Illinois AG Sends Age Discrimination Letters to Job Boards, Protects Rights of 81 Year Olds To Apply For Jobs They Don't Want...

In case you missed it, the State of Illinois Attorney General is in the news for some premium PR/saber-rattling, centered around the fact that job boards like CareerBuilder and Indeed are trying to exclude older workers from applying for jobs they don't want.

Yes, the world has problems. This didn't make the list of 99 referenced by Shawn Carter.  Still, there's the Illinois AG, doing her thing.  More from the rundown on SHRM.org, notes that follow each section are my color commentary:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office alleged in letters sent March 1 that older job seekers are deterred from using resume tools and creating profiles on the nation's Madiganlargest job search sites—CareerBuilder, Indeed and Monster—because of their age, potentially violating the Illinois Human Rights Act and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Three other job sites, Beyond.com, Ladders Inc. and Vault, were also sent letters requesting information about the companies' practices.

Ok.  I'm interested.  I'm at the older age range of GenX, so this is me some day in the future.

In one example provided by the attorney general, 1980 was the earliest possible choice for users' education or previous employment start dates, effectively barring anyone older than 50 from using the tool. Other sites used dates ranging from 1950 to 1970 as cutoffs.

How dare they.  Tell me more.

Madigan's office asked in its letter to CareerBuilder why users cannot choose a high school graduation date prior to 1955, saying that the cutoff excludes those who are 81 or older from full use of the site's services.

"CareerBuilder is committed to helping workers of all ages find job opportunities and has fixed this unfortunate oversight," said Michael Erwin, director of global corporate communications and social media for the Chicago-based job search site.

Uh, OK.  CareerBuilder's not automatically configured to let those 81 years or older apply for a job in the buzzsaw of corporate America?  I get that the tools need to be configured in an agnostic way from an age perspective, but 81?  Kind of feels like CareerBuilder had it mostly right.  Now thinking this is some grandstanding the AG is doing so she can stump to the older crowd at Piccadilly when she makes the run for Governor.

"Remember when those evildoers at CB were trying to take away your right to apply for a job you had no interest in doing?  I was there for you.  How's the red jello today?  Is the early bird special still on?  I might grab a plate after I get done telling you how the Internet is evil."

Austin, Texas-based Indeed's resume builder drop-down menu went back to 1956. "This did not prevent anyone from manually noting an earlier date on a resume, but we did extend that menu to 1900 after hearing of the concern in the letter," said senior public relations manager Alex Ortolani.

"Indeed's mission is to help people get jobs, and we strongly believe that age should not be a factor in evaluation of employment," he said.

No shit. This could have been a phone call to the job boards to tell them to have the stoner developer in charge of drop down menus to dial up 1900, just in case that nimble great/great/great/great/great grandma wanted that call center job.  But no, we get a PR release to take a shot at Job Boards, because, you know - the AG really gets the intersection of job boards and age discrimination.

No mention in the SHRM article about which job board only allows those creating candidate profiles to go back to 1970.  Maybe that's someone that needs a AG whack across the knees.

But 81 years old?  How about you just call CareerBuilder to ask that they expand the drop down menu and be a partner to business?

Of course, if the AG really understood discrimination, she'd be asking job boards to eliminate options that needlessly force people to show just how freaking old they are - like drop down graduation date menus.  

Instead?  We want the option to show if your parents voted for Teddy Roosevelt on 1900.  

Rock on, Lisa Madigan.  Your understanding of age discrimination is stellar.   


AGEISM: Sharing This Article Only Adds To Age Bias, My Old, Misguided Friends...

OK, my over 40 friends, it's call out time.  Remember that I'm over 40, so I send this message out of love, not hate.  

Some of you are gainfully employed, but tired - I get that.  You see an article that suggests you shouldn't The intern
have to grind as hard as you do, and you love it and automatically want to share it.

I'm here to tell you that I understand. But I'm also here to tell you that you're acting like a complete fool.  It's subtle, but it's fool behavior that's a sucker's play by any stretch of the imagination.

