As 2016 comes to a close, there are always some stories in the employment world that do not get enough attention. For that reason, our content team put together a list of three stories that stood out over the last couple of weeks, why you should take the time to read them and our reaction to the report.

NBA Player Criticized for Missing Work for Daughter’s Birth

In an article originally published on, the author discussed criticism that Boston Celtics center Al Horford was receiving from some in the local media about missing a game because of the birth of his daughter.

The media member, Michael Felger of CSN New England, stated, “Al Horford, your $30 million man or however much you pay him a year, sat out tonight because he had the birth of his kid–was it yesterday? Yesterday. He had the birth of his kid in Atlanta. The game was in Miami. I know when you make $30 million a year, it ain’t much to get a private jet. [Celtics co-owner] Wyc [Grousbeck] would probably pick it up to fly down at 3 o’clock from Atlanta. It’s a 90-minute flight to Atlanta. Play the game and come right back. I’m sure his wife is in the hospital surrounded by nurses, mothers, aunts, relatives. I would have gone to the game, I would have played the game, and I like my guys to sort of forsake everything for the team.”

Why is this relevant to the workplace? Paternity leave has always been a hot topic in the hiring industry because fathers often have to take the time off unpaid for the birth of their child. Some, like friends of mine, saved up their vacation time for the week after the birth of their children, but many get caught in a situation where they do not have enough time off to be with their family after birth.Al Horford Baby

Many companies are adopting more flexible scheduling and time off benefits, which include paternity leave for their male employees. The reaction by this Boston-area media member over Horford missing time—granted by his employer—is incredible and an archaic response to what is supposed to be a great time in someone’s life.

6 Icebreakers for Your Next Holiday Event

We all spend a lot of our time Networking, so it is no surprise the fine folks over at TopResume provided us with this great read on how to break the ice at your networking events. I am not going to list out all six icebreakers, please head over to the article to read them in full, but this one seemed much easier than the card trick they suggested to start.

Ask for Advice: “These networking icebreakers are especially easy if your event has a buffet or a drink menu. “I’ve never been here before. What’s their specialty?” “I’d like to try something new. What’s your favorite?”

Most people dive into the “what do you do” portion of the conversation entirely too early at networking events, which is why asking someone for advice is more inviting and engaging. Once you loosen them up a little bit because you order their suggestion, the conversation should flow pretty easily from there.

Is it Illegal to Criticize Your Employer on Social Media?

The majority of you have seen the company review section of Glassdoor, but you may have not known they have a blog as well. In this post, they discussed one of the hottest topics of 2016—and one many of you know we have covered a lot on the NexGoal blog as well.

Social media has become such a highly used form of communication that many employees do not see or understand unintended consequences of what they are posting, especially when it comes to work. Far too often I see friends and family members just ripping their jobs to shreds without the understanding that their bosses and HR departments can see what they are writing publically.

So, what did the article have to say?

“Yes – employees can be reprimanded if the employees are on notice that their (even off duty) posts may be found (in general searches regarding the company’s name or reputation) and reviewed by the company. If the employee posts information that is improper or requires the company to respond – for example, threats of violence, hate speech, harassment, disclosure of trade secrets, or information that may lead to the company being sued, discipline may not only be appropriate, but it may be legally required. It is a best practice for companies to have a clear, concise and informative social media policy, letting employees know what the limits are for online posting. Nobody wants to be perceived as, or act like, “Big Brother,” but employees also need to know that there are limits to what can be posted online, just as there are limits to what they can say in the workplace or even out in public.”

Social media is a fun place to network, interact and blow off steam—but more and more people need to analyze what they are posting and decide if it is worth losing their job, or a potential job in the future, over.

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