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U.S. Jobless Claims Increase to 380,000, Higher Than Forecast

Bloomberg (04/12/12) Timothy R. Homan; Alex Kowalski

More people than expected filed claims for jobless benefits last
week, an indication job growth is slowing. Jobless claims rose
13,000 to 380,000, the highest since Jan. 28, according to the
U.S. Department of Labor. Claims from a week earlier were revised
upward to 367,000 from 357,000.

Adecco Group North America said demand for employees is rising in
some fields. “We do continue to see increases in the health
care and manufacturing areas,” Janette Marx, an Adecco
senior vice president, said in an interview last week.
“Those areas definitely have been showing some nice

Fed Survey Shows U.S. Growth, Hiring Improves

Associated Press (04/11/12) Christopher S. Rugaber

The decrease in hiring in March as reported by the U.S.
Department of Labor could be temporary, according to a survey of
business conditions by the U.S. Federal Reserve showing that
hiring either rose or held steady across the country from
mid-February through April 2. The “beige book” report
indicates that the manufacturing, shipping, information
technology, and professional business services sectors saw job
gains. John Canally, an economist at LPL Financial, says, “I
didn’t see any companies say that they’re scaling back
sharply on hiring because demand is slowing.” However, in
three districts, employers said they would delay expanding their
work forces until growth strengthens. Rising gas prices remain a
concern for employers in most areas.

TrueBlue Tops Among All Companies on Forbes’ 2012 ‘America’s Most Trustworthy Companies’ List

TrueBlue News Release (04/11/12)

TrueBlue Inc. is at the top of the top-ranked companies in the
nation for transparency, conservative accounting practices, and
solid corporate governance, according to this year’s 100 Most
Trustworthy Companies list compiled for Forbes magazine by
GMIRATINGS. TrueBlue was selected based on an independent review
of 8,000 companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. TrueBlue’s
average score over the past four quarters of 99 out of 100 led
all companies on the list.

Post Falls Staffing Firm Command Center Restates Earnings for 2010, Part of 2011

Spokane Spokesman-Review (Washington) (04/11/12)

Command Center Inc., a Post Falls, WA-based staffing firm, plans
to restate its financial statements for 2010 and 2011 due to an
incorrect overstatement of prepaid insurance policy deposits,
according to a Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. Glenn Welstad, Command Center chairman and
chief executive, says, “The restatement does not reflect any
trends in Command’s business or any current or prospective
impact on the company’s results of operations; nor does it
impact compliance with our debt covenants.” The restatement
is expected to boost earnings per share for the third quarter of
2011 by $0.01, and the accumulated deficit for the period ended
Dec. 31, 2010, will rise by $716,000.

ASAPro Webinar Today—Never Negotiate Direct Hire Fees Again

This afternoon at 3 p.m. Eastern time, catch the ASAPro
Webinar “How
to Never Negotiate Direct Hire Fees Again
.” Neil
Lebovits of the Dynamic Sale will share a technique that will
help you stop negotiating direct hire fees so you can maximize
your profits.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members ($295 for
nonmembers) and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA
certification renewal. Webinars take place 3–4 p.m. Eastern
time. Register online at

Tomorrow Is the Last Day to Register Online for the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference

Staffing Law Conference
April 17–18 in Washington, DC,
is the only program devoted to legal and regulatory issues facing
staffing firms—and tomorrow is the last day to register
online. After April 12, you can register on-site at the Westin
Washington, DC, City Center Hotel.

The conference features Charlie Cook, the
pre-eminent authority on U.S. elections and political trends;
senior-level representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor,
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and U.S. Department
of Justice; a special session to discuss the effects of federal
health care reform; and more.

You can’t afford to miss this opportunity to learn how to
protect yourself and your business. To register, visit

Employers Must Update Their Social Media Policies

White & Case (04/05/2012)

The National Labor Relations Act does not permit many of the
provisions typically contained in social media policies,
according to the second report on social media cases issued by
the acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board
earlier this year. “Employer policies should not be so
sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by
federal labor law, such as the discussion of wages or working
conditions among employees,” the NLRB says. Union and
nonunion employees who are not “supervisors” are
permitted to act collectively for their mutual aid and
protection, including addressing their terms and conditions of
employment, and these are the discussions that are increasingly
taking place on social media.

The report notes that a policy with a “savings clause,”
which provides that it is not intended to interfere with
employees’ NLRA rights, may still be overbroad. However, the
report adds that the following is a type of policy that may be
valid under the NLRA: “Prohibiting use of social media to
post or display comments about co-workers or supervisors or the
employer that are vulgar, obscene, threatening, intimidating,
harassing, or a violation of the employer’s policies against
unlawful discrimination or harassment.”

