Quick Hits - October 18, 2023 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

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Quick Hits - October 18, 2023

Saying “thank you” may reduce turnover:  Research shows that expressing gratitude is easier and more impactful than many might expect. Putting your business's goals into practice starts with your employees, who work every day to make them a reality. They want to feel recognized and validated for their efforts. Despite this, only 42% of employees feel they are recognized the right amount at work, and 29% report that they are never recognized or appreciated at work. A lack of recognition or appreciation has been cited as the third most common reason people leave their jobs.  On the other hand, when employees feel appreciated at work, they are 73% less likely to get burnt out, five times more likely to feel connected to their company's culture, and four times as likely to be engaged at work. This translates to reduced turnover and increased productivity and satisfaction -- all of which can greatly impact your business. Of course, monetary and non-monetary gifts can be another powerful way to show your appreciation to employees. A case study from the Chicago Steak Company, one of the U.S.'s oldest premium meat delivery services, found that employees who received premium meat products as a gift reported being surprised and delighted by the unexpected token of appreciation.  Source:  Inc. 10/5/23

Should you consider on-demand pay for employees?  Payroll company ADP reports that the average salary increase so far this year is about 6%. Average hourly wages have increased about 17% since the beginning of the pandemic to as much as $34 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  But for many employees, it’s still not enough during these inflationary times. People are running out of money faster. According to a recent study from financing firm LendingClub, 76% of consumers earning less than $50,000 a year and 62% of those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 were living paycheck to paycheck as recently as this past July, a figure little changed from a year ago. To get cash quicker, many employees find themselves going to payday loan services. But these services charge a high amount of interest and transaction fees and can potentially lead to more debt. Many employers have begun offering “earned wage access” or on-demand pay. Some employers are also discovering that providing this option can be a significant recruiting benefit. Although initially successful for the service industry, it could be a boon for other industries where employees struggle financially.  Source: Philadelphia Inquirer 10/3/23

What Millennials and Gen Z want with retirement age:  51% of millennials and Gen Zers want to lower the retirement age, a recent Resume Builder survey found, while 6 in 10 said the age should be 60 or younger; 55% believe this change should take place for everyone, while the others favor a slower rollout of the changes over time that would affect younger generations.  However, 16% of Americans in this age group believe the full retirement age should be raised. Of this group, 51% said it should be raised to age 68 or 69; 30% to age 70 to 72 and 6% to age 73 or above, while 15% of respondents are unsure. Despite more than half of respondents being in favor of lowering the retirement age, 41% said they believe it is somewhat (26%) or very (15%) unlikely that Social Security funds will be available for them by the time they are eligible. However, two-thirds say they still are somewhat (35%) or very much (32%) counting on Social Security to be available to them.  Three-quarters of millennials and Gen Zers somewhat (39%) or strongly (36%) agree that those who have a lot of wealth should not be able to receive Social Security payments, while 26% somewhat (17%) or strongly (9%) disagree.  Source: ALM Benefits Pro 9/28/23

California requires workplace violence protection plan: SB 553 requires California employers to adopt comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans by July 1, 2024. The plans may be stand-alone documents or incorporated as new sections of the workplace's Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).  These plans must include some of the following:  

  • Procedures to obtain the involvement of employees and authorized employee representatives in developing and implementing the plan.
  • Methods the employer will use to coordinate implementation of the plan and training.
  • Effective procedures for the employer to accept and respond to reports of workplace violence and to prohibit retaliation against an employee who makes a report.
  • Effective procedures to ensure that employees comply with the plan.
  • Effective procedures to communicate with employees regarding workplace matters, including how to report an incident, threat, or other concern, and how concerns will be investigated.
  • Effective procedures to respond to actual or potential workplace violence emergencies, including but not limited to effective means for alerting employees to violent emergencies, evacuation or sheltering plans, and how to obtain help from staff assigned to respond to violence emergencies.
  • Procedures to develop and provide required training. 

And there’s more.  If you have employees in California, talk to legal counsel about what your requirements are.  Source:  Beveridge & Diamond PC 10/4/23

California leave policies are also changing: Effective January 1, 2024, the amendment increases the number of job-protected paid leave hours employees can take each year under state law. When an employer implements an accrual and carryover policy, this change also increases how much paid leave employees can accrue and carry over from year to year. Likewise, when an employer uses a frontload policy, the amendment increases the amount of paid leave employers must annually frontload. Currently, an employee’s banked, accrued paid sick and safe leave may be capped at 48 hours or 6 days – whichever is greater. With the change, the amount will increase to the greater of 80 hours or 10 days.  It’s a temporary cap, so if an employee who had 10 days uses them, they can re-earn those days back up to 10 days.  For front loading, the law currently requires employers to frontload 24 hours or 3 days – whichever is greater – but with the new law that amount will increase to the greater of 40 hours or 5 days and employers must also ensure that the employee has no less than a total of 40 hours or 5 days of paid leave (between the initial 120 day frontloading and the subsequent 200 day frontloading) for the employee to use by the time they complete their 200th day of employment.  There’s more.  Again, talk to legal counsel about how to set up your policies for California based employees.  Source:  Littler 10/5/23


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