Even College Grads Can Have it Tough Finding Employment

Wed, February 8th, 2012 - 5:42 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Once upon a time, a college degree was a ticket to success.  If you had a diploma, a sheepskin, if you will, you could easily find a job.  You would make more money.  You were almost guaranteed a promising start to a career.  Not so much anymore.

An article in the Huffington Post points out that if you are a college graduate and lose your job you may be in the same dire straits as an employee with a mere high school diploma.  In short, all that money for school, all those student loans, and you still may be home living with your parents with the big event of the day being your mother’s grilled cheese sandwich.

Given that most employers like to hire candidates that already have a job, the market it even tougher.  The longer you are out of work, the tougher it is to find a job.  Which is why I guess I notice sales clerks at department stores, and others who look bored working menial jobs, appearing far too skilled for that job.   Sometimes I ask what they did before.  I hear everything from school teacher to engineer.  And, of course, this being Hollywood, some were formerly in show business, which has encountered its own particular share of downsizing.

Consider that a full thirty five percent of unemployed college graduates, including those with advanced degrees, have been out of work for over a year.   That is the same approximate percentage as those unemployed workers with high school diplomas.

Welcome to the modern world.

So, as I remember, parents and everyone telling us how that college diploma was the ticket to prosperity.  Now it may only entitle you to food stamps.

Welcome to the modern world.

Reminder About Medical Marijuana and How It Effects Employment Screening

Fri, February 3rd, 2012 - 10:22 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Several times this week I was asked by clients how they can administer to their employment screening needs given the Medical Marijuana allowances in fifteen states right now.   The inquiring clients were from California and other states and wanted to know if they could refuse to hire someone who had tested positive on his drug test.  As employers use the drug test as a background check for both their own concerns and compliance reasons–where they have a contract with a larger entity or government agency–there is bound to be confusion concerning positive for marijuana.

So I am posting this article again.  While much is currently tied up in the courts, and while we won’t have any real resolution concerning employment screening and medical marijuana for a number of years, here are some guidelines I posted previously.  That article was entitled,  Advice About Updating Your Employment Drug  Test Policy.

Here is an excerpt–

there are three possible  reasons to update your company drug and alcohol testing policy

  1. The impact of Medical Marijuana on your program;
  2. ADA amendments that now impact your program; and
  3. New DOT rules.

If you have not addressed these issues, you must do so. Here’s what is happening:


Assessing the Types of Workplace Violence

Thu, February 2nd, 2012 - 5:25 am - By Gordon Basichis

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I have  written much about workplace violence.   Employers in the United States and around the world are experiencing growing concerns about workplace violence. I appeared on Professor Donna El-Armale’s show on the Cal State University Television Network.

I recently wrote…Added Security  After Workplace Shooting.  The list goes on.

Now here are tips from Safety.BlR.Com entitled, 4 Types of Workplace Violence.


Here is an excerpt from the article…

“According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace violence comes in one of four forms. Some workplaces may be at higher risk of different types of violence than others, making it essential for companies to determine where their exposures lie so they can better mitigate their risks. The first type of violence is criminal intent, where the violence occurs as part of another crime such as robbery, trespassing, or acts of terrorism. Eighty-five percent of all workplace homicides fall into this category. Companies at higher risk of this type of violence are those that handle cash or drugs or who may be targeted by terrorists. The second type of violence is perpetrated by someone with a connection to the business, such as a student, patient, client, or inmate. The healthcare industry has a particularly high risk of this type of violence, as do police officers, prison staff, flight attendants, and teachers. While this category accounts for only 3 percent of workplace homicides, the majority of non-fatal violence is considered Type II. The third type of violence is worker-on-worker, which accounts for 7 percent of homicides in the workplace. All workplaces carry a risk of this type of violence, but that risk can be reduced by conducting criminal background checks. The final type of violence is carried out by someone with a personal relationship to a worker, and it accounts for approximately 5 percent of workplace homicides. This type of violence also occurs in all workplaces, but may be harder to prevent in those that are accessible to the public and/or only have one location.”


Added Security After a Workplace Shooting

Tue, January 31st, 2012 - 5:37 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Workplace violence is a growing concern, not only in the United States but abroad as well.  Various background checks can help screen out the more volatile candidates prone to commit to workplace violence, but because violence can be brought on through external factors as well as internal actions, employment screening background checks can only go so far towards prevention.

I have written about workplace violence on numerous occasions.  One such article is entitlted, What’s the Most Violent Job in Seattle

Essentially, companies need to have  effective processing in place so that employees can report  real and potential threats of workplace violence and that clear channels of communications are established.  Getting out in front of workplace violence, where possible, is one of the more effective means of dealing with it.

Here is an interesting excerpt in an article from Associated Press…”Security has been increased at Southern California Edison following a shooting at one of the company’s offices on Friday. That shooting, which took place in the Los Angeles suburb of Irwindale, took the lives of four people and the gunman, who killed himself. A spokesman for Southern California Edison refused to say what new security measures were being put in place in the wake of those shootings or whether the security measures were being implemented throughout the company. Meanwhile, the investigation into the shootings is ongoing. All of the victims of the shooting were supervisors at Southern California Edison, thought it is not clear if any of them directly supervised the shooter.”

Of course this may be perceived as yet one more situation where the gates are closed after the horses are out of the barn.  But then, in fairness, there are numerous incidents of workplace violence that most likely could not have been prevented.  Better to take measures to prevent the next incident than to maintain the status quo.

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