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Just How Much Can You Trust HR?

Complaint-logging and confidentiality

I’ve noticed some of my coworkers becoming quite relaxed about their work schedules. I’d like to speak to HR and have the issue reported anonymously to management, as I would not want to alienate my coworkers and be known as a snitch. Can I ask my HR rep to keep the conversation confidential?

Jun 17, 2015 Coral Henning

Legacy in Waiting

If Mayor Johnson moves on, just what will he leave behind?

I think Mayor Johnson is ready to move on. He has been a big fish in our small pond long enough. The grand opening of the arena in October 2016 will likely be his public farewell, a metaphorical victory lap. Cuts ribbon. Drops mic.Take my prediction with a grain of salt. But if 2016 is his last year in office, how will he be remembered as mayor?

Jun 10, 2015 Thomas Dodson

A Voice for Millions

Acuity with Jeannine English

Jeannine English assumed the office of AARP president in June 2014. Previously, she chaired the AARP National Policy Council and served as president of AARP California. This year, she’ll be directing the organization in advocating on behalf of its 37 million members.

May 28, 2015 Christine Calvin
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Hand to Mouth

The laws and ethics of dying by starvation

Can people who are cognitively intact today decide to put into place directives stating that, if they ever develop advanced Alzheimer’s disease in the future, they want to go without food and water? Can someone forbid their future caregivers and nursing home aides from extending that spoon, as Don Reynolds puts it, if Alzheimer’s strips them of their selves?

May 26, 2015 Anita Creamer
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How to Handle the Office Bully

What are your rights?

My coworker is very aggressive towards me. I have reported this to my supervisor twice in the past, but nothing has changed. It’s getting to the point where I have constant anxiety about being in the office with her and feel if this continues I’ll be driven to quit my job, which I love. Is there any legal recourse I can take?

May 6, 2015 Coral Henning
Bernadette Austin, project manager, Domus Development; and Meea Kang, president and founding partner, Domus Development

Cracking the Glass

Local leaders weigh in on the state of gender equality in the workplace

Focusing on four sectors — STEM, justice, development and investment — we rounded up some of the city’s key leaders: a district attorney, a med school dean, the head of an FBI office and enough CEOs to rival “Shark Tank,” to get their take on how women are perceived in their industries, how that perception has changed over time and what it will take to truly reach parity.

May 5, 2015 Jeff Wilser
Design by Lily Therens; elements from Shutterstock

Groves & Fishes

There is water war brewing between farmers and fisherman

Facing epic drought conditions, Gov. Jerry Brown called this month for mandatory cutbacks on urban water use statewide. But the ag industry, which uses 80 percent of the state’s water, is exempted. This decision has struck a cord with environmentalists and fishermen who fear the drought will compromise aquatic species — and their livelihoods.

Apr 20, 2015 Alastair Bland
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Show Me the Money

Just because the workload increased doesn’t mean your pay will

I was originally hired for a position that requires me to be in office, working with clients already retained by my company to ensure their contract deliverables are on track. Three months after hire, I was asked to also start working to bring on new clients as well (without commission), something that was not part of my original job description. What happens when the job description and or responsibilities are changed without a change in wage?

Apr 13, 2015 Coral Henning
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Mind If I Push You Around?

Poll: Tell us your thoughts on bullying in the workplace

The Workplace Bullying Institute would like to see legislation put in place to protect employees from abusive coworkers or bosses. The California State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management says legislation would leave too much room for subjective analysis. What do you think?

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Mar 31, 2015
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Patent Problems: Who Owns the Idea?

Know who your inventors are before you file

I have been working on a new piece of light industrial equipment for several years but had trouble with a certain aspect. I mentioned it to a colleague, who had a great idea that I was able to use. I am getting ready to patent my invention, and this colleague is now arguing that he is the co-inventor and entitled to the patent and future proceeds of the sale or use of this patent!

Mar 25, 2015 Coral Henning
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Get Up

Our tax system should make upward mobility possible for all

California has long been known as the land of opportunity, but for too many residents, opportunity is receding. Inequality continues to rise even though California has one of the most progressive tax structures in the nation. Something more is needed.

Mar 18, 2015 Robert Hertzberg

The Next Wave

10 young professionals on our radar for 2015

Momentum is shifting in the Capital Region, and young professionals are leading the charge. General skepticism is being replaced with emerging optimism and a renewed energy that’s providing the catalyst for growth and innovation across our cities.  Here are the top ten young leaders we think you should be watching. They are driving the Capital Region’s evolution, and we anticipate you’ll see them at the forefront in 2015 and decades to come.

Mar 17, 2015 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart
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Social Digging

Where is the legal line when it comes to using social media to evaluate job candidates?

We’re hiring a new office manager and looking for someone trustworthy and friendly. Going through applications, we found that some of the hiring staff were able to view applicants’ Facebook profiles, either due to mutual friends or because of the applicant’s privacy settings. Are there any legal reasons not to do this? Can we raise questions during interviews based on the information we’ve learned via social media?

Feb 24, 2015 Coral Henning