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No Double-Dip Deja Vu Seen for U.S. Economy

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (04/16/12) Rich Miller

The economy seems more stable this year than it did last year. Company and household balance sheets are stronger, and retail sales are rising. “The recovery seems more broad-based in the U.S.,” says Jonas Prising, president of the Americas at ManpowerGroup. “I see it across industries and I see it across geographies.” Risk also is lower, he notes. “The external environment and the factors that affected it last year are a lot less severe this year.”

March Industrial Production Flat for Second Month

MarketWatch (04/17/12) Steve Goldstein

Industrial production was unchanged for the second straight month in March, the U.S. Federal Reserve reported today. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.3% increase. During the first quarter, industrial production rose at an annualized rate of 5.4%.

ASAPro Webinar Thursday—ASA Membership Orientation

Are you maximizing your ASA membership benefits? Find out this Thursday, April 19, from 1 to 2 p.m. Eastern time, during the ASAPro Webinar “ASA Membership Orientation.” This one-hour Webinar is designed to help ASA member companies learn more about their member benefits. You will learn about professional development opportunities, legal and legislative resources, benchmarking data, marketing tools, and much more.

This ASAPro Webinar is open to new members, and to all members who want to learn more about ASA membership benefits. In addition to the firm key contact, any staff members in your headquarters or branch offices can participate in this Webinar. There is no limit to the number of staff members who can participate—everyone will benefit.

All ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members. Register online at americanstaffing.net.

DOJ Settles Discrimination Case Alleging Discriminatory Job Advertisements

Lexology (04/09/12)

The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement agreement with health care staffing firm Onward Health Care over allegedly discriminatory job postings. DOJ alleged that the company’s job postings restricted applications to U.S. citizens, even though work-authorized immigrants should have been permitted to apply for the jobs. The company has agreed to pay $100,000 in civil monetary penalty and to change its internal policies and manuals to reflect the protections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which generally prohibits companies from discriminating on the basis of citizenship status.

Contingent Workers Settle Suit in California

Workforce (04/16/12)

A wage and hour lawsuit filed by contingent workers against PrO Unlimited and staffing client Juniper Networks Holdings International Inc. has been settled. The workers signed employment agreements with PrO and Juniper stating that they were classified as exempt from overtime and were required to track daily work in eight-hour increments, but plaintiffs claimed they regularly worked more than eight hours per day. The suit, which was first filed in July 2011, sought to represent all contingent employees who worked at both PrO and Juniper in California.

Employer Recordkeeping Requirements Extended to GINA

Epstein Becker Green (04/06/2012) Amy J. Traub; Anna A. Cohen; Jennifer A. Goldman

Effective April 3, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission extended its record-keeping requirements to employers covered by Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. GINA applies to employers with 15 or more employees, and Title II seeks to protect job applicants, current and former employees, labor union members, apprentices, and trainees from discrimination based on their genetic information.

When a charge of discrimination has been filed with the EEOC, an employer must preserve all employee records relevant to the charge until “final disposition” of the charge. If a charge is not resolved after investigation and the charging party has received a notice of right to sue, “final disposition” will be considered to be the date of expiration of a 90-day statutory period within which the applicant or employee may bring suit. However, if the applicant, employee, or the EEOC files a lawsuit, the date on which the litigation is terminated is considered the final disposition. Records subject to this requirement may include personnel or employment records, such as application forms or test papers, of the charging party and of all other employees or applicants holding positions similar to the one held or sought by the charging party.

Tech Salaries, Jobs on Rise

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (04/17/12) Marcia Heroux Pounds

Staffing firms in South Florida say technology professionals are receiving multiple job offers in the current market and that programmers, security analysts, and administrators who maintain company databases are in high demand. A survey of more than 1,000 technology workers in the tri-county area by the Boca Raton-based staffing firm ProTech indicates that salary is the prime motivator, and flextime and telecommuting are the biggest perks. The survey shows that the average pay increase for technology professionals was 3.5% in 2011, compared with 2% in 2010. Gary Henning, Robert Half International’s Florida district president, says technology professionals want to be involved in “cutting edge” work, and if employers do not raise salaries, “people are going to entertain other offers.”

More Employers Are Hiring, but Taking a Conservative Approach

Southeast Missourian (04/16/12) Heather Collier

Although Missouri’s unemployment rate hit a four-year low of 7.4% in February, observers say employers are being conservative when it comes to hiring. “They’re trying to get more done with less people,” says Debbie Glenn, regional branch manager of ManpowerGroup. A recent quarterly outlook employment survey by ManpowerGroup found that 18% of employers expect to increase hiring, compared with just 4% planning to downsize. Glenn expects growth in the health care market in particular and notes that few entry-level jobs are available. She adds that more companies are using staffing firms to handle their staffing needs.