Quick Hits - June 21, 2023 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - June 21, 2023

Should I trust ChatGPT to price jobs?  Not yet.  In a test by EBN, they asked ChatGPT "What salary should I offer a software engineer in the U.S. with five years’ experience?" ChatGPT came back with $100,000 to $120,000 a year, and maybe more than $150,000 a year in high-cost cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Seattle.  That's not bad. But EBN’s anonymized data from Ceridian clients shows the U.S. salary for people with "software engineer" or "developer" in their title is closer to $87,000 at the base. That's also with five years of experience. ChatGPT found that the average base rate for a cashier with five years of experience in the U.S. is $10 to $13 an hour, or $20,800 to $27,040 a year, based on a 40-hour workweek. EBN’s salary benchmark data shows the average base salary for a U.S. cashier with five years of experience to be $29,854, or $14.35 an hour.  ChatGPT is not there yet.  ASE’s Compensation Survey as well as Payscale’s Peer network ($399 for ASE members) are better choices today and likely for a while to get correct data for recruitment and retention.  Source:  EBN 6/15/23

Workplace flexibility still a requirement for keeping employees: It is still a seller’s market. Nearly half (47%) of U.S. workers indicate that they will consider looking for a new job should their employer reduce remote and hybrid work flexibility, new Eagle Hill Consulting research finds. Remote work flexibility is substantially more important to younger workers. 61% of GenZ and 57% of Millennial employees indicate they would look for other employment if remote flexibility were scaled back, with Baby Boomers at 2%. The research also found:  42% of U.S workers say their job satisfaction would decrease if their employer mandated a return to in-person work, while 34% say their productivity would decrease with such a requirement. 35% say a mandate would decrease how long they will stay with their current employer.  Many workers (43%) prefer to work with an organization that offers hybrid and remote work flexibility, highest for Millennial (48%) and GenZ employees (46%).  Worker concerns about more in-person work include work-life balance (44%), commute times (37%), higher costs (33%), and stress (33%).  Source:  Eagle Hill Consulting 5/18/23

NLRB allows for employee surveillance in certain situations: An employer installed cameras in company-provided delivery vehicles in June 2022. The employer told workers that it installed the cameras, one of which captured an image inside the vehicle and the other of which recorded the road, at its insurer's recommendation and that they did not capture audio. After workers raised concerns, the employer informed workers that the cameras only recorded brief snapshots when they detected unsafe driving and that workers could disable the internal camera.  During the investigation, the employer provided evidence that its insurer recommended installing the cameras before workers went public with the union campaign.  Given these circumstances, the employer's reasons for installing the cameras outweigh the minimal risk they pose to workers' rights according to an NLRB memo.  According to the NLRB, surveillance would only be allowed if the employer shows it is narrowly tailored to a business need.    Source:  Law360 5/31/23

Illinois increases requirements for pay transparency: HB 3129, which will be signed by the governor, will require pay scale disclosures for all open job positions posted by businesses with 15 or more employees in Illinois.  “Pay scale and benefits” mean the wage or salary or its range, and a general description of the benefits and other compensation, including but not limited to, bonuses, stock options, and incentive-based compensation. The pay scale must be one the employer reasonably expects in good faith to offer for the position. The statute allows an employer to set this range based on any of these factors:  a good-faith estimate; reference to previously determined ranges for the position; the actual range for employees currently holding equivalent positions; and the budgeted amount for the position.  Illinois would permit employers to satisfy the disclosure requirements by including a hyperlink to a publicly viewable webpage that lists all required disclosures.  The Illinois law would also apply to third parties, such as job search sites and staffing companies.  The bill would also require an employer to announce, post, or make known all promotional opportunities to all current employees within 14 days after the employer makes an external job position available.  Littler 5/25/23

To monitor or not monitor employees – jury is still out:  From keystroke loggers to screenshot-capturing software and webcam eye-trackers, employee-monitoring tools have been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic drove white collar workers out of their cubicles and into home offices.  But a new survey from Littler Mendelson found a deep divide among employers on whether the technologies are a good idea. The survey of 515 in-house lawyers, C-suite executives and HR professionals in the U.S. found 45% of companies are using them, but 41% are not and aren’t considering doing so. 12% are considering adoption, and 1% have made the decision to adopt but haven’t yet done so.  65% of respondents expressed concern about the technologies’ impact on employee morale and trust in the company, and an equal percentage expressed concern about their impact on compliance with privacy laws—by, for example, exposing personal information, such as passwords or health conditions. A paper published last year in the Harvard Business Review, found that workers under surveillance felt less responsibility for their behavior.  The study found that workers who were monitored “were more likely to report that the authority figure overseeing their surveillance was responsible for their behavior, while the employees who weren’t monitored were more likely to take responsibility for their actions.”  Source:  ALM PropertyCasualty360 5/30/23

Do your employees have side hustles? While the practice does not come with a catchy term, working a side hustle that employees keep quiet from their primary boss is definitely on the rise. According to a wide-scale study conducted by consulting firm Deloitte, 46% of polled Generation Z workers and 37% of millennials said that they work a second part-time or even full-time job in tandem with their main work. As first reported by Fortune Magazine, some of the most popular side hustles include selling online products, delivering food orders or working for a ride-share company, and writing marketing materials on the side. Another study by financial services platform Bankrate.com calculated that 39% of employed Americans adults are currently working a second gig on the side and bringing in an extra $810 a month on average. While traditional employers will often frown upon and speak out against side hustles as a lack of "dedication," Bankrate researchers found that the practice is often a way for low-earning employees to keep up with the cost of living. Also, if an employee is on FMLA leave, unless the policy specifically prohibits it, don’t be surprised if the employee is doing a second job to make up for loss pay.  Source:  The Street 5/30/23

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