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May 17, 2012

Register for Staffing World® by Tomorrow and Save


The Staffing World early registration deadline is tomorrow, May 18, and it’s your very last chance to save up to $400 per person. Register today.

With nearly 40 executive education sessions, three exciting keynote speakers, and more, Staffing World 2012, Oct. 9–11 in Las Vegas, is the can’t-miss event for staffing executives.

Visit staffingworld.org to learn more and register.
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Headline News
Jobless Claims in U.S. Were Unchanged at 370,000 Last Week
Fed Minutes Reflect Wariness About Recovery’s Strength

ASA for You
Order 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference Recordings Now

Legal Watch
House Passes State Tax Simplification Bill
Lawmakers Approve Tweaks to Alabama Immigration Law
Employ Veterans? Understand Interplay With the ADA
Dress, Tattoos, and Grooming Policies—When Do They Violate Title VII
Montana Department of Labor Warns of Bogus Poster
FLSA and Overtime: Tips for Calculating Hours Worked

Trends and Research
Job Market’s Vanishing Act
Recruiting for Recruiters: What Skills Employers Look for in Candidates


Headline News


Jobless Claims in U.S. Were Unchanged at 370,000 Last Week
Bloomberg (05/17/12) Shobhana Chandra

The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits was unchanged last week at 370,000, the U.S. Department of Labor Department reported today. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a drop in claims to 365,000. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 370,000 from an initial reading of 367,000. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, fell by 4,750 to 375,000. Continuing claims increased by 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.27 million in the week ended May 5.

Fed Minutes Reflect Wariness About Recovery’s Strength
Wall Street Journal (05/17/12) Kristina Peterson; Jon Hilsenrath

According to minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s April 24-25 meeting, which were released Wednesday, Fed officials were concerned about risks to the economic recovery in April when they decided to maintain their easy-money policies. Officials say there is a “sizable risk” that the federal government will sharply cut spending and increase taxes this year, which Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke calls a “fiscal cliff” that poses economic dangers. Still, the Fed predicts the economy will grow between 2.5% and 3% this year and unemployment will decline to under 8% by next year.


ASA for You


Order 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference Recordings Now

The ASA Staffing Law Conference held in Washington, DC, last month delivered critical legislative updates, legal strategies specific to the staffing industry, and timely information about current employment law issues. If you didn’t attend the conference or you want to review what you heard, you can get recordings of ASA Staffing Law Conference sessions on ASAPro—the ASA online professional development center.

Individual sessions are $49 for ASA members and $195 for nonmembers. To see which recordings are available and make your purchase, log in to your personal ASAPro account and search for the keyword SLC2012. These are audio-only files that include links to PowerPoint slides and any additional resources. Listening to these recordings counts toward the legal continuing education requirement for ASA certification renewal.

For more information, contact ASA at 703-253-2020 or asa@americanstaffing.net.
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Legal Watch


House Passes State Tax Simplification Bill
Tax-News.com (05/17/12) Mike Godfrey

The U.S. House has passed legislation that would simplify the tax reporting requirements for people employed in multiple state jurisdictions. The Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification bill establishes a 30-day threshold for tax liability and employer withholding. A worker’s earnings would still be subject to tax in the states where he or she is present and working for more than 30 days annually. Under the bill, states remain able to set any income tax rate they deem appropriate.

Lawmakers Approve Tweaks to Alabama Immigration Law
Reuters (05/16/12) Kelli Dugan

Alabama legislators have passed a bill that would make some small changes to the state’s immigration law. The law would remain largely intact, but the changes may serve to fend off legal challenges to the bill. Companies in the state have fought the law, HB 56, arguing that it has led to the exodus of Latino workers from the state and resulted in a labor shortage. The changes to the law include a new component that would permit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to publish the names of illegal immigrants who are brought to court on charges of violating state law, even if they are not then convicted.

Employ Veterans? Understand Interplay With the ADA
Business Management Daily (05/14/12)

A new U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance document, Veterans and the ADA: A Guide for Employers, outlines how protections for military veterans with service-related disabilities differ under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, and how companies can prevent disability-based discrimination and make reasonable accommodations.

Dress, Tattoos, and Grooming Policies—When Do They Violate Title VII
Employment Discrimination Report (05/15/12) Richard Cohen

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not prohibit dress or grooming rules or employer acts based upon them. However, a religious accommodation must be made if the dress or grooming rule or policy affects employees who are members of a protected group, and if accommodation does not cause an undue hardship to the employer. A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission attorney recently commented that “the baseline for evaluating grooming policies is to look at their overall burden on different groups of employees.” If the policy applies to all employees but has a disparate impact on a protected class of employees, it may violate Title VII.

Montana Department of Labor Warns of Bogus Poster
KXLH.com (Montana) (05/16/12)

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry is hearing from small businesses targeted by aggressive marketing companies that sell labor law posters claiming to be the state agency. Labor commissioner Keith Kelly notes the “Five in One” posters are available from the Department’s Job Service Division at no cost. The posters encompass Equal Employment Opportunity, Family and Medical Leave Act with Military Family Leave, Federal Minimum Wage, and the Polygraph Protection Act.

FLSA and Overtime: Tips for Calculating Hours Worked
Compensation.BLR.com (05/14/12)

There are three steps employers must follow to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and overtime regulations: calculate the hours worked, which requires an understanding of what is deemed working time by the FLSA; calculate the regular rate of pay, which goes beyond the employee’s hourly rate to include bonuses and other payments; and calculate the overtime rate, which is based on the previous two calculations. Employers cannot accurately calculate the regular rate of pay and then the overtime rate without first capturing all work time, including off-site, at home, and travel, as well as hours worked outside the regular work day, and considering such things as on-call time and on-call policies, training time, and meals and rest periods.


Trends and Research


Job Market’s Vanishing Act
Wall Street Journal (05/17/12) David Wessel

Over the past two years the number of people older than 16 who could be working has risen by 5.4 million people, but the number of people working or looking for work has not risen. Economists say approximately 50% of the decline in the work force participation rate can be attributed to people aging out of the job market and the prerecession tendency of teenagers to stay out of the job market. However, other workers—disheartened by fruitless job searches—may be turning to disability benefits or early retirement. The trend suggests that the 8.1% jobless rate may be inaccurate, and that the actual jobless rate is higher.

Recruiting for Recruiters: What Skills Employers Look for in Candidates
Wanted Analytics (05/16/12) Abby Lombardi

In the month of April, more than 5,800 recruiting jobs were advertised online, a 10% increase over a year ago. About 55% of these jobs were placed by direct employers. The rest were placed by staffing companies. The metropolitan areas with the highest volume of job ads for recruiters were New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington.