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Informed Employer: August 16, 2017 Informed Employer: August 16, 2017

Informed Employer: August 16, 2017

Ice Miller website

Lawmakers Introduce RAISE Act, a 'Merit-Based' Green Card System
Employers would have much less control over the selection of foreign workers who immigrate to the United States under a Senate bill that creates a "merit-based" points system for awarding employment-based green cards. President Donald Trump announced his support for the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga.
(Source: SHRMOnline, 2017-08-11) Read the full article
Report Says Employee Turnover Costs Companies $15,000 Per Worker
Employee Benefit News (EBN) reports that it costs employers 33 percent of a worker's annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. In dollar figures, the replacement cost is $15,000 per person for an employee earning a median salary of $45,000 a year, according to the Work Institute's 2017 Retention Report.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-08-11) Read the full article
Senator Seeks to Make Universal Paid Family Leave a Law
The American public overwhelmingly supports policies that guarantee workers paid leave if they have a child, get sick or need to care for a family member. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York who has served since 2009, has introduced a universal paid family leave law bill every year for the last five years.
(Source:, 2017-07-31) Read the full article
Employers Boosting Retirement Savings to Help Older Workers
In an effort to recruit employees in competitive fields and help motivate older workers to leave the workplace when they hit retirement age, companies are becoming more generous with their retirement savings plans. After pulling back on the extras during the recession, companies are devoting more to 401(k) matches, the free money they give employees who participate in company retirement savings plans.
(Source: Seattle Times, 2017-08-12) Read the full article
More Businesses Seeking New Ways to Measure Workers' Performance
Businesses are adjusting their performance reviews to increase employee engagement and improve productivity, and revising pay structures to create greater incentives for high performance, said speakers at the Society for Human Resource Management's Rewarding Work: Compensation and Performance Management Symposium. Some leading firms are moving to a "ratingless" performance system, noted Jeremy Spake, principal at pay consultancy Cornerstone on Demand in Santa Monica, Calif.
(Source: SHRMOnline, 2017-08-14) Read the full article
Companies Finding Employee Sabbaticals Good for Everyone
There's an upward trend in employers offering their people more long-term vacations and sabbaticals, and the evidence suggests that everyone benefits. According to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, the percentage of companies offering sabbaticals (both paid and unpaid) rose to nearly 17 percent of employers in 2017.
(Source: Harvard Business Review, 2017-08-10) Read the full article
Many Employees Report Working in a Hostile Environment
The American workplace is grueling, stressful and surprisingly hostile. An in-depth study of 3,066 U.S. workers by the Rand Corp., Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Los Angeles, found that nearly one in five workers -- a share the study calls "disturbingly high" -- say they face a hostile or threatening environment at work, which can include sexual harassment and bullying.
(Source: Omaha World-Herald, 2017-08-14) Read the full article
Proving Workplace Age Discrimination Can Be Difficult
Lawsuits are popping up as the nation's work force ages and as many longtime workers claim that they are being deliberately targeted for reductions. Few cases are taken to court because such complaints are complicated and expensive; it can take a long time to assemble relevant evidence and testimony.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-08-07) Read the full article
Small Businesses Finding Shortage in Skilled Talent
America has a talent shortage. While 19 percent of small businesses planned to beef up their workforce, the biggest share in more than a decade, 35 percent said they were having trouble filling positions in July, National Federation of Independent Business data showed.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-08-03) Read the full article
Clean Up in Aisle III- The First Federal Trial on Website Accessibility

Nate Uhl & Sid Bose

For years companies and nonprofits with public areas—especially retailers, multi-family housing developers, and colleges and universities—have faced government investigations and lawsuits over whether their properties are accessible to persons with disabilities. Accessibility is now headed to the next frontier—websites. A recent ruling that websites available to the public must be accessible if they support a physical store could lead to a new round of accessibility investigations and lawsuits.

On June 13, Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida released a Verdict and Order in a case about website accessibility as it relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and visually impaired users. Following a non-jury trial, Judge Scola held the defendant, Winn-Dixie, violated Title III of the ADA as its website was not accessible to the plaintiff, Joan Carlos Gil, a blind individual who uses the Job Access with Speech screen reader to access Winn-Dixie's website content.

Read more here.


Introducing Ice Miller's 403(b) Plan Comply Now Program

The tax-advantaged or qualified status of retirement plans under the Internal Revenue Code ("Code") is critically important to both plan sponsors and participants. Plan sponsors of 401(a) qualified plans, 403(b) plans and 457(b) plans face increased uncertainty and risk related to the continued legal compliance of their plan documents as the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has—in response to budget reductions and finite resources—significantly reduced the services historically offered to employers to aid them with compliance. For example, the IRS largely ended its determination letter program for individually designed qualified plans effective January 1, 2017, bringing to conclusion an era of cooperative compliance. The IRS had only recently announced the determination letter program would not be extended to 403(b) plans despite the fact plan sponsors received little guidance related to the qualification of their 403(b) plans in form since the 403(b) written plan document requirement became effective January 1, 2009. This new reality leaves plan sponsors vulnerable to ongoing compliance challenges.

Ice Miller's Comply Now Program is designed to address plan sponsor uncertainty and risk. Comply Now helps plan sponsors maintain compliant plans through both a plan document component and a plan operation component. Comply Now is available to plan sponsors of:

  • 401(a) plans, including defined benefit, money purchase, cash balance, profit sharing, ESOP and 401(k) plans
  • 403(b) plans, including 403(b)(1) annuity contracts, 403(b)(7) custodial accounts and 403(b)(9) retirement income account plans
  • 457(b) plans, including governmental and top hat plans

Learn more here.


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