My background on this starts with the title of the article, then what the article said.  The sketchy title was as follows - People Over 40 Should Only Work 3 Days a Week from some site called EatWorkGlow (some of the content appears below):

"Recent research by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research found that, whilst working up to 30 hours a week is good for cognitive function in the over 40s, any more than that causes performance to deteriorate.

In fact, those who worked 55 hours a week or more showed worse cognitive impairment than those who were retired or unemployed and didn’t work at all.

The study looked at 3500 women and 3000 men aged 40 and over, and made them complete cognitive function tests whilst their performance at work was monitored.

As most people have to go on working after 40, or even return to work after a break to have a family or for other personal reasons, taking care of your health, maximizing your down time and taking restful holidays becomes more important. Professor McKenzie says that, “Working full time – over 40 hours a week –  is still better than no work in terms of maintaining cognitive function, but it is not maximizing the potential effects of work.”

I looked at the entire article a couple of times. Nowhere in the body of the text could I find a statement from the researchers that suggested that People Over 40 Should Only Work 3 Days a Week.  That was a clickbait title put together by someone that wanted you to read the article and wanted to maximize social sharing.

You loved it. I know you did because about 15 people in my network shared the article. You ate it up like a kid eats an oreo when he missed lunch.  You also took the bait and shared it with the world.

And that's where the problem starts.  Here's what you did:

  1. You tried to celebrate the fact that experts believe you're at your best when you work less. You're over 40. You're tired of grinding because let's face it, this whole thing we do is exhausting.  You're also gainfully employed if you shared it, because no over 40 person out of work would dare share this title.  
  2. You hurt the over 40 crowd that's looking for work when you shared this. No one over 40 AND out of work would share this.  Because they already feel like people pass on them for jobs they're qualified for because of age bias.  What's that bias based on?  There are many angles, but one is definitely the fact that older workers just can't go as long or as hard as their younger comrades.  
  3. You hurt a future version of yourself (likely one with less energy than you have today) that will be over 40 or over 50 and looking for a job.  Let's face it, you'll have to plan on the fact that you're going to be impacted by a layoff or something similar in the future and be in the job market.  When you share a clickbait title that has a research element like People Over 40 Should Only Work 3 Days a Week, you're just making things harder on the version of you that's going to need a break 10 years from now.

Would you love to work 3 days a week now?  Yes, but you're gainfully employed.

When you shared that article, you made all the people over 40 and out of work throw up in their mouths.  Most of them are concerned about basic things - like providing for their families.

Your comrades over 40 don't give a #### about the number of hours it takes.  They just want a great to solid job.  You hurt them and the future version of yourself when you share things that imply older workers can't give the same level of effort/grind/hustle as someone under 40.

You're better than that.  You're old, but you're not stupid.  


You Know Harassment is Bad At Your Company When Your Annual Report Will Have to Mention It...

Um, yeah.

It's bad when you're on your way to harassment being mentioned in your Annual Report, which the Fox News Parent company will probably end up doing.  Why would they have to do that?  Because of three things:

--The speed at which they settled a harassment claim that just surfaced a month ago... Ailes-carlson

--The size of the settlement - 20M

--The fact that tens, if not hundreds of similar cases are gong to flow against Fox News in the next 12 months, which will look like a write down to a large class action lawsuit.

Why do we know this is true?  Fox News settled with former Fox and Friends anchor/host Gretchen Carlson in response to a lawsuit filed just a month ago.  The setup from the LA Times:

"Fox News parent 21st Century Fox moved decisively Tuesday to end the sexual harassment scandal that has roiled the media company, issuing an extraordinary apology to former anchor Gretchen Carlson and agreeing to pay $20 million to settle her lawsuit against her former boss, Roger Ailes.

“We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve,” the company’s statement said.

The unusually candid expression of regret over Ailes’ alleged actions demonstrates how much Fox wants the controversy to go away. Coming in the midst of a presidential election, the scandal had raised questions about the future leadership of a network that has long dominated cable TV news ratings."

Translation - the guy was a freak show and if we don't go to 20M, the probability of 60M is too high to deal with.  Do the deal.

