Quick Hits - September 6, 2023 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - September 6, 2023

EEO-1 reporting starts October 31, 2023: The 2022 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection will open on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. The EEO-1 online Filer Support Message Center (i.e., filer help desk) will also be available on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, to assist filers with any inquiries they may have regarding the 2022 collection. The deadline to file the 2022 EEO-1 Component 1 report is Tuesday, December 5, 2023.  All updates about the 2022 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection, including the updated 2022 EEO-1 Component 1 Instruction Booklet and the updated 2022 EEO-1 Component 1 Data File Upload Specifications, will be posted to www.eeocdata.org/eeo1 as they become available. The EEOC anticipates posting the updated 2022 EEO-1 Component 1 Instruction Booklet for filers on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. The EEOC anticipates posting the updated 2022 EEO-1 Component 1 Data File Upload Specifications for filers on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.

What jobs are at risk for AI?  McKinsey research finds that workers earning less than $40,000 per year are up to 14 times more likely to change occupations by the end of the decade than higher-paid earners. Health, STEM, transportation, warehousing, business, and legal professionals are projected to be growing under AI, while office support, customer service, sales, production work and food services are the worst impacted by AI acceleration, based on the research. The top industries with the most exposure to AI are science, technology, finance, insurance, real estate, and public administration. The industries with the least exposure are managerial, administrative and food services, based on Pew Research.  The Pew survey showed that workers more likely to see AI exposure do not necessarily feel their jobs are at risk. About one in four workers in professional, scientific, and technical services believe AI will help more than hurt them, with about 20% of workers in government, public administration, and military polling the same. HR is also at risk. About a fifth of U.S. workers are considered to have "high exposure" to AI, particularly workers who identify as women, Asian, college-educated, and high-paid workers, according to the Pew Research Center.  Source: Channel 4 New York 8/8/23

Where is the job shortage? The sectors especially struggling with a lack of workers are durable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and education and health services. Unlike the accommodation and food services sectors, these industries are unable to find enough skilled workers to fill all of their available job openings.  Immigration has also failed to reach pre-pandemic levels. The 13 states most affected by labor shortages, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont. These states are all included in the "Most Severe" category in the Chamber's Worker Shortage index. The other categories are "More Severe," "Severe," "Less Severe" and "Least Severe." North Dakota and South Dakota have 35 available workers for every 100 job opportunities, with respectively 30,000 and 31,000 job openings, and 8,466 and 8,864 unemployed people.  Nebraska and Maryland have 40 available workers for every 100 jobs, with respectively 63,000 and 204,000 job vacancies, and 20,458 and 65,353 unemployed.  New Hampshire has 41 available workers for every 100 jobs, with 41,000 job openings and 13,466 unemployed people.  Montana, according to the Chamber, has 46 available workers for every 100 jobs, with 37,000 job openings and 13,802 unemployed people.  Source: Newsweek 8/10/23

Top “must have” employee benefits: With open enrollment season on the horizon for many employers, there's no better time to reflect on this year's benefits offerings and ask, is your company staying competitive or has it fallen behind?  Goldman Sachs Ayco, a wealth management firm for employers, released its 2023 Benefits and Compensation Trends in Corporate America Report, noting what benefits have emerged as must-haves in the last three years among their own clients.  According to Goldman Sachs Ayco, nearly 40% of their clients absorbed increases in health plan premiums, while 55% increased premiums and just under 5% lowered premiums. Given that global advisory Willis Towers Watson predicted rates to increase by 6.4% in 2023, it's not surprising that a majority of employers either didn't choose or couldn't financially take the full loss.  Goldman also found that 95% of their clients offer mental health benefits in the form of employee assistance programs, and most recently, apps and telehealth options.   The inclusion of caregiving benefits, whether it's childcare or elder care assistance, has increased by 177% in the last three years, according to Goldman. Similar to caregiving benefits, the presence of pet insurance benefits has surged by 120% in the last three years.  Source:  EBN 8/11/23

The mom pay gap:  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, the median weekly earnings for women with children was about three-quarters of what fathers took home weekly that year — $939 compared to fathers' $1,240. Treating mothers worse than fathers in the workplace is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars employment discrimination based on the sex of an employee or applicant, among other protected characteristics. Current federal law does not, however, bar bias based on someone's caregiver status although many state laws do. This means a business could deny an advancement opportunity to someone because they have kids at home as long as they're not basing that decision on a characteristic Title VII or other federal anti-discrimination laws protect.  As an employer, you should not question the mother’s commitment to the employer or to work.  Be flexible when the work can be done.  Don’t hesitate to promote the mom if they are a good or excellent worker.  The dividends will pay off greatly down the road.  Break down that maternal wall!  Source:  Law360 8/15/23

Obama era OSHA walk around regulations are back:  OSHA released a proposed rule on its worker walkaround representative policy that would allow a third-party employee representative to be present during Compliance Safety and Health Officer inspections.  Public comments on OSHA’s proposal will be due by October 30, 2023.  Specifically, OSHA proposes to revise 29 CFR 1903.8(c) to clarify that (1) a representative authorized by employees may be an employee of the employer or a non-employee third party, and (2) employees may authorize a third-party representative reasonably necessary to conduct an effective and thorough physical inspection of the workplace by virtue of their knowledge, skills, or experience.  This was an Obama era proposed regulation.  The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) sued OSHA in federal district court claiming that the interpretation letter amounted to a legislative rule adopted without notice and comment and violated the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 and the court found that there was a claim.  The Trump administration rescinded the rule.  Now it’s back again and will probably be subject to another lawsuit. If it becomes final, the company should seek clarification from the inspector regarding the third-party individual’s purpose in joining the walkaround as it relates to the inspection. OSHA’s proposed 29 CFR § 1903.8(c) would continue to require a showing of “good cause” that a third party’s participation is “reasonably necessary to the conduct of an effective and thorough physical inspection of the workplace.” Source:  Littler 8/29/23

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