Informed Employer: December 21, 2016 Informed Employer: December 21, 2016

Informed Employer: December 21, 2016

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Minimum Wage Set to Rise in Over 20 States and Cities
Come the new year, millions of the lowest-wage workers across the country will get a raise. All told, the minimum wage is set to rise in 21 states, at least 22 cities, four counties and one region.
(Source: CNNMoney.com, 2016-12-19) Read the full article
EEOC Reminds Employers Mental Health Discrimination Illegal
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance reminding employers that job applicants are protected from employment discrimination and harassment based on depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and other mental health conditions and may keep their condition private in most cases before an employment offer is made. EEOC data indicate that charges of discrimination based on mental health conditions are on the rise.
(Source: SHRMOnline, 2016-12-19) Read the full article
Over Half of Employees Holiday Shopping While at Work
A new survey from Careerbuilder found more than half of workers do some holiday shopping at work -- three percent more than last year. Eleven percent of employers say they've fired someone for holiday shopping on the internet while at work, and 54 percent said their organization blocks employees from accessing certain websites.
(Source: Ozarks First, 2016-12-05) Read the full article
Cures Act Allows Small Employers to Begin Using HRAs Again
Employers may soon be able to use a key money-saving strategy that was recently taken away from them by the Affordable Care Act. President Obama just signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law and, among other things, it allows small employers to maintain general purpose stand-alone health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) without violating the ACA.
(Source: HR Morning, 2016-12-16) Read the full article
More Mid-Size Employers Offering Benefits to Part-Time Workers
Despite significant increases in health care insurance premiums (nine percent in 2016 versus six percent in 2015), a new study from Transamerica Center for Health Studies conducted by Harris Poll shows that employers are optimistic about delivering robust employee benefits. Even with the seemingly endless premium hikes, the number of midsize employers offering health benefits to part-time employees has nearly doubled since 2013, standing at 26 percent in 2016 versus 13 percent in 2013.
(Source: Plan Sponsor, 2016-12-08) Read the full article
More Companies Offering Phased Retirement Programs
With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, businesses are scrambling to find ways to slow an exodus of the most experienced employees and ensure that they pass along their knowledge before they leave. Fourteen percent of U.S. companies offered either a formal or informal phased retirement program this year, up from 10 percent in 2012, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2016-12-16) Read the full article
Amex Follows Trend and Gives Major Boost to Parental Leave
American Express Co said it would increase parental leave and family benefits for U.S. employees from January, joining a list of big U.S. financial companies that have done so this year. AmEx's new family benefits include 20 weeks of paid parental leave, reimbursement of adoption or surrogacy expenses of up to $35,000, and a maximum benefit of $35,000 for reproductive and fertility treatments, the company said.
(Source: Reuters, 2016-12-12) Read the full article
Survey Finds Employees Want Sick Co-Workers Sent Home
Here's a message for bosses as we enter cold and flu season: Tell your sick employees to stay home. That's what 74 percent of workers said they'd like to see from their employers, according to a recent survey from Staples.
(Source: Business First (Louisville, Ky.), 2016-12-07) Read the full article
 
 
 
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Happy Holidays from Ice Miller

As this is our last issue of the Informed Employer Briefing in 2016, we wanted to wish you the best this holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

 

The Ostensible Agency Theory – a Threat to Franchisor Liability?


Christina Fugate, George Gasper, & Daniel Culicover

Franchise agreements typically provide that a franchisee is a separate and distinct entity from the franchisor and that the franchisor is not liable for the franchise’s employment practices. Traditionally, this language has been sufficient for franchisors to avoid liability as “co-employers” with their franchisees. Two recent decisions, however, threaten to disrupt this longstanding presumption through a novel application of the “ostensible agency” doctrine. Franchisors must now be more careful than ever to ensure they are not ultimately held liable for their franchisee’s employment practices.

Read more here.

 

Immigration and Employment Law: a Look Ahead to 2017 Webinar


Jenifer Brown & Tami Earnhart

Please join Ice Miller partners, Jenifer Brown and Tami Earnhart, as they look ahead at changes coming to immigration and employment law in 2017. Topics include new final regulations affecting business immigration, the new Form I-9, status of the FLSA White-Collar Exemption regulations, the new EEO-1 for 2017, and the potential effect of the Trump presidency on these and other regulations.

Register for this webinar here.

 

 
 
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