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March 21, 2012

Headline News

Legal Watch

Trends and Research

ASA for You

Headline News


On Assignment to Acquire Apex Systems
On Assignment Inc. News Release (03/20/12)

On Assignment Inc. reports it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Apex Systems Inc., an information technology staffing and services firm. “Apex Systems becoming part of On Assignment further positions us in the most attractive and fastest-growing segments of the staffing industry,” says Peter T. Dameris, president and chief executive officer of On Assignment Inc. “Apex Systems’ IT staffing services are complementary to those offered by our existing technology division, Oxford Global Resources. Because the offerings do not compete, the acquisition will create value for our clients, shareholders, and employees by expanding our presence in the IT staffing market.”

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, On Assignment Inc. will acquire all of Apex Systems’ equity and retire all of its debt, for a total of $600 million. The purchase price is comprised of $383 million in cash, and newly issued stock valued at $217 million.

Medical Staffing Network Announces Sale of HomeCare Division to Epic Health Services
Reuters (03/20/12)

Medical Staffing Network Healthcare has completed the sale of its MSN HomeCare division to Epic Health Services of Dallas. This sale is part of the company’s strategic plan to focus on its core competencies that include services to acute and non-acute health care organizations. “The sale of MSN HomeCare enables our company to make further investments in the innovative work force management solutions that MSN has become known for,” says Medical Staffing Network chairman and chief executive officer Bob Bunker. “Our clients need a strategic partner that understands the dynamics of the workplace, has an understanding of labor management and work force optimization, and can provide real solutions that lower costs.”


Legal Watch


Law Targets Job Interviewers Who Ask to See Private Facebook Info
Chicago Tribune (03/21/12) Ashley Rueff

It is not unusual for employers to research job applicants’ social media use, but Illinois state Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) thinks it is a violation of privacy for interviewers to ask applicants to log into their Facebook accounts during the interview. Ford has proposed legislation that would make it illegal for employers to request applicants to provide access to their Facebook accounts. He says the bill will protect people who are afraid to turn down an employer’s request due to concerns about termination or not being offered a job. The bill is expected to pass the House in the coming days and then move to the Senate.

Immigration Status Irrelevant to FLSA and State Wage Claims
Business Management Daily (03/18/12)

A federal court hearing a Fair Labor Standards Act case has ruled that an employee’s immigration status is not relevant and cannot be mentioned to the jury. An employee of BAE Cleaners who transported laundry sued the firm, claiming he had not been paid minimum wage and overtime under the FLSA and New York state labor laws. BAE Cleaners asked the court for permission to show that the employee was an illegal immigrant. The court said it could not because that status is irrelevant to whether the employer paid minimum wage and overtime.


Trends and Research


Employers Share Encouraging Perspectives and Tips for the Unemployed in New CareerBuilder Survey
MarketWatch (03/21/12)

A nationwide survey from ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder provides encouraging news and tips from employers to help unemployed workers land new jobs. The vast majority of employers—85%—reported they are more understanding of post-recession employment gaps. Some 94% said they wouldn’t think less of a candidate who took a position during the recession that was at a lower level than the one he or she previously held.

When asked what can help job seekers increase their marketability, employers stated they should pursue a variety of activities to build, expand, and strengthen their skill sets, such as take a temporary or contract assignment (79%), take a class (61%), or volunteer (60%).

Travelers Fill the Nursing Gap
The City Wire (03/20/12) Scarlet Sims

As the economy slowly recovers, the number of traveling nurses is rising, says Becky Kahn, senior vice president of client sales and services at AMN Healthcare. In 2008, there were 25,000 traveling nurses, but that number dropped dramatically to 4,500 in 2009, Kahn says. Currently there are between 9,000 and 10,000 traveling nurses. Some nurses are leaving the traveling nurse industry for permanent jobs, and hospitals are reducing the number of temporary nurses they use, Kahn says.

The U.S. Cities With the Fastest Growing Job Markets
The Atlantic Cities (03/19/21) Richard Florida

Austin, TX, and San Jose, CA, led U.S. cities in job growth in 2011, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Houston, Charlotte, NC, and Nashville, TN, round out the top five. The cities with the biggest gains are a mixture of knowledge-driven and creative regions (Austin, TX, San Jose, CA, and Raleigh, NC); regions with significant natural resources (Houston and Oklahoma City); transitioning industrial regions (Detroit and Pittsburgh); and the country’s leading center for popular music, Nashville, TN. Despite their reputations for resilience, the Washington metro region and the greater New York area ranked just 29th and 25th, respectively. The analysis covers the 51 U.S. metro areas with populations of at least one million people.

Some Go Extra Mile to Hire Growing Pool of Jobless Veterans
USA Today (03/20/12) Gregg Zoroya

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 30% of male veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 were unemployed in 2011, versus 17.6% of their civilian peers, while 36% of female veterans in the same age group were out of work, versus 14.5% of civilian women. Experts say it is a challenge to train veterans in nonmilitary skills, but an Obama administration initiative that includes tax credits for employers, corporate hiring pledges, and job fairs is helping to lower unemployment rates among veterans. According to a January survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, companies hiring veterans rose to 64% from 53% in 2010.

However, 154,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were unemployed in February, and the number is expected to rise as the military sheds troops now that the conflict in Afghanistan is coming to an end. Michael Aitkin, a vice president at SHRM, says companies are “getting buffeted by a lot of résumés from (nonveteran) folks that are unemployed, that have the skills and everything else.” He says aggressive outreach is necessary, given that 67% of employers say they are unaware of programs by the U.S. Department of Labor to link veterans with jobs and that 20% of those familiar with the programs do not use them. Experts say initiatives to link veterans with jobs may be most successful at the community level.


ASA for You


Friday Deadline: Book Your Staffing Law Conference Hotel Room

The hotel room block at the Westin City Center Hotel—the location for the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference, April 17–18, Washington, DC—has sold out. However, ASA has secured a block of rooms at the Hotel Helix, which is about a 10-minute walk from the Westin. The exact distance between the hotels is 0.3 miles.

Make reservations by calling the Hotel Helix at 800-706-1202 and asking for the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference group rate. The group room rate, available until March 23, is $259 (plus tax) per night for single or double occupancy (includes complimentary Internet access), and is subject to room availability.

After March 23, reservations may be accepted at the hotel’s prevailing rate, space permitting. Check-in starts at 3 p.m.; check-out is 12 noon. For more information about the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference, visit americanstaffing.net.
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