International news: French are not immune from workplace stress

Workplace stress is affecting the French as well as the more insecure Anglo-Saxon world, according to a report in Le Figaro. The land of the 35-hour week and high employment protection is not immune from constant changing of roles and the pressures of globalisation. The report blames "a state of constant change and the need to live fast".

Lawsuits alleging race discrimination rise in US

Lawsuits alleging race discrimination in the US jumped from 22 four years ago to 89 last year, as registered with the Washington-based Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A high-profile case last year against Coca-Cola, settled out of court, has prompted other plaintiffs to come forward according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management. But African-Americans have reached the top in business, the SHRM report added, including Barry Rand, chairman and chief executive of Avis Rent-a-Car.

Factory in the US is cleared of disability bias

A factory in the US has been cleared of discrimination on the grounds of disability over its policy of rejecting candidates prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, a form of repetitive strain injury. The Western Missouri court ruled that Woodbridge Corporation was justified as it only barred candidates from the production line work, which was fast-paced, repetitive work demanding high co-ordination.


Double standards in drug tests for staff in US

Blue-collar staff in the US are increasingly facing drug tests but hi-tech experts and executives do not, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Blatant double standards apply despite "signs of increasing drug use among technology’s newly rich, high-tech companies," the SHRM reports. Some companies defend the practice by pointing out that lower grade staff are often in safety-critical posts such as driving, while white-collar staff are less likely to pose a direct threat to the general public.

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