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NLRB Notice Posting Rule Delayed

Crowell & Moring (04/18/12)

U.S. National Labor Relations Board chairman Mark Pearce has announced that the NLRB will not proceed with the April 30 deadline for implementing the board’s new rule requiring companies to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Pearce referenced “conflicting decisions at the district court level,” pointing to opinions written in cases brought in South Carolina and the District of Columbia challenging the board’s statutory authority to promulgate the rule. The board also announced its decision to appeal the South Carolina decision to the Fourth Circuit. The D.C. Circuit has ordered an expedited briefing schedule in its case. Pearce’s statement is available here.

More Americans Than Forecast Filed Jobless Claims Last Week

Bloomberg (04/19/12) Shobhana Chandra

The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits totaled 386,000 last week, keeping claims at a four-month high, the U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 388,000 from an initial reading of 380,000. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a drop to 370,000. The claims figures raise the possibility the payroll gains that have helped push unemployment down to a three-year low may cool.

U.S. Multinationals Step Up Hiring

Wall Street Journal (04/18/12) David Wessel

U.S.-based multinational companies boosted their U.S. work forces by 0.1% in 2010, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The modest expansion of the multinational companies’ U.S. employment came as the private sector overall cut 0.6% of its U.S. work force. Approximately 68% of the companies’ employees were in the U.S. in 2010, down from 75% in 1999. Although the companies added 200,000 jobs in the U.S. between 2007 and 2010, three times as many jobs were added overseas.

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ASA delivers timely sector-specific news affecting your niche of the staffing industry. Sector trends and news published in Staffing Today and other publications are featured on the membership sections pages of ASA posts fresh content weekly and provides a news archive of sector-specific articles.

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Maine Gov. LePage Signs Workers’ Comp, Unemployment Bills

Associated Press (04/18/12)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage says the trio of bills he signed into law on April 18 aim to boost the state’s business environment and create more jobs. One bill simplifies the workers’ compensation law, alters eligibility requirements, and imposes a 10-year cap on benefits, except for severely injured workers, while another changes eligibility requirements for unemployment compensation and imposes criminal penalties for unemployment fraud. The remaining bill standardizes and clarifies the definition of independent contractor for workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance purposes and imposes penalties for misclassifying workers. The bills are “common-sense” and “business-friendly reforms,” according to Cathy DeMerchant, president and co-owner of Capital Area Staffing Solutions Inc.

Government Interest in Pay Equity Still High, Increased Enforcement Efforts Afoot

JDSupra (04/18/2012)

In response to a recommendation from president Obama’s National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, three district offices of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are taking part in an Equal Pay Act Directed Investigation Pilot Project, in which employers are targeted for auditing instead of being audited in response to a charge of discrimination. It remains to be seen how employers are selected for auditing, but the EEOC says the pilot eventually could be expanded nationwide and that audits will include all employers, not just federal contractors.

Experts say employers would be wise to perform a preventative pay equity audit with the help of experienced outside attorneys and qualified statisticians. Auditors must identify factors that affect compensation—such as job title, pay grade or band, type of work performed, and level of responsibility—and review compensation policies and procedures, including pay grade or band structure, standards for bonuses, and performance evaluations. They should be prepared to find statistically significant compensation differences that may or may not involve discrimination and could necessitate pay adjustments. The results of these audits should be documented.

Off the Clock: Employees Fighting for Overtime Pay

MSNBC (04/18/12) Eve Tahmincioglu

Workers tired of working off the clock are filing lawsuits. The latest one, which is being reviewed this week by the U.S. Supreme Court, is looking at whether pharmaceutical company representatives are owed overtime pay, even though the company they work for says they’re salespeople and not entitled to it. The U.S. Department of Labor brought 11,990 overtime cases in 2011, up from 8,788 cases in 2010. Richard Alfred, an attorney with Seyfarth Shaw, says overtime lawsuits filed in federal court climbed 15% in 2011 from a year earlier. He says wage-and-hour lawsuits overall have climbed 325% since early 2000.

ManpowerGroup Recommends Strategies for Businesses to Improve Employability Skills of Youth

ManpowerGroup News Release (04/17/12)

ManpowerGroup has recommended ways for businesses to create effective and sustainable solutions for employing more young workers. ManpowerGroup’s new insight paper, “Wanted: Energized, Career-Driven Youth,” addresses the growing regional and global problem of youth unemployment. An increasing number of young people struggle to participate in the work force—just 48.8% of the potential labor force in 2011, according to the International Labor Organization.

“Employers have a vested interest in making investments to improve young people’s ability to succeed in the world of work,” says Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas. “As older workers exit the work force, the need to nurture the next generation grows ever more critical to ease worsening talent mismatches.”

Thirty-Seven Percent of Companies Use Social Networks to Research Potential Job Candidates, According to New CareerBuilder Survey

CareerBuilder News Release (04/18/12)

Approximately 37% of companies use social networking sites to research job candidates, according to a new survey from ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder. Of the employers who do not research candidates on social media, 15% said their company prohibits the practice. About 11% report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.

The nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from Feb. 9 to March 2, 2012, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes. When asked why they use social networks to conduct background research, 65% of hiring managers said they wanted to see if the candidate presents himself or herself professionally, 51% checked to see if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture, and 45% sought to learn more about the candidate’s qualifications.

“Because social media is a dominant form of communication today, you can certainly learn a lot about a person by viewing their public, online personas,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “However, hiring managers and human resource departments have to make a careful, determined decision as to whether information found online is relevant to the candidates’ qualifications for the job.”

College Grads Can Expect More Hiring for Entry-Level Spots: Survey

New York Daily News (04/18/12) Phyllis Furman

Outplacement services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says entry-level job seekers with four-year degrees are in demand, though recent college graduates will have to compete with those who graduated during the last few years and waited out the downturn. Additionally, hiring gains will be more modest this year, with the National Association of Colleges and Employers reporting that employers expect a 10% gain in hiring of spring graduates, versus 21% last year. Those with degrees in accounting and finance, engineering, computer science, sales and marketing, education, and social services have better job prospects and could earn higher salaries than graduates in other fields.