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Informed Employer: 34 Million Reasons to Evaluate Company's Business Visitors Informed Employer: 34 Million Reasons to Evaluate Company's Business Visitors

Informed Employer: 34 Million Reasons to Evaluate Company's Business Visitors

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Obamacare Employer Mandate Postponed for Mid-Sized Businesses
The Obama administration has again delayed a contentious healthcare law requirement that all but the smallest employers provide coverage to full-time workers, this time by giving medium-sized businesses another year to comply. The so-called employer mandate, which has been opposed by businesses, was originally supposed to take effect in January.
(Source: Reuters, 2014-02-11) Read the full article
Impact of Minimum Wage Increases Yet to be Known
On Jan. 1, 13 states raised their minimum wage, and an additional 22 and the federal government are expected to consider increases this year as well. There is widespread disagreement about the impact of the increases.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-02-05) Read the full article
Businesses Have Mixed Reviews on Paid Sick Leave Laws
Many cities and states across the country have been adopting strict new mandates outlining paid sick days. Proponents of such laws say low-wage workers are the least able to afford an unpaid day off, and sick workers can infect others, but critics say the laws unnecessarily raise costs for small employers and blunt job growth.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-02-05) Read the full article
Proposed FCRA Change Could Ban Employers' Use of Credit Reports
A survey of a random sample of Society for Human Resource Management members found that 47% of employers used credit background checks in 2012 for job candidates. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would like to change this and she has sponsored legislation -- the Equal Employment for All Act, S. 1837 -- that would prohibit employers from requiring potential employees to disclose their credit history as part of the job application process.
(Source: Fox Business, 2014-02-03) Read the full article
College Athletes Sign Petition to Unionize
College athletes are ready to unionize. Members of the Northwestern University football team, under the guidance of former quarterback Kain Colter, have signed a petition seeking to gain protections under the National Labor Relations Act.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-01-29) Read the full article
After 5-Year Battle, Bankrupt Firms' Employees Collect on 401(k)s
Five years, two articles in this space, assistance from the Labor Department and the Internal Revenue Service and prodding from one no-nonsense bankruptcy judge -- that's what it took for owners of the 401(k) plan sponsored by Penn Specialty Chemicals to gain access to their money last month. Finally, these 401(k) holders have been released from the limbo where they'd been trapped since their company filed for bankruptcy in December 2008.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-02-01) Read the full article
New Government-Sponsored Savings Accounts Ready By Year End
The Obama administration will begin enrolling low-income workers in its new retirement-savings plans by the end of the year, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said. The savings plans, which will invest only in government securities, will require a minimum initial contribution of $25 as well as $5 per pay period.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2014-01-29) Read the full article
Boehner Says Immigration Legislation Unlikely in 2014
The already uphill battle in this Congress to overhaul the nation's immigration laws became even more difficult when House Speaker John Boehner cast doubts that a bill can pass this year. After months of saying Republicans should get to work on an immigration bill, and following the release of a set of principles outlining what that bill should look like, Boehner said that President Obama was to blame for the inability of his chamber to move forward.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-02-06) Read the full article
More Startups Offer Employees Chance to Cash in on Stock Options
It used to be that stock options would only become of real value after a company's IPO. Now, many large startups are offering employees a chance to sell a portion of their stake, at the same time as continuing to hold onto the rest.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-02-03) Read the full article
Obama Teams with Big Companies to Help Unemployed Find Work
President Barack Obama met with chief executive officers of companies from Bank of America to eBay who have committed to giving the long-term unemployed a better chance in the hiring process. More than 300 companies, including retail giant Wal-Mart and automaker Ford Motor Co., have signed a pledge to develop initiatives for hiring and recruiting job-seekers who have been out of work for an extended period, according to the White House.
(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2014-01-31) Read the full article
34 Million Reasons to Evaluate Company's Business Visitors
Jenifer Brown


Millions of people enter our country each year as visitors. Whether entering on business (B-1) or as tourists (B-2), the requirements are basically the same. Many visitors enter the United States under our Visa Waiver Program, which allows foreign nationals from certain countries to enter the U.S. without the formalities of obtaining a visa for periods of up to 90 days on each entry. Most foreign nationals, however, must be approved for a formal B-1/B-2 visa stamp from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad prior to seeking entry into the country. Upon entry, those applicants are permitted to stay here for up to six months and potentially qualify for extensions of stay. While these are the upward limits on stay, the U.S. ports of entry typically will limit visitors only for the duration necessary of each particular trip. Foreign-based employees and U.S. businesses alike find the visitor program attractive due to quick access and minimal fees, but must be wary of what constitutes legitimate business activity and the potential for abuse.

Read full article here.


Q&A: The Northwestern University Football Team Petition to be Represented by a Union

As has been widely reported, football players at Northwestern University recently filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board seeking an election to decide if they will be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), an organization backed by the United Steelworkers. What follows is a series of questions and answers about issues raised by this development.

Read full article here.  


NLRB to Reissue Amendments to Election Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced on Feb. 5 that it is reissuing its proposed amendments to union election procedures. The proposed amendments will be identical to those first issued in June 2011, which were rushed through the comment and review process, with approval of some changes in late December 2011. Those rules were ultimately struck down by a federal district court on the grounds that they had been adopted without a valid quorum of the Board. The new proposed rulemaking simply restarts this process. The proposed rulemaking will appear in tomorrow's Federal Register.

Read full article here.


Preventing Snow Shoveling Injury

Old man winter has been harsh this year. Employers should ensure that snow and ice are removed from walkways and parking lots right away. However snow removal creates some significant risk of injury. Here are some tips to help prevent injuries that may result from snow removal:

• Whenever possible hire professionals with their own liability insurance to perform the work.
• If you ask employees to shovel, make sure they are in good shape and have been instructed on using good lifting technique.
• Make sure employees are dressed appropriately with layered waterproof clothing, hats, gloves and appropriate footwear.
• Be sure to keep walkways clear and clean up any melting snow that has tracked inside immediately.
• If snow blowers are used, make sure the employees have been trained on the proper operation of the equipment.


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