
Brazilian and Chinese senior executives are the most optimistic about the executive job market - 59% in Brazil and 57% in China report an increase in executive opportunities since 5 years ago. Far ahead of other nations, just 27.2% of executives in the US (and 37% of all respondents) feel they have more opportunities now compare to 5 years ago.
A full copy of the AESC’s Q1 2011 State of the Executive Search Industry report is available upon request to AESC / BlueSteps members and the press - contact cpielow@aesc.org.

PRESENTED BY: Executive Leadership, LLC SPECIALIZING IN: Career Transformation/Change and Executive Coaching/Development WEBSITE: http://www.exec-leadershipLLC.com
If you no longer wish to receive email blog updates from Executive Leadership LLC please send an email to cb@exec-leadershipllc.com with "BLOG UNSUBSCRIBE" in the Subject box. Thank You.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


May 2011
BY: Nexsen Pruet, PLLC

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that the anti-retaliation provision
of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) extends to an employee’s oral complaints. The
anti-retaliation provision, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3), makes it illegal for an employer “to discharge
or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has
filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related
to [the FLSA]...” (emphasis added). In Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.,
131 S.Ct. 1325 (2011), the Court held that the term “any complaint” includes oral and
written complaints. The decision in Kasten continues a recent trend of rulings that have
expanded employment-related anti-retaliation laws.
Facts of Case
In October 2006, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. employee Kevin Kasten
allegedly began orally complaining that the location of the company’s time clocks prevented
employees from being paid for time they spent donning and doffing required protective
gear prior to reporting to their job location and after finishing their shifts. From October
through December 2006, the company disciplined Kasten for failing to clock in and out as
required by company policy. A third warning, issued in November 2006, resulted in a one day
suspension. Kasten allegedly continued to complain about the location of the time
clocks and did not clock in and out as required. Ultimately, the company suspended Kasten
on December 6, and then terminated his employment five days later.
Following his termination, Kasten filed a lawsuit against Saint-Gobain in which he
claimed he had been fired in retaliation for his complaints about the location of the time
clocks. A federal district court ruled in favor of Saint-Gobain, finding that the FLSA’s antiretaliation
provision did not apply to oral complaints. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit Court
of Appeals also ruled in favor of Saint-Gobain. The Supreme Court disagreed and reversed
the lower courts’ decisions.
Supreme Court’s Ruling
The Court conducted a lengthy statutory interpretation exercise to reach the
conclusion that the anti-retaliation provision extends to oral complaints. First, it determined
that the word “file” has different meanings depending on context; therefore, a simple
dictionary definition application of “file” did not resolve the issue of whether the word
applies to both oral and written complaints. The Court then turned to an analysis of what
it referred to as “functional considerations.”
In conducting this additional analysis, the Court looked to Congress’ intent in
enacting the FLSA. Reasoning that Congress intended for the statute to cover oral
complaints, it observed that a narrow interpretation of the term “filed any complaint” would
undermine the FLSA’s purpose of prohibiting “labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance
of the minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and general well-being
of workers.” Referencing a quote by Franklin Roosevelt at the time of enactment of the
FLSA, the Court noted, “Why would Congress want to limit the [FLSA] enforcement
scheme’s effectiveness by inhibiting use of the Act’s complaint procedure by those who
would find it difficult to reduce their complaints to writing, particularly the illiterate, less
educated, or overworked workers who were most in need of the Act’s help at the time of
To further support its decision, the Court cited the views of federal administrative
agencies to which Congress has delegated the right to enforce laws such as the FLSA.
It specifically noted that the U.S. Secretary of Labor has interpreted “any complaint” to
cover oral and written complaints. The Court similarly cited the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission and held that these federal agencies’ interpretations are
reasonable and consistent with the FLSA.
Addressing Saint-Gobain’s argument that oral complaints would not provide sufficient
notice to an employer that an employee has actually made an FLSA complaint, the Court
held that in order for a complaint to fall within the protection of the anti-retaliation provision,
a complaint “must be sufficiently clear and detailed for a reasonable employer to understand
it, in light of both content and context, as an assertion of rights protected by the statute
and a call for their protection.”
Practical Impact
The Court’s ruling does not create a need for wholesale changes. It does, however,
create an opportunity for a checkup on policies and practices for the intake and handling
of workplace complaints. Retaliatory acts can create liability. Accordingly, employers
should ensure that supervisors, especially front-line supervisors, have up-to-date training
and understand the importance of promptly addressing oral and written complaints of
all types, without taking any retaliatory action. In the event an oral or written complaint
is made by an employee, the employer should be prepared to promptly investigate and
take any necessary corrective action. Finally, employers should clarify – through their
policies, employee handbooks and training practices – that employees will not face
retaliation if they make oral or written complaints under the FLSA or other similar
employment laws.

