Quick Hits - May 11, 2022 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - May 11, 2022

I got a new job, now I am looking for the next:  The Great Resignation is far from ebbing, a Lattice report suggests 52% of respondents having worked for three months or less in their new role reported they are actively trying to leave their current company. Likewise, 59% of respondents who’ve worked in their role for three to six months reported they are actively trying to jump ship.  The majority of the 2,000 U.S. survey respondents (74%) said they are open to new opportunities in the next six months to a year. This is a considerable jump from the number of respondents (47%) who told Lattice the same last fall.  Breaking down the job search by generation, only 23% of baby boomers and 33% of Gen Xers are actively looking for a new role – compared to 60% of Gen Zers and 59% of younger millennials. Lattice reported older millennials searching at a rate of 41%.  Source:  Lattice 4/12/22

Are your employees working too many off hours? A recent Microsoft study found that, between February 2020 and February 2021, the average Microsoft Teams user sent 42% more chat messages per person after hours. Last summer, a smaller internal study of Microsoft employees found that 30% experienced an evening spike in keyboard usage during the summer of 2021, according to the company. The cause of a protracted evening schedule can be varied and deeply personal, according to Piers Hudson, senior director at Gartner’s HR functional strategy and management research team. It may not be difficult to imagine a few possible reasons, such as those related to family or caregiving duties, but Hudson noted an employee may be working late for “the wrong reasons.”  In a 2021 report, Gartner research director Alexia Cambon wrote that the disappearance of boundaries between work and life indicated a need to move beyond separation of work and life activities and toward a concept of “work-life harmonization” that considers the two to be interdependent to one another.  This is an important issue for HR to research and come with solutions. Otherwise more employees may be leaving.  Source:  HR Dive 4/26/22

Yet how do we know they are really working: When millions of Americans began working from home two years ago because of the pandemic — one-third of the work force, by May 2020 — they benefited from a new degree of autonomy. Their managers, in many cases, saw that tasks were completed, so the assumption was they were putting in full workdays. For some workers, having experienced the flexibility of remote work and empowered by a tight labor market, have bristled at being monitored as they make the transition back to the office. They feel pressured to go in when they know their supervisors are collecting attendance data, even as rising COVID-19 levels cause concern. About one-third of workers surveyed by CCS Insight, a research firm, cited attendance pressure as one of their worries about hybrid-work arrangements. But many companies are now tracking attendance of employees.  “I don’t have anyone checking up on me, and if I did, that would cause a lot of stress,” said Rose Worden, who works at a nonprofit in Washington that expects that she come in two days per week. “Trust is important to any job.” Some workplace experts said companies resorting to surveillance systems most likely had a workplace culture problem on their hands.   Source:  NYTimes 4/22/22

Why mental health concerns are real – EEOC charges are up:  Workers have been claiming they faced discrimination at work based on anxiety disorders with increasing frequency over the past decade, according to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge data, a trend experts expect to continue as pandemic-related stressors linger. Last year, more than 2,600 workers lodged anxiety-related disability discrimination charges with the EEOC, making up nearly 12% of the total Americans with Disabilities Act filings the agency received last year. These figures also represent close to a 65% jump from the number of ADA filings citing anxiety disorders that employees brought to the agency a decade ago. Anxiety disorders refer to a category of conditions with symptoms distinct from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, like extreme worries or fears that reoccur, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias fall within this category.  Mental wellness has become a busy legal area for the EEOC.  Much has to do with working off the clock or outside normal work hours.  The day never stops.  Source:  Law 360 4/28/22

Misclassification of contractor labor violation? A recent move by the NLRB’s General Counsel involves independent contractor misclassification. If the General Counsel has her way, the Board will rule that independent contractor misclassification is an automatic unfair labor practice (ULP), even if it’s a mistake. To reach that conclusion, the Board would have to overturn its 2019 decision in Velox Express, in which the Republican-controlled Board ruled that misclassifying a worker, by itself, is not automatically a ULP. If Velox Express is overturned, misclassification of independent contractors would likely become an automatic ULP, even if the classification was well-intentioned. Essentially, there would be strict liability for misclassification. Traditional remedies for ULPs include back pay and reinstatement, which could mean forced reclassification as employees. A reversal of Velox Express, therefore, may have sweeping ramifications, making it much harder to maintain independent contractor status across a board range of federal and state laws. If you are using independent contractors, make sure through legal counsel that the classification is correct and supported.  Source: Baker Hostetler LLP 4/18/22

NYC Pay transparency rules moved back to November 1: On January 15, 2022, New York City enacted legislation requiring all covered employers to include a minimum and maximum salary for the position advertised. The new law was set to go into effect on May 15, 2022. However, following the City Council’s passage of an amendment to the law, assuming the mayor signs it, the effective date will be November 1, 2022. The law has been revised for clarity, from requiring “minimum and maximum salary” to requiring “minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage” for the advertised position. The amendment reinforces a limited exception to the requirements for positions that cannot or will not be performed, at least in part, in New York City (job advertisements for temporary employment at temporary help firms remain excluded). The amendment creates a limited private right of action, stating: “[E]mployee may bring such an action against their current employer for an alleged violation of this subdivision in relation to an advertisement by their employer for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity with such employer.” The amendment provides a civil penalty of $0 for a first violation if the violation is cured within 30 days of service of complaint (requires electronic or in-person proof of curing of the violation, but proof also constitutes an admission of liability).  Why is this important to HR?  Because this approach is likely the future for many jurisdictions and provides guidance as to how to do job postings in the future.  Source: Jackson Lewis 4/29/22

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