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Archives: December 2012

Iowa Supreme Court Says Yes, You Can Get Fired For Being ‘Irresistibly Attractive’

Sexy and you know it.

According to the Iowa Supreme Court, it is lawful for employers to fire its employees they find “irresistibly attractive.” This means even if there aren’t performance-related issues and if employees haven’t done anything wrong, firing them based on appearance is A-okay.

The case itself is related to James Knight, a dentist, when the court ruled in favor 7-0 (all male) that he was within his rights to fire Melissa Nelson, a female assistant he thought was too attractive. Per Justice Edward Mansfield, firings may be unfair but they’re not considered unlawful discrimination. Read more

Star Tribune Begins Contract Negotiations

The newsroom at the Strib in Minneapolis began contract negotiations this week in preparation for their current contract expiring Jan 31, 2013.

The union presented its first proposal Wednesday, which includes a proposed 5% extra pay for night shifts, holidays separate from paid time off, a limit to the number of temps the company can use, and a few other requests. The proposal doesn’t ask for a raise, which is interesting since the guild notes that covered workers haven’t received a raise in 4.5 years.

Guild co-chair Janet Moore read this statement at the negotiating table Wednesday:

We don’t expect to live like kings, we simply want to earn a decent standard of living to support our families.

Four previous go-arounds in the past six years at tables such as this, and nearly 30 years in this profession, have taught me a few truths. Among them:

If you do not offer a competitive match on your 401k plan, you will not recruit the talent necessary to lift this organization above and beyond its brethren.

If you do not treat your employees with respect and dignity, both financially and culturally, a contagion will eat away at the underpinnings of your organization. Good people will continue to leave. Friends, you are at a critical stage.

If you do not engage in a progressive, positive, relationship with your employees in the Guild, all the best-laid plans for the future will likely founder.

You have the opportunity in the weeks to start anew and craft such a relationship — where we join together to challenge an uncertain, but potentially invigorating, future.

Negotiations continue Jan. 8.

Worst Countries For Employees to be Laid Off: The U.S. & Switzerland

Ever wonder where the worst place is to be let go from your job? Wonder no more. The U.S. took the top spot and Switzerland followed in second place.

According to eFinancialCareers, our country and Switzerland favor the employer and make it simple for them to trim headcount. Here’s why: Every state in our country aside from Montana has “at will” employment.

Essentially employers can lay off its people for any time and for any reason. Sure, it is not supposed to be discriminatory but at will also means they’re not legally required to dole out money. Read more

Four Ways to Wrap Up the Year at Work

As you unwrap gifts and get ready to wrap up the year in the office, you may be one of the few who are actually working next week. Or maybe you’re stuck in the office today watching the clock until you can make a quick escape into holiday bliss.

Whatever the case, chances are you have some downtime at work before the new year kicks in. Here are a few ways to make the most of it. Read more

When Journalism Blends Into Your Life: What if You Spoke Like a TV Reporter in Normal Conversations?

Keeping things light here on a Thursday, we first heard about this clip on JimRomenesko and simply just had to share.

Let’s say you’re a reporter and lo and behold, on a date you find yourself inadvertently asking question after question to get the facts about your date. Or how what if you’re a blogger? You may subconsciously read magazine articles that seem too long as you create subheds in your own head.

Suffice it to say, this leads us to this clip and its question, “What if we talked like TV reporters all the time?”

Granted, the person in the clip was probably simply poking fun at the voice inflections but from a career perspective, we found it amusing to forget to “shut off” work mode in daily interactions. Enjoy!

New Study Shows Telecommuting Adds Five to Seven Hours of Work Each Week

Sometimes studies showcase results thereby proving what we pretty much already ventured to be true. This is one of them.

According to professors at The University of Texas at Austin, working from home equates to working more hours than in the office!

Per the results, more than 30 percent of participants who work from home actually tack on five to seven hours of work each week! This is compared to folks who work completely at the office. Furthermore, telecommuters are less likely to work a typical 40 hour schedule and more likely to work overtime.

Results published in the Monthly Labor Review revealed that telecommuting manages for work to bleed into personal lives. As per the press release, this reinforces the 2008 Pew Networked Workers survey from 2008 which indicated participants mentioned telecommuting technology boosted their working hours as well as the ability to work while sick or on vacations.

Elevator Pitch: Let ‘Go Try It On’ Be Your Virtual Stylist

In the latest episode of “Elevator Pitch,” host Alan Meckler talks with Marissa Evans founder and CEO of “Go Try It On.” It’s an iPhone app that acts like a virtual stylist. Users upload a photo of an outfit they plan on wearing and let their friends and the community respond.

For more videos, check out mediabistroTV, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Martha Nelson Named Editor-in-Chief of Time Inc.

Martha Nelson, editorial director of Time Inc., has been named its new editor-in-chief, as per WWD.

As the seventh person in 90 years history, she’s the first woman to hold the position.

Now she’ll run the ship at all of the titles whereas previously as editorial director she was at the helm of 17 titles within style and entertainment.

As per the piece, there are turbulent times ahead. Layoffs are anticipated after the holidays at Time Inc. and during the previous quarter, there was a loss in revenue within publishing to the tune of six percent.

Nelson told WWD, “It is a difficult time but it’s also an exciting time and, in some ways, the most exciting, certainly in my lifetime.”

As for her first initiatives in the new role, she’ll hone in on maintaining the magazines’ quality and also expanding their reach digitally.

‘U.S. News’ Ranks Top 100 Jobs of 2013; Web Developer Lands in Top 10

U.S. News & World Report ranked the 100 Best Jobs of 2013 based on a compilation of important information such as employment opportunity, salary, work-life balance and of course, job security.

Although the top of the list seems full of tech and healthcare positions, we noticed a few media-friendly jobs made the top 100.

As for the overall score, it was calculated by looking at several facets and weights associated with each one: Year growth volume (10%), year growth percentage (10%), median salary (30%), employment rate (20%), future job prospects (20%), stress level (5%) and work-life balance (5%).     Read more

Discover Announces New Staff Changes

Earlier this year, Discover magazine, purchased by Kalmbach Publishing, finally announced it was moving to Wisconsin from New York to be based with Kalmbach’s other titles.

About 20 edit and design staff were invited to move to Wisconsin; only two took Kalmbach up on its offer, Folio: reports.

So earlier this week, Discover announced its new staff lineup—13 new hires. The staff includes:

  • Two senior editors: Tasha Eichenseher, formerly environment editor and producer at National Geographic Digital Media
  • Siri Carpenter, founding editor of The Open Notebook
  • Kathi Kube, acting managing editor and former ME of Kalmbach’s Trains
  • Photo editor Ernie Mastroianni, from Kalmbach’s BirdWatching magazine
  • online editor Lisa Raffensperger
  • Bill Andrews, associate editor
  • Alison Mackey, senior graphic designer
  • Gemma Tarlach, associate editor
  • Breanna Draxler, staff writer
  • Elisa Neckar, editorial assistant
  • David Lee, copy editor.

It’s a good week, PR-wise, for Discover to announce these talented hires. Last week Discover bloggers Ed Yong and Carl Zimmer announced that they were taking their popular blogs to National Geographic (along with two other bloggers, not poached from Discover).