This advisory is a publication of Nexsen Pruet, PLLC. It is not intended, nor should it be used, as a substitute for specific legal advice as legal counsel may only be given in response to inquiries regarding particular situations.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Law Prohibits Maryland Employers from Using Applicant and Employee Credit Information

May 13, 2011
Employers Need to Know
Employment Law Alerts from
Ober|Kaler's Employment Group


New Law Prohibits Maryland Employers from Using Applicant and Employee Credit Information

Effective October 1, 2011, Maryland employers, with limited exception, will no longer be able to request or use
an applicant's or employee's credit report or credit history to make employment decisions.
The Job Applicant Fairness Act, passed by the Maryland General Assembly this session, applies to employers
of all sizes. The Act allows an employer to request or use an applicant's or employee's credit information only
after an offer of employment has been extended. Yet, even then, credit information cannot be used to deny
employment, terminate the employee, or determine the terms, conditions and privileges of employment,
including compensation.
However, an employer with a "bona fide purpose" that is "substantially job-related" can continue to request and
use an applicant's or employee's credit information, if such use is disclosed in writing to the applicant or
employee, and the position available, is managerial, allows the employee access to personal information,
involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer, provides for an expense account, debit or credit card for the
employee or allows the employee access to confidential business information.
The Act does not apply to employers that are (1) required under federal or state law to request an applicant's
or employee's credit information, (2) financial institutions and subsidiaries that accent federally insured
deposits, (3) credit union share guaranty corporations approved by the Maryland Commissioner of Financial
regulation or (4) investment advisors registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry will enforce this Act. Violators can be assessed a civil
penalty of up to $500 for an initial violation and up to $2500 for repeat violation.
Maryland is the fifth state to adopt this type of statute, after Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Illinois. Eighteen
other states are considering or have recently considered similar legislation.
For more information on this Act and how it applies to your business please contact your Ober|Kaler
Employment and Labor attorney (www.ober.com/practices/employment-attorneys).
About Ober|Kaler
Ober|Kaler is a national law firm that provides integrated regulatory, transaction and litigation services to
financial, health care, construction and other business organizations. The firm has more than 130 attorneys in
offices in Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC and Falls Church, VA. For more information, visit www.ober.com.
This publication contains only a general overview of the matters discussed herein and should not be construed
as providing legal advice.
Copyright© 2011, Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver

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Until Death Do Us Part -- Marriage, Work and the MHRA


Until Death Do Us Part -- Marriage, Work and the MHRA

Managing married co-workers presents a unique challenge for any employer, especially if one spouse separates from employment on
bad terms. Some employers may be tempted to divorce themselves from the remaining employee. That's a temptation that must be
avoided, the Minnesota Supreme Court said on April 13, 2011 in Taylor v. LSI Corp., http://bit.ly/iWaJTY.
In the Taylor case, LeeAnn and Gary Taylor were married, and they both worked for LSI. He was the company's president; she was
its sales and marketing coordinator. After Mr. Taylor offered a "forced" resignation, but before that resignation took effect, LSI fired
Mrs. Taylor. According to the Taylors, LSI fired her because the company believed she would feel uncomfortable or awkward staying
with the company after Mr. Taylor's departure. Mrs. Taylor also claimed to have been told that, "due to her husbandıs situation . . .
and the fact that it was likely [the Taylors] were going to have to relocate, [LSI] was eliminating [her] position." The company
claimed to have legitimate business reasons for dismissing Mrs. Taylor.
Mrs. Taylor then sued LSI, claiming that her termination violated the marital discrimination provisions of the Minnesota Human
Rights Act (MHRA), http://bit.ly/la9EWA. A key issue in the case was whether or not Mrs. Taylor had a legitimate claim when LSI's
actions were not "directed at the institution of marriage." Marital discrimination has long been prohibited by the MHRA, but in 1984
the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in another case that in order for a marital status discrimination claim to exist under the MHRA,
there had to be evidence that the employer's actions were "directed at the institution of marriage," not just evidence that one spouse
was treated adversely because of the other spouse's situation.
However, in the Taylor case, the court noted that since its 1984 decision, the legislature amended the MHRA to provide broader
protections for marital status discrimination. The legislature did this by re-defining "marital status" to include "protection against
discrimination on the basis of the identity, situation, actions, or beliefs of a spouse or former spouse." Based on this new definition,
the court specifically rejected the notion that the MHRA still requires a showing that the employer's actions were directed at the
institution of marriage. Thus, because Mrs. Taylor's claim fit within the new definition, the court allowed her claim to proceed.
Employing married co-workers presents special challenges, including how to treat the remaining employee after his/her spouse is
fired or otherwise separates from employment. As tempting as it may be to try to avoid discomfort and awkwardness by dismissing
the remaining spouse, the Taylor case makes it clear that doing so would likely violate the MHRA.
For more information about this article, please contact me at taj@alexandriamnlaw.com.
The comments posted in this blog are for general informational purposes only. They are not to be considered as legal advice, and
they do not establish an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice regarding your specific situation, please consult your
Copyright 2011 Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson, PA

