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Informed Employer: June 7, 2017 Informed Employer: June 7, 2017

Informed Employer: June 7, 2017

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SCOTUS Rules Religious Hospitals Don't Have to Protect Pensions
Religious hospitals don't have to comply with federal laws protecting pension plans, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled in a case that affects retirement benefits for roughly a million workers nationwide. The justices sided with three church-affiliated nonprofit hospital systems being sued for underfunding their employee pension plans.
(Source: Fox News, 2017-06-05) Read the full article
Lawmakers Ask High Court to Consider Workplace Rights of Veterans
Nineteen lawmakers are testing their luck at the Supreme Court, asking the justices to take up a case on whether military reservists' unfair dismissal claims can be forced into arbitration by their civilian bosses. Because the case involves veterans' rights, the legislators say they are hopeful the Supreme Court of John Roberts will temper its usual affinity for agreements waiving employees' right to sue.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-05-24) Read the full article
More States Consider Barring Firms from Asking Salary Histories
This year, 25 states and the District of Columbia are considering measures that would bar employers from asking job candidates about their prior salary. Last year, two states -- California and Massachusetts -- adopted similar policies, aimed at trying to narrow the pay gap for women and minorities.
(Source: NPR, 2017-05-30) Read the full article
Proposed Bill Would Help Gig Economy Workers Receive Benefits
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) have announced to their respective houses bills that would allow contract workers with companies like Uber, Lyft, and GrubHub to get benefits such as unemployment insurance, paid time off, and tax-advantaged retirement savings. The bill would create a $20m grant from the US Department of labor to help both local governments and nonprofit groups create pilot programs for agencies that would handle the services for gig workers.
(Source: The Register, 2017-05-25) Read the full article
Republicans Look at Taxes on Employer-Sponsored Health Plans
Republicans in the Senate are looking at potential taxes on employer-sponsored health plans as a way to achieve budgetary savings in a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Taxing employer plans would likely meet strong resistance from business and workers’ groups. But despite the potential drawbacks politically, some senators are beginning to offer lukewarm support for the proposal as they await more details, according to an article from The Wall Street Journal.
(Source: Fierce Healthcare, 2017-06-02) Read the full article
Many Employers Don't Know About New OSHA Slip and Fall Standards
Newsday reports that many employers don't know about the new standards that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued last year. OSHA updated its Walking-Working Surfaces safety standards, which it says will prevent myriad fatalities and the more than 5,000 injuries that occur annually.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-05-30) Read the full article
Employers Finding Life Insurance a Necessary Benefit Offering
Life insurance offered through the workplace is becoming a must-have benefit, especially with small groups, as business owners are thinking about benefits beyond traditional core offerings that will make their plans more attractive. More than half (57 percent) of employees at companies of all sizes believe life insurance is a must-have benefit, ranking seventh on the list in MetLife's 2017 Employee Benefits Trends report, behind health insurance, prescription drug coverage, a retirement plan, auto insurance, dental insurance and home insurance, respectively.
(Source: Employee Benefit Adviser, 2017-06-04) Read the full article
Employers Managing Hourly Workers Face Several Challenges
A survey by Deputy, a cloud-based mobile workforce management platform, found the top challenges for U.S. businesses employing hourly workers were employee retention (24 percent), managing profit margins (30 percent) and customer service (23 percent), Business Wire reports. The survey also revealed that 56 percent of businesses don't fully understand the shifts in labor and health care laws, although respondents said the least important challenge for their businesses was keeping up with changing laws (five percent), says Business Wire.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-06-02) Read the full article
Google Allows Employers to Report Bias Through E-Mail List
At most companies, if you think you've witnessed sexual harassment, sexism, bigotry or racism, there's one way to get it addressed: going to human resources. At Google, there's another way to air your grievance: submitting your complaint to an employee-run message board that's curated into a weekly email.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-05-23) Read the full article
Report Finds Employees Leaving Half of Vacation Days Unused
Most U.S. employees don't use all of their vacation days, and those who do take a break are increasingly likely to work while doing so, according to a report by job site Glassdoor. Only 23 percent of workers surveyed said they used all of their paid time off in the last 12 months.
(Source:, 2017-05-25) Read the full article
Watch "Human Resources in the New, New Economy: When Codes, Culture, and Culpability Collide"

Watch Ice Miller attorneys Catherine Strauss and Paul Sinclair as they discuss how the "new" economy took us from heavy industry to technology and services, and that was just the beginning for human resources. Watch the seminar here.

Check out Ice Miller's upcoming Labor & Employment Webinars for 2017 by clicking here.


Partners Behaving Badly: Employment Claims in Partnerships

Jim Davidson

The stereotypical villains from the business world portrayed by Hollywood come from multinational corporations (think Big Oil, Big Pharma, or pretty much any industry that can be preceded by “Big”) or sometimes even family-owned businesses (Corleone Family, anyone?). In the real world, however, corporations and family-owned businesses do not have a monopoly on the risk of legal liability. In the world of employment law, professional service firms and other businesses structured as partnerships endure employment litigation just like everyone else. In fact, because of their structure, such firms may be more susceptible to employment claims than corporate entities.

Read more here.


International Travel for Foreign National Employees – What to Know

Christl Glier & Jen Brown

The ultimate fate of President Trump’s controversial “travel ban” remains uncertain as his administration has now appealed a lower court’s injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court. The “travel ban,” which is one provision of an executive order issued shortly after President Trump took office in January, has hit a series of roadblocks since being signed. The original order was revoked after a district court decision to issue a temporary restraining order against the "travel ban" was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but a revised order was issued in March and quickly challenged again with the lower courts blocking the new order from taking effect as well.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision last month, and the decision to hear and rule on the issue now lies with the U.S. Supreme Court. While the “travel ban,” if implemented, would officially prohibit only individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S., all foreign nationals should consider their international travel needs and required documents when making travel plans.

Read more here.


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