Employee Sues Restaurateur for Workplace Abuse

Wed, April 18th, 2012 - 5:30 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Here is an interesting article and something you don’t see every day.   A nationally famous restaurateur is sued by a former manager for workplace abuse and sexual harassment.  Along with the law suit were allegations of racial discrimination.

Most of the charges were directed at Earl “Bubba: Hiers, Paula Deen’s brother and operator of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, Inc.

According to the article in the  Savannah Morning News…”Deen lawyer Gregory Hodges argued for the gag order, claiming the suit was meant to force a $1.25 million settlement under threat to the Deen brand’s reputation. Jackson alleges that Hiers sexually harassed her regularly and at times left her with a “reasonable fear of bodily injury with apparent ability to inflict such harm.”

The article reported…”In her 13-page answer filed Tuesday, Deen’s lawyers said Jackson’s claims against Paula Deen and Deen defendants were “scurrilous and false claims,” including alleged acts that occurred more than two years prior to the filing of the suit and would be barred by Georgia’s statute of limitations.”

“The suit lists as defendants Paula Deen, Paula Deen Enterprises LLC, The Lady & Sons LLC, the Lady Enterprises Inc., Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers and Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House Inc.”

This is a employment related lawsuit that will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Could You Be Hiring an Industrial Terrorist?

Fri, April 13th, 2012 - 5:22 am - By Gordon Basichis

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You could be hiring an industrial terrorist.  Someone who wants to do harm to your company, specifically, and your industry in general.  Someone who believes they have higher minded purposes and moral leverage, so they can expose all the professed evil doing within your business environment.

Here is an interesting concept…you are in an industrial sector related to animals, cosmetics, whatever, where controversial testing and practices leave you, the employer, open to added scrutiny and embarrassment.  You hire someone, thinking they are a good fit for the job at hand.  They tell you how eager they are to be there, how much they want the job.  And then you see their secret video tape on the Internet or on the news where your practices are exposed for all to see.  Not good.  Very costly.

So now, according to an article on Bloomberg Business Week… ” Undercover investigations of animal abuse and unsanitary farm conditions would be outlawed in eight states, including Iowa and New York, under an expanding effort by legislators who say the exposes malign livestock industries.

Montana, North Dakota and Kansas have already passed “ag gag” laws to thwart whistle-blowers, who have targeted Tyson Foods Inc., McDonald’s Corp. and Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC chicken suppliers. Iowa and New York are debating similar legislation, as is Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Utah.

Measures in those states, backed by Monsanto Co. and other agriculture companies, would halt activists from using deceptive practices to target producers in the $74 billion-a-year U.S. beef industry, or the $45 billion poultry business, as well as other businesses. Animal-rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States contend food safety will be compromised if abusive and unsanitary practices go unexposed.”

So no more side show/freak show secret videos where you can’t turn your head away from the ugly portrayal of mass food processing.  According to the article, such exposes have a notable effect on the decline of demand for certain foods.   Who wants to eat chicken, after seeing the still live chicken ripped apart by a slicing machine that was just out of alignment?   Or so the belief.  There have been closures of slaughter houses. There have been recalls of massive amounts of beef.

According to the article…”A proposal introduced last month in Nebraska would require cruel treatment to be reported within 12 hours, preventing those who go undercover of the time it takes to amass evidence, according to animal rights groups.”

Clearly, one person’s industrial terrorist is another person’s hero.  Exposure of cruelty in slaughter houses and packing plants have led to more humane practices.   Companies such as Chipotle and MacDonald’s have demanded their suppliers practice better treatment of the animals, including outside pens and gestation sectors that do not seem overly cruel.

But law makers and industry leaders claim the videos and claims that go with them are one side and misleading.  The whistle blowers are not being fair with their depictions.  But then that is the purpose of whistle blowers.

The thing is an ounce of prevention may be worth the proverbial pound of cure.  Background checks will often reveal an employment candidate’s affiliations and practices that may be a red flag for hiring.  Reference Verification may prove enlightening.

Morally and ethically, it’s a tough call.  Animal rights groups certainly see it their way.  Livestock companies offer a different perspective.   At the end of the day, there are two sides of the issue and nine different perspectives on this entire issue.  But like other things that are highly charged and controversial, people will see it as they wish to.

However, the prospective employee may have on objective, one very different from the potential employer.  The employer has something else in mind.  Tough call.   As for the laws being passed or being proposed, we will have to see how it all plays out.




Corra Group Measures Economic Recovery By Increased Employment Screening

Tue, April 10th, 2012 - 5:21 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra Group has determined there is at least a modest economic recovery based on a significant spike in orders for employment screening packages. The background checking service has seen more business from around the country and with specific increases in particular sections of the country as well as with particular industrial sectors.
“Employers are beginning to hire again,” said Gordon Basichis, Co-Founder of the Corra Group. “We are seeing increased orders as well as inquiries from new or prospective clients who tell us they are up and running and wishing to streamline their employment screening process. Needless to say, after a recession and a tough couple of years, employers are looking for a deal. We are only too happy to give them one.”


For the complete release click on this link

Philadelphia Courts Closed for Good Friday

Fri, April 6th, 2012 - 5:27 am - By Gordon Basichis

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For those ordering country criminal and county civil background checks as part of their employment screening,kplease be aware of delays in the Philadelphia Courts.

Philadelphia County Courts Will be  Closed for Good Friday.

In fact, most county courts throughout the United States, as well as Federal District Courts, will be closed for Good Friday.

Happy Holiday to everyone.

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