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Arizona’s New Legislative Prescription For Employer Medical Marijuana Ailments


Fisher & Phillips LLP
attorneys at law
Solutions at Work®
Arizona’s New Legislative Prescription For Employer Medical Marijuana Ailments

Employers in Arizona exhaled a sigh of relief as Governor Jan Brewer
signed a new law Friday, April 29, 2011. Among other things, the
new law protects employers who take action against employees
suspected of working while impaired by marijuana or other prohibited
While the new law seeks to protect employers from all unlawful drug
use in the workplace, the law was a clear, direct, response to Arizona’s new
Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) passed by popular initiative this past
November. The MMA, adopted by a slim margin of just over 4,000 votes,
included employment protections for those authorized to use medical
marijuana under the new Act. It also created serious workplace safety
concerns for employers.
Provisions Of The Medical Marijuana Act
The MMA expressly prohibits employers from discriminating
against registered medical marijuana users and cardholders in making
employment decisions. The language in the MMA is so broad that it
generally prohibits employers from taking action in most cases against
medical marijuana users who test positive for marijuana metabolites
in routine drug screening tests, absent other evidence of on-the-job
While employers still may prohibit marijuana use and possession in
the workplace and can discipline or terminate those impaired by
marijuana in the workplace under the MMA, the Act has left many
questions unanswered. When, for instance, could employers conclude
that an individual is “impaired” and take action? And, could employers
transfer medical marijuana users from safety-sensitive positions?
Clarifications Under The New Law
The new law answers many of these questions, and provides
employers with several protections against claims of wrongful termination
and discrimination when taking action against those using marijuana or
other prohibited substances. First, the new legislation defines
“impairment” broadly. This includes any indicia that drugs or alcohol
“may decrease or lessen the employee’s performance of the duties or tasks
of the employee’s job position.” Symptoms affecting speech, appearance,
clothing, odor, behavior, and many others, may be relied upon in
concluding that an employee is impaired. Just as significant are the “safe
harbors” for employment actions based on the good faith belief of prohibited drug use and possession. You may discipline an employee or
take other employment actions if you have a reasonable good faith belief
that the employee used or possessed drugs in the workplace or was
impaired in the workplace.
Additionally, the new law permits employers to regain control
over safety-sensitive positions. You may remove employees from
safety-sensitive positions based on the good faith belief that the
employee is using a drug, including prescribed medications like medical
marijuana, if the drug could impair the employees’ ability to perform their
job duties.
What Should Employers Do?
These new protections are not unlimited. The law suggests that
employers may only receive these protections if they adopt formal drug
and alcohol policies compliant with Arizona law. Furthermore, you will
still face independent obligations under the Americans with Disabilities
Act and other laws, and should always evaluate employee medication
issues on a case-by-case basis before taking any adverse employment
To maximize your protections under this new law, our advice is that
you should revisit your drug and alcohol policies, consult with legal
counsel, and train supervisors to identify signs of impairment.
If you have questions about this new law or the MMA please
contact your Fisher & Phillips attorney or any attorney in our Phoenix
office at 602.281.3400.

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The Ninth Circuit Clarifies Application Of The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Favorably For Employers


05 | 3 | 2011

The Ninth Circuit Clarifies Application Of The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Favorably For Employers

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) may now give employers some teeth to enforce a well-crafted computer use policy. The CFAA punishes anyone who “knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthers the intended fraud and obtains anything of value.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(4). Although primarily a criminal statute, the CFAA also includes civil remedies and a private right of action and, therefore, has broad implications for employers who want to protect trade secrets and confidential data from unauthorized access and abuse.
In United States v. Nosal (April 28, 2011), the Ninth Circuit clarifies the reach of the CFAA in the employment context and provides some insight as to how employers may draft computer and data use policies to invoke the protections of the Act. Specifically, the Ninth Circuit held that employees not only violate the CFAA when they access a computer or database that they did not have authorization to access, but also where employees exceed authorized access by accessing information they were only entitled to access under limited circumstances. The facts of Nosal are instructive and, unfortunately, not unique. Nosal was an executive for the executive search firm Korn/Ferry International. When Nosal left his employment with Korn/Ferry, he signed a separation and release and an independent contractor agreement. As part of the agreements, in exchange for considerable monthly payments over a twelve-month period, Nosal agreed not to compete with Korn/Ferry for one year. However, shortly after leaving his position with Korn/Ferry, Nosal decided to start a competing business. To help him get started, Nosal enlisted some Korn/Ferry employees to use their computer accounts to access Korn/Ferry’s computer system and retrieve data, including executive candidate information that Korn/Ferry regarded as highly confidential proprietary information. The employees had authorization to access the executive candidate data, but only for legitimate Korn/Ferry business. According to the indictment, the employees gathered names and contact information of executive candidates maintained in Korn/Ferry’s database and transferred the data to Nosal. The Court recognized that Korn/Ferry had taken considerable measures to protect the confidentiality of the data in its database. One of the key points noted by the Court is that Korn/Ferry controlled physical access to its database using unique employee usernames and passwords. Korn/Ferry also had a strict rule that usernames and passwords were only to be used by the assigned Korn/Ferry employee. In addition,
Korn/Ferry had its employees enter into agreements that explained the proprietary nature of the data in its databases and restricted the use and disclosure of the data to legitimate Korn/Ferry business. Thus, when the employees transferred data to Nosal, they not only violated Korn/Ferry’s restricted use policy, but they also violated the CFAA because they exceeded their use authorization. In his defense, Nosal argued that if the CFAA was interpreted to include employee use that exceeds authorization, it would lead to prosecution of employees for innocent misuse or for merely violating the employer’s use policies. For example, a violation of the CFAA would occur when an employee who has been granted access to sensitive data out of curiosity looks at additional data. The Ninth Circuit rejected this argument and was persuaded that the specific intent and causation requirements of the statute provide sufficient protection from prosecution for innocuous violations of an employer’s use policy. Moreover, under the Ninth Circuit's interpretation, for a violation of the CFAA to occur, the employer must have placed restrictions on the employee’s permissible use. Therefore, to receive the full benefit of the CFAA, a use restriction policy should carefully explain what is and is not permissible use. Now is an excellent time for employers to review their computer use policies or consider adopting one. To take full advantage of the protections of the CFAA, a policy should contain clear and conspicuous use restrictions. At minimum, the policy should make it clear that employees may access and use information available on or through work computers only for legitimate and authorized business purposes, and that employee access and use rights will be deemed revoked if they use work computers for unauthorized purposes. Authored by Sheppard Mullin's Labor & Employment Practice Group

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The Return of Social Security No-Match Letters


The Return of Social Security No-Match Letters

By Richard M. Rawson and Minh P. Ngo
May 04, 2011

Effective April 6, 2011, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed sending employers “Social Security no-match letters” advising employers that the Social Security numbers (SSNs) reported for certain employees do not match SSA records.
These Social Security no-match letters had been put on hold since 2007 when a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing a proposed rule that would have made employers liable for the continued employment of an unauthorized alien if the employer failed to follow certain steps in responding to a Social Security no-match letter.
Employers are advised not to take adverse action against an employee solely based on the Social Security no-match letter. At the same time, employers cannot ignore these letters and should be sure to follow the instructions in the letters and the general guidelines recently published by DHS and SSA.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently developed general guidelines for responding to SSA no-match letters.The DOJ’s guidelines specifically state that:
• The employer should not use the receipt of the SSA no-match notice alone as a basis to terminate, suspend, or take other adverse action against the employee.
• Based on the SSA no-match letter alone, the employer should not reverify the employee’s employment eligibility by asking the employee to complete a new Form I-9 or by asking the employee to produce specific documents to address the no-match.
• Based on the SSA no-match letter alone, the employer should not require the employee to provide a written report of SSA verification, as such verification may not be obtainable.
SSA has also issued its own field guidance to its representatives on this issue. The SSA suggests that employers document efforts to obtain the corrected information and retain the documentation for four years.
These guidelines, however, are silent on what the employer should do, if anything, if the employee is unable to resolve the no-match. Under those situations, the employer should consult with legal counsel before taking any adverse action. Of course, if the employee admits that he or she has no work authorization when presented with the no-match letter, the employer is obligated to terminate his or her employment immediately.
The new SSA no-match letters differ slightly from the old letters. Unlike the old letters that listed multiple employees, the new letters identify only one no-match per letter. A
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sample of the letter is provided on SSA’s website.
Frequently asked questions
The following FAQs, also provided by the DOJ, help clarify exactly what an employer should and should not do in response to an SSN no-match notice:
Q: What is an SSA no-match letter?
A: It is a written notice the SSA sends to an employer, usually in response to an employee wage report, advising that the name or SSN does not “match” a name or SSN combination reflected in the SSA’s records. The letter cautions employers against taking any adverse employment action against the employee based solely on receipt of the letter, and explicitly states that the letter makes no statement about the referenced employee’s immigration status. Rather, the letter simply reports an apparent error in either the employer’s records or SSA’s records, and seeks the employer’s and, if necessary, the employee’s assistance in conforming those records. Please see the SSA’s website for more information on the SSA’s no-match letter program.
Q: If an employee's name and SSN don't match SSA's records, doesn't that mean the employee is not authorized to work?
A: No. There are many possible reasons for a no-match letter, many of which have nothing to do with an individual’s immigration status or work authorization. An employer should not assume that the employee is not authorized to work, and should not take adverse action against the employee. Such action could subject the employer to liability under the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1324b.
Q: What might cause a no-match?
A: There are many reasons for a no-match notice, including but not limited to: an unreported name change due to marriage, divorce, or naturalization; input errors by SSA staff; reporting errors by an employer or employee; identity theft; errors in reporting proper culturally based hyphenated or multiple surnames; and fraud.
Q: What action should an employer take upon receipt of an SSA no-match letter or other notice of a no-match?
A: To confirm that a reporting or input error is not the cause of a no-match, an employer, with the assistance of the referenced employee, should confirm that the reported name and SSN are correct. If no error is discovered, the employer should then advise the employee to contact the local SSA office to address the reported no-match. An employer should not use the no-match letter or other no-match notice by itself as the reason for taking any adverse employment action against the referenced employee.
In addition, employers should not use the receipt of a no-match letter or other no-match notice (or the fact that an employee raises any objection to the employer’s no-match
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response procedures) as a basis to either retaliate against the employee or otherwise subject the employee to heightened scrutiny. Doing so may violate the antidiscrimination provision of the INA or other state or federal equal employment opportunity or labor laws. While not required to do so, an employer may schedule (and document) periodic meetings or other communications with the employee during the resolution period to keep abreast of the employee’s efforts to resolve the no-match, and to determine whether the employee needs more time to resolve the no-match.
Q: Do no-match letters or other no-match notices create “constructive knowledge” that an employee is not authorized to work?
A: The mere receipt of a no-match letter or other no-match notice does not, standing alone, constitute “constructive knowledge” on the part of an employer that the referenced employee is not work-authorized. Only the DHS is legally authorized to conclusively determine an individual’s authorization to work. An employer should give a referenced employee a reasonable period of time to address and correct information contained in a no-match letter or other no-match notice.
Q: What is a “reasonable period of time”?
A: There are no federal statutes or regulations that define a “reasonable period of time” in connection with the resolution of a no-match notice. As a practical matter, a “reasonable period of time” depends on the totality of the circumstances. Of note, in the E-Verify context SSA has the ability to put a tentative nonconfirmation into continuance for up to 120 days. This recognizes that it can sometimes take that long to resolve a discrepancy in SSA’s database.
Q: What is the relationship between E-Verify Notices of Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) and SSA no-match letters?
A: Both rely upon SSA databases. However, DHS’ E-Verify program is specifically designed to verify an employee’s work authorization and provides workers with an opportunity to correct the SSA databases before making that determination. For more information on the E-Verify program, see DHS’ website. In contrast reports simply indicating that an employee’s name and SSN do not match SSA’s records do not make any statement about an employee’s work authorization.
Q: How can employers minimize the receipt of SSA no-match letters?
A: Employers can use the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS). SSA offers this free online service that allows registered users (employers and authorized third-party submitters) to verify the names and SSNs of employees against SSA records. Telephone Number Employer Verification (TNEV) is very similar to SSNVS, but it is an automated telephone service that allows registered users to verify names and SSNs over the telephone without speaking to an agent. Verifying SSNs through SSNVS and TNEV allows SSA to properly credit the correct earnings to the correct individual's
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earnings record.
These services can only be used for wage reporting purposes. An employer’s use of SSNVS or TNEV for any other reason (e.g., to verify work authorization), is improper and may violate the antidiscrimination provision of the INA. For more information, go to the SSN’s website, or contact the Office of Special Counsel through its employer telephone hotline at (800) 255-8155.
Q: Do any other types of organizations send notices suggesting possible name/SSN no-matches?
A: Yes. Other organizations issue notices or provide alerts similar to SSA no-match letters. They include:
• Commercial businesses that conduct employee background checks.
• Third-party identity theft inquiries.
• Health providers providing services to an employee under an employer-provided health plan. Employers may receive information from these sources by mail, email, other electronic format, or telephone. Such reports or alerts, however, should be treated cautiously, and should not be used as conclusive evidence of employment authorization, as these third-party reporting entities have no legal authority to determine an individual’s work authority and may not have access to current information contained in SSA’s databases. However, as in the case of responding to no-match letters originating directly from SSA, an employer should at a minimum follow the same policies, procedures, and timelines as it does for SSA no-match letters.

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This advisory is a publication of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Our purpose in publishing this advisory is to inform our clients and friends of recent legal developments. It is not intended, nor should it be used, as a substitute for specific legal advice as legal counsel may only be given in response to inquiries regarding particular situations.

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Specialist in: Executive Coaching, Career Management and/or Career Change.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Quirky Job Posting of the Week, courtesy the NFL
Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 2:19:06 PM GMT

Love football?-- The National Football League (NFL) is hiring!
Job title: 
Manager of Fan Strategy & Corporate Social Responsibility

Job Description:

• Develop, manage and market the NFL’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform, which requires coordination with multiple internal and external NFL stakeholders, including NFL sponsors, non-profit executives, and all NFL clubs.
• Oversee daily program management of all NFL CSR programs and projects, including leading cross-functional NFL CSR working group.
• Establish, cultivate, and manage innovative partnerships that maximize the reach and impact of the NFL’s CSR programs and strategy.
• Create and execute NFL youth and cause-related promotional activation across the NFL calendar of events (Super Bowl, NFL Draft, Thanksgiving, NFL Kickoff), servicing and deepening relationships with media partners, sponsor partners and local host committees.
• Strengthen current and new NFL business partners' opportunity to leverage their NFL partnership within their corporate social responsibility initiatives.
• Deliver innovative strategies and techniques for driving fan engagement and measurable NFL business results through priority NFL CSR initiatives (NFL PLAY 60/health and wellness), Breast Cancer Awareness and Military Appreciation)
• Manage CSR department budget.
• Support research analysis for new CSR and youth investments and activations.
• Play a key role within overall Marketing department in developing new and/or elevated NFL strategic fan initiatives (e.g., female fans)

• Commitment and understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility and its role in helping businesses deliver real results
• Ability to think and influence broadly and strategically, while committed to managing detailed programs and projects
• Ability to work independently and manage others
• Ability to work fluidly and consistently across a cross-departmental working group
• General brand, marketing and promotional experience necessary
• Understanding of the business of sports, sports media and sports marketing/sponsorship
• Strong presentation skills (oral and written) with both external and internal audiences
To apply, visit the NFL Career Center.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011


Center for Excellence in Advertising at Howard University’s
Making a Lateral Move into Advertising Program
Is Now Recruiting!!

