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Informed Employer: December 19, 2018 Informed Employer: December 19, 2018

Informed Employer: December 19, 2018

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In the news

Order Blocking Trump Birth Control Rules Narrowed by Court
A divided U.S. appeals court blocked rules by the Trump administration that allowed more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control. The ruling, however, may be short lived because the administration has adopted new rules on contraceptive coverage that are set to take effect next month and will likely prompt renewed legal challenges.
(Source: Boston Herald, 2018-12-13) Read the full article
ICE Increases Crackdown on Undocumented Workers, Not Employers
The Trump administration ramped up arrests at businesses suspected of employing undocumented immigrants in 2018, but data obtained by USA TODAY show that federal agents did so by mostly targeting those working illegally and not their employers. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was ordered to quadruple worksite enforcement this year, and it did just that.
(Source: USA Today, 2018-12-11) Read the full article
Companies Using 'Internal Mobility' to Keep Workers Happy
If you work at some leading tech companies, you might think about gunning for a new job on a new team -- within the same organization. In HR speak, this process is known as "internal mobility."
(Source: Business Insider, 2018-12-15) Read the full article
Employers Ramping Up Paid Family Leave to Lure, Retain Workers
As the labor market tightened in 2018, U.S. employers turned to one benefit in particular to attract and retain workers: paid family leave. The U.S. remains the only high-income country that fails to provide paid family leave, and companies have typically only extended such benefits to salaried or full-time workers. But this year that started to change.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 2018-12-12) Read the full article
Global Companies Finding Four-Day Workweeks More Productive
Work four days a week, but get paid for five? It sounds too good to be true, but companies around the world that have cut their work week have found that it leads to higher productivity, more motivated staff and less burnout.
(Source: Reuters, 2018-12-17) Read the full article
With Tax Season Approaching, Small Businesses Warned About ID Threat
As the 2019 tax season approaches, the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry joined together to warn small businesses to be on-guard against a growing wave of identity theft and W-2 scams. Small business identity theft is big business for identity thieves.
(Source: CPA Practice Advisor, 2018-12-07) Read the full article
Marijuana Laws Among Top Challenges for HR Departments in 2019
A new survey by XpertHR named workplace violence, marijuana use, cyber attacks and leave laws as being among the top HR challenges for 2019. Employers must comply with state marijuana laws, many of which protect medical use, and some of which may even ban discrimination against employees who use the drug off-site or on their personal time.
(Source: HR Dive, 2018-12-07) Read the full article
63% of Companies Offer Workplace Anniversary Awards, Survey Finds
Workplace anniversary awards are offered by 63 percent of companies, according to the 2018 Benefits Survey of the Society for Human Resource Management, and rewards rose nine percent in a single year. The five-year honor has taken particular hold in work cultures like Silicon Valley, where intense lifestyles and endless project deadlines can easily lead to employee burnout.
(Source: Reuters, 2018-12-10) Read the full article
Potential Job Candidates Ghosting Employers More Often
Economists report that workers are starting to act like millennials on Tinder: They're ditching jobs with nary a text. "A number of contacts said that they had been ‘ghosted,’ a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact," the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago noted in December's Beige Book report, which tracks employment trends.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 2018-12-12) Read the full article
Can Your Business Use Ohio's New Cybersecurity "Safe Harbor" Law to Prevent Litigation?

William Barath
Bill Barath

Many states have statutes that require businesses that deal with employee or customer personal information to develop and adopt a written cybersecurity program. Although laws vary by state, the general trend has been for businesses and other entities to adopt some sort of industry-recognized framework to protect its personal information. Although this includes protecting information from third-party hackers, it also extends to protecting data from more common cyber-threats caused by careless or malevolent employees. Businesses operating in the expanding Internet of Things (IoT) space have even more information to protect. Depending on the state, failure to maintain a cybersecurity program can, in itself, create a cause of action enforceable either by the state or an affected consumer. Additionally, if a business experiences a data breach and has not complied with any specific cybersecurity requirements, then any resulting litigation is less defensible and more problematic.

Read more here.


Preventing Snow Shoveling Injuries

Jennifer McDaniel
Jennifer McDaniel

Snow removal is a necessary part of the winter season. Shoveling snow can be a strenuous activity, and it creates some significant risk of injury, especially for employees who are not accustomed to physical work in a cold environment. There is the potential for exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries and heart attacks. Be sure to assign employees who are physically fit and counsel them on dressing appropriately including layered waterproof clothing, head covering, gloves, warm socks and appropriate footwear. Employees should warm-up before the activity, shovel small amounts of snow at a time and, if possible, push the snow instead of lifting it. Counsel your employees to use proper lifting techniques to avoid back injuries including keeping the back straight, lifting with the legs and not turning or twisting the body.


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