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Informed Employer: September 27, 2017 Informed Employer: September 27, 2017

Informed Employer: September 27, 2017

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Warren Unveils Bill Curbing Employers' Use of Credit Checks
Employers shouldn't force job-seekers to provide a copy of their credit report as part of their application process, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said -- especially in light of Equifax's massive data breach. The Massachusetts Democrat reintroduced a bill seeking to prohibit the common practice, saying credit reports are unnecessary for jobs and often wrong.
(Source: MarketWatch, 2017-09-14) Read the full article
Employers Struggle with Rising Opioid Drug Abuse in Workforce
Drug abuse in the workforce is a growing challenge for American business. While economists have paid more attention to the opioid epidemic's role in keeping people out of work, about two-thirds of those who report misusing pain-relievers are on the payroll.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-09-20) Read the full article
Companies Take New Approach to Training Workers on Cybersecurity
Companies are starting to take a new approach to getting employees to be more vigilant about cybersecurity. Instead of punishing employees when they make mistakes, they're rewarding them when they do something good.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2017-09-17) Read the full article
Employers Spending Less on Workers' Bonuses, Survey Finds
The one bright spot in compensation in recent years has been the rise of the bonus. But this year, for the first time in seven years, employer spending on bonuses declined, slipping a tenth of a percentage point to 12.7 percent of total compensation, Aon Hewitt found in its annual survey of over 1,000 employers.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2017-09-21) Read the full article
Survey Finds Pay Raises Expected to Average Just 3% in 2018
Despite a tight labor market that's making it tougher for businesses to find qualified employees, pay raises for U.S. workers are expected to average three percent in 2018, up just marginally from 2.9 percent this year, according to a survey by Aon, a global professional services firm. Variable pay, such as bonuses, is expected to make up 12.5 percent of payroll, the lowest level since 2013.
(Source: USA Today, 2017-09-19) Read the full article
Employers Hiring Workers with Fewer Skills Amid Shortage
With employers struggling to find workers in an ever-tightening labor market, many are hiring job candidates for both white- and blue-collar jobs who lack skills or experience deemed essential just a few years ago. To fill in the gaps, more employers are launching training programs.
(Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2017-09-18) Read the full article
Bill Addressing Benefits for Gig Economy Workers Introduced
Two U.S. senators earlier this year introduced the first federal bill that addresses benefits and the on-demand workforce. The Portable Benefits for Gig Economy Workers Act by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Suzan DelBene, D-Washington, comes at a time when an increasing number of workers rely on the gig economy, or contract work, and don't have such employer-provided benefits as retirement, health insurance and workers' compensation like many traditional employment relations.
(Source: Workforce, 2017-09-14) Read the full article
Study Finds 8 Out of 10 Employers Found Resume Fraud in Last Year
A benchmark study on employment background screening revealed more than eight out of ten employers found resume fraud that includes embellishments or outright lies on job applicant resumes in the last year. Candidates, even at the highest seniority levels, are regularly embellishing their resumes.
(Source: Security Magazine, 2017-09-21) Read the full article
Employees Not Fond of Open Floor Plans, But More Firms Use Them
Wide open spaces aren't all they're cracked up to be in the office, a new survey of workers shows. Employees polled by staffing firm Robert Half said open floor plans are among the least productive and most stressful work environments, but they are becoming more popular.
(Source: Business Management Daily, 2017-09-18) Read the full article
New York Considers Banning Employers from Microchipping Workers
A bill is raising some eyebrows at the New York State Capitol because of what it's trying to prevent -- employers microchipping employees. It comes after one state lawmaker introduced a bill that would ban the practice, first prompted by a tech company out of Wisconsin where employees are voluntarily tagged with a microchip the size of a grain of rice.
(Source: WNYT, 2017-09-22) Read the full article
A Texas Court Struck Down the 2016 Overtime Rules. Again. Now What?

Catherine Strauss

On Aug. 31, 2017, the same Texas Court that previously enjoined the commencement of the Obama Administration’s changes to the overtime rules again struck down the 2016 regulations; this time through a final judgment on the merits. The Court ruled the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL’s”) use of a salary test effectively supplanted the duties test and thus violated the DOL’s authority to promulgate rules interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act.
U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant granted summary judgment to a collection of more than 50 business groups who joined together to oppose the DOL’s 2016 regulations. The proposed regulations only changed the salary thresholds and did not modify the test used to determine the duties, functions or tasks. Proposed changes to the salary threshold were significant, however, raising the minimum salary threshold for the “white collar exemption” to just over $47,000, with planned increases every three years, and increasing overtime eligibility for highly compensated employees from $100,000 to approximately $134,000.

Read more here.


Feeling Lucky? Green Card Lottery Registration Opens October 1

Christl Glier & Jenifer Brown

The Trump Administration continues to focus on U.S. immigration reform. With some changes already in effect and speculation of other changes looming, there is an unprecedented level of unpredictability and uncertainty for foreign nationals seeking long-term options for work and residence in the U.S. One lesser known option could provide a faster and easier path for a group of lucky applicants.
Commonly referred to as the “Green Card Lottery,” the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is a congressionally-mandated lottery program awarding permanent residence or a “green card” to foreign nationals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Because there are very limited avenues to permanent residence (most of which require employment- or family-based sponsorship), this lottery program provides a far faster and less restrictive opportunity for permanent residence to those foreign nationals who qualify and are ultimately selected.

Read more here.


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