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Informed Employer: November 9, 2016 Informed Employer: November 9, 2016

Informed Employer: November 9, 2016

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Obama Administration Moves to Curb Misuse of Non-Competes
The Obama administration has announced new steps to curb the misuse of non-compete agreements as part of its effort to stimulate competition in the U.S. labor market. The White House is targeting, in particular, agreements that prevent low-wage workers who are not privy to trade secrets from moving to their employers' rivals.
(Source:, 2016-10-27) Read the full article
Employers Offer Non-Traditional Perks to Retain Workers
Onsite meditation, yoga and mindfulness -- programs that help workers de-stress -- are the latest workplace benefits that employers are rolling out as they try harder to keep their employees happy. Recent research from, a California-based jobs and recruiting website, found that more than half (57 percent) of people said benefits and perks are among their top considerations when considering accepting a job, and that four out of five workers say they would prefer additional benefits over a pay raise.
(Source: Miami Herald, 2016-11-07) Read the full article
Employer Takes Sodas Out of Office to See Effect on Workers
Last year, the University of California, San Francisco, a health sciences center that has more than 24,000 employees on its sprawling campus, removed sugar-sweetened beverages from every store, food truck and vending machine on its campus. U.C.S.F. is believed to be one of the largest employers to remove sugary drinks from the workplace.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-11-03) Read the full article
Presidential Election Raising Tension in Workplace
Due to this presidential election, political tensions in the office have doubled, and HR is playing referee. According to new research from the Society for Human Resource Management, more than one-half (52 percent) of organizations indicate that there is greater political volatility in the workplace in this presidential election compared to others, double the percentage who said the same thing in May (26 percent).
(Source: BNA, 2016-11-03) Read the full article
More Baby Boomers Filing Workplace Age-Discrimination Complaints
Age-discrimination complaints have increased as baby boomers grow older. The EEOC received 14,141 age-bias complaints in 1999, but by 2008 the number had spiked to 24,582 before settling down in the neighborhood of 20,000 per year since then.
(Source: Business Management Daily, 2016-10-27) Read the full article
NYC Bans City Agencies from Asking Job Candidates About Salaries
New York City agencies won't be able to ask prospective employees how much money they are currently earning as part of the interview process under an executive order Mayor de Blasio signed, a policy change that he wants to expand to the private sector. De Blasio said that banning questions about past salaries in the hiring process will help close the persistent wage gap between women and men by leveling the playing field.
(Source: Daily News, 2016-11-04) Read the full article
WEF Says Pay Won't Be Equal for Women and Men for 170 Years
Women are going to get pay equality -- they'll just have to wait for another 170 years. That's according to an estimate by the World Economic Forum assessing gender gaps between men and women when it comes to economic opportunities, political empowerment, education and health.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2016-10-26) Read the full article
New York City Council Passes Freelance Isn't Free Act
The New York City Council voted unanimously to give freelance workers a set of protections against wage theft that are believed to be the first of their kind in the country. Known as the Freelance Isn't Free Act, the measure requires anyone hiring a freelance worker to agree in writing to a timetable and procedure for payment, and increases the potential awards to freelancers bringing legal complaints against those who have failed to pay them promptly.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-10-27) Read the full article
Women Sue Again Saying Paramedic Physical Skills Test Is Biased
Three years ago, Chicago spent nearly $2 million — and $1.7 million more in legal fees — to compensate dozens of women denied firefighter jobs because of a discriminatory test of upper body strength that City Hall has now scrapped. Now, a dozen women who wanted desperately to become paramedics, are accusing the Chicago Fire Department of devising two new physical agility tests that are equally biased against women.
(Source: Chicago Sun-Times, 2016-10-31) Read the full article
Report Says Employers Could be to Blame for Lack of Skilled Talent
More than half of all U.S. employers are complaining of a talent shortage, but a new report suggests they are largely to blame. According to a recent study by The Manpower Group, a Milwaukee-based human resource consulting firm, employers are struggling to find talent as a result of a rapidly changing labor market.
(Source: Fast Company, 2016-10-27) Read the full article
FTC and DOJ Release Antitrust Guidance on the Sharing of Employment Information

Tony Aaron & Eric McKeown

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice issued joint guidance for HR professionals explaining how the antitrust laws apply to sharing of employment hiring and compensation information among competing firms. The agencies reiterated that wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements violate the antitrust laws. Such agreements have led to several highly publicized civil enforcement actions in recent years, including three civil enforcement actions against competing technology companies who agreed not to cold call each other’s employees.

Read more here.


CMS Changes Position Regarding Medicare Set Aside Arrangements

Ann Stewart

When settling a claim with a Medicare beneficiary that has the impact of resolving medical care issues, all parties are required to consider Medicare’s potential interests as part of the settlement process. For liability settlements, the parties currently only need to determine whether the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made any conditional payments for which it will seek reimbursement. Parties to a worker’s compensation claim settlement have an additional requirement to consider CMS’s interest related to future medical care and, in some cases, establish a Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement (MSA). An MSA is a financial agreement that allocates a portion of a worker’s compensation settlement to pay for future medical services required for to the work-related injury or disease. These funds must be depleted before Medicare will pay for treatment related to the work injury. The amount of the MSA is determined on a case-by-case basis.

This spring, CMS established procedures to shorten the process for obtaining CMS’s determination of its potential interests related to Final Conditional Payment decisions and MSA determinations.

Read more here.


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