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One for all, all for one


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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Employee File Content Request

Whether you are currently employed at Intel Corp. or your employment was terminated due to voluntary or involuntary action (including retirement) we advise you to request a certified copy of your employment file. By having a certified copy in your possession, you can verify the accuracy of the information that is kept about your employment history at your employer. This will also give you an opportunity to correct erroneous information, discover missing information, and find out if your file contain information that should not have been included there in the first place (like another person's documents).

You initiate the process by asking for a CERTIFIED copy of your employee file from Intel Corp. via U.S. Mail. Oregon law (ORS 652.750)requires the employer to provide a hard copy, not an electronic document, upon receiving your request.

Under Oregon law an employer could be subject to a fine of $1000 for not providing the employment file content in response to an employee request.

Note that the Oregon BOLI issued a guideline to employers regarding employee file content requests. see:
        https://www.oregon.gov/boli/ta/docs/ta_col_05-24-2011_personnel_records.pdf

A copy of this document is also available in the "Legal" folder of the Eliminati sahered Google Drive, alongside other important documents. Please review and use as needed.

NOTE: For employees located in states other than Oregon, we advise finding if there are similar laws in your state that entitle you to request a certified copy of your employment file for your review. It is very likely that your rights are covered by your state law. If you find out the relevant information for your state, please add this information as a comment to this article and we will use your information to update the content of this article, accordingly. If in doubt, please send a message to any one of our editors and we will respond back to you within a short time.

Added State of California information per Al Putman (thanks Al):

CA Labor Code Section 1198.5:
California law provides that current and former employees (or a representative) have the right to inspect and receive a copy of the personnel files and records that relate to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee.
Time limit is 30 days subject to a $750 penalty.

CA Labor Code Section 432:
Employers are required to give an employee or job applicant, upon request, a copy of any instrument that the employee or applicant has signed relating to the obtaining or holding of employment.

CA Labor Code Section 226:
Employers are required to permit current and former employees to inspect or copy payroll records pertaining to that current or former employee.
Time limit is 21 days subject to a $750 penalty.

Added Washington State information per Ed Stanford:

Washington state filing:
http://www.lni.wa.gov/workplacerights/files/policies/esc7.pdf

RCW 49.12.240 through 49.12.260



To enable you to take a quick action, we provided a generic template that you can customize with your own personal details. We advise sending your request via U.S. Priority Mail. By using this service, you will be guaranteed faster delivery and the transaction ID on your receipt would allow you to track and confirm your letter delivery. Typical cost of this mailing service is $6.45, depending on your location.

Address
City State Zip
Date

Intel Corporation
2200 Mission College Boulevard
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Attention Human Resources:

Under Oregon law (ORS 652.750), I am hereby requesting a certified hard copy (paper—not electronic) of all of my Intel Employment Records including performance reviews, pay letter including ratings (salary raises, SSL, etc.), and appeals decision, which have been used to determine my qualifications for employment, promotions, and employment termination.

Send the certified paper copies of my records to:
John Q Citizen
Address
City State ZIp

Thank you,

John Q Citizen
WWID 12345678

Saturday, June 25, 2016

WorkSource Intel Special Flyer

In the mail today was a special flyer from WorkSource. I've scanned and reposted it here for you.


Unfortunately the Events link mentioned is not working. Hopefully this will be fixed quickly.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Job Opportunity

As a former Intel employee, I am posting this opportunity:

We are looking for an Enterprise Client Executive in Portland. Neudesic has strong partnerships that help our sales team succeed. We were Microsoft Big Data Partner of the year 2015. We have other partnerships with Nintex, Xamarin, Tableau, and AWS, so many tools to help your clients. Are you ready to take your career to the next level with Neudesic. I am looking for an Enterprise Client Executive (Sales Person) for the Portland area. The ideal candidate should have some experience selling technical services and working with partners like Microsoft. Let me know if you would like to schedule a quick call to talk more about this position. Also if you are not interested but know someone who might be please pass along my contact information. Bob Thompson Neudesic - Talent Acquisition Manager 614-361-3034 | Bob.Thompson@neudesic.com

All Hands On Deck

For those of you who are not familiar with the term "All Hands On Deck", it is a common Navy or Merchant Marine term of a call for public gathering.



We know that we have people in many different situations. Some have been laid off in 2015 and have experienced a full gamut of changes to their lives. Others have only been exposed to the reality of separation from their employer for a few days. Since the current official policy of Intel Corp. is that layoffs would continue to take place through 2017, we are expecting that our community will continue to grow at a significant rate.

Based upon the experience of people who were laid off in 2015, when the number of affected people was relatively small, it is highly likely that people laid off in 2016 would be facing unemployment for an extended period of time. This may not be the message that you care to hear; however, it is likely to be the reality that you will need to contend with. Of course, I will be happy for you if you prove me wrong by swiftly becoming employed again.

