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QPS Employment Group Acquires Operations of Kansas City Staffing Firm

QPS Employment Group News Release (04/30/12)

QPS Employment Group has acquired the Kansas City, MO, operations of SOS Staffing Services Inc., a national recruiting firm based in Salt Lake City, UT. QPS will be taking over the book of business in Kansas City, immediately allowing operations and internal staff to be folded into QPS’ business. The company’s name will not be retained.

“This acquisition, along with our recent acquisition in Iowa, is the next step in our plan to increase QPS’ presence and customer base throughout the Midwest,” states Dan McNulty, QPS’ chief operating officer. This is QPS’ seventh acquisition since 2006 and the second in 2012. Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Striking Nurses’ Replacements Under Scrutiny

The Bay Citizen (California) (04/30/12) Katharine Mieszkowski

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in California is using Alabama-based Advanced Clinical Employment Staffing to provide nurses and other medical staff to work during a strike today. The medical center says it has a “long-standing relationship” with the staffing firm, but some groups are questioning the arrangement given that a replacement nurse provided by Advanced Clinical Employment Staffing working at the medical center during a strike in September was involved in a fatal error.

Network in Your Niche: ASA Health Care Membership Section

Looking for health care staffing best practices? Want to build a network of professionals who face the same challenges and opportunities as you? Join the ASA health care membership section.

Section benefits include sector-specific Webinars with industry experts, best practices for nurse staffing firms, a sector-specific model contract, a special Section Forum at the ASA annual convention, sector-specific data, a private networking group on LinkedIn, and more.

Individual enrollment is free and open to all ASA members specializing in health care staffing. In the coming months, the health care membership section will address metrics related to patient re-admittance, partnerships with staffing clients to help reduce re-admittance rates and improve patient satisfaction, Joint Commission certification, and more. Don’t miss out, enroll today.

Welcome to National Military Appreciation Month

May is National Military Appreciation Month and ASA wants to remind you that hiring veterans and transitioning military service members makes good business sense. Veterans often make outstanding candidates in all occupational areas thanks to their professional discipline and work ethic. Plus, employers are eligible for tax credits of $2,400 to $9,600 per employee thanks to the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.

The ASA committee on social responsibility has compiled resources that staffing companies can use to help educate clients about the importance and benefits of hiring veterans. Visit to access these resources. To learn more about National Military Appreciation Month and how your company can help celebrate, visit

IRS Reclassification Program: More Questions Than Answers

Business Management Daily (04/27/12)

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service allows employers to change the status of their workers from independent contractors to employees for future tax periods without being hit with penalties or interest under its Voluntary Classification Settlement Program. However, employers currently being audited by the IRS, the U.S. Department of Labor, or a state agency cannot participate in the VCSP. Employers have raised concerns about what constitutes a state-level audit and whether the six-year statute of limitations applies to an employer’s general payroll liability or just VCSP-related payroll liabilities. Paul Carlino of the IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel says the IRS could apply the six-year statute of limitations to general payroll liability but does not intend to do so.

More Tips on Labor Costs and the FLSA

Wage and Hour Laws (04/28/12) John E. Thompson

Companies can control or even cut labor costs and still comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. For example, a company need not pay the same hourly rate for compensable travel time or training time as it pays for the employee’s usual work; companies can pay a lower hourly rate of not less than the minimum wage. The FLSA does not require that nonexempt workers be paid an hourly rate or paid in any specific way other than to comply with the FLSA’s minimum-wage, overtime, and timekeeping provisions. This means a variety of approaches can be taken such as a salary-plus-overtime plan, a day-rate plan, a piece-rate or job-rate plan, or a commission plan.

Know Minnesota’s Disability Law: State Statute Has Lower Threshold Than Federal ADA

Business Management Daily (04/22/12)

While the Americans With Disabilities Act requires employees with disabilities to demonstrate that a major life function is substantially impaired by their disability, Minnesota employs a lower standard in which employees need only show that the condition materially impacts a major life function. However, employees still have difficulty proving a material impact, as evidenced by a lawsuit filed by a worker who requested accommodations for a peaceful and quiet work space before being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and anxiety disorder, after which he did not request accommodations or offer medical reports. The employee was terminated after failing to make progress on a performance improvement plan, and the court sided with the employer in ruling that he was not disabled because he showed no material impairment in any major life function, including his ability to work. Experts say that whether employees with similar disorders are disabled must be considered on an individual basis, and if material impacts on major life functions are determined, supervisors can work with employees on accommodations.

Georgia: Labor Department Launches Web Site to Process Unemployment Claims More Efficiently

Associated Press (05/01/12)

Georgia’s Labor Department has introduced a new online system to handle unemployment claims. The State Information Data Exchange will permit companies to respond quickly to the agency when a former employee files an unemployment insurance claim through the Web site. Companies can register for the system by logging on to the Labor Department Web site.

Mississippi: Officials Approve Workers’ Compensation Changes

Associated Press (04/30/12) Emily Wagster Pettus

The Mississippi legislature has passed a bill that would change workers’ compensation for employees injured at work or for the survivors of employees killed at work. Injured employees found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs would not be granted compensation. Injured employees would be required to file medical records that support compensation claims within 60 days. The changes are expected to reduce the premiums paid by companies.

Small Businesses Hopeful in the Face of Economic Uncertainty

Insperity Inc. News Release (04/30/12)

Small-business owners are reflecting a mixed sentiment of cautious optimism with a guarded approach to business operations, according to the most recent Business Confidence Survey released on April 30 by Insperity Inc. More than 40% remain unsure about the timing of an economic rebound, although 75% said they are meeting or exceeding the 2012 performance plans they outlined at the first of the year.

Online Labor Demand Rises in April

The Conference Board News Release (04/30/12)

Online advertised vacancies increased by 90,900 in April to 4,760,500, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series released on April 30. The April rise is the fifth consecutive monthly rise and has led to the series’ highest level to date. The Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.7 unemployed for every vacancy, and the number of unemployed was eight million above the number of advertised vacancies.

In another positive development, labor demand in two of the traditional white-collar office professions—legal, and office and administrative support—has picked up this year. Legal professions, in which demand dropped sharply in 2011, grew by 5,600 (26%) since January, while demand for office and administrative workers increased by 71,100 (17%).