The Center for Excellence in Advertising (CEA) at Howard University has partnered with
the American Association of Advertising Agencies (The 4As) to offer a certificate level
program designed to train mid‐level, non‐advertising executives with at least seven
years of experience in another industry on the concepts, strategies and business of
working in an advertising agency. It’s called “Making a Lateral Move into Advertising
MLMA is an intensive professional development program that combines training,
mentoring, coaching and hands‐on campaign development under the guidance of
accomplished advertising industry professionals and educators. We are seeking recruits
to participate in this year’s program and you are invited to apply by uploading your
information on our website at: http://ceahoward.com/talentpool/lateral-movers.php
The program is designed to help diversify the advertising industry by providing
successful mid‐level non‐advertising professionals with industry knowledge, networking
skills and the tools needed to successfully make a transition into the advertising
profession. The modules will include:
# 1 The Advertising Agency Business: How Agencies Work ● Advertising
Agency Careers
# 2 How Advertising Agencies Get Clients: Changes in the Advertising Model
●How Agencies Make Money
# 3 Understanding the Elements of a National Advertising Campaign
●Research and Account Planning ●Creative Messaging ●The Internet as
a Key Marketing Tool
# 4 Building Brands –Media Planning and Buying Public Relations ●The
Digital Strategy of Bringing a Brand to Life Online
# 5 Multi-Cultural: African American/ Asian/ Hispanic/ LGBT Advertising
●Targeting Various Niche Segments ●The Shifting U.S. Demographics
# 6 Customer Experience and Engagement ●Events ●Developing an
Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) ●Strategy ●Customer
Relationship Management(CRM) ●Ethics
# 7 Digital Part 1: The Digital Basics - Marketing and Advertising in Analog
vs. Digital ●Overview of Platforms ●Applications ●E-CRM ●E-Commerce
●Digital Retail Kiosks ●Digital Billboards
# 8 Digital Part 2: The Role of Technology in Digital Marketing ●How
Programming Works ●Interaction Design ●Back-end and Front-end
Activities ●Coding Language
# 9 Digital Part 3: The Internet Society ●Social Media ●Mobile ●Gaming
●User Experience
# 10 Digital Part 4 – What’s Being Measured on the Digital Dashboard
●Analytics ●Customer Data Analysis ●Important Metrics ●Search Engine
Optimization ●Search Engine Marketing
CEA's 2011 program will be 10 intensive weeks (two sessions per week) of advertising
training starting June 11th. The classes will meet from 9am to 5pm Saturdays and 6 to
9pm on Wednesdays.
During this rigorous executive level program, participants will be exposed to lectures,
presentations, homework assignments, extensive readings and case studies provided by
academic and industry subject matter experts. Participants will also have the
opportunity to work on developing advertising campaigns and meet industry executives
from the top agencies in New York who are in a position to potentially offer you a career
in the advertising industry.
CEA’s 2010 MLMA Pilot Program introduced five (5) new minority non‐advertising
professionals to the advertising industry! Participants’ backgrounds ranged from
bankers to music industry executives. Hiring organizations for our 2010 program
included: Egami Consulting Group, R/GA, Standard and Poors and Vivaki.
Successful professionals with seven (7) or more years experience working outside of the
advertising who have an interest in making a transition into the advertising industry are
eligible to participate in this program. Professionals should be creative and strategic
thinkers, excellent collaborators, possess strong written and presentation skills. If this
describes you, please submit your information now:
Wieden + Kennedy, BBDO, Omnicom, R/GA, WPP, Ogilvy, IPG, JWT, CBS, Digitas, Deutsch,
Gotham, Hill Holliday, Momentum, Saatchi and Vivaki
To apply for CEA’s 2011 MLMA Program, please click the following link and upload your
resume: http://ceahoward.com/talentpool/lateral-movers.php
• Once you have submitted your information, all eligible candidates will receive an
application that should be submitted by the deadline indicated on the
• If selected you will be invited for an in interview with agency professionals
Adrianne C. Smith – Executive Director: acsmith@ceahoward.com
Yla Eason – Director of Learning and Development: yeason@ceahoward.com
To learn more about careers in advertising check out this video:

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Getting A Job Through Unconventional Means

Getting A Job Through Unconventional Means

Before you can get a job, you need to know which job search strategies work and which do not. Take a look at these tips to find out how to make your job hunt more effective.

1. Hire a cold caller.

Cold calling to get a job really works–if you're good at it. Your ability to sell yourself on the phone shows exceptional sales skills, self-confidence, drive, and commitment. But most cold calls are executed poorly for the job hunt.

Debra Feldman is a professional cold caller at Job Whiz; you hire her to get you a job, and she can do it. By cold calling CEOs. What's the catch? She costs thousands of dollars. So consider teaching yourself the skill well enough to talk your way into a job where you can afford Feldman. You can definitely learn how to get a job from this as confidence on the phone will often help you with your career development.

2. Use proactive recommendations.

Instead of waiting for a hiring manager to ask for job references, have your job reference call immediately. This works well if you have a heavy-weight reference, like a well-known CEO or someone who knows the hiring manager. But it also works well if you have little career experience. In fact, if you are just starting out with your job search it's a great tool.

"The good employers have relationships with professors and they forward students who seem exceptional," says Joel Spolsky, chief executive of Fog Creek Software and author of the blog Joel on Software.