If you take a constructive approach to reviewing our situation, you must recognize that once you are laid off you are not in imminent danger of falling into poverty, overnight. Your severance pay, unemployment compensation, and COBRA (continuation) medical insurance provide you with a buffer to cushion the blow. If you have INTC stock account, you could always liquidate all or part of your stock holding to cover needed cash. Typically, if there are tax consequences to selling off your stock, they are not very significant if your annual income level is low. Some of the articles on this web site cover these issues. Look at the Finance section button at the top of the page.

Of course every person's situation is different. You need to learn how to manage your finances in a way that will permit you to stay afloat, by cutting or lowering expenses, reducing investment risks, and navigating through the best choices available to you for stretching your savings. Regardless, fear of the unknown is likely to be your main source of stress and you will need to learn how to cope with it, as some of us who live in this reality since July 2015, have done and are still dealing with.

For those of you who were employed at Intel Corp. for a long time, the task of facing an employment world, which does not run by the "Intel Rules" could be a much greater challenge. Getting used to terms, procedures, and requirements that are used by smaller and much more diversified businesses requires you to become more agile and learn how to cater to the needs of such potential future employers. By nature, smaller companies serve smaller and much more focused markets. Learning about your new employment possibilities is important to understand your options. The Job Search section of this web site lists many resources that could help you expand your horizons. In addition, we have volunteers who are willing to share their experience with you to expedite your learning.

It is very likely that among the thousands of people who were and are going to be laid off from Intel Corp., there are quite a few who have the skills necessary to help their colleagues in the transition to alternative employment or retirement. I am calling upon people who a willing to volunteer their help to contact us and specify the areas of their expertise. Once we have the resources sorted out we could begin conducting workshops for sharing knowledge and experience to the benefit of all.

Another beneficial mechanism could be organizing a database of people alongside their skills. These skills do not necessarily need to be associated with their Intel background. Skills still have exchange value if we can adapt the model of a circular economy. For example, if I am looking for a saxophone tutor, I may be able to pay back by teaching programming, or welding, or car repair, or interviewing skills, or how to run your own small business successfully, or how to build your own "drone" from scratch. Keeping yourself busy while you are unemployed, in activities other than job seeking has a very positive therapeutic value.

Your comments are welcome.

--Dr. Flywheel


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WorkSource Calendar for July 2016

I have posted the July WorkSource calendar of events below. Their website does not have a working link for this calendar so I am scanning and pasting here.

I have added the High-Tech Networking Group meetings on Monday and Friday from 9:30-11:00 to the Google Calendar. Some of the topics look interesting so please review.



Portland jury awards $1.2 million to laid off engineer for age discrimination




In spite of all the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) that is constantly spread around by agents of the rich and powerful, employees do win their law suits against their employers, in cases involving age discrimination. In an article in the OregonianLive blog, Aimee Green, is reporting about a jury trial in which Joseph Loczi, a 57 year old engineer who contended that he was fired from Daimler Trucks North America for age discrimination reasons, won a $1,200,000 monetary award.

Loczi sued his employer, claiming that he was fired due to his age and claimed that the company layoff action was aimed at getting rid of its aging workforce. The company's position was that they fired Loczi for performance reasons.

For many of us the Intel Corp. layoffs of 2015 and 2016 bear very close similarity of facts.

Note that Loczi, in filing his suit in October 2014, claimed the restructuring was a "pilot project" designed "to get rid of older workers and make room for younger employees.". The Intel Corp. layoffs of 2015 bear uncanny resemblance to this case, with 2016 layoffs being the "major operation". 

Read the full article using the link below.

Wake up and smell the roses.

--Dr Flywheel

jury awards $1.2 million to aging Daimler engineer who says he was cast aside like old toy


The Portland Business Journal covered the same case through it own independent article:

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/morning_call/2016/06/ex-daimler-manager-wins-1-2m-age-discrimination.html

Note this earlier article that covered the law suit before the court proceedings took place:

Former Daimler Trucks North America engineer files age discrimination lawsuit against company

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

 --Arthur Schopenhauer

How To Recover From Getting Fired

The full story on INC here: http://www.inc.com/chris-dessi/how-to-recover-from-getting-fired.html

The key takeaways:
  1. Allow yourself time to mourn.
  2. Focus on the positive.
  3. Get introspective about what you could have done better.
  4. Surround yourself with people who raise you up.
  5. Don't ever hold a grudge.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Eliminati Poll of members on Financial Knowledge

We took a quick poll of our members, asking them some financial questions.  Some of the results from 48/275 respondents.
  • ~8% feel they do not have a good handle on their Finances.
  • ~30% have never read even one book on Financial topics.
  • Most think they could stop working if they had $2 Million in the bank.
  • Less than half have done any of the 7 Financial Baby Steps.
  • Dealing with the 401(k) ranks high on members interests.

Follow this Link.  The full Survey Results are in a PDF.

