HR News & Trends

HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: The 15 Scariest Issues Employers Are Facing This Year

Dreamstime.com

Who can possibly resist something that touts the Scariest Employment Challenges of 2015: 15 Issues Employers Cannot Afford to Ignore?

Not me. This is something I can really dig my teeth into, and it is an annual survey report put together by XpertHR, the website that provides online compliance tools and guidance for HR professionals.

It’s also a pretty good analysis of workplace trends, and that’s important to remember despite the provocative title. As I pointed out when I wrote about this report last year, I get lots of surveys and reports that have ominous-sounding titles, but most don’t hold up to focused scrutiny. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Same-Sex Couples Now Must Marry to Get Employer Health Benefits

same-sex-marriage

Until recently, same-sex couples could not legally marry. Now, some are finding they must wed if they want to keep their partner’s job-based health insurance and other benefits.

With same-sex marriage now legal in 35 states and the District of Columbia, some employers that formerly covered domestic partners say they will require marriage licenses for workers who want those perks.

“We’re bringing our benefits in line, making them consistent with what we do for everyone else,” said Ray McConville, a spokesman for Verizon, which notified non-union employees in July that domestic partners in states where same-sex marriage is legal must wed if they want to qualify for such benefits. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: Employees Are an Asset? Yes, MORE Workplace Trends For 2015

© Javier Castro - Fotolia

I know, I know — we’re only two weeks into the New Year and you have already gotten a boatload of workplace predictions and trends for 2015.

That’s what happens when we roll in to a new year, and if you haven’t had enough already, here is one more list of them, courtesy of the The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated:

Here are their Top Workplace Trends for 2015: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

NJ Court’s Independent Contractor Test Assumes Workers Are Employees

123RF Stock Photo

By Eric B. Meyer

The New Jersey Supreme Court just fashioned a test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of resolving a wage-payment or wage-and-hour claim.

On Wednesday the Court, in this opinion, concluded that the “ABC” test, a creature of the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Act, will determine whether plaintiff is an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of resolving a wage-payment or wage-and-hour claim.

The applicable Unemployment Compensation Act provision speaks in terms of control. The law presumes that an individual is an employee. It’s then up to the company to prove otherwise; i.e., that the individual is an independent contractor. Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

Employers Feeling Pressure to Pay More to Workers With Special Skills

123RF Stock Photo

Across the U.S., employers and the agencies that help them fill jobs are feeling increasing pressure to raise pay for workers with special skills.

Although hiring in many parts of the country and for certain sectors — manufacturing being one of the more frequently mentioned — was strong the last several weeks, growth nationally was generally minimal, the Federal Reserve said in a report on economic conditions released today.

The Fed’s so-called Beige Book summarizes reports from business and employment contacts in the 12 Federal Reserve districts to provide a ground level view of conditions. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Training & Development

Closing the Skills Gap: Is Free Community College Really the Answer?

From istockphoto.com

Last week at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, President Obama spoke about America’s College Promise, a program that if passed would provide a free community college education to most any student able to maintain a 2.5 grade point average.

The program would be funded by a combination of federal and state monies.

During his presentation, the President said that,

Community colleges should be free for those willing to work for it — because in America, a quality education cannot be a privilege that is reserved for a few. I think it’s a right for everybody who’s willing to work for it.” Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

President Calls For Paid Sick Leave For All American Workers

Obama

By Eric B. Meyer

In an announcement made late Wednesday on LinkedIn, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, posted that President Obama will call upon Congress today to pass the Healthy Families Act.

I’ve blogged about the Healthy Families Act before here. Essentially, the Healthy Families Act would require companies with 15 or more employees to permit each employee to earn at least one (1) hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court OKs Firing of Public Employee Who Criticized Boss on Facebook

Facebook Logo

By Eric B. Meyer

You know all that stuff you read on the Internet about employees who can badmouth their boss on the Internet, all in the name of free speech, and not get fired for it?

Yeah, about that.

Here’s a recent opinion from the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans about a 25-year police sergeant, a public employee, whose First Amendment freedom of speech rights were not violated when she was fired for posting Facebook comments, which were critical of her boss. Read more…

HR Insights, HR News & Trends

2015 HR Trends: More Tech Adoption and a Greater Focus on Talent

© Grasko - Fotolia

Global economic growth and the resounding need to engage employees in all parts of the globe dominated HR headlines in 2014. But as one year closes and another one moves ahead, it’s time to once again predict what is in store for 2015.

Here are three (3) distinct HR trends that we fully expect to headline conversations in the new year. You’ll see that the common thread in these trends is the emphasis on new technologies and innovations that will drive the HR industry forward.

From benefits technology to leveraging big data to better understanding your employees, 2015 will bring with it sophisticated new technologies and methods for HR, which, if approached correctly, will be a win for all parties. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Is Transexual Discrimination Legal? One Company Says That It Is

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By Eric B. Meyer

Over the weekend, I joined a Facebook thread discussing a recent federal court complaint filed in Texas by a former Saks employee, Leyth O. Jamal (Jamal V. Saks).

Ms. Jamal claims that Saks violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against her because she is transsexual.

Saks claims that the complaint lacks merit because Title VII doesn’t prohibit discrimination against transgender employees. Read more…