Laws & Regulations

Employees eating lunch Disability Employment Awareness

Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month – a time where we recognize the contributions of people with disabilities in our workforce. It’s also the opportune time to educate ourselves on how to be more accommodating for our colleagues and coworkers who may have a disability. It’s been 10 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was amended in 2008, but educating employers and employees alike about the changes has proven to be a long and difficult process. Whether a CEO, an HR professional, an event professional or a manager, you should know that individuals with food allergies, celiac disease…

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Celebrating Independence

Celebrating Independence

  How to Make it Easier for Those with Dietary Needs to Eat Safely & Feel Included As we (i.e., me and my U.S.-based readers) celebrated 242 years our country’s independence this week, I got to thinking about the words independence and freedom, how they relate to food and beverage, and what I do to promote safe and inclusive food environments. By Merriam-Webster’s definition, independence, in the simplest of terms, is “the quality or state of not being under the control of, reliant on, or connected with someone or something else.” And the definition of freedom is “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice…

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Cannabis-thrive-iStock-823470506

Cannabis Update for Meetings and Events

With more and more states legalizing marijuana, your next event might be held in a state where it’s legal—and if that’s the case, you better believe that some event attendees will want to get high. There’s a lot to learn about the topic before allowing cannabis at your event, but I’ve compiled the basics to get you started. [list icon=”icon: check-square-o” icon_color=”#d81c5c”] As of January (when Vermont signed on), recreational marijuana use is legal in nine states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In Vermont and the District of Columbia, it’s legal but, you can’t buy…

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dietary restrictions and invisible disabilities

Thrive! With Dietary Restrictions and Invisible Disabilities, Part Two

We know what disabilities are, and I discussed invisible disabilities in, “Thrive! With Invisible Disabilities, Part One.” In part two, I want to chat about some of the behaviors and concepts that will help illustrate dietary restrictions and invisible disabilities. As a reminder, invisible disabilities are also called hidden disabilities because they are restrictions that aren’t clearly visible or apparent. Food allergies and intolerances are included when we talk about invisible disabilities because, just like asthma, arthritis, and other conditions, diseases, and dysfunctions, we can’t see the challenges those with invisible disabilities may be experiencing. The Americans with Disabilities Act…

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Legal Implications

Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Legal Implications – Part Four

If you’ve been enjoying this series, make sure you are up to date on all previous installments: Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: The Care and Feeding of Employees – Part One » Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Health and Wellness Programs – Part Two » Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Supporting Employees Dietary Needs – Part Three » Legal Implications Any good human resources professional understands that fostering a safe and inclusive workplace is good business—but in some cases, it is also the law. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prevents discrimination on the basis of a disability in programs and…

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Health and Wellness

Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Health and Wellness Programs – Part Two

In recent years, the dramatic rise in corporate health and wellness programs shows that companies understand (or are beginning to) the benefits of a healthy workforce. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, more than two-thirds of U.S. employers currently offer a wellness program as part of their benefits packages. The main focuses have been on exercise and eating healthier, but unless these programs address everything employees are eating, they are doomed to fail. Take, for example, the case study presented by Alison Acerra, MS, RD, national nutrition and wellness manager for Guckenheimer, a national workplace foodservice provider during…

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Two men bullied at corporate awards banquet for having food allergies

Two Men with Food Allergies Bullied by Coworkers at Awards Dinner

Not Being able to Eat Wheat or Shellfish is No Reason to be Bullied Last week I was at an event where I witnessed two men being bullied/teased/harassed—whatever you want to call it—about their dietary need. I was stunned, embarrassed and utterly dumbfounded. The event was an awards dinner for a corporation and one at which I was hired to manage the food and beverage and oversee the safe execution of special meals for 18 people with dietary needs (a low number considering other events I’ve done, but still seven percent of the group). The two men who were being…

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Press Release: FARE Requests Investigation of American Airlines for Violations of Air Carrier Access Act

This month, FARE filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation against American Airlines for violations of the Air Carrier Act. FARE is seeking to protect the rights of individuals with food allergies who travel by air. This complaint addresses American Airlines’ written policy prohibiting passengers managing food allergies from pre-boarding – a policy that is a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act, which states pre-boarding must be offered to passengers with a disability who self-identify as needing additional time or assistance to board. Through our filing of this complaint, FARE is calling on the DOT to take…

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