But the dirty little detail behind this settlement is that it's far from over.  There are multiple other suits pending and let's face it, when you apologize for leader conduct and a lack of respect and dignity, you're not really going to have an appetite to fight any of those claims.

And there will be more claims.  Most, if not all of them, will be legit.  Fox News will pay. 

It's a form of closure for something that was institutionalized.  They'll pay without fighting, because things where so ####ed up. There will be a time, probably around the one year mark, when that will change and Fox will start fighting claims.

For now, they'll do a little due process on each claim and then write a check in accordance with the indignity and the size of the person's career.

It's what you do when you look up and find that your leader was a freak.  That has a funny way of rolling downhill to the rest of the company.


Sometimes You Get Sued and Your Best Employees Come To Your Defense...

It's every manager's worst nightmare. You did the right thing with some problematic employees, but then you got investigated/sued.

Getting sued is a scarlet letter.  Without question, it's much better not to get sued, but if you do the right thing and get sued as a result, sometimes you LOOK LIKE A BETTER LEADER THAN OTHERS AROUND YOU.

Such is the case with Missouri Softball Coach Ehren Earleywine, who's had a lot of success at Mizzou but was recently under investigation.  Here's a basic rundown of what transpired with the help Earlywine of reporting from the Kansas City Star:

1. Earleywine had been under investigation by the athletic department, and later the main campus through MU’s Office for Civil Rights & Title IX, for more than four months.

2. Former athletic director Mack Rhoades, who resigned July 13 to accept a similar position at Baylor, launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from several players alleging verbal abuse by Earleywine.

3. Missouri’s compliance department quietly interviewed team members during the season before the team’s Unity Council publicized the investigation May 7 by announcing the Tigers were playing under protest in a show of support to Earleywine.

4. After a first-round exit in the SEC softball tournament, Earleywine asked the players to end the protest, which Mizzou’s players agreed to do before hosting an NCAA regional. The Tigers dominated regional play, but lost to Michigan in the NCAA super regional round.

5. Missouri has concluded its Title IX investigation into Earleywine with no finding that he violated federal non-discrimination statutes.

Earleywine, a Jefferson City, Mo., native, is 453-154 in 10 seasons as Missouri’s coach. The Tigers have appeared in a NCAA regional every season of Earleywine’s tenure, advancing to a super regional eight times and appearing in three consecutive Women’s College World Series from 2009-11.

Here's what Earleywine said when the complaints first became public:

“There’s a couple of kids on the team that probably have things, exchanges between myself and them or different scenarios, that they would have liked to see handled differently,” Earleywine said. “I’m tough on kids. I make them accountable and there’s discipline in our program. I’m a throwback. If that’s demeaning, maybe, but it’s not about them, the person, it’s about their performance as a player.”

“I’m trying to build resiliency and toughness in people, and hoping that they’ll be better people when they graduate from here because they’ve been through some tough stuff,” Earleywine said. “Have I used some inappropriate language? Yes. Is that grounds for firing a coach? I think if you set that precedent, there won’t be a coach left in America. Outside of that, I’m not ashamed of anything that I’ve done.”
 
Here's what managers of people should learn from this:
 
1. There's an art to dealing with employees who won't get with the program. While you should treat everyone with respect, low performers and disrupters have to be addressed.
 
2. Tough decisions are yours and yours alone.  Don't expect anyone to help you.  This includes addressing low performance and attitude as the whole team sees it.  You've got to figure out the best way to deal with it.  Your goals should be to get performance out of the team as a whole, develop individual talent and treat everyone with respect.  But you have to be tough when circumstances and specific individuals call for it.
 
3. If you do what's outlined above - get performance out of the team as a whole, develop individual talent and treat everyone with respect - people will rally behind you if something bad happens - like a lawsuit, investigation, etc.
 
Of course, your employees can't attend a meeting under protest and make it public in a way that matters, right?
 
But your ability to deal with employees who won't get with the program is one of the most important things you can do.  And the reality is this - if you manage teams for more than a decade (especially if you manage a department with more than 10 people and multiple managers) and you haven't been the subject of a lawsuit or investigation of what I'll call nuisance value - you probably haven't been managing for results hard enough.
 
