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Informed Employer: Data Privacy and Workplace Wearables: Can Employee Fitness Lead to Employer Pitfa Informed Employer: Data Privacy and Workplace Wearables: Can Employee Fitness Lead to Employer Pitfa

Informed Employer: Data Privacy and Workplace Wearables: Can Employee Fitness Lead to Employer Pitfalls?

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Employers Find Focusing on Workers' Career Development Pays Off
As competition for talent heats up, companies are prioritizing employees' career development as a low-cost way to keep them around. By paying for classes, mapping paths to target positions and even hiring internal career coaches to sharpen resumes, employers are grooming workers to be better job candidates for more positions at a time when the vertical career ladder has been knocked away.
(Source: Rapid City Journal, 2016-05-01) Read the full article
More States Beginning to Provide Paid Family Leave Insurance
Most people can't afford to take real time off from their jobs without pay, yet that's the only choice a majority of U.S. workers have when they have a baby or care for an ailing parent or spouse. The situation may soon change, however, thanks to a slow but steady trend among states to provide guaranteed paid family leave insurance programs.
(Source:, 2016-05-05) Read the full article
Employees Suing Companies Over Poor 401(k) Savings Plans
If you've got a less-than-stellar 401(k) retirement savings plan -- one with high fees and poor investment choices -- financial advisors usually recommend a few workarounds such as diversification or a new fund, but some employees go one step further: taking their employers to court. They allege that their retirement preparedness was compromised because of the company's poor management of their 401(k) plan.
(Source:, 2016-05-02) Read the full article
Chobani Highlights Shifting Trend in Employee Ownership
Employees of Chobani learned that they could eventually own about 10 percent of the rapidly expanding Greek yogurt company -- a move that could potentially make millionaires of some workers, if the privately held company is sold or goes public. Corey Rosen, of the National Center for Employee Ownership, says employee ownership takes many different forms, and in a growing number of companies, workers own the firms outright.
(Source: NPR, 2016-04-28) Read the full article
Research Shows Employers Could Be Wise to Hire Former Cons
For millions of U.S. job applicants with a criminal record, just making it past the screening stage of the hiring process is a challenge. This could be the employer's loss, new research shows.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2016-05-05) Read the full article
Study Finds Hiring Discrimination Based on Names Limited
New research on hiring bias found resumes bearing names traditionally held by blacks and Hispanics are just as likely to lead to callbacks and job interviews as those bearing white-sounding names. But study co-author Cory Koedel, an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Missouri, cautions that it would "be crazy" to interpret the results to suggest hiring discrimination is a problem of the past.
(Source: Chicago Tribune, 2016-05-04) Read the full article
Companies Pledge to Hire or Train Over 110,000 Veterans, Spouses
First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced that since Joining Forces was created in 2011, companies have hired or trained more than 1.2 million veterans and military spouses. Along with the announcement from Obama and Biden, 40 companies pledged to hire more than 110,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years, and more committed to training them.
(Source: Military Times, 2016-05-07) Read the full article
Workers in Health Industry Face More Workplace Violence
A new report that reviews research on assaults against doctors, nurses and other medical personnel concludes that health care workers often experience physical and verbal attacks -- and, all too often, little is done to address it. The violence is often tied to patients with dementia and mental health or substance abuse problems, but in a significant number of cases firearms can be involved.
(Source: Reuters, 2016-04-28) Read the full article
Number of Jobs for Knowledge Workers Doubled, Continues to Rise
The number of jobs for knowledge workers is rising more quickly than it has in three decades. While routine jobs have gone nowhere over the past thirty years, the number of people in knowledge work jobs has more than doubled, and there are no signs of that trend slowing.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2016-05-04) Read the full article
Watch for Our In-Depth Coverage Webinar on the Soon-to-Be Issued Final FLSA Regulations

The Department of Labor (DOL) is expected to issue the long-awaited and final "white collar" exemption regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the very near future. Ice Miller's Tami Earnhart, Paul Bittner and Stephanie Kelly will be hosting a webinar soon after the final regulations are issued to explain the changes made by the Department of Labor (DOL) to the overtime exemptions, provide tips on complying with new regulations, and prepare for the impact the changes will have on your workforce. If the regulations are issued within the next week (as currently anticipated), we plan to host the webinar on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 from 12-1 p.m. EDT. Watch your e-mail for an announcement of the final regulations and information on how to register for the webinar.


Data Privacy and Workplace Wearables: Can Employee Fitness Lead to Employer Pitfalls?


As the popularity of wearable fitness trackers increases and new models constantly hit the market, consumers continue to jump onboard the fitness gadget bandwagon. By the end of 2015, an estimated 33 million consumers owned wearable fitness devices from manufacturers such as Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike, and a host of others. With worldwide shipments of wearable devices expected to reach 110 million by the end of 2016, many employers are taking notice of this trend and turning to fitness trackers to ramp up their corporate wellness programs. Companies are encouraging participation in workplace competitions or challenges that allow employees to report their progress in exchange for various incentives. Employers are hopeful these efforts will result in the payoffs typically associated with improved employee health – lower healthcare costs and higher employee productivity. Technological efforts to move employees toward improved fitness, however, could walk employers into potential legal landmines.

Read more here.


Job Portability for Green Card Applicants and How Employers Can Benefit

Christl Glier

The employment-based immigration process is lengthy, and many foreign nationals seeking a green card based on employer sponsorship will wait several years for approval due to processing delays and backlogs created by the visa quota system. Additionally, the employer-sponsored green card process is specific to the sponsoring employer and position, so for many foreign nationals stuck in the backlog, a job change means starting that process over from scratch. That can be costly and time-consuming for an employer and can add significant time to the foreign national employee’s overall green card wait. There are, however, limited circumstances where an employer could avoid the need to initiate green card sponsorship again despite a change in jobs.

Read more here.


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