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Informed Employer: May 10, 2017 Informed Employer: May 10, 2017

Informed Employer: May 10, 2017

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Big Businesses Seek Protection from State, Local Paid Leave Laws
During the 2016 presidential campaign, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton pledged their support for more paid family leave. Now big business is countering with a proposal of its own: Congress should establish a certain optional amount of paid leave and, if companies meet that threshold, they should be protected from state or local laws that might require more.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-04-25) Read the full article
Over One-Third of Employers Offer Paid Parental Leave, Study Says
More than a third of employers offer paid parental leave, a WorldatWork report shows. The study called the Survey of Paid Parental Leave in the United States found that employers offered the benefit despite the absence of a federal mandate.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-05-03) Read the full article
House of Representatives Approves Bill Impacting Overtime Pay
Do you get paid for overtime work? The House of Representatives just passed a bill you may want to know about.
(Source:, 2017-05-04) Read the full article
Number of Physicians Who Hold H-1B Visas Vary Widely By State
Physicians have been quick to come to the defense of doctors who receive H-1B visas, which allows foreign professionals to work within the United States. While just over one percent of all physicians nationally have such visas, there's wide variation state to state.
(Source: MedPage Today, 2017-04-27) Read the full article
Trump Administration Will 'Re-Examine' Contraception Mandate
The Trump administration said it would "re-examine" Obamacare's contraception mandate, which requires insurers to cover birth control with no co-pay. "We will be taking action in short order to follow the president's instructions to safeguard the deeply held religious beliefs of Americans who provide health insurance to their employees," Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in a statement.
(Source: The Hill, 2017-05-04) Read the full article
Millennial Workers Use Health Benefits Differently, Report Says
A new report indicates that millennial workers interact with their health benefits differently than those from other generations, which suggests that health insurers and plan sponsors should take an innovative approach to engaging these customers. "We find profound differences in how millennials deal with health issues and health coverage than their older colleagues at work," Paul Fronstin, the director of EBRI's Health Education and Research program and co-author of the report, said in an announcement.
(Source: Fierce Healthcare, 2017-04-27) Read the full article
Survey Says 75% of Employers See HSAs as Part of Retirement Plans
Plan Sponsor Council of America's (PSCA's) HSA Snapshot survey shows 75 percent of employers see health savings accounts as part of their retirement savings plan offerings. The survey also found that, while 40 percent of survey respondents said 25 percent or less of plan participants use their HSA balances, another 35 percent of respondents said as many as 50 percent of participants use up their balances each year.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-05-01) Read the full article
Tight Labor Market Has Firms Doing More to Attract, Keep Workers
The labor market is so tight now that many companies are wrestling with how to attract and keep employees. To entice workers, experts say employers need to do more than offer better pay and benefits -- they also need to map out clear career paths, provide professional development, show sincere appreciation and project a sense of purpose that goes beyond the job.
(Source: Rapid City Journal, 2017-05-07) Read the full article
Many Employees Fear Stigma of Taking Flexible Work Arrangements
Despite the growing popularity of alternative work arrangements and the proliferation of employers offering them to new parents, many people still feel stigmatized for even asking about their options. As a result, employees either decline to take advantage of flexible schedules or else hack their own.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-04-25) Read the full article
Illinois House OKs Bill Banning Firms from Asking Salary History
A day after advocates descended on the Capitol to push for women's rights, the Illinois House passed a bill that proponents say would help close the pay gap between men and women. Sponsored by Democratic Rep. Anna Moeller of Elgin, the measure would bar employers from asking job applicants for prior wage or salary history unless it's already public information or the applicant is moving within the company.
(Source: Chicago Tribune, 2017-04-26) Read the full article
Nepotism: An Organizational Windfall or Landmine? From the White House to Your Favorite Mom-and-Pop

Catherine Strauss

Nepotism (noun): the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.  

The last political cycle demonstrated just why a policy on nepotism is crucial to any well run organization, including the Presidency of the United States. In the White House, daughter works for dad, son-in-law works for father-in-law, and so forth.  

The same may be inevitable in your organization. What if two relatives end up working in the same department? What if two employees already working together decide to marry? What if a husband supervises his wife?  

Not only are policies a good idea to prevent interpersonal conflict and limit any impact to decision making or productivity, but they are key to defeating a discrimination claim. For instance, what if your policy provides that spouses cannot work in the same department, but two employees decide to marry? Keeping in mind that some courts have previously found that discrimination on the basis of marital status is the same thing as discrimination based on sex, who should change departments?

Read more here.


Do You Know Where Your (H-1B) Employees Are?

Jenifer Brown & Kristin Kelley

If it wasn’t clear before, it’s certainly clear now that one of the Trump administration’s priorities is immigration enforcement, including identifying instances of employer fraud and abuse. Through President Trump’s recent “Hire American” Executive Order, he is calling for an analysis of the entire U.S. immigration system, as well as proposals from related agencies to address fraud and abuse concerns. The Order also specifically targets the H-1B visa program suggesting the award of such visas should go only to the most-skilled and highest paid foreign workers. This level of reform to the H-1B program, of course, will require congressional action as the current law simply does not place these limitations on the existing program. As we await formal statutory changes, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed its intention to expand site visits targeting H-1B dependent employers, cases where employers’ basic business information cannot be identified and employers who are sponsoring H-1B workers to work off-site. See our previous article on this topic for full details.

Read more here.


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