You play to win the game. Treat all with respect, but don't accept disruption or refusal to be part of a team.  Good HR pros will have your back - as well as some advice about ways you can avoid the investigation/lawsuit next time.
 

Non-Competes and Non-Solicitation Agreements: You're a Sucker If You Don't Think They Apply To HR

So you locked down your sales team and the techies who drive the value of your intellectual property (IP) with a solid, enforcable non-compete and non-solicitation executed at the time of hire.  Sure they balk and complain, but you get most of those signed.  Congrads, smart move.

What's that?  You're glad you don't have to do the same with your HR team?  Really?  You don't have your HR Managers, Director and VPs and all your recruiters locked in to anon-compete and non-solicitation? Trust-but-verify

You're either a sucker or rationalizing to avoid the conflict.  Of course, your top HR talent and anyone who recruits should have to sign a fair non-compete.

Think about it - we're talking a narrowly drawn non-compete and non-solicitation.  Your top HR team members (I say manager and up) and anyone who recruits should have to sign one.  We're not preventing them from working by signing the non-complete, we're simply agreeing that they won't take all the training, contacts, employees and candidates that they've cultivated during their time with you to your most direct competitors.

A narrowly drawn non-compete and non-solicitation doesn't mean HR pros can't find work.  If fact, the HR game is one of the best in terms of its talent being able to cross industries and work.  That "career portability" means your HR team can sign a non-complete that's properly drawn (example - we're a software company and you can't go to work for another software company in our city/industry or that recruits developers proficent in the same programming language as our company) and find work pretty easily if they're talented in the HR game.

Why wouldn't you ask them to sign a fair non-compete and non-solicitation?  Because you either don't think they're talented enough to get the same job with your top industry competitor, or you don't want the drama of walking them through it and requiring it.

Either scenario sounds dicey to me.  

Draft the non-compete and non-solicitation and put it in front of them.  Explain the narrow parameters and require them to sign it.  You'll be happy you did somewhere down the line.


All the Best Uber Drivers I've Had Want to be Contractors, Not Employees...

If you follow Uber at all (ride-sharing instead of taxis for the uninitiated), you probably saw this week that a court in California declared an Uber driver an employee instead of a contractor.

Earlier today, I saw this piece by the LinkedIn Editorial team - Chariot is Decidely Not the Uber of Employers. Uber

Which is to say that a lot of liberal sources think it's a travesty that Uber can manage its company on the back of contractors.  These folks think that's unfair - that all Uber drivers should be employees.

It's easy to agree with that, but here's the dirty little secret - the best Uber drives don't want to be employees - they want to be contractors.

Case in point - I'm about 40 rides into my experience as a Uber customer.  Here's a rundown of the best drivers I've had:

--The commercial real estate agent who was going through a messy divorce and needed money.  He not only did the ride, but gave me his card for all my ride needs moving forward in that city.

--The Middle Eastern guy who was finishing up college and told me about the software idea he and his brother we're working on the side.

--The middle manager in Corporate America who needed money for a trip his son was taking and was doing rides on the side.

Translation - the thing they loved about Uber was the flexibility - they could drive when they wanted to, and all of them had an end goal in mind.  They weren't looking to be employees, they were looking to be opportunistic and use the service towards their goals.  

Oh, and 2 of the 3?  Offered me bottled water that came out of their own pocket. Hmmm...

They were attempting to be entrepreneurial.  You gotta love that.  America, etc.

Making Uber drivers employees will end up in the "museum of unintended consequences"... We'll sue a firm like Uber into oblivion to force what we think is right, and as a result, Uber will staff up with employees during regular business hours - normal 8 hour shifts, etc.

And the entrepreneurial people I described using Uber for their own goals - they'll be dead to Uber because they can't be employees.

I get the laws.  But sometimes we kill the spirit of the best labor with laws.

Drivers who want to be employees or at least drive a car someone else owns?  They should go to a more formal place called taxi companies (although if the libbies dug in, they'd find not everything is kosher there).  And everything you experience at taxi companies is how we got to Uber in the first place.