Editors' Opinion: Learning Financial Topics is like dealing with Medical issues or walking into a new job for the first time.  There are lots of acronyms and jargon to wade thru and learn.  Write them down and spend time picking them up.

We will continue working to answer many of these questions our members have.  Please check out and comment on the new Finances Page on the public website. http://www.pdx-tie.org/p/finance.html.

And do not be afraid to search the Group postings and ask new questions!  If you have a question, chances are 5 other people have the same question.


More Uncertainty About INTC Stock Future

In an article entitled "Intel Outside as Other Companies Prosper from AI ChipsPeter Burrows writes in the MIT Technology Review:

Intel is no longer a case study in adaptability. On the contrary, it has whiffed in the market for mobile chips used in smartphones and tablets, by far the largest new opportunity for chip makers in the past 10 years. On April 19, the same day it said it would cut 12,000 jobs, Intel scrapped development of some of its mobile Atom chips despite years of heavy investment. And for the past few years, the world’s largest chip maker has seemed indifferent to another potentially vast market: the one in chips designed for the artificial--intelligence technique known as deep learning.

Read the full article at the MIT Technology Review web site, linked below:
Intel Outside as Other Companies Prosper from AI Chips

Though the future for AI application-specific silicon systems seems very promising, Intel Corp. management seems to be stuck with the general-purpose processor architectures of the past--as if they insist on milking the last drop of value out of the ancient x86 Intel Architecture. This is all taking place while most software giants (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.) on the market are actively developing their own hardware AI processing solutions in house and outsourcing manufacturing of their systems IP to competitive manufacturing facilities, like Samsung, TSMC, Global Foundries, etc.


Let us also not ignore the long-term investments that hardware design companies like Nvidia have made in the AI field, over the last few years. Is the x86 Intel Architecture, capable to penetrating application-specific markets? Will creating a massive network of on-die (x86-based) compute cores the right way to get to a cost or energy efficient AI platform product? With the current silicon fabrication yield problems, will Intel Corp. be able to produce more than one line of "me too" products at a cost competitive price?

Although Intel Corp. "Server" or "data center" market seem to be healthy at this point in time, We see a plethora of new low-cost entries into this market that will, without a doubt, devour on Intel Corp. customer base and future profit margins.



As stock holders, we need to be watchful of the potential for more reoccurring, blindsided and ignorant decisions, on the part of the current Intel Corp. management team. We need to wonder whether the Board of Directors, with Andy Bryant still at the helm, in spite of missing the last Smart Phone boom, is capable to protecting us as stock holders, from another downfall.

Please submit your views and comments by clicking on the "comment" link below.

--Dr. Flywheel

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hillsboro Library Study and Conference Rooms

It takes a little searching to find them, but reservations for rooms at the Hillsboro Main Library and Shute Libraries can be found at the following (obscure) URL.

http://hillsboro-oregon.gov/index.aspx?page=164

The Study Rooms hold 4 people comfortably, and the Conference Rooms hold up to 8 seated.  These are free to Library patrons, you just need your Library # and PIN # to reserve them.

The other larger rooms do have a rental fees, but they are pretty reasonable.  There is a 'Room Rental' link on the Study Rooms page above.

Management Theory is What Happens to Philosophers When You Pay Them Too Much

In a centerpiece article in the Atlantic Magazine, entitled The Management Myth, Matthew Stewart has written about the roots and fallacies of management theory. This is not an attack on managers or their conduct, but rather a summary of how we got to today's management practices. How the premise of performance management, based on management theories learned in business school is mostly heuristic and hollow when it comes to delivery of results.

Here is a quote from the article:
"Next to analysis, communication skills must count among the most important for future masters of the universe. To their credit, business schools do stress these skills, and force their students to engage in make-believe presentations to one another. On the whole, however, management education has been less than a boon for those who value free and meaningful speech. M.B.A.s have taken obfuscatory jargon—otherwise known as bullshit—to a level that would have made even the Scholastics blanch. As students of philosophy know, Descartes dismantled the edifice of medieval thought by writing clearly and showing that knowledge, by its nature, is intelligible, not obscure."

I highly recommend reading the full article, which can be found through this link:

The Management Myth

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Few Appeals Have Been Approved!

We have had notice that a few Appeals have been approved.
  •  One Eliminati member was reinstated, and as of 6/15 he is back at Intel. In his case, he had an SSL4 overturned.  This was probably due to the fact that he was marked for promotion, but had been given lesser stock in exchange for money.  We wish him well, back in the cubes.
  •  He also says he knows of two other people who were approved, but we do not know yet when they will return to Intel.
  • And a second Eliminati member says his Appeal was also approved, but he has been interviewing around and is not sure if he wants to go back.  Stay tuned.


That is all we have heard of approvals for the moment.  Everyone else who has appealed is still waiting or has been denied, and has received either a phone call then the standard rejection letter and e-mail, or letter and e-mail.

