Informed Employer: February 14, 2018 Informed Employer: February 14, 2018

Informed Employer: February 14, 2018

Ice Miller website

Flu Costing Employers Billions in Lost Productivity
It's flu season. And a nastier-than-usual outbreak is not only creating health problems for many Americans -- burdening hospitals, nursing homes, and schools -- it could take a $15.4 billion hit on U.S. businesses, according to a new estimate.
(Source: USA Today, 2018-02-02) Read the full article
Department of Labor Moves to Change Tipping Policies
The Trump administration is moving to give restaurants and other employers more control over workers' tips. Under the new proposal, employers could use workers' tips for essentially any purpose, as long as the workers were directly paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
(Source: The New York Times, 2018-02-04) Read the full article
Independent Contractors Find They Have Few Job Bias Protections
When independent contractors believe they've been the victim of bias related to their work, they can turn to Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. That law protects all workers from racial or ethnic discrimination, but it's not commonly used by contingent workers.
(Source: Bloomberg BNA, 2018-02-09) Read the full article
#MeToo Movement Hasn't Caused Employers to Change Policies
The #MeToo movement has moved on from its origins in the entertainment industry to shed a light on the power dynamics between men and women in every professional setting. But even with light being shined on the issue, it seems employers haven't made many changes to their policies governing inter-office relationships and sexual harassment, according to a survey conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
(Source:, 2018-02-08) Read the full article
Sexual Harassment Under-Reported Due to Lack of Policy Knowledge
Sexual harassment in the workplace is under-reported by employees partly because some employees are unaware that their employers have anti-harassment policies or that there are ways to report without bringing harm to themselves, according to a survey of human resource managers and non-manager employees. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey found that 11 percent of non-management employees said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the past 12 months, but 76 percent said they did not report it for reasons that included fear of retaliation or a belief that nothing would change.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2018-02-05) Read the full article
31,000 Pregnancy Bias Claims Filed with EEOC Over Five Years
Between 2010 and 2015, nearly 31,000 pregnancy discrimination charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families. In 2017, $15 million in settlements were paid out for pregnancy discrimination charges filed with the EEOC, a similar figure to the amount paid in previous years.
(Source:, 2018-02-01) Read the full article
Survey Finds One-Quarter of Full-Time Employees Have No Benefits
Almost a quarter of full-time employees don't have any kind of benefits, such as retirement savings, health insurance or even paid vacations. The lack of benefits among full-time workers in the U.S. was unveiled in a recent survey on employee benefits, compiled by Clutch, providers of loyalty marketing, solutions and strategies.
(Source: Small Business Trends, 2018-02-05) Read the full article
Companies Boosting Demand for H-1B Visa Workers
The H-1B visa, dominated by the big three Indian outsourcers, is in more demand this year than last. Some 400 hiring managers in the science and tech fields say by a ratio of nearly six to one that they will be looking for foreign talent this year.
(Source:, 2018-02-07) Read the full article
Workers Want to Use Vacation Time, But Don't Want to Plan Time Off
According to Project: Time Off's new survey of 2,076 U.S. workers, 55 percent said they intended to use up all of their vacation time, but somewhere in the planning stages momentum gets lost and vacation days go unused. While the vast majority of workers (81 percent) agree that advanced planning makes it easier to take time off, Americans are split on whether or not to actually take the time to do it, with 51 percent saying they did not take time to schedule their vacation days.
(Source: Ladders, 2018-02-01) Read the full article
Red Flag Alert: Sharing HR Information Outside Your Organization Risks Federal Criminal Antitrust Liability

Michael Blickman

In a little-noticed presentation to the Antitrust Research Foundation on Jan. 19, 2018, at George Mason Law School, Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim revealed the DOJ is preparing to file criminal charges against a number of yet-unnamed employers for violating federal antitrust laws. These criminal prosecutions, which could also be filed against individuals, will be highly publicized and undoubtedly alarming to many HR professionals and other organization leaders who have never focused on these issues. Mr. Delrahim, referring to the criminal cases his office is preparing, stated,  “In the coming months, you will see some announcements, and to be honest with you, I've been shocked about how many of these there are, but they're real.”

Read more here.


Join Us for Ice Miller's "Changing the Conversation from #MeToo to #NotHere" Webinar

Tami Earnhart & Cathy Strauss

The #MeToo movement has resulted in renewed attention to anti-harassment programs within the workplace. But are anti-harassment programs enough? In this webinar, Tami Earnhart and Catherine Strauss will focus not only on the legal requirements, but on ways employers can change the conversation from "don't (harass)" to "do (respect)"  and build a better workplace by embracing the movement, rather than living in fear of #Who'sNext. We hope you can join us!

Register here.


Calling All H-1B Cap Petitions

Jenifer Brown, Christl Glier & Kristin Kelley

The annual H-1B cap season has begun. Because April 1, 2018, falls on a Sunday, USCIS will begin accepting petitions for H-1B temporary workers for Fiscal Year 2019 on Monday, April 2, 2018. If approved, H-1B status will become effective no earlier than Oct. 1, 2018. There are only 65,000 new H-1B visas available each fiscal year (with an additional 20,000 reserved for foreign nationals with a U.S. master's degree or higher). Employers should immediately identify any current or prospective employees who will need new H-1B visas to work in the U.S. and initiate the process now to ensure enough time for petition preparation prior to the deadline.

Read more here.


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