Informed Employer February 1, 2017 Informed Employer February 1, 2017

Informed Employer February 1, 2017

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Senators Bringing Back Bill Revising H-1B Visa Program
A new bill wants to give first dibs on H-1B visas to the "best and brightest" foreign students educated in the U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin, both long-time H-1B reform advocates, reintroduced their bill for revamping the program.
(Source:, 2017-01-25) Read the full article
Philadelphia Bans Employers From Asking About Salary Histories
Philadelphia is the first city in the nation that prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant's prior earnings. Mayor Kenney signed the Wage Equity Law, after City Solicitor Sozi Tulante issued an 11-page opinion arguing for the legality of the ban.
(Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 2017-01-23) Read the full article
Moms Continue to Face Bias in Workplace Situations
The bias against moms in the workplace doesn't get as much attention as sexual harassment or the glass ceiling, but it's a widespread problem, according to experts and recent studies, which point to obstacles and penalties that fathers and people without children don't experience. In a 2007 study at Cornell University, students evaluating equivalent resumes rated mothers as less competent than women who weren't mothers, recommended them for the job less frequently, and recommended starting salaries that were $11,000 lower.
(Source: Chicago Tribune, 2017-01-18) Read the full article
Workplace Injuries, Accidents Cost Employers $59.9B in 2014
Workplace injuries and accidents that cause employees to miss six or more days of work cost U.S. employers $59.9 billion in 2014, the most recent year for which statistically valid injury data are available, according to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Insurance Workplace Safety Index. That's a lot of money but it's better than 2013, when the costs of the most serious accidents and injuries tallied nearly $62 billion, according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual index.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2017-01-20) Read the full article
Companies Taking Keen Interest in Employee Well-Being Programs
Benefits managers and HR pros alike know the two-fold benefits well-being programs provide: a healthier, more engaged workforce and increased productivity. So it's no wonder more companies are prioritizing such programs.
(Source: Employee Benefit Adviser, 2017-01-27) Read the full article
Number of American Workers in Labor Unions Reaches Record Low
Fewer American workers belong to labor unions than at any time since the government began tracking membership, according to a new report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said just 10.7 percent of American workers were members of labor unions in 2016, down from 11.1 percent the previous year, and down from 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year the bureau collected union statistics.
(Source: The Hill, 2017-01-26) Read the full article
Working From Home May Not Turn Out to Be Future of Employment
Workers say in survey after survey that flexibility is a very important aspect of job satisfaction, but what they really want is to work from home, according to a recently published study by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. That's not realistic for many of the fields of work that are growing fastest, and it's not something most employers are offering.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-01-30) Read the full article
Millennials Seeking Innovative Office Spaces, Businesses Oblige
A growing number of businesses -- ranging from startup technology companies to professional services firms -- are using innovative office spaces to court millennials, currently the largest and a highly coveted segment of the workforce. With millennials taking leadership positions at companies, technology, marketing, legal, and accounting firms that historically have established themselves in traditional office environments are now seeking the next modern, urban office space.
(Source:, 2017-01-25) Read the full article
President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

Jenifer Brown & Christl Glier

As promised throughout the presidential campaign, President Trump signed a number of immigration-related Executive Orders during his first week in office. Three such orders have been signed relating to refugees and other foreign nationals from the Middle East, the visa interview waiver program, border security and interior enforcement of immigration laws. An employer-focused summary of these signed Executive Orders is provided below, along with a summary of three more draft Orders that have not yet been issued (including one with potentially far reaching implications for employment based immigration, see item IV). Please note, this discussion applies to all foreign nationals regardless of country of birth or citizenship unless specifically noted otherwise. As this fluid situation continues to evolve, please continue to check our website for updates.

Read more here.


Medicare Updates That Impact Employer Reporting Requirements

Ann Stewart

2017 TPOC Reporting Threshold

In December 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) announced that it was reducing the recovery threshold for physical trauma-based liability settlements from $1,000 to $750. CMS also announced that it will maintain the $750 threshold for no-fault insurance and workers’ compensation settlements, where the no-fault insurer or workers’ compensation entity does not otherwise have ongoing responsibility for medical care.

Therefore, effective January 1, 2017, if the most recent liability settlement (Total Payment Obligation to the Claimant, or TPOC) is on or after January 1, 2017 and the cumulative TPOC amount is greater than $750, the settlement must be reported.

Read more here.


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