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Informed Employer: December 6, 2017 Informed Employer: December 6, 2017

Informed Employer: December 6, 2017

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More Employers Reining in Holiday Parties Amid 'Weinstein Effect'
With a series of high-profile workplace sex scandals on their minds, employers are making sure their holiday office parties don't become part of the problem. According to a survey by Chicago-based consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, only 49 percent of companies plan to serve alcohol at their holiday events.
(Source: Time, 2017-12-04) Read the full article
Age, Gender Play Role in Views on Workplace Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment and misconduct has now become a continuous theme of news coverage, with new allegations emerging on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. But as the stream of stories continues, data show that men and women -- and particularly younger and older Americans -- bring different views on how widespread harassment is and what it looks like.
(Source:, 2017-12-03) Read the full article
Employers Not Convinced Salary-History Bans Will Be Effective
California recently became one of eight states, cities or localities to pass legislation banning all employers from asking one particularly awkward question of prospective workers: How much did you make in your last job? Yet companies apparently aren't convinced the laws will work as intended.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 2017-11-17) Read the full article
Half of Job Applicants Have Been Asked Illegal Interview Questions
It's tough to come up with the right answer in a job interview, particularly if the question could run afoul of the law. A recent Associated Press-CNBC poll found that half of all Americans who've ever applied for a job have been asked questions that could be used to discriminate against a protected class under equal opportunity law.
(Source: Charleston Post and Courier, 2017-12-03) Read the full article
Despite Growing 'Ban the Box' Popularity, Obstacles Remain
Tight labor markets and simple compassion are among the reasons that small businesses are getting behind fair-chance employment, a movement to level the playing field for job hunters who have a criminal record. But even advocates acknowledge that, despite the momentum, there are hurdles beyond the expected concerns about public safety.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-11-22) Read the full article
Trump to Stop Giving H-1B Visa Spouses Work Permits
The Trump administration plans to stop granting work permits to spouses of H-1B holders, overturning a 2015 rule and affecting thousands of foreigners currently in the United States, according to sources who have spoken to The Chronicle about the move. About 130,000 spouses and children of H-1B visa holders came to the U.S. on H-4 visas last year, a number that has been steadily increasing since 2012.
(Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 2017-11-17) Read the full article
Big Businesses Surprisingly Approve Paid Sick Days Legislation
American workers have some unlikely allies in the fight for paid sick days. California Republican Mimi Walters has sponsored a bill that would encourage companies to provide 14 to 20 days of paid time off, and big business loves it.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-11-28) Read the full article
Employees Afraid to Report Corporate Fraud Over Retaliation Fear
While most corporations are hesitant to admit it, fraud initiated by a company's own employees is quite common -- and incredibly expensive. One of the biggest deterrents to fraud prevention, experts noted in the report, "Encouraging the Reporting of Misconduct," is that often employees fear retaliation in the workplace if they speak out against suspected fraud. This poses a major barrier to fraud detection, the Anti-Fraud Collaboration noted, as employees are the first (and often best) line of defense against fraud.
(Source:, 2017-11-28) Read the full article
Survey Finds Number of Firms Giving Bonuses in 2017 Declined
Many staffers won't receive a holiday bonus this year as more companies ditch end-of-year rewards. Just 39 percent of companies plan to give a cash bonus by the end of 2017, down from 41 percent in 2016, according to a survey from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
(Source: The Business Journals, 2017-12-01) Read the full article
Protecting Retirement Plans from Identity Theft

Nick Merker and Martha Kohlstrand

Identity theft and related crimes are on the rise, and they can have a devastating impact on employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s. Retirement plans can have very large balances compared to other cyber targets such as bank accounts, and therefore, have become quite attractive to cyber criminals. Cybercrime related to retirement plans can occur as a result of threats such as phishing, ransomware, “social engineering,” and wire transfer fraud, among others.

For example, a cybercriminal may send out phishing emails in the hope of installing ransomware on the recipient’s system, which can then spread throughout the company. These phishing attacks will look like authentic emails from a known outside company, a package delivery service, or even an executive within the retirement plan. The fake email contains a link, which, when clicked, triggers ransomware that locks the company’s system or files until a ransom is paid.

Read more here.


New Statute of Limitations for Ohio Workers’ Compensation Injury and Death Claims

Jennifer McDaniel

Effective Sept. 29, 2017, the statute of limitations for an Ohio workers’ compensation injury or death claim has been reduced to one year. Ohio law previously required an employee to file an application for injury or death claims within two years. The new one year statute of limitations applies only to injury and death claims. A separate statute of limitations, which applies to occupational disease claims, still requires that workers’ compensation claims for occupational disease or death resulting from occupational disease be filed within two years. By limiting the claim applications to a one-year timeframe, employers should benefit from more efficient application processing, more timely investigations, and swifter claims resolution. The statutory change should also help to eliminate questionable and stale claims and provide cost savings to Ohio employers.


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