Recommended Book
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

Kevin Kelly published a book in which he is presenting his views of the near future in terms of coexistence of mankind and machines.

Here is a short quote from the book:
 "It is a safe bet that the highest earning professions in the year 2050 will depend on automations and machines that have not been invented yet. That is, we can't see the jobs from here, because we can't yet see the machines and technologies that will make them possible. Robots create jobs that we didn't even know we wanted done."


If you like to be exposed to a sample of the book content you can watch Kelly's recent talk at SXSW, on YouTube at (warning--very slow talk):


--Dr. Flywheel

Friday, June 17, 2016

Futility:
doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

I took this video in my yard, last Summer. Draw your own conclusions...



--Dr. Flywheel

Book Recommendation
Breaking Negative Thinking Patterns

Finding yourself in a situation where you have been forced to change your daily routine, due to lay off or forced retirement can be very stressful. for anyone interested in understanding what drives our emotional, thinking and behavioral patterns, and how those patterns can be changed I am recommending reading the following book by authors Gitta jacob, Hannievan Genderen, and Laura Seebauer.


Get your copy at your local library or purchase at a book store or on-line.

Here is the Amazon reference link:


All the best during your journey towards self improvement.

--Dr. Flywheel

Quote of the Day


Based upon George S. Patton (Old Army Speech)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other Than Age Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

On 3/30/2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a final rule that is referred to as:
Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other Than Age Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Select the above link to view the full EEOC rule document.

For the meaning and various aspects of Disparate Impact check this Wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disparate_impact

Enjoy the opportunity to expand your horizons.

--Dr. Flywheel

The material parts of the 2012 EEOC rule are summarized in the following content, which was fetched from the EEOC web site:

Questions and Answers on EEOC Final Rule on Disparate Impact and "Reasonable Factors Other Than Age" Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

