HR Strange But True!
January 26, 2012
map of the world

This week, we’re taking our readers on a journey across the globe with a recap of recent international HR stories.

Al Qaeda’s HR Department?—The storming of Osama bin Laden’s compound will go down as one of the major events of 2011. In addition to other goals of the operation, intelligence gathering was a priority. A wealth of information was retrieved from Bin Laden’s compound that gives insight into the al-Qaeda organization, including its HR policies and functions.

Airline Safety Videos Feature Celeb Cameos—Airlines have been getting more creative with preflight safety videos in an effort to keep passengers’ attention. Air New Zealand has even enlisted a glittery, workout guru to keep customers interested. (Video added!)

Can Employers Require Employees to Wear Bras? German Court Says Yes—Last year, a German court ruled in favor of an employer’s strict dress code. Among other matters of appearance, female employees can now be required to wear a bra or undershirt.

Swedish Commuters Are Hot—and Green—Employees who use public transit know they’re being “green” because they use less fuel in their commuting. But in Stockholm, green commuters are doing double duty—their body warmth is heating an office building near the train station!

Employee Goes on $45 Million Spending Spree—An ING employee is responsible for one of Australia’s largest individual fraud operations. Over a 5-year period, Subramaniam, a 20-year employee, illegally used company funds to purchase over $45 million of merchandise.

Model Fired After Commenting on the Qaddafi Family—Telefonica fired a model for commenting about Moammar Qaddafi’s family and her relationship with the former Libyan dictator’s son.

A Royal Pay Freeze—The economic downturn is affecting all walks of life, even royalty! The queen herself, Queen Elizabeth II, is taking a pay freeze until at least 2015.

Russian Leader Still Wants Workers to Produce More—Workers!—An idea of a regional governor to give workers time off to make more workers back in 2007 seems have been resuscitated by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who just told his people to stop the “demographic crises” and “go forth and multiply.”

No More Monkey Business—Security officials in India have hired new guards to stop any monkey business from happening during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. What’s so strange about these new workers? They have to be kept on a leash!

Working from Home Creates More CO2, says BBC Program—A recent program on BBC Radio claims that studies show that telecommuters who teleconference actually generate more carbon dioxide than their on-site colleagues who actually sit in on the meetings.

Japanese Try to Beat the Heat with Quirky Workplace Fashions—As a result of the earthquake and tsunami and to save electricity because of the closed nuclear generating plants, Japanese companies have loosened up on dress codes. And the results are downright quirky, especially in this conservative workplace culture.

Do you have any quirky workplace stories? We would love to hear them.

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