HR News & Trends

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Is OSHA’s Temp Worker Initiative Foreshadowing Things To Come?

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I support OSHA’s temporary worker focus. Employers need to take more steps to ensure that temporary employees don’t fall through the cracks and do not receive adequate safety training.

However, employers should also make long-term plans based on what the initiative tells us more broadly about where workplace enforcement is heading.

Let’s break our discussion into two subjects: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

High Court Extends Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Law to Most Employees

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By Ed Ellis, Gregory Keating, and Stephen Melnick

In Lawson v. FMR LLC, the U.S. Supreme Court massively expanded the scope of the anti-retaliation provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), from 4,500 publicly held companies to millions of private companies that are “contractors,” “subcontractors” or “agents” of a publicly held company.

Going forward, privately held employers should be aware that SOX provides a remedy for almost all U.S. employees who suffer adverse employment actions for reporting fraud. Employers should train their management and human resources personnel to identify potential employment issues of this type and remedy them before they become costly litigation. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

March Job Growth: Not Too Bad, But Not as Good as Expected

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Editor’s note: Weekly Wrap  is taking a week off. It will return next Friday.

U.S. job growth in March was somewhat lower than predicted as employers added 192,000 jobs during the month.

The unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent due largely to the half-million workers who rejoined the labor force.

The March report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also upped the initial numbers for January and February, adding 37,000 more jobs. With the revisions, monthly job growth during the first quarter of the year averaged 177,700 new jobs versus 206,000 for the first quarter last year. Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

Senate Committee Debates Fairness of Paycheck Fairness Act

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In advance of an expected floor vote, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing this week to discuss the merits of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84).

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski,D-MD, chief sponsor of the legislation, said the Senate needs to “finish the job started by the Lily Ledbetter” Fair Pay Act.

The bill, which has been introduced several times in the last few years but has failed to advance, would make the following changes to current wage law: Read more…

HR Basics, HR News & Trends

Independent Contractor Compliance: What Employers Need to Consider

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Independent workers – whether they’re called independent contractors, freelancers or the self-employed – continue to be a significant factor in the American economy.

According to Randstad’s Workforce 360 study, 43 percent of the workforce says they are interested in pursuing non-traditional work arrangements, and more than 2.6 million workers are already living the “free agent” lifestyle.

Government agencies at the Federal and State level have noticed this movement. Various agencies on both levels are now targeting this population through legislative efforts and increased audits. Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

BLS Minimum Wage Report: Is There Anything Worthwhile In it?

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By John E. Thompson

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a report entitled Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013 which claims that approximately 1.8 million hourly-paid workers made less than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s $7.25-per-hour minimum wage last year.

It also asserts that another 1.5 million hourly-paid workers earned exactly this minimum rate.

These statements are already being touted as additional support for increasing the FLSA minimum wage. On the contrary, even a cursory look at the methodology gives rise to serious doubt that the report has almost anything worthwhile to say in this regard. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: More Evidence of Why You Should Worry About Retention

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Here’s some shocking news: employees aren’t terribly satisfied with their jobs, their employers, their growth opportunities under their current employers, or the way their organizations recognizes people for doing good work.

That just about cover it, doesn’t it?

I know what you’re thinking: what’s so surprising about all of this, anyway? What is it hat I don’t know already? Read more…

Global HR, HR News & Trends

Why China Really Needs HR’s Help – And Now More Than Ever

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By Annie Lau

When people think about the reasons they have left an organization or have not accepted an offer with a company, one of the key common factors is perhaps something one might not expect: development, or rather, the lack thereof.

Compensation, while certainly important, is often not the deciding factor in the decision to work or stay somewhere. The same need for development seems to be a growing emphasis as part of the recruiting efforts in China for many organizations.

The rapidly rising economy in China has led domestic and foreign companies to often compete for the same pool of candidates. Job-hopping has become commonplace as the workforce’s desire for growth and improvement increases. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Republican Bills Would Halt NLRB’s “Ambush” Union Election Rule

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By Ilyse Wolens Schuman and Michael J. Lotito

As a preemptive strike against a final “ambush” representation election rule, Republican lawmakers in both chambers introduced legislation that would blunt its intended effects.

In February, the National Labor Relations Board reissued its controversial proposal that would not only expedite union election procedures, but also fundamentally alter the way elections are carried out, and remove many employer due process rights.

The reissued proposal was substantively the same as that initially introduced in June 2011, which triggered over 65,000 comments. The Board will hold public hearings on this proposed rule in the coming weeks. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Appeals Court Says Yes, Employees CAN Openly Discuss Wages

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By Eric B. Meyer

Over the past several years, seemingly, we’re seen the National Labor Relations Board take a more active interest in employee handbooks.

We’ve certainly seen it with respect to social media policies; especially, where these policies purport to limit the rights of employees to discuss their employment with one another. This is because Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act allows employees to discuss their terms and conditions of employment together.

And you don’t need to have a union either. The act applies in most every private-sector workplace. Read more…