News & Articles

Published on Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Quick Hits - January 10, 2018

Update to ACA reporting requirements: The IRS gave employers some relief.  On December 22, the IRS issued Notice 2018-06 extending the due date for furnishing the 2017 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to employees.  The deadline was extended from January 31, 2018 to March 2, 2018. The deadline extension to March 2, 2018 is automatic -- no application is required.  The Notice specifically points out that the due date for filing 2017 information returns with the IRS is not extended.  The due dates for filing information returns with the IRS are February 28 for paper filers and April 2 for electronic filers. Notice 2018-06 also provides relief from penalties that would usually apply for filing an incorrect or incomplete return with the IRS or furnishing an incorrect or incomplete return to employees, provided an employer can show that it made good-faith efforts to comply with the reporting requirement. The relief applies to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other information required on the forms.  No relief is provided for employers who fail to file an information return or furnish a statement by the due dates.   Source:  Seyfarth Shaw 1/4/18

New CareerBuilder survey shows 44% of employers plan to hire full-time workers:  CareerBuilder's annual forecast shows that 44% of employers (up from 40% in 2017) plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the new year and half (51%) will hire temporary employees.  But the most pressing question remains: how quickly can they fill those roles, if at all? 45% of HR managers currently have jobs they cannot fill because they cannot find qualified talent and 58% report that they have jobs that stay open for 12 weeks or longer.  At the same time, employers will have a harder time holding on to current employees with 40% of workers planning to change jobs in 2018.  Source: CareerBuilder 1/9/18

U. S. Supreme Court denies cert for sexual orientation case:  The United States Supreme Court has denied certiorari in the case of Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, in effect leaving in place an Eleventh Circuit ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover discrimination based upon sexual orientation.  Jameka Evans, a former security officer at Georgia Regional Hospital, brought suit alleging discrimination for gender non-conformity, sexual orientation discrimination, and retaliation. The district court dismissed all her claims. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit acknowledged that Evans, a gay woman, was denied equal pay for work and harassed, but affirmed the dismissal of her sexual orientation claim, citing binding precedent from the 1979 case of Blum v. Gulf Oil Corp.  The denial of certiorari means that four justices did not see the case worthy of their review.  There is still a split in circuits on this issue. 7TH Circuit rules that it does.  6th Circuit is in the camp of the 11th Circuit.   Source:  Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP 12/27/17

Google being sued by male engineer for discrimination and favoritism: James Damore, the ex-Google software engineer who was fired over a memo in which he argued women are naturally less fit for tech careers, launched a class action lawsuit against the company on Monday alleging political, gender and race discrimination.  The lengthy complaint against Google—161 pages in total, including numerous exhibits with internal company postings—was filed by conservative Bay Area lawyer Harmeet Dhillon in Santa Clara Superior Court. Also named as a lead plaintiff is David Gudeman, who the complaint says worked for Google from 2013 to 2016.  Seems Google discriminates against everyone.  The company is also facing a separate lawsuit alleging bias against women.  Source: law.com 1/9/18

Can a simple question in Census 2020 have huge implications for diversity statistics? A Justice Department official formally asked the Census Bureau to add a question to the 2020 Census to  inquire about people’s citizenship status. Pundits believe this simple question will impact the census count by driving down response rates.  The census data has not only counted voters; it has taken a precise snapshot of everyone in the country. This helps government agencies to direct scarce dollars and businesses to guide investment decisions. It is also crucial for doling out congressional representation.  If the population is undercounted, it could also mean that diversity statistics may not be accurately reported and will impact not only employer diversity efforts but also affirmative action preparation.  It is unknown at this time whether the question will be added or not, but pundits believe it will.  Source:  The Washington Post 1/3/18

Idle hands cost employers $100 billion a year: American workers are spending hours doing nothing, and it is costing their companies more than $100 billion a year, a new study says.  Employers are paying that much in wages for “idle time”—periods when employees are on the clock but unable to get any work done, according to research to soon be published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. The problem crosses industries and occupations, ranging from an investment banker who can’t finish a PowerPoint presentation because she is waiting for data to a store cashier without customers to check out. More than three-quarters of the 1,003 workers surveyed across 29 occupational categories said they experience idle time at work, while nearly 22% said it happens daily.  To reach the $100 billion figure, researchers multiplied the average yearly idle time by the number of Americans who work full-time outside of their homes by the median U.S. wage of $17.09 an hour. They said the survey was representative of the American workforce in terms of regions, gender, age, race, education, and other factors.  Source:  Wall Street Journal 12/20/17

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With unemployment hitting record lows and the war for talent only getting more intense, employers are constantly on the hunt for ways to increase employee attraction and retention.  As a way for organizations to set themselves apart...
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