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Volt Information Sciences Provides Update on First Quarter Business Performance

Volt Information Sciences News Release (04/03/12)

Volt Information Sciences Inc. today provided a business update and reported selected unaudited financial information for its fiscal 2012 first quarter ended Jan. 29, 2012. The company noted that, due to a previously announced accounting review, all numbers presented in this release are estimates. Steven Shaw, Volt’s president and chief executive officer, stated, “The staffing services segment, which accounts for a majority of the company’s total revenue, had approximately $455 million of revenue in the fiscal first quarter 2012 compared to approximately $442 million for the same period in 2011. The first quarter 2012 staffing services segment revenue increase is primarily from customer care solutions services and to a lesser extent from employees on assignment. On average, approximately 31,500 U.S. staffing employees were on assignment in the quarter, compared to approximately 32,300 in the first quarter of 2011, although at higher average billing rates resulting in slightly higher revenue.”

Accountable Healthcare Holdings Corp. Acquires MED-STAFF Oklahoma

PR Newswire (04/02/12)

Accountable Healthcare Holdings Corp. has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Tulsa, OK-based MED-STAFF Oklahoma, a predominately travel nurse focused business that specializes in placing registered nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and diagnostic imaging technicians in all fifty U.S. states.

Hiring and Production Improve at Factories

Associated Press (04/02/12)

The Institute for Supply Management reported on April 2 that factories increased hiring and production in March, as its index of manufacturing activity rose to 53.4 for the month. That was up from 52.4 in February. Fifteen of 18 manufacturing industries reported expansion, including mining, steel and other metal production, oil and gas, autos, and furniture. Manufacturers are already a big source of job gains, having added more than 100,000 jobs in the last three months, about one-seventh of all net gains.

Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said construction spending fell 1.1% in February, after a fall of 0.8% in January. The weak report indicates that the construction industry is still struggling more than two and a half years after the recession ended.

ASAPro Webinar Today—The Conscious and Powerful Interview

Don’t miss the ASAPro Webinar “The Art and Process of the Conscious and Powerful Interview,” this afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time. Margaret Graziano, CPC, CTS, of Keen Talent Management, will give you tips for attracting and identifying top performers. This Webinar is sponsored by People 2.0.

And remember to register for these other ASAPro Webinars this month: “How to Never Negotiate Direct Hire Fees Again,” Thursday, April 12, and “Recruiting in the Cloud,” Tuesday, April 24.

All ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers) and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at americanstaffing.net.

Risks of Misclassifying Exempt Workers

HR.BLR.com (03/29/12)

The U.S. Department of Labor has estimated that nearly 70% of employers are not in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. In 2010 alone, it set aside $25 million for an enforcement crackdown, adding 350 FLSA investigators with the goal of seeking out employers that commit wage and hour offenses—particularly exemption misclassifications.

The goal of DOL’s efforts is to get employers to create compliance action plans to address employment law compliance. DOL is considered likely to propose a rule that will require covered employers to notify workers of their exemption status and perform a classification analysis on workers classified as exempt. To be in compliance, employers covered by the Wage and Hour Division need to develop written plans for identifying wage and hour violations, create a process for implementing the plan, and test the process for compliance.

Communication of FMLA Policy Is Key in Defending FMLA Interference Lawsuit

Lexology (03/28/12) R. Michelle Tatum

In the case of Thom v. American Standard Inc., the Sixth Circuit affirmed a partial summary judgment for an employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act interference claim because the employer did not inform him of the method used to compute his FMLA leave and ruled that the employee was entitled to double compensatory damages because he was terminated in bad faith.

Employees are entitled to 12 work weeks of FMLA leave during any 12-month period, and employers can choose from four methods to compute the leave: the calendar year; any fixed 12-month “leave year,” such as a fiscal year or the year beginning with the employee’s anniversary date; the 12-month period from the start date of the employee’s first FMLA leave; or a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date of any FMLA leave. Employees can use whatever option is most beneficial to them if their company does not state which method it uses. Companies must provide 60 days’ notice before implementing their method of choice, and they should distribute a written policy and have employees sign it. They should consider employees already on FMLA leave or those who requested leave during that 60-day period, permitting them to use a more liberal way to compute leave but indicating how subsequent leave requests will be handled.

Exemption Checkup: Tips on Finding and Fixing Pay Practice Problems in 2012

Compensation.BLR.com (03/29/12)

Employers must properly classify workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act, especially given the potential for expensive class-action lawsuits. The U.S. Department of Labor has beefed up its FLSA enforcement with the P3 Initiative, which calls on employers covered by the Wage and Hour Division to create written plans for identifying wage and hour violations (plan), develop an implementation process (prevent), and test the process for compliance (protect). The DOL is expected to propose a rule forcing covered employers to inform exempt employees of their status and conduct classification analyses on these exempt workers.