The following questions and answers explain the EEOC's final rule concerning Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other Than Age (RFOA)  
1. What are the purposes of the ADEA related to this rule?
The purpose of the ADEA is to prohibit employment discrimination against people who are 40 years of age or older.  Congress enacted the ADEA in 1967 because of its concern that older workers were disadvantaged in retaining and regaining employment.  The ADEA also addressed concerns that older workers were barred from employment by some common employment practices that were not intended to exclude older workers, but that had the effect of doing so and were unrelated to job performance.
2. What does the ADEA do?
It prohibits discrimination against workers because of their older age with respect to any aspect of employment.  In addition to prohibiting intentional discrimination against older workers (known as "disparate treatment"), the ADEA prohibits practices that, although facially neutral with regard to age, have the effect of harming older workers more than younger workers (known as "disparate impact"), unless the employer can show that the practice is based on an RFOA.  This rule concerns only disparate impact discrimination and the Reasonable Factors Other than Age defense to such claims. 
3. What is the purpose of the rule?
The rule responds to two Supreme Court decisions[1] in which the Court criticized one part of the Commission's existing ADEA regulations.  The Court upheld EEOC's longstanding position that the ADEA prohibits policies and practices that have the effect of harming older individuals more than younger individuals, even if the harm was not intentional.  However, it disagreed with the part of the regulations which said that, if an employee proved in court that an employment practice disproportionately harmed older workers, the employer had to justify it as a "business necessity."[2]  The Court said that, in an ADEA disparate impact case, the employer did not have to prove business necessity; it need only prove that the practice was based on an RFOA.  The Court also said that the RFOA defense is easier to prove than the business necessity defense but did not otherwise explain RFOA.
The rule does two things:
  • It makes the existing regulation consistent with the Supreme Court's holding that the defense to an ADEA disparate impact claim is RFOA, and not business necessity; and
  • It explains the meaning of the RFOA defense to employees, employers, and those who enforce and implement the ADEA.
4. Who is required to follow the rule? 
The rule applies to all private employers with 20 or more employees, state and local government employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations.  Although the ADEA applies to the federal government as an employer, the rule does not apply to federal employers by virtue of section 633a(f) of the ADEA.
5. Does the rule apply to all employment practices?
No.  The rule applies to only a few kinds of employment practices.  Specifically, it applies only to practices that are neutral on their face, that might harm older workers more than younger workers, and that apply togroups of people.  For instance, it applies to tests used to screen employees or to some procedures used to identify persons to be laid off in a broad reduction-in-force ("RIF"). 
6. When does an employer have to show that its practice was based on an RFOA?
An employer would be required to prove the defense only after an employee has identified a specific employment policy or practice, and established that the practice harmed older workers substantially more than younger workers.
7. Do other statutory defenses apply to disparate impact claims? 
RFOA is the standard defense to ADEA impact claims.  The final rule revises section 1625.7 of the regulations, which only addresses the RFOA defense, and does not change other regulatory sections that apply to the ADEA's other affirmative defenses.[3]  However, the rule does not preclude an employer from asserting another statutory provision in response to a particular claim.  For example, if an employee alleged that a practice required by a seniority system had a disparate impact, the employer could defend the claim by relying on section 4(f)(2) of the ADEA, which precludes using disparate impact analysis to challenge the provisions of a seniority system.
8.What determines whether an employment practice is based on Reasonable Factors Other than Age? 
An employment practice is based on an RFOA when it was reasonably designed and administered to achieve a legitimate business purpose in light of the circumstances, including its potential harm to older workers. 
Example 1:
If a police department decided to require applicants for patrol positions to pass a physical fitness test to be sure that the officers were physically able to pursue and apprehend suspects, it should know that such a test might exclude older workers more than younger ones.  Nevertheless, the department's actions would likely be based on an RFOA if it reasonably believed that the test measured the speed and strength appropriate to the job, and if it did not know, or should not have known, of steps that it could have taken to reduce harm to older workers without unduly burdening the department.
The rule emphasizes the need for an individualized consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the particular situation.  It includes the following list of considerations relevant to assessing reasonableness:
  • The extent to which the factor is related to the employer's stated business purpose;
  • The extent to which the employer defined the factor accurately and applied the factor fairly and accurately, including the extent to which managers and supervisors were given guidance or training about how to apply the factor and avoid discrimination;
  • The extent to which the employer limited supervisors' discretion to assess employees subjectively, particularly where the criteria that the supervisors were asked to evaluate are known to be subject to negative age-based stereotypes;
  • The extent to which the employer assessed the adverse impact of its employment practice on older workers; and
  • The degree of the harm to individuals within the protected age group, in terms of both the extent of injury and the numbers of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the employer took steps to reduce the harm, in light of the burden of undertaking such steps. 
9. Must employers show that they used each of the considerations listed in the EEOC's regulation to establish the defense? 
No.  The considerations merely describe the most common characteristics of reasonable practices.  The rule makes clear that the defense could be established absent one or more of the considerations, and that there could even be a situation in which the defense is met absent any of the considerations.  Similarly, the defense is not automatically established merely because one or more of the considerations are present.
10. Consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(i) refers to the extent to which the factor is related to the employer's stated business purpose.  What is a "stated business purpose"?
The "stated business purpose" is the business reason articulated by the employer for adopting, or implementing, the employment practice in question.  "Stated" does not mean that the purpose must be written.
Note that consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(i) focuses on the method that the employer used to achieve its purpose, rather than the purpose itself.  For example, if a police department is concerned about losing its employees to neighboring departments and decides to raise police officer salaries to match those in surrounding communities, the goal of retaining officers is not relevant to the determination of reasonableness.  On the other hand, the extent to which the chosen method (raising salaries for certain employees) relates to the purpose (retaining staff) is relevant to the determination of reasonableness.
11. Consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(ii) is "[t]he extent to which the employer defined the factor accurately and applied the factor fairly and accurately, including the extent to which managers and supervisors were given guidance or training about how to apply the factor and avoid discrimination."  How would an employer show that it defined and applied the factor fairly and accurately?
The extent to which the employer defined and applied the factor fairly and accurately refers to the steps the employer took to make sure that the practice was designed and applied to achieve the employer's intended goal while taking into account potential harm to older workers.  The following examples illustrate the point:
Example 2:
