Weil-McLain boilers recalled
Boiler maker Weil-McLain of Michigan City, Indiana, announced a recall of its Ultra models 80, 105, 155 and 230 MBH Ultra Series Boilers.
According to a release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a cap on the boiler’s manifold can crack and release gas into the home, posing a risk of fire and explosion.
No injuries have been reported, but the firm has received 11 reports of manifold caps cracking.
The product was distributed by plumbing and heating wholesale distributors, plumbers and contractors nationwide from June 2012 through March 2014. Prices range from about $4,200 to $6,200.
The products were manufactured in the United States.
Walmart.com names new CEO
Fernando Madeira will succeed Joel Anderson as president and CEO of Walmart.com to help the retailer further a growth strategy focused on winning at the integration of physical and digital. Anderson left to become president of fast-growing teen and pre-teen retailer Five Below.
Madeira is a relative newcomer to Walmart who spent the past two years as president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce Latin America and was based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In his new role, he will retain those responsibilities and gain leadership responsibilities for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business and be based at the retailer’s digital headquarters in San Bruno, California. He will continue reporting to Walmart Global eCommerce president and CEO Neil Ashe.
“For those who’ve worked with Fernando, you know he is a high-energy leader focused on fostering creativity, innovation and building strong personal relationships to get results. Under his guidance, the Latin America eCommerce team has taken a customer-focused approach to business strategy and product development,” Ashe shared in an announcement distributed internally at Walmart. “We’ve seen Brazil grow twice as fast as the market, while increasing traffic four-fold. Fernando and his team have dramatically increased assortment, adding nearly one million SKUs, bringing new products from around the world and recently opening our fourth fulfillment center, making Walmart.com Brazil one of the largest e-commerce companies in the country. In other markets, they’ve leveraged sales and marketing efforts, driving triple-digit growth in Argentina, Chile and Mexico.”
Anderson, whose last day is June 20, served as president and CEO of Walmart.com since August 2011 and prior to that he spent four year with the retailer in a senior operations role. During his tenure, Walmart.com regularly enhanced site functionality and search capabilities, dramatically expanded its online product offering, brought new fulfillment capabilities online and launched key initiatives designed to leverage Walmart’s expansive store network.
“While I’m sorry to see Joel leave, this is a good opportunity for him,” Ashe said in reference to Anderson’s new role at Five Below. “Joel has played a strong role in growing our business, most recently supporting the roll-out of our new technology platform and in establishing the foundation for our U.S. eCommerce fulfillment network. Prior to joining eCommerce, Joel spent four years in the Walmart U.S. organization. Joel is leaving a strong Walmart.com team comprised of talented associates.”
Walmart expects to open soon its third dedicated online fulfillment center in Indiana to join other recently opened facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania. The company also fulfills orders from its conventional distribution centers and is growing its ship from store network beyond the current 50 stores. The retailer has long offered pick up in store capabilities buy more recently has launched a pilot concept called “tethering,” that involves shipping goods from supercenters to an expanding network of smaller stores in more remote areas for pick up by customers.
“We have one of the fastest growing e-commerce businesses in the world,” Ashe told attendees at Walmart’s shareholders’ meeting on June 6. Total Global eCommerce sales are projected to reach $13 billion this year compared to $10 billion last year and the seven million products the company currently offers is four times as many as 18 months ago, according to Ashe. The company does not disclose what percentage of those sales are from the U.S.
HR focus: work and social media
An employer can look at its employees’ posts on social networking sites, but it needs to be careful in how it responds — or does not — to what it sees there.
In testimony before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on March 12, 2014, employment law attorney Jonathan Segal, speaking on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), said: “To ignore social media today is like ignoring e-mail 20 years ago. Social media is no longer cutting-edge; it is now mainstream.”
Segal joined four other attorneys to discuss how social media use in the workplace is affecting the enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws.
“Whereas 10 years ago, an individual’s online presence was largely limited to a profile-based site she or he curated, today a person’s Web presence is spread over any number of individual websites and can include ‘likes,’ comments on websites and connections on LinkedIn,” said Lynne Bernabei, a partner at Bernabei & Wachtel PLLC.
“A conversation between an employee and an employer or between an attorney and a client about the employee or client’s social media presence is no longer as simple as inquiring about a person’s Facebook profile or their Twitter handle.”
Also testifying were Renee Jackson, an associate at Nixon Peabody LLP, and two EEOC attorneys, Carol Miaskoff, acting associate legal counsel in the Office of Legal Counsel, and Rita Kittle, senior trial attorney in the EEOC Denver Field Office.
The attorneys delved into social media privacy concerns and whether employers have the right to ask for passwords (12 states ban the practice).
Experts also addressed discrimination, recruitment, screening, hiring, harassment, records retention, social media policies, accessing employees’ private social media postings, discovery and background checks.
“I have heard it said there are only two times when a person is perfect: birth and the job interview,” quipped Segal, a partner in the Philadelphia office of Duane Morris LLP. “Social media is but one way to enhance the background check to determine whether a candidate should be hired.”
He added, “Contrary to what some may believe, the fact that some employers screen applicants by looking at their social media sites does not mean that the use of social media results in widespread exclusions.”
In fact, according to SHRM research from 2013, of the organizations that screen candidates by viewing online search engines or social networking websites, only 15 percent have used information from online search engines, and 30 percent from social networking websites, to disqualify applicants.
There shouldn’t be an on-off switch when using social media in the hiring process, Segal said; “rather, key questions that should be considered include when it is done, what is looked at, who is doing the looking, and what is and is not considered in the decision-making process.”
In the end, however, it’s up to workers to police their own social media use, especially when people can take screenshots and share status updates.
“Things you think are private can very quickly become public,” warned attorney Rene Jackson.
Because with social media “… everybody who participates is carrying around a box of their private life,” said EEOC Commissioner Constance Barker.
Commissioner Chai Feldblum added, “Every tweet is a choice.”
The commission record is open for 15 days, and the public is invited to submit comments at [email protected].
Aliah D. Wright is the manager/editor of the technology and business leadership pages for SHRM Online. She is the author of A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, LinkedIn…and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites (SHRM, 2013).
©2014, Society for Human Resource Management.
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