World briefs

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|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/04/2003

U.S. BILL REQUIRES DISCLOSURE OF EMPLOYEE MONITORING

Washington — American companies will have to tell employees if they monitor workers’ computer, Internet or telephone use, under legislation introduced in both Houses of Congress. Employees will be able to sue their bosses for up to $20,000 if they find they are being monitored without their knowledge. More than 78 per cent of large U.S. firms monitor employee communications on the job, twice as many as reported doing so in 1997, a recent survey by the American Management Association indicates.

E-MAIL OVERLOAD DOWN UNDER

Sydney — Australians have condemned e-mail as the number-one cause of workplace stress. In a poll conducted by recruitment firm Morgan and Banks, Australians placed e-mail ahead of stressors such as performance reviews, new technology and meetings. The printing out of e-mail is also believed to be the explanation for a five-fold increase in the consumption of office paper since 1983.

U.S. COMMISSION RELEASES IT WORKER STRATEGY

Washington —American businesses and educational institutions must form partnerships to address the IT worker shortage, the federal 21st Century Workforce Commission reports. Even rival companies will gain an advantage by joining with educational institutions, unions and governments to develop regional strategies to solve existing technological skills gaps, the commission stated.

JACK WELCH TAKES UP PEN

Fairfield, Conn. — Retiring General Electric Co. CEO Jack Welch will author a business book that will hit stores next year. The book will share the lessons he has learned leading GE over two decades while gaining a reputation as one of the world’s pre-eminent CEOs. Welch’s publishing deal includes a $5-million advance as part of a record-setting payment for the authorship of a business book.

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