Experts stress the need for proper worker classification, as “employers” are jointly liable for FLSA damages. Given that the definition of “employer” is “any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee,” human resource professionals and others could be held liable. However, courts typically take into account an individual’s financial control over the work force and role in creating pay policies and classifying workers when determining personal liability.

Wage and Hour: DOL and California to Collaborate on Reducing Employee Misclassification

HR.BLR.com (03/27/12)

The U.S. Department of Labor in February signed an agreement with California secretary of labor Marty Morgenstern regarding the improper classification of employees as independent contractors. The agreement is part of the DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, which was launched with the goal of preventing, detecting, and remedying employee misclassification.

Under the agreement, DOL and the state will share information; coordinate enforcement efforts; and establish a method for exchanging investigative leads, complaints, and referrals of possible violations. The agreement will facilitate the exchange of statistical data on the incidence of violations of specific industries and geographic areas. The two agencies can also conduct joint investigations. Eleven other states have also signed agreements with DOL.

Immigration Attorney’s Tips for Alabama Employers Using E-Verify

Birmingham News (Alabama) (04/02/12) Martin Swant

Immigration attorney Wendy Padilla-Madden offers several tips for Alabama employers that must use the federal E-Verify system to determine if employees are authorized to work in the U.S. She recommends that employers read their company’s E-Verify MOU with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; use E-Verify for every new employee without regard for national origin or citizenship status; remember that all E-Verify activity is monitored by the government; don’t use E-Verify to dispel suspicions or prescreen future employees; don’t take adverse actions against employees who are in the middle of resolving their case through E-Verify; and seek help from a qualified immigration attorney if compliance challenges surface.

Drafting Enforceable Restrictions on Recruiting Employees

JDSupra (03/28/2012)

This article, originally published by the Illinois State Bar Association, considers the fact that employment and other contracts may restrict soliciting or hiring a firm’s employees for a period of time. Court decisions applying Illinois statutes recognize that having a stable work force is a legitimate business interest, but do not allow in most instances blanket restrictions on recruiting or hiring. However, a blanket restriction may be permitted given unusual circumstances such as a firm’s small size or the nature of the work force or industry.

Unless those circumstances are apparent, a recruitment restriction should be limited to competitive employment of those employees having confidential knowledge or with whom the restricted party holds a recruiting advantage. Recruiting advantages include relationships with the employees, knowledge of a firm’s confidential data, and knowledge of an employee’s competencies.

The restriction should be reasonably limited in terms of geography and timeframe. Furthermore, the restriction’s purview should be narrower for lower level employees than for senior management. For employees other than senior management, the restriction may need to be confined to subordinates, other employees with whom the restricted employee works, and senior manager.

Worker Confidence Hits Four-Year High

Randstad News Release (04/02/12)

According to the latest Randstad Employment Report, overall U.S. worker confidence reached 55.5 in March versus 53.9 in February. This marks the third month of consecutive increases. The Employee Confidence Index reached its highest level in four years. Almost half of U.S. workers (45%) feel confident in their ability to find a new job.

Health Care Jobs Are Growing—What Skills and Certifications Are Demanded?

Wanted Analytics (04/02/12) Abby Lombardi

The number of health care jobs has increased considerably over the past years. Employers posted more than 130,000 job ads for health care jobs in February, a 33% increase compared with February 2011. The number of employers looking to hire health care workers also grew in the past year. More than 15,100 employers advertised job openings for health care jobs in February, up from about 13,000 last year.

Registered nurses were the most advertised job, with more than 56,000 unique job postings in this time period, accounting for about 41% of all health care hiring demand. Other in-demand health care positions were physical therapists, occupational therapists, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, and speech-language pathologists. The tools and technologies most often required of potential candidates include electronic medical records; personal protective equipment; word processing; orthotics; and personnel management.

Small-Business Hiring Up in Metro Atlanta, Georgia in March, Reports Say

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (04/03/12) David Markiewicz

Hiring by small businesses in metro Atlanta and across Georgia is growing, according to two new reports. Hiring in metro Atlanta rose 0.5% in March, according to the most recent monthly report from SurePayroll’s Small Business Scorecard. Statewide, hiring rose 0.4%, according to Intuit Payroll’s Small Business Employment Index, compared with 0.3% nationally.