A nursing home decided to reduce costs by terminating its highest paid and least productive employees.  To ensure that supervisors accurately assessed productivity and did not base evaluations on stereotypes, the employer instructed supervisors to evaluate productivity in light of objective factors such as the number of patients served, errors attributed to the employee, and patient outcomes.  Even if the practice did have a disparate impact on older employees, the employer could show that the practice was based on an RFOA because it was reasonably designed and administered to serve the goal of accurately assessing productivity while decreasing the potential impact on older workers. 
Example 3:
The same employer asked managers to identify the least productive employees without providing any guidance about how to do so.  As a result, older workers were disproportionately rated as least productive.  The design and administration of the practice was not reasonable because it decreased the likelihood that the employer's stated goal would be achieved and increased the likelihood that older workers would be disadvantaged.  Moreover, accuracy could have been improved and unfair harm decreased by taking a few steps, such as those discussed in Example 2, above.
12. Does considering the extent to which the employer defined and applied the factor fairly and accurately mean that an employer must validate a test or other selection criterion as it would under Title VII?
No.  If a particular employment practice disproportionately harms applicants or employees based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, Title VII requires the employer to demonstrate that the practice is "job related for the position in question" and "consistent with business necessity."  For example:
  • Title VII's business necessity defense would typically require an employer that gave a physical fitness test that disproportionately excluded women to produce a validation study in accordance with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 29 C.F.R. Part 1607, showing that the test accurately measures safe and efficient job performance. 
  • In contrast, the ADEA's RFOA defense does not require employers to formally validate tests or other selection criteria.  Instead, employers are required to demonstrate only that their choices were reasonable.  The extent to which a practice measures skills related to a job informs the reasonableness of the practice.  
13. Does the reference in consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(ii) to "the extent to which managers and supervisors were given guidance or training about how to apply the factor and avoid discrimination" require employers to train their supervisors or provide a certain type of training?
No.  As noted, the considerations are not requirements, and many employer practices will necessitate little, if any, guidance.  However, showing that it provided guidance or training in appropriate circumstances will help the employer establish that its actions were reasonable. 
Moreover, the rule's reference to "guidance or training" recognizes that the manner in which employers convey their expectations to managers will vary depending on the circumstances.  For example, a smaller employer might reasonably rely entirely on brief, informal, oral instruction.
14. Consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(iii) is "[t]he extent to which the employer limited supervisors' discretion to assess employees subjectively, particularly where the criteria that the supervisors were asked to evaluate are known to be subject to negative age-based stereotypes."  Does this consideration mean that it is unreasonable to use subjective decisionmaking? 
No.  In many cases, it may be crucial for an employer to assess employee or applicant qualities such as flexibility and willingness to learn -- qualities that are often assessed subjectively.  The rule does not say that employers may not seek these qualities in its workforce, or that they are not valuable.
However, consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(iii) does recognize that giving supervisors unconstrained discretion to evaluate employees or applicants using subjective criteria may result in disproportionate harm to older workers, because it allows supervisors' biases and stereotypes to infect the decisionmaking.  Therefore, it is particularly useful to provide guidance when asking supervisors to evaluate subjective criteria that are subject to age-based stereotypes, such as productivity, flexibility, willingness to learn, and technological skills.  For example, an employer that wants its supervisors to evaluate technological skills might attempt to reduce possible harm to older workers by instructing managers to look specifically at objective measures of the specific skills that are actually used on the job.
15. Consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(iv) is "[t]he extent to which the employer assessed the adverse impact of its employment practice on older workers."  Does this consideration require an employer to perform an adverse impact analysis of its employment practices? 
No.  The extent to which the employer assessed the adverse impact of its employment practice on older workers is simply one way of determining whether the employer considered the potential harm to older workers. 
In many cases, the employer will not need to assess whether the practice disproportionately harmed older workers, because the practice is not a neutral practice that affects more than one person.  For example, terminations for cause and voluntary separations generally are not the kinds of neutral practices that could have a disparate impact.
Where an assessment of impact is warranted, the appropriate method will depend on the circumstances, including the employer's resources and the number of employees affected by the practice.  For example, a large employer that routinely uses sophisticated software to monitor its practices for race- and sex-based disparate impact may be acting unreasonably if it does not similarly monitor for age-based impact.  Other employers, lacking the resources or expertise to perform sophisticated monitoring, may show that they acted reasonably by using informal methods of assessing impact.
16. Consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(v) is "[t]he degree of harm to individuals within the protected age group, in terms of both the extent of injury and the numbers of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the employer took steps to reduce the harm, in light of the burden of undertaking such steps."  What does the consideration require?
Again, this is a consideration, not a requirement.  The consideration reflects the fact that an employer can increase its ability to defend against a claim of age-based disparate impact if it can show that it balanced the potential harm to older workers against the cost and difficulty of taking steps that would still accomplish its business goal but reduce the harm on older workers. 
For instance, where the impact of an employment practice on older workers is minimal, the fact that an employer failed to take multiple steps to reduce harm would not mean that its chosen method is unreasonable.  However, the greater the potential harm, the more likely that an employer would be expected to avail itself of available options that would reduce the harm without unduly burdening the business.
17. Does consideration 1625.7(e)(2)(v) require an employer to search for and use the least discriminatory method for achieving its purpose? 
No.  The rule does not require an employer to search for options and use the one that has the least severe impact on older individuals.  However, an employer's efforts to reduce the harm to older individuals are not irrelevant.  There may be circumstances in which the employer knew, or should have known, of a way to noticeably reduce harm to older workers without sacrificing cost or effectiveness; in these circumstances, it could be unreasonable for the employer to fail to use such an option.    
18. Must an employer keep special documentation to prove that it reasonably designed and administered the practice to achieve a legitimate business purpose in light of potential harm to older workers?
No.  If disparate impact is established, the employer can support an RFOA defense with evidence that would be admissible in court, including testimony.  The rule does not change existing recordkeeping requirements under the ADEA (see 29 C.F.R. Part 1627); it does not require, and should not prompt, documentation other than that which an employer would make as part of its normal business operations.  However, being able to document the reasons for the design and administration of a practice can help an employer establish the RFOA defense.

