Quick Hits - February 24, 2021 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

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Quick Hits - February 24, 2021

Quick HitsAre you having a difficult time recruiting?  Some industries are thriving and eager to hire, which should be welcomed in an economy that has recovered only a little over half of the 22 million jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic.  Data from the Labor Department this month, for example, showed job openings at a five-month high. Meanwhile, job search site Indeed said recently that job postings are back to pre-pandemic levels. The problem is that a lot of those openings are in industries that require in-person work, like construction, delivery services, or warehousing — exactly the types of jobs now being shunned by many Americans in the midst of a fearful pandemic. Most job seekers, she says, are looking for remote work. The problem is that those are not the jobs available right now.  In fact, only 1 in 10 job postings in the ZipRecruiter marketplace offers remote work as an option, Julia Pollak, a labor economist at employment recruitment site ZipRecruiter, says. That is leading to a mismatch in filling jobs, and it's contributing to the painful, slow recovery in jobs.  And in Michigan, especially for the auto supply chain, it doesn’t help that the hours are long trying to replenish inventory when the industry was shut down for almost two months.  Source:  NPR 2/15/21

Everyone is ghosting each otherGhosting is becoming more common as found in a new Indeed report, "Employer Ghosting: Troubling Workplace Trend." Indeed's survey of 500 job seekers and 500 employers revealed that ghosting appeared to be on the rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Indeed found that since the start of the pandemic (the baseline is after Feb. 1, 2020), 77% of job seekers said they've been ghosted by a prospective employer, and 10% were still ghosted after a verbal job offer was presented to them.  But, it is not just employers doing the ghosting. The report found that 28% of job seekers said in 2020, they ghosted an employer (in 2019, that percentage was 18%). Conversely, and in the same time frame, 76% of employers said not only were they ghosted, but 57% said it's become more common.  Job seekers are ghosting because they received another offer (20%), were unhappy with the offered salary (13%), and decided it wasn't the right job for them (15%). Only 4% of job seekers claim COVID-19 as a reason for ghosting over the last 12 months — a surprisingly low figure, given its widespread impact on other areas of work. Still, 48% acknowledge that employers are probably being ghosted more often during the pandemic. Alarmingly, only 27% of employers said they haven't ghosted a job seeker in the past year.  Source: TechRepublic 2/17/21

The Mom Project could be a new sourcing channel:  Accenture will hire 150 mothers for positions at its Midwest division as soon as possible, the company tells CNN Business. The newly created positions will be in technology, strategy, and consulting out of the company's offices in Chicago. The company said the roles will offer the new hires flexibility, support, training, and mentorship. To help find and hire candidates, Accenture is partnering with The Mom Project, a marketplace that connects professional women with companies. The Mom Project will screen applicants and put forward candidates for the roles. The organization said it is focusing on mothers who are unemployed and looking to make a career change. "The jobs that we're talking about for these moms are careers. They're highly coveted roles in technology and in consulting, they're the type of roles that enable them to support their family," said Lee Moore, senior managing director for Accenture Midwest, who is heading up the partnership.  Source: CNN Business 2/18/21

Employers pushing employees to take more soft skills virtual training:  With more people now telecommuting from home, many employers have stepped up their e-learning offerings to help employees learn, grow, and adapt to the new ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a 2021 trends report from virtual learning platform Udemy for Business, courses that teach soft skills are among the most popular on the site that saw skyrocketing demand in the past year.  Between 2019 and 2020, the number of hours logged for courses that teach anxiety management alone jumped by nearly 4,000%, while interest in learning personal skills like resilience and stress management also saw triple-digit growth.  For more traditional soft skills that apply to the workplace, employees were most eager to improve their communication, leadership, and productivity chops. Additionally, employees increasingly sought out leadership classes to improve their decision-making skills, particularly in a year that tested everyone’s adaptability to new ways of leading and responding to rapidly changing realities during the pandemic.  ASE offers everything from soft skills to HR to leadership training.  Please visit our website to learn more.  Source:  CNBC 2/12/21

USERRA may require paid leave like comparable leaves:  In White v. United Airlines, Inc., Case No. 19-2546 (9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, 2/3/21), White brought a proposed class action against his employer under USERRA’s provision requiring employers to offer the same “rights and benefits” to service members on military leave as they offer to employees on other, similar types of leave. He argued that because his employer offered pay to employees on jury duty, it was required under USERRA’s “rights and benefits” provision to offer pay to employees on leave for military service. The trial court dismissed the suit holding that USERRA does not require pay for military leave under any circumstances. The Ninth Circuit, however, disagreed. It held that USERRA’s “rights and benefits” provision does require pay for military leave in cases where the employer offers pay for other, comparable types of leave. The Ninth Circuit then instructed the trial court to determine whether the employer’s policy concerning leave for jury duty rendered such leave “comparable” for USERRA purposes to leave for military service. To guide the district court’s analysis, the Ninth Circuit specified that it should consider the duration and purpose of the leave as well as the employee’s ability to choose when such leave is necessary.  Source: BakerHostetler 2/11/21

Workers’ compensation denying COVID cases:  Determining where a person contracted COVID-19 is proving to be a difficult legal puzzle. In many workers’ compensation cases, carriers said individuals were most likely infected in their off hours, while workers’ attorneys said their clients’ COVID-19 cases were directly linked to unsafe job environments. Insurance carriers and business groups feared at the start of the pandemic that they would be overwhelmed by workers’ comp claims related to COVID-19. That concern intensified as more than a dozen states passed laws giving some employees, including nurses and firefighters, a presumption of eligibility, or access to workers’ comp coverage without requiring them to prove infections occurred on the job. Workers filed hundreds of thousands of virus-related claims in 2020, but those cases, according to state and industry data, were more than offset by a steep drop in non-COVID-19 claims as layoffs, shutdowns, and remote work reduced the number of workplace accidents and injuries.  The data also suggest that carriers are denying a significant percentage of claims related to COVID-19, even in states with the so-called presumptive-eligibility rules. Source:  Wall Street Journal 2/14/21


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