10 Unemployment Compensation Factors That Affect Payouts

Business Management Daily (04/03/12)

How much a company pays for unemployment insurance is partially
based on how many former employees successfully file claims
against it. Therefore, companies must understand the unemployment
laws in each state in which they operate. They should also be
aware that employees can quit and still collect unemployment. If
an employee resigns because the employer changed working hours or
locations, state officials may deem the termination an
“employer-caused discharge” and approve benefits.
Underperforming workers fired for chronic tardiness or missing
deadlines could successfully argue that they did their best and
did not try to let down the firm. Unless the employer can prove
the worker was intentionally doing a bad job, the worker will
likely be eligible for benefits. Ideally, termination should be
based on something other than “poor performance,” such
as “deliberate and willful misconduct.” Employers need
to document that they tried to retain the worker by offering
counseling and issuing warnings.

The 10 Employment Laws Every Manager Should Know

Business Management Daily (04/04/12)

Federal class-action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor
Standards Act outnumber all other types of private class-action
suits in employment-related cases. The FLSA sets the federal
minimum wage and requires time-and-a-half overtime pay for hourly
employees who work more than 40 hours in a week.

Companies need to be familiar with additional federal
legislation, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and from
discriminating in hiring, firing, or pay based on a
person’s race, religion, gender, or national origin. The
Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits job discrimination
against qualified people with disabilities. Therefore, companies
should never immediately reject disabled applicants but instead
should work with human resource personnel to help create
reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

The Family and Medical Leave Act says employees with at least a
year of service can take up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid,
job-protected time off for the birth or adoption of a child or to
care for themselves or a sick child, spouse, or parent who has a
“serious” health condition. The FMLA applies to
organizations with 50 or more employees. The Age Discrimination
in Employment Act says employers cannot discriminate against
applicants or employees older than 40 because of their age. This
means that companies should never take a person’s age or
proximity to retirement into account when making decisions on
hiring, firing, pay, benefits, or promotions.

Kentucky Governor Signs Unemployment Insurance Bill

Associated Press (04/11/12) Randy Patrick

A bill signed into law by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear on April 11
aims to save the state’s employers millions of dollars in
higher federal unemployment insurance taxes by allowing the state
to issue revenue bonds to make interest payments on $963 million
in federal loans used to operate the state’s unemployment
insurance program during the recession. A $21-per-employee
surcharge will be imposed on employers starting in 2014 to cover
the first three years of interest payments at $79 million, as
well as to cover future interest on the debt. A $600 million
federal tax credit for employers would have been lost if the
state could not make the interest payments on the Sept. 30 due
date, and the federal unemployment insurance tax paid by
employers would have surged to $420 per employee from $63.

Hiring Demand for Recruiters at Highest Levels in Four Years

Wanted Analytics (04/11/12) Abby Lombardi

Wanted Analytics says job ads for recruiters reached a four-year
high of 6,900 in March, up 34% from March 2011. Corporate
employers accounted for 56% of the ads, while staffing firms and
third-party recruitment agencies made up 44%. New York, Chicago,
Dallas, Boston, and Philadelphia had the most job ads for
recruiters, with Philadelphia posting a more than 78% increase
from March 2011.

Mid-Incomers Suffer in Polarized U.S. Job Market: Economy

Bloomberg (04/11/12) Alex Kowalski

U.S. workers in the top and lower income brackets are benefiting
more from the economic recovery than are those in the middle,
according to economists at Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan
Chase. The highest-paying jobs, which employ approximately 15% of
all workers, have accounted for 20% of the job gains since the
recovery began, while lower-paying jobs have accounted for 46% of
job gains in the same period. Technology has allowed companies to
replace middle-income “routine labor” jobs, such as
bank tellers.

“Companies have been driving, and continue to drive, for
increased productivity, to do more with less, and the tool to do
that is technology improvement,” says Jonas Prising,
president of Americas for Manpower Inc. “What are getting
squeezed are the well-paying jobs with lower-skill levels that
used to give a middle-class income.”

Technisource and Randstad Technologies Employment Report: IT Worker Confidence Reaches Highest Level on Record

Randstad News Release (04/11/12)

The IT Employee Confidence Index reached 58.8 in the first
quarter of 2012—its highest level seen since the fourth
quarter of 2005. This surge in confidence is also 6.8 points
higher than what was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011,
according to a recent online survey conducted by Harris
Interactive on behalf of Technisource and Randstad Technologies.
The number of technology workers indicating that the economy is
getting stronger nearly doubled in the first quarter of
2012—leading to the highest confidence ratings in the
history of the survey. In addition, 20% more IT workers reported
in the first quarter that they were confident in their ability to
find a new job, and 41% indicated a likelihood to proactively
seek new employment within the next year.