EverythingPeople This Week!

17

Sep

2019

Vaping Deaths and E-Cigarette Use in the Workplace

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

According to the CDC, as of September 16, 2019, six people have died from vaping-related lung illnesses, and the number of possible cases has grown to 450.  In Michigan, six individuals have been hospitalized according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  All patients had vaped within days or weeks of getting sick, and many had used e-cigarettes with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  While the CDC continues to investigate these illnesses and deaths, they advise...

17

Sep

2019

Follow the Two Pizza Rule for More Effective Meetings

Author: Heather Nezich

No, you don’t have to serve pizza at every meeting.  But a golden rule for meetings is that if you were to serve pizza to the meeting attendees, two medium pizzas should suffice.  If that wouldn’t be enough, then you have too many people in the meeting.

17

Sep

2019

No Pay Collection by EEOC in 2020 (Or Likely Thereafter for a While)

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Although for 2019, employers with 100 or more employees are required to report Box 1 W-2 pay and hours worked for 2018 and 2017, that won’t be the case in the coming year.  The EEOC is under a court order, although appealed, to collect this data.  The EEOC is determined to collect both 2017 and 2018 data by end of September as opposed to pushing the reporting requirements to 2020 by collecting 2018 and 2019 pay data.

17

Sep

2019

We’re Rehiring - Recruiting Former Employees

Author: Keisha Ward

Leaving a position for more pay or a better opportunity should not equate to exile. If fact, maintaining positive relationships with former employees can open the door for mutually beneficial future opportunities. The rate of rehiring employees increased from 48% to 76% in 2015, according to YOH.com.

17

Sep

2019

Quick Hits - September 18, 2019

Author: ASE Staff

Healthcare costs are rising about 5%: In 2020, the total cost of health care per employee, including premiums and out-of-pocket costs, is projected to rise to an average of $15,375 in 2020, according to recent research from the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). 

17

Sep

2019

UAW Strikes General Motors – Leaves Ford and FCA Alone for Now

Author: Michael Burns

The UAW national strike against General Motors (GM) started Saturday, September 14, 2019 (the first in 12 years) with 850 janitorial worker members going out first. These employees are technically employees of supplier Aramark but service GM’s janitorial and other support needs. The maintenance workers have been without a contract for over a year and a half. Then, on Sunday, the UAW declared a strike taking out all its production worker members at midnight.

10

Sep

2019

Conferences – Worth More Than a Day Out of the Office

Author: Susan Chance

We are all so busy at work that many days it is difficult to get away for a lunch break, so thinking about taking a full day or more off to attend a conference may seem impractical – perhaps even impossible. However, there are many benefits that come from attending conferences. Today’s world is ever changing at a rapid pace. Conferences are a great way to learn what’s new in your line of business.

10

Sep

2019

General Motors Named Lead for Auto Industry Negotiations

Author: Michael Burns

With the announcement last Monday that UAW members had approved the use of work stoppages against all three auto companies, the UAW named General Motors (GM) as its first negotiations party. Being the lead company puts GM in first seat to be the one to set the pattern and possibly set their own terms before the other Detroit Three auto contracts are settled.

10

Sep

2019

Worry About Layoff Causes Worker Anxiety

Author: Heather Nezich

According to the 2019 Layoff Anxiety Study published by CareerArc, an ASE Affinity Partner, 48% of employed Americans experience layoff anxiety. Of those, 34% say this is fueled by fear of a pending recession, 32% cite rumors around the office as the cause, and 30% say a recent round of workplace layoffs is to blame.

10

Sep

2019

W-4 is Changing for 2020

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The W-4 is changing. On September 20, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the major revisions previously proposed to the 2019 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, will be delayed to 2020.  In August 2019, after releasing the second draft of the 2020 W-4, the IRS released the second draft of Publication 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods, for 2020. 

10

Sep

2019

Quick Hits - September 11, 2019

Author: ASE Staff

DOL to change FMLA forms: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division is proposing revisions to its notice of rights, certification, and designation forms under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  

3

Sep

2019

Merit Increase Budgets Remain Steady at 3%

Author: Kevin Marrs

Apparently, we can now add 3% merit increase budgets to death and taxes as certainties in life.  The American Society of Employers released its 2019/2020 Salary Budget Survey last week.  The data for this year’s survey shows that median projected merit budgets (across all employee classifications) for 2020 is 3%.  This is identical to the 3% actual increase seen in 2019.

