Informed Employer: December 20, 2017 Informed Employer: December 20, 2017

Informed Employer: December 20, 2017

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Bill Banning Sexual Harassment Arbitration Agreements Introduced
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has introduced a bill that would ban agreements to keep sexual harassment and discrimination claims out of court, amid a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men. Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives unveiled the bill, saying mandatory arbitration agreements had forced women to privately arbitrate misconduct claims, effectively silencing victims and enabling serial harassers.
(Source: Reuters, 2017-12-07) Read the full article
Research Shows Workplace Racial Segregation Still Rampant
Companies have long trumpeted sweeping diversity initiatives, but even in era of "Chief People Officers" and "transparent company cultures," a growing body of research shows that workplace racial segregation is greater today than it was a generation ago. Sociologists from Stanford University and Harvard Business School recently looked at more than 40 years of data on the racial makeup of every large, private-sector workplace in the U.S., and found that while there are more people of color across occupations, individual employers are still pretty homogenous and actually more divided than they were in the ’70s.
(Source: Money, 2017-12-15) Read the full article
National Labor Relations Board Overturns Joint-Employer Ruling
A divided National Labor Relations Board voted along party lines to overturn an Obama-era precedent that allowed workers to hold companies responsible for labor law violations committed by their contractors or franchises. The 3-2 vote restores a pre-2015 standard that said a fast-food corporation is a joint employer only if it exercises direct, unfettered control over workers at a franchise.
(Source: Courthouse News Service, 2017-12-15) Read the full article
NLRB Makes it Harder for Workers to Form 'Micro Unions'
A U.S. labor agency made it tougher for workers to form so-called micro unions made up of small groups of a company's employees, reversing an Obama-era decision that had been sharply criticized by companies. The NLRB in a 3-2 decision said a unionized unit of about 100 welders and "rework specialists" at a manufacturing company in Oregon was improper, and should include all 2,500 employees at the company's facility.
(Source: Reuters, 2017-12-16) Read the full article
OSHA Rule Requires Employers to E-File Injury, Illness Reports
A federal rule requiring certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness reports went into effect Dec. 15. The rule applies to businesses in many states with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2017-12-15) Read the full article
Corporate America Stands Behind Dreamers, Amid Uncertain Future
Years of protests and lobbying by immigrants persuaded President Barack Obama in 2012 to create Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the program that has let 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, who are known as Dreamers, legally stay and work in the United States. With their future now in jeopardy, a wide range of well-organized, well-financed supporters are lining up behind the Dreamers, including celebrities, philanthropists, religious groups and pillars of corporate America.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-12-07) Read the full article
Trump Will Propose Revoking Rule Allowing H-1B Spouses to Work
The Trump administration will propose revoking a rule that makes spouses of thousands of immigrant workers eligible to work while in the U.S., potentially complicating a major driver of technology jobs. Since 2015, the spouses of H-1B, or high-skilled, visa holders waiting for green cards have been eligible to work in the U.S. on H-4 dependent visas, under a rule introduced by President Obama's administration.
(Source:, 2017-12-15) Read the full article
Companies Design Their Own Courses Where Colleges Fall Short
Tech companies and some businesses in other industries, impatient with the speed of change, are taking matters into their own hands by designing courses themselves. The intervention is a direct response to the fact that the shortage of data and computer scientists "isn't being handled" by universities and colleges, said Charles Eaton, executive vice president for social innovation at the Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA.
(Source: Wired News, 2017-12-18) Read the full article
As People Carry Less Cash, Some Employees Struggle for Tips
While the rise of Venmo, Uber, Seamless and Bitcoin et al have made it practically gauche in certain circles to flash a wallet thick with bills, there are many urban workers for whom the shift away from cash represents a serious financial problem. Doormen, elevator operators, manicurists -- any employee who relies on small, spontaneous cash tips -- are finding themselves left out in the cold by an increasingly cashless world.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-12-18) Read the full article
Workers Leaving Vacation Time Unused, Partially Due to Guilt
While many workers are eagerly anticipating their winter vacations, just as many have nothing on their calendars but work. According to a report by jobs and recruitment website Glassdoor, American workers on average use only 54 percent of their eligible vacation time.
(Source: CNBC, 2017-12-05) Read the full article
Is Trying to Comply with Different State and Local Paid Leave Laws Making You Crazy? Help from Congress May Be on the Way.

Wayne "Skip" Adams

Employers with establishments in multiple cities and states know the challenges of complying with laws and ordinances that vary from one jurisdiction to another. Frequently, different locales enact laws on a particular subject that impose inconsistent or conflicting obligations on employers. This can make it impossible for those employers to adopt “one-size-fits-all” policies that apply everywhere they do business. On some personnel issues, this multiplicity of laws can make human resource administration a nightmare.

An example is the dilemma facing employers trying to comply with different state and local laws concerning paid leave for employees. A hypothetical company with at least six employees in Indianapolis, Chicago and Minneapolis each would not be required to give any paid sick time to its Indianapolis employees. Its Chicago employees would be entitled to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked, and its Minneapolis employees would be granted one hour for every 30 hours worked. However, the devil lies in the details of the Chicago and Minneapolis ordinances. For instance in Chicago, employers can cap the total sick time earned at no less than 40 hours, or five days, a year, whereas the Minneapolis ordinance allows workers to accrue up to 48 hours per year. Both ordinances require employers to permit employees to carry over unused sick time hours from one year to the next, but the Minneapolis ordinance caps the total paid sick time a worker may accrue at 80 hours.

Read more here.


2017 Year End Immigration Update

Jenifer Brown, Kristin Kelley & Christl Glier

It’s been quite a year for the Trump administration and efforts to both challenge and alter the course of U.S. immigration policy. Here are a few more changes and proposals as we bring 2017 to a close.
1. Travel Ban 3.0. The travel ban is back on, albeit somewhat limited in its impact. On Dec. 4, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two orders staying the preliminary injunctions issued against President Trump’s Sept. 24, 2017 Presidential Proclamation. The Proclamation was the third travel ban issued by President Trump, and it imposes country-specific travel restrictions on nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. In addition, nationals of Iraq will be subject to extra screening measures. These restrictions began worldwide on Dec. 8, 2017.

Read more here.


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