Is It Insensitive When You Say a Certain Ethnicity Owns an Industry?

The business world is becoming increasingly politically correct.  Discrimination we all get – it’s bad.   Any employment act or comment that speaks to a Title 7 protected group can and will be used against you in a court of law. 

So we start to be trained to say nothing.  And the politically correct people around us love to remind us when we show ourselves as biased - even when we're referring to a positive trait of a certain group of people. 

“I’d watch saying something like that.”

 “Other races do the same thing.”

The more we hear, the less we say. That’s just how we get trained as things evolved around us related to discrimination in the workplace.

But the question I have is this – why is it bad to say that a certain ethnicity seems to own a positive trait, discipline or industry - especially compared to other ethnicities?

Example - At my son’s school, kids of Indian descent (continent of India) absolutely own math.  They just own it.  Everyone knows it, and I think it’s cool.  My son was on a college bowl team at one point in middle school and when a math problem came up, the white kids, the black kids and everything in between would just look at the Indian kid.

“Go get it, Pritesh.”

So is it bad to say that a certain ethnicity seems to owns something positive?  Because I’ve got another one for you, half related to nationality and half related to family name:

The Patels own the hotel industry.

Travel for a living and stay at a business class hotel – think Holiday Inn Express and similar properties that franchise out, and you’ll see an endless parade of Patels as owners, operators and managers.

The Patels absolutely own the business class and below hotel industry.  So I decided to look it up, hoping the politically correct police don't come after me for being so brash.  Here's what I found - More from The Chicago Reader:

After a while it all makes sense. You've just entered the Patel Zone.

And you're not alone. "Patel," mutters a salesman in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross. "They keep coming up....They got a grapevine."

Do they ever.

"People always ask me, 'Where do you guys come from?'" Jayshree says. "What's with all these Patels?" Anthropologists have been trying to figure that out for decades. So have the Patels.

"Well, I'll tell you," Jayshree says. "My mother and father were both named Patel, and so were my grandparents." She pauses briefly and counts on her fingers, then holds up seven of them. "It goes back seven generations! I guess it does seem funny, but it never struck me as odd. I like to think my daughter will marry a Patel, but I won't force her to do anything she doesn't want to."

Three thousand people named Patel recently descended on Miami for a convention weekend that surely would have perplexed every hotel clerk in the city if not for the fact that many of those clerks and their bosses are also named Patel. So are nearly 30 percent of all hotel owners in America, as well as at least half of all the convenience store owners in England and a growing number of Dunkin' Donuts franchisees.

"It's a common last name," says Bobby Patel, a former hotel manager in Chicago. "It's like Smith."

Except people named Smith don't go out of their way to marry other people named Smith, and the name Patel isn't nearly as common as you'd think.

The simple answer is that they're members of an Indian caste that emigrated here en masse. The complicated question is where do they come from originally, and how did they get all these hotels?

All Patels trace their ancestry to the Kansas-sized Indian state of Gujarat, but their declared homeland is the southern district of Kheda, which is smaller in area than the city of Chicago. Although one of the largest castes in Gujarat, they're far from being the largest caste in India. Still, just try finding a more common Indian last name in American telephone books. Not only are they plentiful here, they're prosperous. "Most Indians are lazy," says Nilam's grandfather, Somabhai Patel, whose Indian grocery store on North Kedzie was one of the first in Chicago back in 1977. "You go to India, and you see people sitting on the ground making little piles of stones when they should be building houses." He's only half joking.

The Patels own the hotel industry.  It doesn't mean they're limited to that.  They originate from India, and they've got a more focused identity they rally around. I think it’s cool.

More importantly, they're proud of it. 

Does it make you insensitive if you talk about an entire people related to what they're historically good at?  I hope not, because when you get out in America, that’s the way people talk.


Is Anyone Else Fascinated by the Abercrombie and Fitch Supreme Court Case?

Surely you're in professional awe of some of the issues in play in the current Abercrombie and Fitch Supreme Court case focused on Religious Discrimination, right?