3

Sep

2019

Quick Hits - September 4, 2019

Author: ASE Staff

Continue using current I-9 until further notice:  Per USCIS, until further notice, employers should continue using the Form I-9 currently available on I-9 Central, even after the expiration date of August 31, has passed.   Employers must complete Form I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States.  Source:  USCIS.gov 8/28/19

3

Sep

2019

NLRB Continues to Correct its Course on Independent Contractor and Joint Employer Status

Author: Michael Burns

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been right in the middle of the battle over what constitutes an independent contractor versus an employee. An interested party might think the NLRB, a relatively small government agency historically concerned about union organizing and labor peace, would not be at the forefront defining what an independent contractor is for the country. But for the last few years, this agency, probably for existential reasons given the state of unionization in the...

3

Sep

2019

The Explosion of Employee Monitoring Technology

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Innovation and the sophistication of employee tracking technology has grown exponentially over the last several years opening up a wide range of options for employers to track their employees' activities.   Some of the earliest technology that employers implemented included video cameras, phone listening, and keyboard stroke recording.  Technology from there evolved to the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices installed in vehicles, laptops, or through apps installed...

3

Sep

2019

Do Wellness Programs Pay Off?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

According to some studies the answer is no.  A recent Harvard study found that wellness programs yield unimpressive results—yet over 80% of large organizations offer them.  Why the poor results? 

3

Sep

2019

Job Satisfaction at Highest Level in Over Two Decades – But Still Room for Improvement

Author: Heather Nezich

Conducted by The Conference Board, a new survey shows that about 54% of U.S. workers are satisfied with their employment. Satisfaction climbed by almost 3% from the prior year, which marks a near-record increase in the survey’s history. Workers also report being much more at ease about their job security. In addition, Millennials have experienced a surge in confidence regarding their wages.

27

Aug

2019

Quick Hits - August 28, 2019

Author: ASE Staff

Hiring not as strong as previously reported by about 500,000 jobs: Turns out hiring wasn’t nearly as strong in 2018 and early 2019 as the government initially reported — by about a half-million jobs.  The economy had about 501,000 fewer jobs as of March 2019...

27

Aug

2019

The Effects of More Female College Graduates in the Workforce

Author: Keisha Ward

More women are graduating from college than ever before.  Women make up only 46.6% of the overall labor force, but they first reached 45% of the college-educated labor force in 2000.  Since 2013, women constituted 49% of all college graduates in the workforce, and they are the majority of college graduates in the workforce today.  57% of bachelor’s degrees are earned by women.

27

Aug

2019

Manager and HR Training Increases Lawsuit Wins

Author: Anthony Kaylin

A study by Lex Machina on employment lawsuits filed in the Southeast and Midwest between 2016 and 2018 found employers almost always win the lawsuits.   In the Southeast employers won their cases by summary judgment 1,547 times between 2016 and 2018 compared with just 60 such wins for employee plaintiffs.  In the Midwest employers won 850 lawsuits by summary judgement versus 31 for employee plaintiffs.  Statistically speaking, employer defendants won 96% of the time in...

27

Aug

2019

Documenting Performance Issues Will Establish Defenses Against Wrongful Employment Actions

Author: Michael Burns

Human Resources 101 dictates “document, document, document.” The following illustrates one more example of an employer’s successful discrimination defense against a very tricky termination that was initiated right in the middle of an employee’s “protected” FMLA leave.

27

Aug

2019

The T’s – Technology and Telecommuting Continue to Be Rising Themes in Today’s Workplace

Author: Heather Nezich

The rise of cloud computing and teleconferencing represent both the biggest opportunity for growth as well as the most significant organizational challenge to companies around the world, according to new research by Condeco presented in The Modern Workplace 2019: People, Places & Technology.

20

Aug

2019

Quick Hits - August 21, 2019

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Salary budgets may be static for 2020:  U.S. employees hoping for larger pay raises next year may be disappointed. A new survey by Willis Towers Watson reports that U.S. employers plan to hold the line on budgeted pay raises in 2020. 

20

Aug

2019

Slayer Laws and ERISA

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), a typical retirement plan describes a participant’s right to designate a beneficiary and provides a default beneficiary when a participant fails to do so or if a beneficiary designation is invalid for any reason.  Given the violence reported today with the seemingly increased workplace shootings and mayhem, would, for example, a 401K of an employee pass on to the designated beneficiary who had killed the...

20

Aug

2019

Ageism in Today’s Workplace

Author: Heather Nezich

The 2019 Hiscox Ageism in the Workplace Study™, revealed that 21% of U.S. workers age 40 and older have experienced discrimination in the workplace due to their age, and respondents believe they're most likely to experience it at age 51. The study also found that 62% of all workers did not receive any form of age discrimination training in the previous 12 months.

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