Quick Hits - May 29, 2024 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

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Quick Hits - May 29, 2024

Is your employer worried about government regulatory power?  Many are:  Almost three-quarters of U.S. employers share great concern over the impact that the U.S. Department of Labor's and the National Labor Relations Board's enforcement actions will have on their businesses, according to a survey from Littler Mendelson PC.  The management-side titan's 2024 Annual Employer Survey Report found that 73% of the 402 in-house lawyers, business executives, and human resources professionals surveyed in February and March expect either a moderate or significant impact from the NLRB's enforcement in the next 12 months, a significant increase from the 43% figure the firm had found in 2022.  Employers have also voiced significant concern about the DOL's Wage and Hour Division enforcement actions, with 79% expecting a moderate or significant impact. The survey also found that 79% of the employers indicated that state or local agencies might have either a moderate or significant impact on their workplace in 2024, a slight increase since the year prior.  If you are not prepared for the increased regulatory action by the current administration, the time to start is now.  Source:  Law360 5/8/24

Need workers in manufacturing?  Sell the ROI of working to Gen Zers:  According to McKinsey research, Gen Z workers’ motivations for taking, keeping, or leaving a job are similar to those of older cohorts, although compensation is somewhat less of a draw compared with factors such as career development and advancement, flexibility, meaningful work, and caring leadership. Another big difference, of course, is that Gen Z knows it has options. A few companies are getting it right by applying an old insight: regarding workers as critical investments, not just as costs. One consumer goods manufacturer restructured its workforce management system to offer greater flexibility and give workers more control over their career pathways. Both factors are critical for Gen Z and are important for other workers, too. The impact was profound: staffing levels rose 25% points, raising production output by 20% as losses due to unscheduled line shutdowns fell by 70%. For Gen Z, compensation places only sixth in importance. Gen Z listed physical and psychological safety—meaning security in their physical environment and a respect for their contributions—as a top three factor.   Source: McKinsey 5/6/24

Many workers looking at phased retirement: More Americans anticipate a slow transition into retirement rather than just exiting the workforce, finds new data released  by Allianz Life. According to the findings, 47% of Americans believe they will gradually enter retirement, while 38% say they will have a “distinct date” in stopping work and retiring fully. On the other hand, 15% say they don’t see a future where they can retire slowly, or at all.  Allianz Life found that Baby Boomers (58%) are the most likely to consider a phased retirement. Second in line are Gen Xers (53%), followed by Millennials (45%).  Asian American respondents were also the most likely out of any group to want a slow retirement (56%), compared to 49% of Black/African American respondents, 48% of white, and 46% of Hispanic respondents, found Allianz Life.  In the Allianz Life data, 68% of respondents believe people should expect to work later in life in order to have enough money to retire, and another 61% say people should expect that they’ll need to work in retirement to survive. On a personal level, 63% say they will likely continue working at least part-time in retirement to supplement their income.  Source: 401K Specialist 5/7/24

Want me back in the office?  Let the courts decide:  As companies across the United States increasingly take a hardline stance on office mandates, an increasing number of workers are elevating their complaints to court and federal labor agencies like the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Workers argue that mandates can be unjust, discriminate against people with disabilities, and is a retaliatory action against unionization efforts. Employers that have backtracked from flexible work argue that being in the office is necessary as it improves company culture, collaboration, and productivity. The outcomes of these cases could be critical and force employers to reevaluate their policies, some lawyers say. Despite the corporate push, the percentage of workers who’ve returned to the office in the United States hasn’t risen substantially. In March, nearly 23% of workers did their jobs remotely, at least part time, compared to 19.5% a year prior, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Two circuit courts have already ruled that remote work could be considered reasonable.  Therefore, if your organization wants mandatory return to work, work with legal counsel before implementing the policy.  Source:  Washington Post 5/6/24

Maryland is the next state to require pay transparency: On April 25, 2024, Governor Wes Moore signed a bill that requires employers to include the wage range, general description of benefits, and any other compensation in public and internal job postings for jobs that will be physically performed, at least in part, in Maryland. The law becomes effective October 1, 2024. The Maryland Department of Labor is going to develop a form for employers to use to comply with the posting requirements. If the information is not included in a job posting, it must be provided to the applicant before a discussion of compensation and upon request of the applicant. "Wage range" means the minimum and maximum hourly rate or salary for a position, set in good faith by reference to any applicable pay scale; any previously determined minimum and maximum hourly rate or salary for the position; the minimum and maximum hourly rate or salary of an individual holding a comparable position at the time of the posting; or the budgeted amount for the position.  Source:  Shulman Rogers 5/3/2024

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