[1] Smith v. City of Jackson, 544 U.S. 228 (2005); Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab., 554 U.S. 84 (2008).
[2] "Business necessity" is the defense to a claim of disparate impact under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  See42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(k)(1)(A)(i).
[3] See, e.g., 29 C.F.R. §§ 1625.6 (BFOQ), 1625.8 (seniority systems), 1625.10 (employee benefit plans). 

LHH Calendar

Intel has engaged Lee Hecht Harrison to provide career coaching for the 2016 round of layoffs. If you have not engaged with them you have six months to start and the services run for six months before they end.

I've copied the June calendar of events. Once you register these should be emailed to you. I wanted to post this to remind people to sign up and to give an idea to what is happening for the month.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Intel Corp. Stock -- Keep or Sell Off?

Note: This is meant to be a continuously updated article. I encourage you to submit comments via the comment link below the article, or provide input to the editors via our mailing list.

Many of us own Intel Corp. stock which we acquired over the years, via the employee purchase program as well as through annual RSU awards. For those of us who were laid off or forced to retire from Intel Corp. under duress, the question of whether to keep the stock or sell our shares is complex. Emotionally, many of us feel that we do not want to continue and support a company that practices widespread age discrimination even if the dividends that our stock produces is not the worst on the market. There is also the question whether the current corporate management team lead by Brian Krzanich (BK) and the Board of Directors lead by Andy Bryant, who made crucial mistakes over a long period of time, are trustworthy and are capable of leading the company to a new growth cycle that will result in a higher stock valuation.

During the tenure of BK at the company helm I observed a major investment in PR campaigns and a very large number of personal appearances that BK conducted in public events and trade shows. He apparently, seems to be trying hard to emulate the presentation style that Steve Jobs was so famous for; however, besides playing with a lot of toys on the stage, he does not seem to have a clear direction for leading the company into a renewed growth cycle, or even keep the company afloat.

When an Organizational Health Survey conducted among company employees after the second year of BK's tenure as CEO returns an indication that only 60% of respondents believe that there is a environment of trust inside the company, the main question that comes to mind is why?

As to Andy Bryant, he has been in his position much longer than BK and without a doubt he carries responsibility for many of the bad corporate decisions that were approved by the Board of Directors. The pathetic behavior and lack of supervision that the Board of Directors exercised over the last few years is a clear indication of "rubber stamp" pattern. We need to ask ourselves, if the Board consists of people who actually are able to understand what Intel management is doing and if they have enough integrity to scrutinize the actions of the corporate management team with BK as the CEO.

Coming back to the main subject of this article: should we keep our stock shares with the belief that Intel Corp. will soon recover and holding on to our shares would pay off? Will the latest publicity stunts, accompanied by the latest wave of personnel layoffs, convince innocent investors or educated fund managers that Intel Corp. management is taking the company into a rosy future because they know something that we do not?

A recent article on The Motley Fool web site is raising the question: Who Will Buy Intel Corporation's $1,700 Desktop CPUs? Another current article entitled Intel’s Broadwell-E should not have been released, presents additional doubts about the way Intel Corp. management is seeking to increase revenue. Collectively, these articles do not increase my confidence in INTC and neither does a new announcement that Intel Corp. will act as an alternative source, supplying RF modems for  Apple, Inc. new smart phones.

Someone needs to ask why Qualcomm, Inc. does not keep fighting to maintain its position as a major supplier for smart phone RF modems. A possible answer would be that the profit margins in RF modems are generally very slim and Apple is probably a very tough customer. Most Intel Corp. RF modems are manufactured using an old, however stable, 28nm mixed-mode TSMC manufacturing process which is outsourced to offshore factories. The processors in these modem typically utilize IP licensed from ARM LTD and the license fees eat a significant portion of the profit margins off the bat. My assessment is that other than the temporary fanfare centered around the Apple name recognition, the viability of this deal may not bring significant net revenue, or even break even.

Hopefully, other articles, like this one: Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can't audit it), will not create a major public backlash against Intel Corp. products, by convincing hardware vendors to choose non-Intel Architecture based chips, in their platforms. The security considerations derived from facts mentioned in the quoted article, are however, quite significant and cannot be ignored. Sadly, such security issues affect both the Personal Computer market, as well as the Server market.

It is unfortunate that the only believable course that Intel Corp. management is charting out at this point, is that company share of the Server Market will continue to grow at a constant rate. Will this growth compensate for lack of strategic vision and poor factory yields? Tell me something that I could believe in.

Please add your comments and send your input to our editors via email.

Thank you for your cooperation.

--Dr. Flywheel



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Super Chicken
Why it's time to forget the pecking order at work


TED Talk by Margaret Heffernan

Organizations are often run according to “the superchicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It's a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: “Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.”


Please check out my article: Life in a Lifeboat on our web site.

--Dr. Flywheel

Laid-Off Americans, Required to Zip Lips on Way Out, Grow Bolder

The New York Times posted an interesting article about High Tech workers being laid-off and getting organized. Here again, they are confused about the difference between non-disparagement in the severance agreement and filing an age discrimination complaint with their  Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) (State agency similar in function to Oregon BOLI) as well as EEOC.

Obviously, they talked to the press and I doubt that the Company will dare challenge them in public.

