HR News & Trends

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues, Recruiting and Staffing

New Jersey Latest State to Ban the Box in Employment Applications

New Jersey

By Eric B. Meyer

Come Jan. 1, 2015, most New Jersey employers will no longer be able to ask about an applicant’s criminal record during the initial employment application process.

That’s right.

Ban the box will be b-b-b-b-banned in the Garden State! Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

Employers Find That Time-to-Fill Job Rates Are Growing, Hit 13 Year High

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The time to fill open positions has reached a national average of just about 25 days, the lengthiest job vacancy period in the 13 years covered by the DICE–time to fill by industry DFH Vacancy Duration Measure.

The monthly report on time to fill and recruiting efforts says that on average it took 24.9 working days (Monday-Saturday) in June to post, source, and hire a new employee. That’s more than nine days longer than it took at the height of the recession in July 2009. Then, the average was 15.3 working days.

The lengthening time to fill is having a serious impact on search firms. Data from MRINetwork says growing numbers of candidates are taking alternative offers while clients make up their mind. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Some 16% of Large Employers Plan to Still Offer “Skinny” Health Plans

Photo illustration by istockphoto.com

Nearly one company in six in a new survey from a major employer group plans to offer health coverage that doesn’t meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirements for value and affordability.

Many thought such low-benefit “skinny plans” would be history once the health law was fully implemented this year. Instead, 16 percent of large employers in a survey released Aug. 13 by the National Business Group on Health said they will offer in 2015 lower-benefit coverage along with at least one health plan that does qualify under ACA standards.

The results weren’t unexpected by benefits pros, who realized last year that ACA regulations would allow skinny plans and even make them attractive for some employers. But the new survey gives one of the first looks at how many companies will follow through and offer them. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

What Happens When an Employer Says Cancer Is Not an ADA Disability?

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By Eric B. Meyer

What happens when an employer-defendant argues that cancer — CANCER! — is not an ADA disability?

How do you think that worked out? (I’ve got a pretty good guess too).

In EEOC v. Midwest Regional Medical Center, LLC (yes, the employer-defendant was a friggin’ hospital!), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit on behalf of an employee who had been diagnosed with basal-cell carcinoma. According to the EEOC, the employee informed her supervisor of her cancer diagnosis and that she would undergo radiation treatment. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Rhode Island Latest State to Ban Access to Employee Online Content

123RF Stock Photo

By Philip L. Gordon and Joon Hwang

Rhode Island recently became the fifth state in 2014 and the 17th state nationwide to enact legislation restricting access by employers to applicants’ and employees’ personal online content.

The Rhode Island law follows similar laws enacted this year by Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, continuing a nationwide trend that began in spring 2012.

Rhode Island’s new law embodies many of the prohibitions seen in similar laws. However, in comparison to similar laws, the new law provides relatively narrow exceptions that allow employers to protect their legitimate business interest. Read more…

HR News & Trends

2015 Salary Survey: It’s Another Year – and Another Mediocre 3% Increase

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Is the U.S. economy really improving?

Some people want to think it is, but if you look at the early projections for 2015 salary increases and consider such increases as a strong economic indicator, it’s barely growing — at best.

In other words, it’s time to get ready for another 3 percent raise next year.

Consulting giant Mercer just came out with their 2014/2015 U.S. Compensation Planning Survey, and “the average raise in base pay is expected to be 3.0 percent in 2015.” This is roughly in line with the early numbers from the WorldatWork’s 2014-2015 Salary Budget Survey that projects a 3.1 percent salary increase in the U.S. next year, up from the 3.0 percent employees received in 2014. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

Weekly Wrap: Sweet Little Lies? Not When They’re in Your Resume

Resume snobs focus too much on form rather than the experience the author brings to the table. (Photo illustration by Dreamstime)

Raise your hand if you have never, ever fibbed on a resume.

Slightly fudging your previous experience, education, and job credentials has always been a time-honored tradition, and in the past, recruiters and hiring managers simply accepted that people would do that here and there.

Somehow, the world of work survived.

But then, background checks came along and as they got more and more extensive, all that time-honored resume fudging turned into a big problem as people got caught up in the fibs they were telling — as this latest survey from CareerBuilder makes very clear. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go – But It May Not Be an ADA Disability

Restroom2

By Eric B. Meyer

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

In Sanders v. Judson Center, the plaintiff worked for a non-profit human service agency providing services to disabled individuals identified as “consumers.” The plaintiff, who suffered from a heart condition, was prescribed medication designed to get rid of body of fluids.

One night, while transporting two consumers in a van, the plaintiff was overcome with the need to urinate. So, she pulled over at a rest stop to use the bathroom.

The problem was that the two consumers required constant supervision. And, during the plaintiff’s bathroom break, one of the “consumers” wandered off from the van. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

New Obamacare Wrinkle: Some Employees Get Automatically Enrolled

Health care reform has been a key initiative of President Obama's administration.

Newly hired employees who don’t sign up for health insurance on the job could have it done for them under an Affordable Care Act provision that may take effect as early as next year.

But the controversial provision is raising questions:

Does automatic enrollment help employees help themselves, or does it force them into coverage they don’t want and may not need? A group of employers, many of them retail and hospitality businesses, want the provisions repealed, but some experts say the practice has advantages and is consistent with the aims of the health law. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Union Representation Applies to Referrals for Drug/Alcohol Tests

PHoto by istockphoto.com

By Dale L. Deitchler

The National Labor Relations Board in late July ruled that so-called “Weingarten rights” – the general right of a unionized employee to request union representation in connection with an investigatory interview that could lead to discipline – apply when employees request representation after an employer refers them for a workplace drug/alcohol test.

Based on this ruling in Ralph’s Grocery Co., 361 NLRB. No. 9 (2014), the NLRB overturned an employee’s suspension and discharge, finding the actions were inextricably linked to the employee’s request for representation after referral for a drug test, and ordered a make-whole remedy. Read more…