Quick Hits - November 29, 2023 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

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Quick Hits - November 29, 2023

Michigan’s Right-to-Work law effective February 13, 2024:  The Michigan legislature became the first state in almost 60 years to repeal its right-to-work law earlier this year. However, in doing so, the initiative did not have sufficient support to allow the repeal to be immediately effective. Most thought the repeal would not be effective until approximately March 30, 2024.  We now know it will be effective six weeks sooner than originally thought. Specifically, under Michigan law, when legislation does not have sufficient votes for immediate effect, it does not go into effect until 91 days after the end of the legislative session . . . or sine die adjournment. Historically, since the legislature normally works until the end of the year, that means that legislation not given immediate effect is not effective until the end of March, the year following that legislative session.  However, the Michigan Legislature recently passed a concurrent resolution to adjourn for the year on Nov. 14. Bills without immediate effect will now be effective approximately six weeks earlier than expected. The repeal will likely be effective on February 13, 2024, instead of March 30, 2024, as previously anticipated.  Source:  Barnes & Thornburg LLP  11/13/23

Layoffs are on the horizon it appears:  In 2023, 96% of all business organizations took some kind of downsizing action, according to data from Randstad RiseSmart.   As we head to 2024, 92% of employers are expecting additional headcount cuts, according to the talent solution company's 2023 Global Severance research report. And most organizations, the survey found, are not prepared to help their workforces manage those cuts. A study from the American Psychological Association finds that being laid off is one of the most stressful life experiences — more stressful than divorce or the death of a close friend, even. In Edelman's 2022 Trust Barometer, 85% of respondents rated job loss as their top concern. Eighty percent of HR professionals rate the way their company handles downsizing as excellent or very good, according to Randstad's survey, and 55% even believe that it will have a positive impact on how they retain employees. Yet, only a quarter of organizations in the United States currently offer severance packages to all exiting employees, the study shows. Of the companies that do offer some kind of severance package, only 28% of entry level employees are included in the offering, which is especially poignant when the likelihood of getting laid off is 62% for recent hires compared to 20% for more veteran employees, according to data from BambooHR.  Source:  EBN  11/7/23

In the war for talent, are companies trading salary increases for benefits? Workers may have rejoiced over big pay raises in the last two years, but the downside is they’re losing non-cash company benefits, according to job and recruiting site Glassdoor.  In 2023, the top three benefit cuts were in mobile phone discounts, charitable gift matching, and tuition assistance, Glassdoor said. Companies are looking for ways to cut costs to pay for huge wage hikes doled out to attract and retain workers and elevated inflation over the past few years. And with the economy slowing and competition easing for workers, companies are doubling down on trimming fat in 2024, Glassdoor said. Companies know employees would notice and bristle at smaller paychecks. So, they find other not-so-visible ways to cut costs.  "When people talk about compensation, they focus on pay and wages, which are still growing more than 4% a year,” Terrazas said. “But that doesn’t capture the full extent of the total compensation package including benefits, which has grown much more slowly.”  On the other hand, are employers who do this leading to more unionization efforts?  Source:  USA Today 11/20/23

NLRB’s joint employment rule effective date pushed back until February 26, 2024:  The National Labor Relations Board pushed its joint employment rule’s effective date to February 26, 2024, “to facilitate resolution of legal challenges with respect to the rule.” The agency said notice of the extension will be published in the Federal Register shortly. NLRB’s new joint employer rule retains much of the same details from its 2022 proposed rule, specifying that an entity may be considered a joint employer of another employer’s employees if the two share or codetermine essential terms and conditions of employment. Per the rule, joint employers may possess or exercise direct or indirect control over one or more essential terms and conditions of employment.  Changes from the proposed rule include an exhaustive list of seven categories of employment terms or conditions that the board will consider essential for the purposes of its joint employer analysis, as well as a description of those it will consider “irrelevant” for such analysis. The final rule also addresses joint employers’ bargaining obligations.  Source:  HR Dive  11/16/23

The 12 Days of Christmas cost what?  The 2023 PNC Christmas Price Index found the overall price climbed just 2.7% this year, a little north of the Fed’s overall year-over-year target rate, but miles better than the 10.5% increase it saw last year. The overall cost of buying all 12 gifts in the song works out to $46,729.86 this year. If you’re one of those obsessive purists, who insists on purchasing all 364 gifts, including 12 pear trees and 40 gold rings, you’re looking at a bill of $201,972.66.  For those keeping track at home, that’s $22,518.47 more than two years ago. All of those winged creatures add up. Turtle Dove alone saw a 25% price increase this year to $750. And you’re thinking of getting 22 of those?  The geese? They’re going to cost 8.3% more, coming in at $780. (That’s a $500 increase since 2018.) All of those performers are going to expect more as well, whether they’re drummers, pipers, or leaping lords, with asks increasing between 4% and 6.2%).  And depending on your point of view, a maids-a-milking and ladies dancing didn’t see any sort of pay raise this year, while the men did.  Even at Christmas, pay inequity.  But still—Happy Holiday Season!  Source:  Fortune 11/16/23


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