HR News & Trends

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Premiums For Job-Based Health Insurance Rose 3% This Year

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Premiums for job-based insurance rose modestly for the third consecutive year, reflecting slowed spending, even as key elements of the federal health care law went into effect.

Family premiums rose 3 percent in 2014, one of the lowest increases tracked since the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust began surveying employers in 1999. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

Nonetheless, the cost of the average family plan rose to $16,834 annually, according to the survey of more than 2,000 employers nationwide. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Number of Positive Drug Tests For Workers Up For First Time Since 2003

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After a decade of slowly declining workplace drug test results, Quest Diagnostics, which describes itself as “the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services,” said more workers tested positive last year, particularly for marijuana and amphetamines.

Although the total positive results are small — of 7.6 million urine tests, only 3.7 percent were positive — it does represent a 5.5 percent increase from 2012′s 3.5  percent positive rate, and is the first increase since 2003, when 4.5 percent of the samples found traces of drugs.

Marijuana was the most commonly detected drug, showing up in 1.7 percent of the urine samples. That was a 6.25 percent increase over 2012. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Talent Management

Survey Shows How Much Millennials Continue to Defy Expectations

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Approximately 80 million Millennials live in the U.S today.

In my last post on talent acquisition trends, I touched on the fact that this group is the largest generation in history and, while the exact percentages vary depending on the research, is expected to make up more than 50 percent of the workforce by 2020.

We may still think of Millennials as “the next generation,” but the fact is that this group will make up the majority of the workforce in the not too distant future, so research on the values and expectations of this generation is valuable – and actionable. Read more…

HR Management, HR News & Trends

How the Baltimore Ravens (and the NFL) Failed HR 101

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By now everyone has seen former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, knock out his wife with two punches to the head in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino.

My question is this: Why didn’t anyone in the Baltimore Ravens’ organization see this before agreeing with the NFL to bring him back, initially, with only a two game suspension?

The Ravens (and the NFL) claim that no one in their organization saw the video from inside the casino elevator until it was leaked to TMZ this week. Do you buy that? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: ADA Requires Accommodating Employees With Angry Outbursts

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By Eric B. Meyer

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities when doing so will allow them to perform the essential functions of their job.

In Assaturian v. Hertz Corp., the plaintiff had a series of ailments, which the defendant admitted were ADA disabilities. But, one of the symptoms of these disabilities were angry outbursts, which were directed at subordinates.

(The parties agreed that the plaintiff had anger issues, but disagreed about whether the plaintiff had made the defendant aware of either this disabilities or the symptoms of those disabilities). Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

August Job Growth Is the Slowest So Far This Year

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Editor’s note: The Weekly Wrap is taking one more week of vacation. It will return next week.

Even taking into account the usual summer hiring slowdown, the August jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department can only be called surprising.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said 142,000 new jobs were created in August, a number far off the 220,000 to 230,000 economists forecast. Unemployment inched down to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent.

It was the smallest increase yet this year, and follows six months of gains over 200,000 jobs each. Going into August, the monthly average gain in new jobs was 230,000. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

5 Talent Acquisition Trends You Really Need to Watch

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Ultimate Software (They’re No. 20 on this year’s Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for list) just released a whitepaper that looks at Top 5 Talent Acquisition Trends in today’s market.

As much data as we might see on talent acquisition, it’s a perpetually interesting topic to look at because (and Ultimate Software puts it well), “A company can have the right technology, the right infrastructure, the right products and services – yet still fall short of expectations without the right people.”

People are the heart and soul of an organization, and attracting, hiring, and engaging the right people for an organization is vital to its growth and success. The whitepaper highlights that over the past five years we’ve seen a huge change in the landscape of talent acquisition. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Yes, Employees Can Curse Their Boss on Facebook and Get Away With It

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By Eric B. Meyer

Can an employee curse out their boss on Facebook and get away with it?

It’s easier than you think. Indeed, a recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board bears this out.

As we’ve discussed before, the National Labor Relations Act, gives covered employees (that would include not just those in unionized workplaces, but many, many folks in non-union jobs too) the right to discuss the terms and conditions of their jobs (stuff like pay, benefits, crappy bosses, etc.) together. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Talent Management

The Market Basket Shutdown: It Taught Us What Matters to Workers Most

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about the unfolding saga of the Market Basket grocery store walkout.

For those not in the know, non-unionized employees walked off the job or protested outside of stores in support of their beloved CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas (called ATD). Market Basket is a family-owned business of several dozen grocery stores across New England. But the family that owns it was fairly evenly divided between those in ATD’s camp and those on cousin’s Arthur S. Demoulas side.

Arthur S. owned 51 percent of the chain and, I think it’s fair to say, had an acrimonious relationship with his cousin, ATD, who owned the remainder. ATD served as CEO until mid-June, when he was fired by the board, led by cousin, Arthur S. That prompted the employee walk-out, demanding the return of ATD. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

For the First Time, EEOC Directly Challenges a Workplace Wellness Program

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By Russell D. Chapman

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed its first lawsuit directly challenging the operation of a wellness program.

In EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, the EEOC alleged that the employer imposed a wellness program on its employees in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 20, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the EEOC claims that the defendant, Orion Energy Systems, administered a wellness program in which employees were asked to complete a health risk assessment, which included questions regarding medical history and blood work. Read more…