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Informed Employer: August 2, 2017 Informed Employer: August 2, 2017

Informed Employer: August 2, 2017

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High Court Likely to Take on Sexual Orientation Discrimination
On the same day that President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender military members, the administration weighed in on another issue involving the LGBT community. That issue is whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- which forbids discrimination based on sex -- protects workers from bias based on their sexual orientation.
(Source: Yahoo Finance, 2017-07-29) Read the full article
States Trying to Curb Employers' Use of Credit Reports in Hiring
In 2013, consumer advocates seemed ready to score a big victory for job-seekers, with a bill wending its way through Congress that would have prohibited potential employers from checking your credit report before making a job offer. But the bill got stuck, and now state governments are stepping up to provide some protections against employers using credit reports in hiring decisions.
(Source:, 2017-07-31) Read the full article
Workers Failing Drug Tests as Employers Need More of Them
The economic impact of drug use on the work force is being felt across the country. Indeed, the opioid epidemic and, to some extent, wider marijuana use are hitting businesses and the economy in ways that are beginning to be acknowledged by policy makers and other experts.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-07-24) Read the full article
USCIS Allows Some Employers to Pay to Expedite H-1B Visas Again
The U.S. government said it would resume fast processing of H-1B visas requested by institutions of higher education and nonprofit and governmental research organizations, while leaving in place a longer approval time for companies that use the visas. U.S. companies often use the visas to hire graduate-level workers in several specialized fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering, and mathematics.
(Source: Reuters, 2017-07-24) Read the full article
Health Insurance Tussle Has Firms Looking After Workers' Care
Companies that have offered their employees health insurance for years are taking a more hands-on approach, driving new ways their employees get care. Speculation that employers would bow out of the health insurance business as individual markets created under the Affordable Care Act took off is all but dead.
(Source: The Tennessean, 2017-07-30) Read the full article
Employers Paid 24% More to Provide Employee Benefits Over Four Years
U.S. employers' cost to provide employee benefits, measured as a percentage of pay, increased 24 percent between 2001 and 2015, fueled largely by a doubling in health care benefit costs, according to a new analysis by Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company. The analysis reveals a major shift in how employers allocate benefit dollars and prompts questions as to whether they are delivering the benefits their employees want.
(Source: HR Daily Advisor, 2017-07-31) Read the full article
Company Announces Plans to Install Microchips in Their Employees
At first blush, it sounds like the talk of a conspiracy theorist: a company implanting microchips under employees' skin. But it's not a conspiracy, and employees are lining up for the opportunity. Employees at Three Square Market, a technology company in Wisconsin, can choose to have a chip the size of a grain of rice injected between their thumb and index finger.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-07-25) Read the full article
NSC Report Says Working While Tired Adversely Affecting Workplace
Working while tired has reached epidemic proportions in the workplace, according to a new report from the National Safety Council. The council's Emily Whitcomb says fatigue impairment affects thinking and performance far before we are falling asleep.
(Source: New Jersey 101.5, 2017-07-26) Read the full article
Companies Finding Workers Who Take Vacations Perform Better
Employers who want to boost employee performance may want to encourage workers to take a break from working. New research indicates that high-performing employees take more vacation time, suggesting that a generous -- or unlimited -- vacation policy benefit has a positive impact on the workplace.
(Source: Employee Benefit News, 2017-07-30) Read the full article
Combating Sexual Harassment in Your Workplace: Five Lessons

Emmanuel "Manolis" Boulukos

Thirty-one years ago, in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, the Supreme Court held that "hostile work environment" sexual harassment was a form of unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the decades that have followed, most employers have implemented policies and procedures aimed at preventing and addressing unlawful harassment. Harassment prevention and sensitivity training programs have become fixtures of corporate America.

And yet, three decades after Meritor, sexual harassment continues to trouble the American workplace. In recent years, a number of high-profile corporate sex harassment scandals (Fox News, Uber, and American Apparel, to name a few) have garnered intense media scrutiny and unleashed the social-media whirlwind. There are lessons to be learned.

As these cases demonstrate, in addition to prolonging the trauma inflicted upon the direct victims of sexual harassment, failing to swiftly and appropriately remedy such conduct erodes employee morale, undermines the credibility of management, and chills efforts to build a diverse workforce. Brands and businesses may be damaged or destroyed. The ostrich approach is not a viable option.

Read more here.


J-1 Waiver Open Season

Kristin Kelley

Foreign medical graduates pursuing medical training (such as residencies and fellowships) in the U.S. in J-1 status are subject to a two (2) year home residency requirement at the conclusion of their training program. They must depart the U.S. and spend two (2) years in their home countries prior to changing to a different status or obtaining an H, L, or K visa at a Consulate abroad. However, waiver of this home residency requirement (“J-1 Waiver”) is available through the Conrad 30 Amendment. The Conrad 30 program grants a waiver of the home residency requirement to physicians who practice in medically underserved areas or health professional shortage areas. Thirty of these waivers are available per state per fiscal year.

In order to obtain a J-1 Waiver, the physician must commit to working in a medically underserved area or a health professional shortage area in H-1B status for a minimum of three (3) years following the conclusion of the medical training program. Physicians requiring the waiver are available to begin employment in H-1B status at the conclusion of their residency or fellowship (which is also the end of their J-1 status), usually on July 1. After the three (3) years of service have been completed, the physician has fulfilled the terms of the J-1 Waiver and the two (2) year home residency requirement no longer applies.

Read more here.


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