EverythingPeople This Week!

Published on Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Quick Hits - February 20, 2019

Author: ASE Staff

Still can’t find workers? The number of available jobs exceeded unemployed Americans by 1 million at end of 2018, according to the Labor Department.  That's the highest level of available jobs on record dating back to 2000.  There were a seasonally adjusted 7.34 million unfilled jobs on the last business day of December, the Labor Department said last week. That was up from a revised 7.17 million at the end November, and surpassed August’s then-record of 7.29 million openings.  ASE member Beaumont Health, which operates eight hospitals in suburban Detroit, is looking to recruit General Motors workers recently notified of layoffs to fill some of health system’s 1,500 openings, about 500 of which are outside of clinical operations.  Aaron Gillingham, chief human resources officer, said Beaumont needs to be aggressive because unemployment in the area is at the lowest level in almost two decades. He said the former GM employees could potentially fill technology, marketing, research, and human resources positions. Source:  Wall Street Journal 2/12/19

Writing skills most important to Jeff Bezos: Jeff Bezos's obsession with memo writing became law at Amazon on June 9, 2004.  In the now-famous email, he explained that no Amazon team members would be allowed to bring PowerPoint presentations or even lists of bullet points as documentation for meetings: all ideas were to emerge from densely written, narrative memos:  “The reason writing a good 4-page memo is harder than 'writing' a 20-page PowerPoint is because the narrative structure of a good memo forces better thought and better understanding of what's more important than what, and how things are related,” he writes. “PowerPoint-style presentations somehow give permission to gloss over ideas, flatten out any sense of relative importance, and ignore the interconnectedness of ideas.” Writing memos forces his team to think through their ideas in high-resolution detail. Instead of wasting time with impromptu brainstorming sessions, writing memos ensures that group discussion is based on the critical review of the relevant ideas, not on hypotheticals. Most importantly, it makes it impossible to hide any logical inconsistencies in the ideas that people put out there.  Source: slab 2/5/19

California requires pay for calling into work to see if needed at work: For more than 75 years, California’s Wage Order No. 7 has required employers to compensate employees if they are required to report for work but are then provided less than an established minimum number of hours of work or are provided with no work at all. Instead of requiring appearance at the workplace, suppose employees are merely required to call in advance to confirm whether they are needed for a scheduled shift.  have employees “reported for work” if the employer tells them they do not need to come in? The answer is yes, according to the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (Ward v. Tilly’s Inc., 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 95 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 4, 2019)). In light of this significant change in pay obligations, employers should promptly review their call-in and on-call policies to ensure they are properly compensating employees.   Source:  Jackson Lewis 2/11/19

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms LGBT not covered by Title VII: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) affirmed summary judgment against a transgender employee who claimed discrimination under Title VII.  In Wittmer v. Phillips 66 Company, the court said that a 40-year-old decision addressing LGBT rights under Title VII was binding precedent. The court had found in 1979, in Blum v. Gulf Oil Co., that "discharge for homosexuality" did not violate Title VII or 42 U.S.C. Section 1981.  There is now a split in Circuits with the 6th (which includes Michigan) and 7th both affirming that LGBT is covered by Title VII.  The Supreme Court is next, and lawyers are waiting to hear whether the three cases currently before the Supreme Court will be granted certiorari.  Source: Constangy Brooks Smith & Prophete LLP 2/8/19

What do Millennials want? A recent survey by LaSalle Network found that three out of four millennials are open to finding a new gig.  The top three reasons why millennials leave their jobs: to seek a new role, better benefits, and dissatisfaction with their career path at their current employer. To overcome turnover, employers are offering student loan assistance and pet insurance to retain younger hires.  These workers also prize paid time off and flexible working arrangements, including working from home, the recruiting firm found.  With the unemployment rate holding steady at 4% as of January and candidates feeling confident enough to ditch job interviews, the onus is now on employers to attract and retain their workers.  Further, the days of staying at one company for decades and retiring with a gold watch and a pension are over.  75% of adults ages 18 to 34 believe that job hopping can be beneficial, garnering higher pay and new skills, according to a 2018 survey from recruiter Robert Half.  Source:  CNBC 2/7/19

Bill to expand FMLA for death of a child introduced: On February 7th Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL), along with five cosponsors, introduced the Parental Bereavement Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that would help families grieving the loss of a child take time off work. The bill was introduced in tandem with the 26th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, signed into law on February 5, 1993.

Alternatively called the "Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act," H.R. 983 would add "death of a child" as a life event that would qualify for unpaid leave under the FMLA, giving a grieving parent up to 12 weeks to mourn a child’s loss before returning to work.  The proposed legislation provides that leave due to the death of a child may not be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule unless the employee and the employer "agree otherwise." Although this legislation has been introduced to the last three Congresses, it never got out of committee.   Source:  CCH 1/12/19

Ban the Box legislation targeting federal contractors introduced: On February 7th lawmakers introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would give formerly incarcerated people a better chance of finding jobs by prohibiting the federal government and federal contractors from inquiring into the criminal history of job applicants prior to a conditional offer of employment. The Fair Chance Act (H.R. 1076; S. 387) would expand "ban-the-box" policies, now growing more popular among the states, to the federal government.  The bill would prohibit federal contractors from requesting criminal history information from candidates for positions within the scope of federal contracts until the conditional offer stage.  This bill was introduced in the last Congress but did not pass.  Source:  CCH 1/12/19

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