Also tap your job coaches. They tend to know students well after meeting daily for practice over the course of a few years. "A coach has extended knowledge of the students' personalities," says Tom Carmean, head lacrosse coach at Amherst University, who has given many references to employers. To start your job hunt off on a good start, this is one tip to consider for sure.

3. Stay organized with job hunt software.

How many times have you put the wrong name on a cover letter? Forgotten where you applied? Forgotten what the job was? You need to be organized right off the bat – maintain an Excel spreadsheet with all your contacts. This essential for the job hunt.

For a serious job hunter who recognizes that a hunt never ends, you could try JibberJobber, which not only helps you organize your information, but can bug you about the things you should be doing but might not be, such as following-up with a phone call. So to be successful in your job search, consider this technique.

4. Turn a non-job into a job.

Many companies use temp agencies as recruiting firms. Instead of going through the interview process, companies sift through temp workers until they find one they like. So when you find yourself temping at a company you like, give a star performance; even if the work doesn't require much skill, personality matters a lot in this sort of situation, so be fun and charming. And don't be shy about asking for full-time work.

Note that this tactic will work for an internship as well. Matt Himler, a student at Amherst College, started out looking for an internship, and shifted his focus when he saw an actual job was a possibility. He now gets paid to blog for AOL Money & Finance.

5. Use social networking sites.

Some, like LinkedIn, are full of professionals who understand that a good job hunt is not an event but a way of life. Most of these people are good networkers and emphatic about making sure they are in a job they love; definitely the types you should be hanging out with, so sign up and create your own profile.

"Ninety percent of jobs posted at LinkedIn are associated with a profile," says Konstantin Guericke, co-founder of LinkedIn. So you can find a job you want, then find a way to connect with the hiring manager through people you know, and you'll have a leg up on the competition because – as if you haven't heard this a thousand times – most people get their job by networking.

6. Date someone with a network.

Ubiquitous job hunting question: What if I don't have a good network? Match with someone who does and use theirs. Kay Luo works in corporate communications and has an extensive network that she just forked over to her boyfriend, a software engineer. His LinkedIn network: seven people, including Luo. Her network: More than 100.

7. Use U.S. mail.

You're probably not going to get past the automated resume scanner at a big corporation. Even qualified candidates don't get through. So don't even think about getting through if you're not a perfect match.

Instead, circumvent the system with snail mail. That's right. Go to Kinko's and buy some of that bonded resume paper that you always wondered who was using. Find the name of the hiring manager and send the letter directly to her. Chances are she receives 200 emails a day and one or two pieces of physical mail a day. So at least you know she'll see what you sent.

Chris Russell, who blogs at Secrets of the Job Hunt, says this tactic also works well at a small company where you can target the CEO.

8. Write a blog.

Don't tell yourself that blogs are for kids. They're not. They're for professionals to get noticed.

Himler, the Amherst student and AOL blogger, points out that blogging is very time-consuming, even for a college student. "College students are really into MySpace and Facebook. Blogging hasn't taken off. But in five years my friends will go into a profession and they will want to get their name out there, and the best way to do that is with a blog."

Himler fits in blogging with his full-time job of being a student and a lacrosse player, so consider that you might be able to tackle a blog as well.

9. Comment on blogs.

Realistically, most people don't have the time or mental energy to maintain a blog. But you can target people you would like to work for and start commenting on their blog. Bloggers notice the people who regularly send great comments.

This is a way to enter into a conversation with someone you want to notice you. This is a good tactic for not just hiring managers but also a person in your industry who is well-connected and could help you if he knew you.

Michael Keleman, who blogs at Recruiting Animal, says that recruiters who blog regularly turn their commenters into job candidates.

10. Be nice.

People who are perceived as nice get hired more frequently," says Robin Koval, co-author of The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness.
But you probably already think you're nice. Most people do. If you get jobs easily, then chances are you probably are nice. Or so talented you can get away with being only moderately nice.

The good news is that just taking the test could make you a little closer to getting that dream job; Harvard professor Tiziana Casciaro reports that just caring more about being nice will make you a little nicer.

Posted by: Terrance Williams

PRESENTED BY: Executive Leadership, LLC
SPECIALIZING IN: Career Transformation/Change and Executive Coaching/Development
WEBSITE: http://www.exec-leadershipLLC.com
If you no longer wish to receive email blog updates from Executive Leadership LLC please send an email to cb@exec-leadershipllc.com with "BLOG UNSUBSCRIBE" in the Subject box. Thank You.