Informed Employer: Absence Makes the Workplace . . . Stronger? Informed Employer: Absence Makes the Workplace . . . Stronger?

Informed Employer: Absence Makes the Workplace . . . Stronger?

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Employers Continue Monitoring Workers' Social Media Use
The number of people fired over social-media posts is rising, and many employers look closely at a job candidate's online presence before making a decision. According to a 2013 survey from CareerBuilder, 39 percent of employers dig into candidates on social sites, while 43 percent said they had found something that made them deep-six a candidate -- such as posting inappropriate photos or information, or bad-mouthing a former boss.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-05-11) Read the full article
Fast-Food Workers Begin Striking Over Minimum Wage Hike
Hundreds of fast food workers walked off their jobs in dozens of U.S. cities -- reportedly forcing at least a few locations to temporarily close or re-staff while mostly managers filled-in -- as sympathetic protesters in several dozen countries joined in a united call for wages of $15 an hour and the right to form a union. The strike, targeting the $200 billion fast-food industry at a time of intense competition, is aimed at directing consumer attention to the low wages of most fast-food workers.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-05-15) Read the full article
Rises in Health Care Plan Costs Remain Moderate in 2014
The rate of increase in costs of employer-sponsored health-care plans is continuing to moderate this year in the United States, according to research by Buck Consultants. But it's a different story abroad, as evidenced by another report issued by Towers Watson.
(Source:, 2014-05-15) Read the full article
ACA Could Allow More Older Americans to Leave Workforce
Wanna-be retirees looking to leave the workforce but scared to lose their health coverage may finally feel comfortable leaving thanks to the Affordable Care Act. A new report finds the availability of insurance for this group on the newly-created health insurance exchanges has been shown to significantly impact retirement decisions, allowing workers to leave the labor force earlier without having to worry about costly medical bills.
(Source: Fox Business, 2014-05-14) Read the full article
Study Finds Solvents in Workplace Could Cause Memory Problems
A new study of French power company retirees finds that those who were exposed to solvents and benzene on the job -- even decades earlier -- were more likely to score poorly on memory and thinking tests. The findings don't directly confirm that the chemicals harmed the mental powers of the former workers, and it was not clear if those with more thinking problems face more issues getting through their day-to-day lives.
(Source: HealthDay, 2014-05-12) Read the full article
Companies Finding Narcotics Boost Workers' Comp Costs
Finance chiefs at companies with facilities in New York and Louisiana now have a clear indication of how to cut workers' compensation costs and better manage workplace injuries: find ways to cut down on the prescribing and use of narcotics to kill pain. In those two states, the amount of narcotics used by an average injured worker is "striking," a new study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) finds.
(Source:, 2014-05-14) Read the full article
Fathers Want Paid Time Off to Be Part of Children's Lives
Sure, there's salary and vacation time, but there's one more benefit on the minds of many men -- even in their 20s and 30s -- when it comes to job necessities. Eighty-nine percent of men say paternity leave is hugely important to them, says a new Boston College study to be published in June.
(Source: NPR, 2014-05-10) Read the full article
CEOs Want Better Analytics Information About Their Talent
Chief executive officers are demanding better information about their talent to support business goals, and human resources departments that can deliver such data and help achieve a sustainable competitive advantage for the organization are more likely to be considered strategic partners, according to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Saratoga.
(Source: BNA, 2014-05-12) Read the full article
Google Moves to Disclose Workforce Diversity Statistics
Google is planning to release statistics documenting the diversity of its workforce for the first time amid escalating pressure on the technology industry to hire more minorities and women. The numbers are compiled as part of a report that major U.S. employers must file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employers, though, aren't required to make the information publicly available.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-05-15) Read the full article
Absence Makes the Workplace . . . Stronger?
Michael Tooley

Most readers of this space grew up working in environments where physical presence in the workplace on a daily basis – now referred to by employment hipsters as "presenteeism" – was non-negotiable. Three trends involving changes in technology, employee preference and a ground-breaking federal court decision may now be converging to change this presumption permanently for white-collar workers. Informed employers should consider not only what they should do to attract and retain a new generation of talented workers, but also what they must do to keep up with their evolving legal obligations.

Read full article here.


How does an employer re-verify the Form I-9 for an employee selected in the H-1B lottery?

On May 2, 2014, USCIS announced that data entry of all H-1B cap petitions had been completed. For some, this resulted in issuance of formal receipt notices and for others it means the return of their unprocessed H-1B petition and potentially the end of employment permission. For those with an OPT Employment Authorization Card that has expired or will expire before October 1 AND who were lucky enough to receive one of the coveted H-1B receipt notices, the employee's Form I-9 must be updated in Section 3 or on a new Form I-9 with the I-797 H-1B receipt notice information before the expiration of the employee's OPT Employment Authorization Card. This will confirm extended employment permission during this period known as "cap gap". If the H-1B petition is denied for some reason, "cap gap" employment permission ends immediately and the employer must consult with immigration counsel to explore next steps. Assuming the H-1B petition is approved, another Form I-9 will need to be completed reflecting the extension of immigration benefits and employment authorization beyond October 1 (usually for a three year period). If the employee has an OPT Employment Authorization Card valid beyond October 1, the Form I-9 simply needs to be updated (presumably with H-1B approval information) prior to the expiration date listed in Section 1. Please contact Jenifer M. Brown or another member of the immigration practice group with questions related to H-1B status, cap gap and /or I-9 compliance matters.

If you have further questions, please contact Jenifer Brown or another member of the immigration practice.


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