Need a reset?  Here you go:

An Abercrombie and Fitch manager declined to hire Samantha Elauf, then 17 years old, at a Tulsa, Okla., store because the head scarf she wore to a job interview violated the company’s “look policy,” a dress code requiring staff to wear attire similar to what the store sells.

While managers correctly believed Ms. Elauf was a Muslim, she didn’t tell them her religion and its requirements, so the company's position is that it shouldn’t be liable for discrimination. To do so, A&F lawyers claim, “is asking employers to treat applicants differently based on stereotypes or assumption about whether something is likely a religious practice.”

Ugh.  Look policies and a connection to religious beliefs.  How you feel about this probably depends on whether you think candidates should always identify any personal appearance markers (head scarf, beards, etc) as being representative of religious beliefs.

If they identify, there's no question.  But it they don't identify, should you have the right as an employer to dismiss as a candidate based on something as nebulous as "look policy"?

Double ugh.

Here's a couple of Supreme Court Justices weighing in over the last week:

JUSTICE ALITO: "All right. Let's say four people show up for a job interview at Abercrombie. And this is going to sound like a joke, but, you know, it's not. (Laughter.) So the first is a Sikh man wearing a turban; the second is a Hasidic man wearing a hat; the third is a Muslim woman wearing a hijab; the fourth is a Catholic nun in a habit. Now, do you think ... that those people have to say, 'We just want to tell you, we're dressed this way for a religious reason. We’re not just trying to make a fashion statement.'?"

JUSTICE KAGAN: "But you're essentially saying that the problem with the rule is that it requires Abercrombie to engage in what might be thought of as an awkward conversation, to ask some questions. Now, people can disagree about whether one can ask those questions in a way that's awkward at all, but you’re saying we should structure the whole legal system to make sure that there is no possibility of that awkward conversation ever taking place. But the alternative to that rule is a rule where Abercrombie just gets to say, 'We're going to stereotype people and prevent them from getting jobs. We'll never have the awkward conversation because we're just going to cut these people out and make sure that they never become Abercrombie employees.' Now, between those two options, the option of using a stereotype to make sure that somebody never gets a job and using a stereotype to have an awkward conversation, which does this statute seem to think is the worst problem?"

It will be interesting to see how this one comes back.

BTW, Elauf if now employed at an Urban Outfitters location.  No joke.  They hired her, and it would seem their look policy is a little different that A&Fs - which is probably apparent to EVERYONE.


The Art of Breaking Non-Solicitations to Recruit: Lessons from Mastercard vs Nike...

I see you.

You think you're cute when you change companies.  But I know the truth.  

It's like one of my favorite scenes from Fight Club, where Ed Norton (known as the Narrator) meets Tyler Durden for the first time, and Tyler reacts to Norton talking about his single-serving friends on the road: Clever

Narrator: Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I've ever met... see I have this thing: everything on a plane is single-serving... 
Tyler Durden: Oh I get it, it's very clever. 
Narrator: Thank you. 
Tyler Durden: How's that working out for you? 
Narrator: What? 
Tyler Durden: Being clever. 
Narrator: Great. 
Tyler Durden: Keep it up then... Right up.  

You think you're clever when you change companies and in order to not violate your signed non-solicitation agreement, you tell someone else in your new company who the best people are that they should recruit.  Hell, if those people just elect to apply, how could you be held accountable, right?

Well, my friends, it's all just a mirage.  The only protection you have in that circumstance related to non-solicitation agreements you signed is avoiding pissing someone off. 

Recently, Nike pissed Mastercard off, and it undoubtedly will have some ramifications in big companies you work for.  More from Venture Beat:

"MasterCard’s decision to go to federal court last week and sue Nike for $5 million because it hired away several IT security people may force the courts to remap the boundaries of corporate recruiting.

At issue are so-called non-solicitation agreements, which are routinely included today in hiring letters. These agreements try to prohibit someone from recruiting fellow employees when they leave the company.

In the MasterCard case, some former employees left to join Nike and help improve its security operations. The rub involves what constitutes “recruiting” and, most critically, how one defines “indirect recruiting,” which is what the MasterCard letter banned.

