360-degree feedback A performance review approach in which managers collect feedback about an employee's job performance from others who interact with the employee. Feedback typically includes comments from the employee as well.
acquisition When one company buys another.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 Federal legislation that makes it illegal for companies with fifteen or more employees to discriminate in hiring, pay, promotion, and firing practices against people who are age forty or older. The ADEA makes it illegal for companies to mandate retirement based on age.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Federal legislation that establishes requirements for employers with fifteen or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
benchmark A standard that provides a baseline of measurement or assessment.
blog A personal Web site that presents comments and information in a dated, log-style format originally called a weblog.
body language The unspoken messages a person's posture and gestures convey.
CDC Acronym for “U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the federal agency responsible for research, investigation, preventive efforts, and response to public health emergencies, including occupational injuries.
Civil Rights Act A series of federal legislative acts that establish criteria for equity in employment and promotion opportunities and prohibits discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 updates and strengthens the Civil Rights Act of 1967. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for companies with fifteen or more employees to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin in hiring, pay, promotion, and firing.
cliques Groups, usually small, that form around specific interests and then exclude those who do not share those interests.
Temporary jobs that are expected to last nine months or less.
corporate culture The pattern of beliefs and behaviors that exists within an organization; a company's code of conduct. Also called company culture or organizational culture.
desk rage Manifestation of workplace violence consisting of threatening or abusive language and behavior.
dot-coms Companies that sell their wares (products or services) via the Internet; term derives from Web addresses that end in “.com”.
downsizing Reductions in a company's workforce and sometimes production, usually to accommodate a downturn in the economy.
downturn Situation within the economy when sales and earnings drop, causing companies to tighten the budget belt. Often marked by consolidations and restructuring.
EAP Acronym for “Employee Assistance Program.” A collection of services, usually for basic counseling and related needs for employees and their family members, available as an employer-paid benefit.
e-commerce An Internet-based platform for conducting business. Amazon.com and eBay are among the most recognizable e-commerce businesses. Many retail companies have both conventional (“brick and mortar”) and e-commerce operations.
EEOC Acronym for “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.” Federal agency that oversees compliance with federal legislation to support fairness and prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Equal Pay Act of 1963 Federal legislation that mandates equal pay for equal work to specifically prohibit employers from paying women less than men for performing the same jobs.
essential functions The core or primary tasks and responsibilities of a job that the employee holding the job must be able to perform.
ethics The philosophies and beliefs that shape and guide a company's business practices; a company's moral code of conduct.
exempt Job classification that signifies an employee is not protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which mandates worker protection in categories such as work hours, paid overtime, and equal pay for equal work. Exempt employees are usually salaried.
FLSA Acronym for “Fair Labor Standards Act.” Federal legislation originally passed in 1938 and modified through the years. Defines many aspects of employment compensation, including the standard of a forty-hour workweek, minimum wage, child labor limitations, equal pay for equal work, and compensatory time calculations.
Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 Often referred to by its acronym, FMLA. Federal legislation enacted to require employers to provide unpaid time off from work for an employee to care for a new child (newborn or adopted), a seriously ill family member, or because of their own medical conditions, without losing their jobs. The FMLA generally applies to companies that employ twenty or more people.
FTE Acronym for “full-time equivalent.” Method to quantify staffing based on full-time employment of forty hours per week. Two people sharing a full-time position are each .5 FTE; someone working thirty-two hours a week is .75 FTE.
harassment Language or actions that create an intimidating or hostile work environment. Harassment is a violation of federal and state laws.
Internet Worldwide network of computers that serves as the infrastructure for electronic information and commerce.
ISO 9000 Widely accepted quality measurement standards developed by the International Standards Organization (ISO). Many companies strive for ISO certification for their products and processes.
job sharing A single position shared by two people, who divide responsibility for its tasks and responsibilities, salary, workspace, and other elements. Usually the division is equal, though sometimes one person might have a larger share than the other.
mediation The process of finding common ground, of seeking win-win solutions to differences and disagreements that will be acceptable to both parties.
mentor An accomplished professional who takes a novice under wing to guide him or her in making appropriate career choices.
merger The joining of two or more companies, combining staff and functions to create a single company.
NIOSH Acronym for “National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.” The federal agency that monitors and reports on workplace health and safety issues. Unlike OSHA, NIOSH does not conduct inspections or enforcement activities; as a division of the CDC, NIOSH's primary functions are data collection and reporting.
OSHA Acronym for “Occupational Health and Safety Administration.” The federal agency responsible for enforcing federal workplace safety laws, rules, and regulations.
outsourcing The practice of contracting with an outside provider for specific services and functions. A company may outsource its payroll tasks, for example, or the typesetting and printing of documentation and materials for products the company manufactures.
paradigm A clear and unmistakable pattern of behavior that is widespread in its acceptance.
policies Written guidelines an employer creates that establish procedures for complying with laws and regulations, operational functions, and behavior expectations.
productivity Ratio between effort and costs expended and results.
restructure A company's reorganization of its operations to function more efficiently and competitively.
shadowing Allowing employees to observe actions and behaviors without participating in them, as a learning experience.
telework Working from home or another location different than the regular workplace; also called telecommuting or distance working.
temporary employee Person whose job is expected to last nine months or less; sometimes called a contingency worker or, more casually, a temp. Temporary employees often fill in for regular employees who are out for an extended time (such as for maternity or sick leave), or to bolster staffing during peak seasons.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) Federal legislation that establishes reemployment rights and benefits for people called to active duty in the U.S. armed forces.
WIIFM Acronym for “What's in it for me?” Refers to the interest people have in knowing how they benefit from situations and decisions.
work style Combination of skills, knowledge, and personality that determines how an individual approaches job functions.
workaholic Person who works excessively, to the extent that work activities interfere with or prevent a life beyond the job.
World Wide Web Also known as www; the prefix for most Internet addresses. The interfaces and structures that make it possible to post and locate information on the Internet.