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EEOC Can Collect Relevant Employee Data for Investigations

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can collect employee pedigree information that is relevant to investigations, reversing a lower court. The ruling stems from a labor agency investigation of a female worker fired for failing a strength test.

While it sounds a little scary to hear that data is being collected about employees, in fact the ruling is limited. The EEOC wants the information in this case to determine whether the company discriminated against women workers who had children by having them undergo a strength test before they returned from maternity leave.

How Businesses Can Inspire Employees to Exercise

As a business owner you have many concerns. Whether your employees make it to the gym is probably not one of them. But perhaps it should be.

The health and well-being of your workers contributes to your business. When your people are thriving and have time to look out for themselves and their health, they also have more and better energy to put into work. So here are five things you can do to help encourage employee exercise and ensure you get the best for your business, according to the Houston Chronicle.

3 Biggest Resume Red Flags

All things being equal, employers would rather have more job candidates to choose from. But if you're inundated with resumes, trying to sift the proverbial wheat from the chaff can be a challenge. Lucky for you, there are a few warning signs that will tip you off to an applicant's ability and attention to detail.

Here are three of the biggest resume red flags you should look out for when hiring:

Spotify's Sweet Parental Leave Program

The music streaming service Spotify announced a new parental leave policy this week that Ms. Magazine calls "impressive." The company is offering parents, whatever gender, 100 percent pay for six months.

Not only that. Spotify is also giving parents flexibility about how and when to take the time. The policy is being hailed by workers' rights organizations who hope that more American companies will adopt the Swedish cultural values that Spotify says is behind the new family leave.

Paid Holidays Are Not a Legal Obligation for Private Employers

Thanksgiving is next week and employees around the nation are looking forward to an extra day -- or maybe two -- off. Federal employees, in fact, petitioned the President to get the day after Thanksgiving as a paid holiday, according to Government Executive.

But the petition fell far short of the required number of signatures, and it looks like federal workers won't make money while shopping after all. Mind you, they do get Thanksgiving paid. So, what does this mean for you and your obligations as an employer?

H1B visas are known as 'The Holy Grail of Visas' both for the opportunity of everlasting citizenship and the seemingly impossible task of securing one. H1Bs are notoriously difficult to secure, in large part because of the requirements on both the prospective employee and the employer.

These requirements can be especially difficult for startups that are looking to expand with international talent. While a startup can sponsor an H1B visa, here are some specific challenges:

Invisible Coffee Makers Can't Enjoy Tip Pools, Court Says

While coffee gets much love in our culture, coffee makers will be cut of out of some communal tip pools. Specifically, in Montano v. Montrose Restaurant Associates, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found for waiters who complained that coffee makers who worked in the kitchen and should not share in their tips.

A waiter sued the Houston restaurant where he worked, claiming it violated federal law by requiring him to share tips with the coffee makers. The baristas in this case did not work in the front of the house, and the appellate court reversed a previous ruling that "the coffeeman was an employee who customarily and regularly received tips."

Apple Employees Won't Be Paid for Bag Checks

A federal court in California yesterday sided with Apple, and not employees, dismissing a class-action lawsuit by workers seeking compensation for unpaid time spent in bag searches. The judge considered the searches unrelated to work, Tech Times reported.

The lawsuit was filed by five Apple employees who represented more than 12,000 workers in 52 retail store locations in California. They claimed that Apple's searches took five to ten minutes every day and that, over a year, this amounted to $1,500 in unpaid wages per employee.

Top 6 Holiday Hiring Tips for Small Businesses

Finding the right people to do a job is not always easy. And holiday hiring can be a little harder because it usually happens in a hurry.

Experts advise against a harried approach to holiday hiring, however. There are some things you can do to ensure that you get the right people for the job and that means thinking ahead. Here is what a few human resources experts recommended on Monster to ensure effective hiring for the holiday season.

An undercover cover letter sting exposed employers as discriminating against disabled job candidates, according to the New York Times. Researchers sent thousands of fake resum├ęs and cover letters to employers, some purporting to be from applicants with a disability. The results showed that employers 26 percent less likely to show interest in candidates that disclosed a disability.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against disabled persons in job application and procedures. So how do you make sure your small business is ADA compliant?