The topic gets complicated when it’s not an issue of the executive calling former colleagues and asking them to join, nor when it involves instructing someone else to make such calls on his behalf. (Those are clearly banned under non-solicitation agreements.) The issue is when the action is limited to telling a new boss about who some of the best security talent in the industry is — and offering general ranges of salary needed to attract such talent.

Does such behavior constitute indirect recruiting? And if so, is it practical to try and prohibit such behavior?

One thing I learned a long time ago related to non-competes and non-solicitations is that you can think they don't apply all you want, but at the end of the day, if a big company with money to spend wants to go after you, they can make your life hell and at some point, the adults in the company come in and say, "what the hell went on here?"

More from the MasterCard/Nike rumble:

"The lawsuit that MasterCard filed (.pdf) was vague as to exactly how the former MasterCard executives were supposed to have recruited their former colleagues. (Nike has yet to respond in court, but it told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that it regards the lawsuit as “without merit.”) Those execs — William E. Dennings, former MasterCard Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), and Ryan Fusselman, former senior business leader at the payment card company’s IS department, “in charge of security engineering” — apparently recruited at least one employee through LinkedIn, the filing said, but it’s unclear if it was a generic message sent to all of the execs’ LinkedIn followers or something much more specific.

The lawsuit said that Nike hired “at least seven additional” MasterCard managers or employees, beyond Dennings and Fusselman, within six months, all to build out Nike’s security IT department.

In an apparent attempt to suggest that the two former execs knew they were doing something wrong, the filing said that employees were asked to lie to MasterCard about why they were quitting.

An example of the lies told to MasterCard, according to MasterCard? One employee “claimed that she was resigning to relax and to focus on her family and health.” Fusselman himself said, according to the lawsuit, “that he was accepting a job with an aerospace company in California.”-solicitation agreements altogether."

So go ahead and say that those non-competes and non-solicitation agreements aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

You're right, until you try to get clever and you piss someone off with power and budget to do something about it.

At which point someone in your company will ask you: "How's that working out for you?"  (what?)  "Being Clever.


When The Talent That Works for You Has Their Own Side Projects...

It's complicated.  End of story.  I don't have a solution.  Sometimes people who work for you are going to have side businesses they're trying to build.  Who owns the product if they work on it during the day?  How much of that do you allow if you're getting great results from the person and you don't want to chase them away?

Better buckle up cowboy.  If you don't address it, you're heading for a train wreck.  If you do get in front of it and start some dialog around it, you're causing a train wreck.  

Which is to ask the following related to side projects outside your business your employees work on:  When would you like the train wreck to happen?

On my mind related to to the following snippet from a Business Insider profile of Kevin Rose, founder of Digg:

"Bored with Digg, he began working on a number of side projects—some of which gained some serious traction. The members of Digg's board, who wanted the savvy Rose around to help run the company he cofounded, were livid.

In summer 2007, Rose began working on a "secret" startup that would go on to become Pownce, a file-sharing application that presaged Dropbox. Digg's board insisted that Digg shareholders should have a piece of Pownce, given that Digg's founder and a top designer, Daniel Burka, were working on the project.

This was not helping morale at Digg, and that led the board to tell Rose he wasn't allowed to have any more side projects. Rose's design abilities were obviously a key asset to Digg. But if he was going to be this distracted, Digg would be better off finding someone else.

Rose took even more money off the table when Digg raised $29 million in its third round of funding in 2008, according to one colleague—with Adelson's approval.  "Adelson counseled us, saying, if you are offered those kinds of deals, you should take them because it's a great way to mitigate your risk," a colleague said.

But if Rose started another side gig, the board threatened to fire him, according to one colleague.  That didn't stick. Rose decided to begin work on WeFollow, a Twitter directory, in early 2009 without telling anyone. He unveiled WeFollow at the South By Southwest conference in 2009.

Once again, Digg's board was pissed, and asked Adelson to fire Rose, but Rose and Adelson had negotiated a mutual protective clause. Neither could be fired without the other's consent."

When do you want to the train wreck to happen?  Go read the whole article, lots of talent lessons in there....