Informed Employer: Strike Replacements—a New Paradigm? Informed Employer: Strike Replacements—a New Paradigm?

Informed Employer: Strike Replacements—a New Paradigm?

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Firms Can't Force Workers to Sign Arbitration Clauses, Court Says
A federal appeals court ruled that companies cannot force their employees to sign away their right to band together in legal actions, delivering a major victory for American workers and opening an opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago struck down an arbitration clause that banned employees from joining together as a class and required workers to battle the employer one by one outside of court.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-05-26) Read the full article
EEOC Issues Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs
Employers that sponsor wellness programs should carefully review new regulations and limits to incentives under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's final rules on wellness programs, and make sure they don't conflict with existing wellness program requirements. The agency's final rules amend existing GINA regulations and create new ADA regulations detailing how employers can offer inducements for wellness plan participation, while ensuring they don't coerce employees or their covered spouses to submit to involuntary medical exams or to divulge genetic information, which includes family medical history.
(Source: BNA, 2016-06-01) Read the full article
EEOC Raises Fines for Employers Failing to Post Bias Laws to $525
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is more than doubling the monetary fines for employers that fail to properly post federal laws that protect workers from discrimination. The maximum penalty for violating the posting requirements will now be $525, more than double the previous maximum of $210.
(Source: SHRMOnline, 2016-06-06) Read the full article
Survey Finds Workers Ready to Pay for Better Retirement Benefits
Twenty-three percent of U.S. employees surveyed by Willis Towers Watson say they will have to work past age 70 to live comfortably in retirement. According to the survey, more than six in 10 (62 percent) respondents would be willing to pay more out of their paychecks for more generous retirement benefits; 63 percent would be willing to pay more for a certain benefit at the point of retirement.
(Source: Plan Sponsor, 2016-06-02) Read the full article
More Companies Stop Offering Spousal Coverage to Reduce Costs
More employers are trying to reduce the costs associated with health care claims by no longer offering spousal coverage if the non-employee spouse has access to medical benefits through their employer, finds new research from actuarial firm Conrad Siegel. In 2015, 52 percent of participants did not offer spousal coverage to spouses of employees eligible for workplace health care coverage, as opposed to only 31 percent of companies reporting in 2014.
(Source: BenefitNews.com, 2016-06-02) Read the full article
Just 13% of Small Businesses Offer Workers Access to 401(k) Plan
The number of small businesses offering their employees a retirement plan has dropped by almost 50 percent. Just 13 percent of small business owners now provide their staff members with access to a 401(k) plan.
(Source: Small Business Trends, 2016-05-25) Read the full article
Morgan Stanley Latest Company to Change How it Assesses Employees
Morgan Stanley told its staff that it was overhauling how employees are assessed in several ways, including by discarding the number scale in favor of lists of up to five adjectives. The changes are the latest effort by a stalwart of corporate America to change how it evaluates employees.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-06-02) Read the full article
Tips on Using Recognition to Improve Workers’ Performance
Recognizing employees who do well improves workers' performance overall -- not because the recognized employees work harder, but because those who weren't recognized do. That was one of the conclusions of an academic study described in a 2013 working paper from European research center CESifo.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2016-05-30) Read the full article
House Approves Banning LGBT Bias by Federal Contractors
The House reversed itself and approved a measure aimed at upholding an executive order that bars discrimination against LGBT employees by federal contractors. More than 40 Republicans helped Democrats power the gay rights measure over the opposition of GOP conservatives who dominate the chamber.
(Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2016-05-26) Read the full article
Millennials Seek Employer Commitment to Social Responsibility
More than half of employees say they would not work for a company lacking a strong commitment to social or environmental causes, according to a study released by Cone Communications on employee engagement. The report highlights the importance of corporate social responsibility in recruiting and retaining talent.
(Source: PR Week, 2016-06-01) Read the full article
 
 
 
Headlines
Strike Replacements—a New Paradigm?


Michael Boldt

​Since the Supreme Court's 1938 decision in Mackay Radio (304 U.S. 333), it has been well-established that a private sector employer subject to the NLRA may hire permanent replacements for employees who go on strike over contract proposals. The replaced strikers are not "fired;" instead they are placed on a preferential hire list to be offered reinstatement if and when an employee hired as a permanent replacement for them quits, is fired, or other otherwise leaves the job.

On May 31, 2016, the NLRB issued a decision holding that the employer's right to hire permanent replacement for economic strikers is not unlimited, and that an employer must be circumspect about its reasons for seeking permanent replacements, or risk substantial penalties. The case is American Baptist Homes of the West, 364 NLRB No. 13 ("American Baptist"). The decision has ominous overtones for the future.

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DOL Awards Back Wages for Benched H-1B Worker


Kristin Kelley

By sponsoring a foreign national employee for H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 status, the employer attests that for the period of authorized employment, it will pay the employee the required wage rate as listed on the Labor Condition Application. The wage obligation is present even when the worker is in a period of nonproductive status for reasons related to the employment, such as a lack of assigned work. If an employer fails to pay the worker the required wage rate, the employer may owe the worker back wages.

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