Quick Hits - September 29, 2021 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - September 29, 2021

Employees lose case on vaccine mandate:  A federal judge last week ruled that a Cincinnati, Ohio-area healthcare provider could require its employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their job, in what appears to be the first ruling of its kind for a private employer in the United States.  The employees of St. Elizabeth Healthcare failed to establish that their individual liberties were being violated by the vaccine requirement of the hospital operator, which has the right to set employment terms, said U.S. District Judge David Bunning in Covington, Kentucky.  St. Elizabeth employees must get vaccinated by October 1.  Source: Reuters 9/24/21

Be careful, employers need to follow COVID compliance:  Blind, an app and website that provides an anonymous forum and community for verified employees to discuss work-related issues, conducted a survey about vaccinations. The study included more than 5,000 verified professionals in the U.S.  The anonymous professional social network “identified broad support for mandated vaccination and testing to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”  It may come as a surprise to some people, but the study showed that the vast majority of workers would report colleagues and the company for not enforcing or complying with Biden’s edict.   About one in two professionals in the U.S. said they would report their employer if they were not checking COVID-19 vaccination status or testing weekly. Workers at tech companies, including Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Lyft, and Uber were most likely to say they would report their employer for any potential non-compliance with Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. A similar 75% of respondents said that they “would support the rules if it meant their community would end COVID-19 restrictions.”  Source:  Forbes 9/16/21

Should employers be more transparent with pay?  More than half of employees (51%) believe they are underpaid when they are actually paid at market or above market rates according to analysis of PayScale’s crowdsourced salary data.  Specifically, PayScale’s fair pay impact report shows that employees really have no idea if they are paid fairly. A whopping 86% of employees surveyed believe they are paid at market or below market when they are actually paid above market rates. Meanwhile, 28% of underpaid employees believe they are being compensated fairly . . . until they find out otherwise. PayScale’s analysis also shows that employees who believe they are underpaid are 49.7% more likely to look for another job. Overall, employees who believe they are underpaid represent almost two-thirds of people (65.8%) who fill out salary profiles on Payscale’s website. Collectively, Payscale’s research on the impact of fair pay perceptions shows that pay communications are woefully underutilized, a fact which should concern most organizations.  Source:  Fast Company 9/23/21

No, it really wasn’t the UIA benefits: Federal programs that offered an extra $300 per week for jobless Americans, provided extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, and gave special aid for the self-employed expired Sept. 6. Economists and companies expected a wave of interest from workers as the financial lifeline was pulled away, hoping it would provide the incentive to get back into the workplace.  It didn’t. “People who have been on the sidelines have by and large stayed on the sidelines,” said Richard Wahlquist, president of the American Staffing Association, the country’s largest recruitment-industry group. “Nothing has changed in regard to the benefits that have fallen off and the need for people continues to grow.”  One reason could be pent-up savings, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor Inc. Stimulus checks, boosted unemployment benefits, and expanded social safety nets drove the savings rate to a record 34% last year, and it remained elevated at 9.6% in July. In addition, other reasons for the missing workers are many: childcare barriers, a skills mismatch, health concerns -- particularly for service-industry jobs and a mass reallocation of work as people reconsider careers.  Source:  Bloomberg 9/20/21

Are you compliant with reporting requirements for State Individual ACA Mandates? Currently, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia have Individual Mandates in place and require employers to report their ACA information on a state level. The Individual Mandates require additional ACA reporting to determine which residents obtained coverage, and for what time frame. The reporting requirements imposed on employers essentially identify which state residents should be assessed a penalty. Employers too can face penalties for failing to complete their additional state ACA reporting requirements. New Jersey requires Applicable Large Employers – companies with 50 or more employees – to use IRS forms 1094-C and 1095-C, (1095-B, and 1094-B if self-insured) to communicate health insurance information to the state, in addition to their federal responsibilities for annually furnishing these forms to full-time employees and to the IRS. The annual deadline is March 31 of the following reporting year.  California has adopted a similar approach to New Jersey. Beginning 2020, self-funded employers in California must report on the employees and their dependents that had health coverage throughout the year. The information must be furnished to employees by January 31 and filed with California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB) by March 31. Source:  The ACA Times 9/20/21

How the workforce has changed since 1979:  In 1979, people aged 65 and older accounted for 3% of the nation's workforce, representing the smallest contingent. Teenagers aged 16 to 19 years old were the second smallest cohort at 8.2%, according to the CPS data.  40 years later, that trend flipped: 6.6% of the nation's workforce were those 65-plus, while 3.2% were older teens. Additionally, the 55- to 64-year-old age group's share increased by 5.5 percentage points to 17.2%, while the 20- to 24-year-old contingent's share shrunk 6 percentage points to 8.5%.  With respect to married versus singles, in 2019, married workers represented a smaller share of the work force than they did in 1979, while the percentage of employees who have never married has increased 9.3 percentage points for men and 6.7 points for women. In 1979, almost two-thirds of the U.S. labor force consisted of workers who were married, the BLS data shows. 40 years later, that share was just north of 52%. The workforce of today also is comprised of a higher share of workers with a college degree, according to Birinci of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. He noted that the share of individuals age 25 and older with a bachelor's degree increased from 17% in 1980 to about 34% in 2015.  Source:  CNN 9/7/21

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