Informed Employer: January 31, 2018 Informed Employer: January 31, 2018

Informed Employer: January 31, 2018

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New Tax Law Spurs Employers to Boost Benefits Programs
A survey of 333 large and mid-size employers by Willis Towers Watson reveals nearly half (49 percent) are considering making a change to at least one of their benefit or compensation programs this year or next due to tax reform. Two-thirds of those (66 percent) surveyed are planning or considering making changes to their benefit programs, or have already taken action.
(Source: Plan Sponsor, 2018-01-26) Read the full article
HHS Moves to Protect Healthcare Workers with Religious Objections
The Trump administration is moving to protect healthcare workers who object to providing certain treatments, such as abortion or sterilization, for moral or religious reasons. The Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services is setting up a new division that will enforce laws that allow healthcare workers to opt out of providing some care based on their religious views.
(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2018-01-18) Read the full article
Disability Job Discrimination Claims Declining, EEOC Says
After two record-setting years, federal officials are reporting that complaints of disability-based job discrimination are down. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said charges of job bias related to disability dropped to 26,838 in 2017 from an all-time high of 28,073 the year prior.
(Source: Disability Scoop, 2018-01-26) Read the full article
Senators Introduce Bill to Expand H-1B Visa Quota to 85,000
A new bill wants to expand the H-1B visa -- a hotly debated pathway for foreign workers. Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Jeff Flake introduced legislation that aims to increase the annual quota of H-1B visas from 65,000 to 85,000.
(Source: CNNMoney.com, 2018-01-25) Read the full article
Despite E-Verify System, Many Companies Hire Undocumented Workers
At a time when the national debate over immigration is at its tipping point, questions have begun to resurface about E-Verify -- a 21-year-old electronic program designed to filter out undocumented immigrants who apply for jobs -- leaving many Americans wondering how millions of them slip through the system. Many immigration policy experts say E-Verify is not what it seems.
(Source: The Mercury News, 2018-01-20) Read the full article
Few Workers Confident Employers Can Handle Harassment Issues
Fewer than half of employees are confident that their workplace can handle problems that arise on the job, and a small number who've specifically witnessed harassment were too fearful of retaliation to speak up about it, according to a new survey. Only 27 percent of those who've had a workplace issue have taken their concerns to management, and 12 percent who witnessed harassment feared they would be penalized if they challenged it, according to the poll conducted for legal solutions provider, LegalZoom.
(Source: USA Today, 2018-01-26) Read the full article
Americans with Disabilities Seeing Gains in Job Market
Americans with disabilities have posted year-over-year gains in the job market for the past 21 consecutive months, according to an analysis by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire. "This is indicative of the economy reaching full employment, and employers reaching out to groups that they traditionally don't reach out to," said Andrew Houtenville, research director of the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability.
(Source: CNNMoney.com, 2018-01-26) Read the full article
Firms No Longer Look for Perfect Employees Amid Strong Job Market
Most employers are reluctant to hire a candidate whose resume isn't a perfect fit full of industry buzzwords. Firms still remain reluctant to boost pay or train employees with less-than-perfect credentials, though recruiters say that may have to change amid a jobless rate that's set to dip further.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2018-01-26) Read the full article
 
 
 
Headlines
Show Me a Good Non-Compete Drafter, and I'll Show You a Diamond Cutter


David Carr

Year after year, the follies continue. Employer misfires just keep coming, whether it is overreach on employee non-compete agreements or failure to implement the right document; the most recent decisions show the circus continues.

In one recent case, the employer chose not to use non-compete agreements at all, but instead relied on mere confidentiality agreements. When a group of employees left, and guess what, competed, the employer tried to use the confidentiality agreements to preclude the competition. Two bad results: (1) the evidence showed the employer let employees take confidential documents home and otherwise treat the material as non-confidential, which resulted in no enforcement of the confidentiality provision; and (2) the court also ruled confidentiality agreements offer no substitute for non-competition agreements, which means the competition could not be enjoined.

Read more here.

 

Medicare: Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!


Ann Stewart

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently hosted a conference call to introduce its new Commercial Repayment Center Contractor (CRC), Performant. Beginning Feb. 12, 2018, Performant will handle CMS’ conditional payment reimbursements for worker’s compensation and no-fault recovery claims. The new contractor will continue to assert CMS’ reimbursement interests in settlements with a Medicare beneficiary and follow CMS’ recovery policies. By mid-year, we think this contractor will expand its recovery efforts into liability litigation settlements that appear to shift the responsibility for future medical care to Medicare.

Read more here.

 

 
 
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