Weird Workplace

B.C. retroactively fixes legislative gaffe; Recruitment riot in Sweden; Big Brother's hiding in your ID badge; But what holidays need to be accommodated?; They didn't cover this in orientation; A sign you may need a new director of public safety
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/24/2014

Big Brother’s hiding in your ID badge

LONDON, U.K. — Privacy may be a thing of the past, but Hitachi is taking it to the next level with technology embedded in employee ID cards that tracks every movement they make. The badges can track an employee’s exact location and also keeps records of all of the other staff members he has talked to — including for how long and how energetically, according to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper. It’s called Business Microscope and, yes — it even will track how long a staffer spends in the washroom.

B.C. retroactively fixes legislative gaffe

— The British Columbia government has introduced legislation to correct an oversight that technically meant there was no chair of its Employment Standards Tribunal between Feb. 13, 2009, and Oct. 5, 2011. The legislation, which the province called "legal housekeeping," was introduced on March 10 and will apply retroactively. It confirms the appointment of Brent Mullin as chair during that period, and it also confirms the validity of all decisions rendered by the tribunal in that period.

Recruitment riot in Sweden

STOCKHOLM — Police dispersed an angry crowd of jobseekers outside a Stockholm employment office in February after it called 61,000 people for a recruitment meeting by mistake. "Something has gone wrong with the mailing list... it has set off a very messy situation at the city office," said Clas Olsson, acting director of the employment office. Only 1,000 people were supposed to be invited. Sweden’s unemployment rate sat at 8.6 per cent in February.

But what holidays need to be accommodated?

POMFRET, N.Y. — Here’s a religion you probably haven’t encountered in your workplace yet: The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That’s the religion Christopher Schaeffer belongs to — he’s a Pastafarian minister who was elected to council in the Town of Pomfret. He wore a colander on his head during the swearing-in ceremony, according to the Huffington Post. The religion was founded by an atheist in 2005 and the colander is its symbol. "It’s just a statement about religious freedom," he told the local Observer newspaper.

They didn’t cover this in orientation

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A woman was arrested after she repeatedly called police from a shopping cart outside Publix, a Florida grocery store chain. Her complaint? A store employee was harassing her because he wanted the cart — which was store property — back. The woman, 40-year-old Catherine Dajnowski, called 911 three times. During the third call, there was actually an officer standing next to the cart. The officer ordered the woman to hand the cart back to the store employee, and she was charged with misusing an emergency line.

A sign you may need a new director of public safety

RIVER FOREST, Ill. — Tim Margis, a 38-year-old director of public safety at Concordia University, was arrested in February after allegedly masturbating into the shoe of a female university employee. Police were called after an employee saw Margis leave her office while buttoning up his pants and fastening his belt, according to the Oak Leaves newspaper. A university spokesperson said he has been suspended and banned from campus.

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