Andraya Carson: What is Cyberbullying

I have been doing a lot of research on cyberbullying lately because I am a victim of this situation. It is very interesting to learn how much abuse is going on, and the bottom line is that I realized that people who cyberbully are very unhappy people themselves and have to hide behind a computer to share their thoughts. I actually feel very bad for them. But nevertheless their words effect people, one way or another, and so, I am passing on this article I found for you to read.
– Andraya (Dray) Carson

ORGINAL POST: http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Why Cyberbullying is Different

Kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, kids who are cyberbullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior.

  • Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.
  • Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
  • Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.

Effects of Cyberbullying

Illustration of two teens texting. Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar.

Kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to:

  • Use alcohol and drugs
  • Skip school
  • Experience in-person bullying
  • Be unwilling to attend school
  • Receive poor grades
  • Have lower self-esteem
  • Have more health problems
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Andraya Carson: Update on Arizona State Unemployment and Payroll Taxes

With the start of a new year comes new requirements to abide by regarding state taxes and payroll “stuff”. Many of our clients have been asking for updates, and so, whether you are an employer or an employee, you should know a few things…..

Withholding Requirements:

  • Register as an employer by filing Form UC-001 (Joint Tax Application). Registration can be completed online here.
  • Employee Withholding Form, A-4
  • Withholding Method = percent of gross pay
  • Supplemental Rate = percent of gross pay

Local Taxes:

None

Arizona State Tax Unemployment Insurance:

Report quarterly wages and contributions by filing Form UC-018 (Unemployment Tax and Wage Report) by last day of month following end of quarter.  Can be completed online here.

Wage base $7,000 for 2014 and 2015
Rates range from 0.03% to 7.79 for 2015%
New employers use 2.0% for 2015
Job Training Tax surcharge – 0.10%, not included in stated rate.

Special Assessment of .50% for 2012.  This will NOT be assessed on wages in 2013.

State Disability Insurance:

None

State Labor Laws:

Minimum Wage – $7.90 per hour effective 1/1/14 and $8.05 per hour effective 1/1/15.
Termination Pay – Fired- pay within seven working days or the end of the next regular pay period, whichever is sooner. Quits- pay by the next regular payday.

New Hire Reporting:

Arizona New Hire Reporting Center
P.O Box 402
Holbrook, MA 02343

888-282-2064
Fax: 888-282-0502
To file online click here

Remit Withholding for Child Support to:

Division of Child Support Enforcement
Department of Economic Security
PO Box 40458
Phoenix, AZ 85067
602-252-4045
Report using this site

Reciprocal States:

None

For more information on how we can help you, contact us through http://www.carsonconnections.com

Andraya Carson: Can Workplace Wellness Programs Fix What Ails Us?

There is always so much discourse about the condition of our country’s healthcare system. Wouldn’t it be refreshing, and perhaps more rewarding, if as Americans, we were to focus as much energy on the state of our wellness?

Some could argue that we are a rather sickly nation. According to a recent report issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services, among Americans there is an especially high prevalence of risk factors such as tobacco use, high cholesterol, obesity, and insufficient exercise, which are associated with chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. In fact, 45 percent of Americans, almost half the entire adult population, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Even more frightening, 13 percent of Americans have two of these conditions and three percent are struggling with all three. It’s no wonder our healthcare system is so taxed.On a brighter note, however, these conditions can improve with lifestyle changes. To that end, more and more progressive employers are creating workplace wellness programs that promote, and sometimes even reward, healthier lifestyles.

Corporate wellness programs are nothing new. Traditional programs help employees maintain their health and prevent illness by providing education, fitness regimes and regular health screenings to ensure early detection of problems. Many corporate wellness initiatives even include an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help employees cope with personal or emotional issues that may be affecting their work and family lives.

In addition to delivering positive health benefits to employees, wellness programs yield employers significant benefits as well. Successful programs have been proven to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and decrease healthcare costs.

Of course, to be effective wellness programs have to be utilized. Poorly-designed programs can miss their mark if they don’t take into consideration the health needs and interests of the employee population. One Midwestern company, for instance, launched its wellness program by opening a fitness center and implementing a campaign to combat prostate cancer. The gym was a big hit among employees, many of whom already participated in regular exercise, but the prostate screenings were largely ignored. When the company did some after-the-fact analysis, they learned that some 70 percent of their employees were women of childbearing age. They also found that many of their employees were smokers. Obviously, prostate cancer was not a concern for this workforce, but women’s health issues and smoking cessation were.

Conversely, Volkswagen is breaking the mold with a highly-customized wellness initiative designed to take their employees’ performance to the next level. At the company’s new $1 billion assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, newly-hired Volkswagen employees are undergoing on-the-job training in advance of the facility’s production start early next year. As part of their training, assembly line workers are being required to participate in two hours of fitness training each day. The fitness program, which is specifically-designed to help individual workers develop the strength and endurance necessary to meet the physical demands of their particular job, is intended to create “industrial athletes” who are able to grip, lift, bend and push without tiring. (Volkswagen has no intention of instituting a weight threshold for assembly line jobs, but some workers who initially resented Volkswagen’s required fitness training have lost as much as 30 pounds in a matter of weeks.)

