Informed Employer: January 17, 2018 Informed Employer: January 17, 2018

Informed Employer: January 17, 2018

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New DOL Guidelines Allow Companies to Not Pay Interns
The Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division is revising its legal standard for determining when interns are subject to federal minimum wage and overtime laws. Following the most recent appellate court rejection of the DOL's previous six-part test, the agency will now conform to the "primary beneficiary" test that was already adopted by the Eleventh and Ninth circuits, the department announced Jan. 5.
(Source: Bloomberg BNA, 2018-01-05) Read the full article
Immigration Raids at 7-Eleven Stores Signal Stepped Up Enforcement
The Trump administration is taking its campaign against illegal immigration to the workplace. The raids by federal agents on dozens of 7-Eleven convenience stores last week were the administration’s first big show of force meant to convey the consequences of employing people in the U.S. illegally.
(Source: Las Vegas Sun, 2018-01-16) Read the full article
Trump Proposes Rules to Ease Small Biz Access to Health Insurance
The Trump administration proposed sweeping new rules that could make it easier for small businesses to band together and create health insurance plans that would be exempt from many of the consumer protections mandated by the Affordable Care Act. As many as 11 million Americans "could find coverage under this proposal," the Labor Department said in issuing the proposed rules, which carry out an executive order signed by President Trump on Oct. 12.
(Source: The New York Times, 2018-01-04) Read the full article
Workers, Employers Differ on Effectiveness of Well-Being Programs
A sizable disconnect exists between employers and employees on the effectiveness of their current health and well-being programs, according to findings of a recent employer survey and a concurrent employee survey. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of U.S. employers aim to improve their health and well-being strategies and programs over the next three years to differentiate themselves from organizations with which they compete for talent, according to the 22nd annual Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey.
(Source: Modern Medicine Network, 2018-01-12) Read the full article
DOL Proposes Allowing Some Restaurants to Pool Tips
A new Department of Labor proposal would change the system for tipping workers in the service industry, such as at restaurants. The proposed change to an Obama administration regulation would allow restaurants to pool all tips only on the condition that they pay their servers the minimum wage: $7.25 an hour.
(Source: NBC 5 News, 2018-01-01) Read the full article
Study Finds Downtime Costs Companies $100 Billion Every Year
Downtime at work, whether intentional or not, costs companies in the U.S. $100 billion every year, according to research from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. The study found 78.1 percent of employees experience idle time at some point in the office, and 21.7 percent experience downtime every day.
(Source: The Business Journals, 2018-01-11) Read the full article
Companies Have Significantly Expanded Their Wellness Offerings
Companies are expanding health and wellness offerings, according to survey findings from OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company. Two-thirds, or 66 percent, of human resources managers reported that, in the past five years, their companies have broadened health and wellness options.
(Source: EHS Today, 2018-01-11) Read the full article
Some Workers Struggle with Freezing Cold Office Environments
Office developments are built with centralized heating systems that make the buildings suitable for a range of uses over many years. Finding the right temperature to please everyone has been an elusive goal for office designers and builders, said Stefano Schiavon, architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who co-wrote a 2012 study that found roughly 40 percent of U.S. workers were satisfied with their office's temperature.
(Source: CBS News, 2018-01-09) Read the full article
Mad About Money: Getting Out in Front of the Equal Pay Issue

Germaine Winnick Willett

The #MeToo movement took the nation by storm in 2017. Sexual harassment in the workplace has been illegal for over 50 years, and yet harassment keeps happening, fueled partially by lack of knowledge of the law's protections and partially by fear on the part of victims. Then, all at once, women, and some men, stood together to say "enough." The result?  Titans across numerous industries fell. Perhaps more groundbreaking was the marked shift in public opinion from distrust and doubt to a new willingness to believe accusers' stories. We likely have yet to see the full extent of the reverberations. Employers have wisely scurried to review their discrimination and harassment policies and procedures and double check training protocols. The forward-thinking among them will include equal pay in their assessment.

Read more here.


Changes to U.S. Immigration Continue
Jenifer Brown, Christl Glier and Kristin Kelley

Whether encountering these issues in connection with re-verification of immigration documents as a part of I-9 compliance obligations or through direct sponsorship of key foreign national employees, the following are some of the changes employers need to consider from the last several days.
Good and Bad News on TPS
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) determined that the country-specific conditions for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan that gave rise to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for these countries no longer exist. While the very nature of TPS is temporary, such designations have routinely been extended, leading to decades of lawful presence in the U.S. for many TPS recipients.

Read more here.


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