Our members must be educated about BOLI/EEOC filing. Civil Rights cannot be taken away by any legal contract! Otherwise slavery would still be legal.

Read the full article at the link below:

Laid-Off Americans, Required to Zip Lips on Way Out, Grow Bolder

Sara Blackwell, a lawyer representing former Abbott employees

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Unemployment Insurance - Revised Article

Questions that we received from various people indicate that there is general misunderstanding of what Unemployment Benefits are all about. For the benefit of those of you who were never exposed to the subject we put a summary below. Please notice that Unemployment Insurance (UI) was put together to help workers who lost their job mitigate the financial effects of job loss.

There is no shame and there should be no stigma associated with claiming what is legally and rightfully yours. Even of you were not aware, UI was part of your overall compensation package since the first day of your employment.

If you are not working but looking for work, you qualify.

A summary of some key points.

Last Day Worked This is when Unemployment Insurance starts counting, and you will be paid from this week forward.  

Last Paycheck Date Irrelevant! Unemployment Office ignores this. The Last Day Worked is most important.

If you were walked out (ISP), but your last paycheck is a month later, then your Last Day Worked is the day you were walked out.
Start A Claim
The process to get into the system. Follow the steps, and stay on it to get qualified. If you miss some of the steps, such as the Workforce interview, and it has to go to a review it can be 6-8 weeks at present until a review will finish and give you back pay.


Weekly Claim
Sunday the claim system opens for the previous week. Then you must submit what work searches you did. At the end of the current week, they pay you for the previous week.



These are mostly for Oregon, other states will have their own rules and procedures.

What is asked for

You will be asked for your online Weekly Claims or if you are talking to a benefits worker for your job search information.  These are usually the fields they need, and it is easy to track in a spreadsheet.

Date Employer Address Contact By Contact Name Work Sought Results App/Resume

Results = most often are pending, which means nothing heard back

Work Sought = the Job Title or Description, or Job ID at the company

Address = The Unemployment Office may ask for the street address.

Contact By = Email, Website, Job Fair, Recruiter

Contact Name = If a Recruiter, then use their name and address

App/Resume = Good idea to list here the version of your Resume and Cover Letter you submitted. This is mostly for your use

Background Information

Financing the Unemployment Insurance Program 
The money used to pay Oregon unemployment insurance benefits comes from Oregon employers’ state payroll taxes. The taxes collected are deposited in a trust fund used to pay unemployment insurance benefits to unemployed Oregon workers.

The money to administer the unemployment insurance program comes from a federal tax, created by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA). The federal unemployment tax is assessed on all for-profit employers and is paid to the Internal Revenue Service.

Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)
In addition to Oregon’s unemployment tax, employers pay a federal unemployment tax (FUTA tax) based on payroll. The FUTA tax is collected by the Internal Revenue Service to fund the administrative costs of the employment service and unemployment insurance programs throughout the country

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS
Unemployment Insurance benefits replace part of the income lost when a person becomes unemployed. This softens the impact job losses have on communities. Workers maintain purchasing power to support businesses in the area where they live. Qualifying A claim is based on a one-year period known as the base year. The base year is the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed at the time the initial claim is filed.

There are two ways to qualify: 
  • First: claimants qualify if they have employment and wages of at least $1,000 in employment subject to unemployment insurance law AND total base year wages equal to at least one and one-half times the wages in the highest quarter of the base year. or
  • Second: if an individual does not qualify the first way, a person may qualify for benefits if he or she has wages and worked at least 500 hours during the base year of employment subject to unemployment insurance law.
Benefit amounts are set by law as a percentage of the wages received during the base year. The weekly benefit amount is 1.25% of the total base year wages but with a fixed lower limit of 15% and an upper limit of 64% of the state average weekly wage in covered employment. A claim lasts for 52 weeks that make up the benefit year. This is the 12-month period beginning with the week they first file for benefits to set up a claim. Claimants may receive up to 26 weeks of benefits within the benefit year. Minimum claims may have fewer than 26 weeks available. They cannot file a new claim until after the 52 weeks. Extended benefits may be paid beyond the 26 weeks during periods of high unemployment.

In Plain English?
Basically, once your Unemployment Benefits run out, you have to work for a period again. Then if you are laid off in the future, you can reapply for Unemployment compensation.  But you have to have worked for a minimum period of time at the new position.  How long?  Approximately 3-6 months, but you have to check with the Unemployment Office.


SEA Program - Self Employment Assistance

Oregon has a separate feature for those seeking to start their own businesses.   Called SEA (Self Employment Assistance), you can choose this option instead of the regular claims.  The unique part about this is that you have to submit a Business Plan, and Get It Approved(TM).   But if you pass the criteria, you do NOT HAVE TO SUBMIT JOB SEARCH CLAIMS EVERY WEEK.

Note:  If you have less than 13 weeks of Unemployment left, they will not approve you.  You must choose this option as soon as possible, and it is recommended you do so as you apply, if you know that is what you want to do.