Corporate wellness initiatives are usually voluntary, so mandating that employees participate in customized fitness programs so they can better perform their jobs is a provocative concept that could gain traction over time, especially if American’s persistent health issues, such as obesity or high blood pressure, make physical labor difficult or even dangerous. For the time being however, companies are doing well if they can build a wellnessprogram that permeates the corporate culture and genuinely advocates for and promotes employees’ health and wellbeing.

When creating or redesigning a program, employers should try to adopt several best practices: 1.) assess your workforce’s health needs and put them before any personal cause or passion; 2.) consider the whole employee to address all areas of wellness, including physical fitness, disease prevention and detection, and emotional wellbeing; 3.) create a work environment where wellness is pervasive, going beyond the fitness center or health fair to include snacks and drinks available in the vending machines; and 4.) consider incentivizing employees to take advantage of wellness initiatives by holding workout or weight loss contests or offering small give-a-ways for participating in health screenings.

Corporate wellness initiatives cannot fix our healthcare system, but cultivating a more health-conscious culture, not just within one company but throughout our country, could certainly lead Americans to be less reliant on our already over-taxed healthcare system.

Original Post: http://www.gnapartners.com/news/can-workplace-wellness-programs-fix-what-ails-us-11

John Allen, is President and COO of G&A Partners, a Texas-based HR and Administrative Services company that manages human resources, benefits, payroll, accounting and risk management for growing businesses. For more information about the company, visit www.gnapartners.com. Andraya Carson is a business advsisor for G&A Partners and can be reached at acarson@gnapartners.com for a consultation.

Dray Carson: Workplace Buyllying has to end

Unfortunately either yourself or someone you know how or will experience workplace bullying. Sometimes this may even occur after someone leaves the job, and by former employees. It is a horrible situation to be in, and from a human resources standpoint, can not be ignored.   Read the article below for more information, and contact Andraya Carson with G&A  Partners to see how you can help reduce bullying in the workplace.

Vol. 59   No. 10

With no anti-bullying workplace laws in the U.S., HR shouldn’t ignore the issue.

By Kasi McLaughlin, PHR  9/24/2014 (originally posted)

Bullying is the last form of workplace abuse that is not considered taboo in the United States. Although it is four times as prevalent as some forms of illegal harassment, there is no anti-bullying workplace legislation in the U.S.—unlike in England, Sweden and Australia.

You may wonder whether a concept as nebulous as workplace bullying could possibly be legislated. Won’t employees start filing frivolous complaints against people they don’t like or bosses with lousy management skills? No. In fact, most of the bills that have been proposed to date precisely define an abusive environment and require proof of harm by a mental health professional. They also allow the bully to be sued as an individual while enabling the company to preserve its right to provide at-will employment.

What Is Bullying?

Gary Namie, president of the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), and Ruth Namie, CEO of the campaign, define workplace bullying as the malicious verbal mistreatment of a target that is driven by the bully’s desire to control him or her. Tim Field, author of Bully In Sight: How to Predict, Resist, Challenge and Combat Workplace Bullying (Success Unlimited, 1996), defines it as a continual and relentless attack on other people’s self-confidence and self-esteem.

However it is defined, workplace bullying does not always include yelling, screaming or fits of rage. In fact, it usually takes place on a much quieter scale—in the form of exhibiting unwarranted criticism or intimidation, blaming someone without factual justification, unfairly singling someone out, or spreading rumors.

No matter what form it takes, bullying leaves people feeling powerless and confused. Some may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder years after the bullying occurred. According to the WBI’s 2012 Impact of Workplace Bullying on Individuals’ Health survey report, bullying drove 71 percent of targets to seek treatment from a physician; an alarming 29 percent contemplated suicide.

Who Are the Bullies?

It may not come as a surprise that women are often the victims of workplace bullying—but some people may not realize that the majority of bullies are also female. In fact, according to the results of the 2014 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, 68 percent of reported cases involve women-on-women bullying.

Like bullies at children’s schools, workplace bullies are not all evil sociopaths. Normal, well-adjusted members of society can fall prey to destructive bullying tactics when their authority is questioned. They often bully because they are afraid of seeing their own shortcomings exposed. Often, they feel threatened by the abilities or career ambitions of the people they bully and opt to use them as scapegoats.

Why Is Bullying Prevalent?

The authors of Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace (Civil Society Publishing, 1999) suggest that workplace bullying occurs as often as it does because such behaviors are ignored, tolerated, misunderstood or instigated by the company.

People don’t identify this behavior as workplace harassment, and thus many victims don’t realize that something unethical is happening to them. Since 2003, more than half of the states have introduced legislation that would allow workers to sue for harassment without requiring discrimination based on a protected class status—and yet no such proposals have made it into law.

Finally, victims of bullying often become so worn down that they no longer feel capable of defending themselves. In fact, according to 2007 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey data, only 3 percent of bullied targets file lawsuits and 50 percent never even complain. This explains why more than three-fourths of targets choose to leave the battlefield of abuse and start fresh somewhere else.

