Informed Employer: April 26, 2017 Informed Employer: April 26, 2017

Informed Employer: April 26, 2017

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U.S. Receives 37,000 Fewer H-1B Visa Petitions for 2018
The U.S. government said it received 199,000 H-1B visa petitions for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year -- 37,000 less than in 2016. Industry analysts see President Donald Trump's actions and campaign rhetoric as having had an impact on the offshore outsourcing industry, which includes the largest users of H-1B visa workers.
(Source: Computerworld, 2017-04-17) Read the full article
DOL Continues Pursuing Big Tech Firms for Hiring Discrimination
In the final months of the Obama administration, the Department of Labor filed lawsuits against Google, Oracle and Palantir for hiring discrimination and pay disparities. So far, the Trump administration is keeping them going.
(Source:, 2017-04-10) Read the full article
Study Finds Cancer Patients Still Face Workplace Discrimination
Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2009 have not eliminated instances of workplace discrimination against employees with cancer, according to a recently published study. But oncologists can offer important input to help workers and employers agree on reasonable accommodations at work. The landmark ADA law, passed in 1990, offered legal recourse for Americans facing disability-based discrimination in the workplace -- from hiring to harassment to termination. But it did not cover employees once their cancer went into remission, so a worker experiencing discrimination based on long-term effects of their previous cancer could not file a complaint under the ADA.
(Source: AJMC, 2017-04-19) Read the full article
Company Anonymous Hotlines Often a Secret, Or Can Harm Employees
When multiple allegations of sexual harassment by Bill O'Reilly were reported publicly, representatives for 21st Century Fox and Mr. O'Reilly pointed to the company's anonymous hotline, saying no employee had ever used it to make a complaint about the Fox News host. But employment law experts say that a company's hotline often exists in obscurity, and that even when it is well-known among employees, it can be a tool for suppressing harassment allegations rather than dealing with them.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-04-21) Read the full article
New Standard for Employee Benefit Plan Audits Proposed by AICPA
The American Institute of CPAs has proposed a new standard for auditing the financial statements of employee benefit plans, after the Department of Labor released a report criticizing the quality of ERISA plan audits. The Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS), Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, would specifically address audits of financial statements of employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA for short.
(Source: Accounting Today, 2017-04-20) Read the full article
Study Finds Employees' Most Desired Perk is Health Benefits
Employers offering generous benefits packages that provide flexibility of cost and choice continue to have an advantage over those that don't, according to a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). When it comes to employee preferences, EBRI finds health benefits continue to stand as the most desired perk.
(Source: Plan Sponsor, 2017-04-18) Read the full article
Healthcare Firms Hiring Former Criminals for Hard-to-Fill Jobs
With unemployment falling and workers hard to find, a growing number of healthcare employers are following Johns Hopkins' lead and giving people with criminal records a second chance -- hiring them mainly into entry-level jobs in food service, janitorial services, and housekeeping. Studies show that employees with records stay in their jobs longer and are no more likely to commit workplace crimes than hires without records.
(Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2017-04-19) Read the full article
84% of Firms Offer Employees Financial Security Programs
A growing percentage of companies are expanding their well-being programs to include employee financial security, according to the eighth annual survey on corporate health and well-being from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health. The survey reveals 84 percent of companies now have financial security programs, such as access to debt management tools or student loan counseling, in their well-being strategies. This is an increase from 76 percent last year.
(Source: Plan Sponsor, 2017-04-11) Read the full article
Delayed Retirements Costs Employers $50,000 per Older Worker
A new analysis puts a price tag on the cost of deferring retirement. In a publication aptly titled "Why Employers Should Care About the Cost of Delayed Retirements," Prudential found that a one-year increase in average retirement age results in an incremental cost (the difference between the retiring employee and a newly hired employee) of over $50,000 for an individual whose retirement is delayed.
(Source: Napa Net, 2017-04-11) Read the full article
85% of Employers Have Found Lies on Job Candidates' Resumes
A new survey by HireRight found that 85 percent of employers uncovered lies on job applicants' resumes. More employers are finding lies than they did five years ago, when the rate was 66 percent, according to HireRight's 10th annual Employment Screening Benchmark Report.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-04-19) Read the full article
More Silicon Valley Firms Giving Workers Paid Time Off to Protest
Silicon Valley firms have long been known for offering a litany of employee perks: home-cooked lunches, free massages, climbing walls and dog-friendly offices. Now some are adding yet another incentive to attract -- and retain -- workers: paid time off to protest.
(Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2017-04-22) Read the full article
A Conversation with and Lessons to be Learned from Bill O’Reilly

Michael Blickman

[This is a conversation that absolutely did not occur and considerable license is being exercised. The point of this is to learn a few important lessons from Bill O’Reilly’s exit from Fox News.]  

Date:  The day of O’Reilly’s termination
Place:  Rupert Murdoch’s office
Attendees:  Rupert Murdoch (Fox News CEO) and Bill O’Reilly  

Murdoch: Bill, I’m sorry to tell you that we’ve reached the end of the line with you and have to let you go. Frankly, I’m shocked at your behavior and what we have heard. I’m issuing a memo to Fox News staff today to tell them about your departure and that “we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”    

O’Reilly: “Fostering a work environment….?!”  “Consistent commitment?!” Why does this remind me of Captain Renault shutting down Rick’s Café Américain in Casablanca, exclaiming that he was “shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!?”

Lesson 1: Culture “Trumps” All. What was the culture at Fox News and did it contribute to the issues facing the company with O’Reilly? Corporate culture is complicated, but most experts say that it starts at the top.

Read more here.


Make a Plan - Conditional Payment Notices

Ann Stewart

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been collecting information from employers and insurers about Medicare beneficiaries with worker’s compensation claims for several years. In 2015, CMS hired a contractor, the Commercial Repayment Center (CRC), to mine that data to identify sources that have ongoing responsibility for medical care and to pursue reimbursement recovery on Medicare’s behalf. Although CRC increased the number of conditional payment notices and demands in 2016, the accuracy of these notices has varied.

Do you have a plan to respond to conditional payment notices or demands?

Read more here.


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