How Can HR Help?

There are several things HR can do to help reduce workplace bullying:

Make the business case. Top management will be more likely to listen to you if you present a business case for the bottom-line costs of bullying. These costs generally fall into three categories: the cost of replacing staff; the cost of lost productivity as staff copes with the bullying; and the costs associated with investigations, potential legal action and loss of the company’s reputation.

Create an anti-bullying policy or update your harassment policy. This could be as simple as adding verbiage to your current harassment policy that states that harassment of any individual—not just those in a protected class—will not be tolerated. According to a 2011 survey on workplace bullying by the Society for Human Resource Management, 56 percent of companies have an anti-bullying policy.

Hold awareness training. It is not enough to create a policy. HR professionals must make sure that employees understand the issue and its consequences.

Establish a contact for reporting claims. Employees will feel comfortable reporting incidents only to independent employee advocates. If an employee feels that the person in whom they are confiding may have a relationship with the bully, you will never get the full story.

Promptly address complaints. It is not easy for people to report bullying incidents; it would likely be devastating if nothing is done after they’ve come forward. Employees may leave or, worse, advise other co-workers that their reports were not taken seriously.

Hopefully the law will catch up with the brutal reality of bullying. Until then, HR can help give voice to this silent epidemic by displaying compassion, developing fair policies and showing prompt follow-up.

Kasi McLaughlin, PHR, is a former banking officer and human resources manager with First Fidelity Bank.

– See more at: http://www.shrm.org/publications/hrmagazine/editorialcontent/2014/1014/pages/1014-viewpoint-workplace-bullying.aspx#sthash.4uGN37QA.dpuf

– For complete article: http://www.shrm.org/publications/hrmagazine/editorialcontent/2014/1014/pages/1014-viewpoint-workplace-bullying.aspx

Andraya Carson: Negative Posts on Websites and Companies I Have Worked For

Hi, my name is Andraya Carson. Yes, I am actually the real Andraya Carson and not the impersonator that is all over the internet trying to discredit my name. I guess that I really made it in life to have someone else who I don’t even know, pretend to be me, Dray Carson, and post things on the internet. Now I really know that there is reality behind the saying that ‘just because it’s on google doesn’t make it real!’. Don’t trust everything on the internet. I personally have never ever written something negative about another person or a company that I have worked with, on the internet. As a matter of a fact, I have never helped anyone else who may be doing that type of work with negative postings. I am from the thought that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it all at. Especially on the internet. But for some reason, someone who I don’t even know, thinks that I have posted something about a company that I worked with, and so they are threatening me and blackmailing me openly on blogs until I ‘take down the posts’. Unfortunately, there is no way that I, Andraya Carson, can do that, since I NEVER POSTED ANYTHING TO BEGIN WITH! And this ‘person’ is saying that I am involved in Sex trade, that I- Dray Carson- am a sex prostitute and have aids and other diseases, and they also name people (who I have never met) that I am involved with for these illegal actions. The irony is that I am actually an activist against Human Trafficking- Sex and Labor Trafficking, and this mysterious person is saying that I am a part of the very industry that I am against. What a joke. And their language is so poor, it’s a strange combination of painful to try and figure out what they are trying to say, and hilarious when realizing how outlandish what they are saying really is, to anyone who reads the remarks. So, for those of you out there who have the misfortune to come across this type of content, my apologies in advance for that trouble. For those of you reading this who may be actually doing that drama of posting those things- realize please that you are misguided and think this through clearly- If I could take down the ‘information’ you claim I am posting, trust me I would have. There are so many things that are important to me that I don’t have enough time as it is to do- I would NOT WASTE my time posting nonsense about companies that I no longer am affiliated with. And to be honest- I don’t have anything negative to even say about any company I have worked with. I was always in the right place at the right time, and fortunate for all experiences (good and bad) that I have had while working with various companies and persons. I have learned all along the way!

 

Peace!

Andraya Carson against Sex Trafficking

Andraya Carson is passionate about people and life, valuing highest the human body, and feels that people are not meant to be traded as a commodity. Therefore Andraya Carson is involved with organizations that promote social awareness and relief support to help in ending the ongoing issue of modern slavery, known as human trafficking. Andraya Carson’s long term goal is to exclusively dedicate her time towards the mission of eradicating sex and labor trafficking in the United States and worldwide.

Andraya Carson has a blog that is dedicated to the purpose of social awareness in the areas of sex trafficking, prostitution, labor slavery, and other forms of oppression that hides under the category of Human Trafficking.

Blog: http://andrayacarsonagainstprostitution.wordpress.com/

Andraya Carson is in Business Development

Andraya Carson works with businesses to help them grow in many areas. There are people on the internet that are trying to say horrible things about Andraya Carson, but those who know Dray Carson know that she is kind, caring, loving, and there to help people. It is unfortunate that the internet is such a positive but yet also negative place to be. People can do and say things with no merit and that is what they are doing to Andraya Carson. Andraya Carson is a remarkable person, and a gift for any business she is in.