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Study Alleges Abuses in Warehouse Industry

Los Angeles Times (05/17/12) Alana Semuels

A new report states that nearly two-thirds of workers in the logistics industry are employed through staffing firms but paid less than permanent employees, even though they may be performing the same duties and work 40 hours a week on average. According to the report by Jason Rowe of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, in partnership with New Labor (a workers’ rights group), one-third of logistics workers say they were not paid in full for wages that they had earned. Christopher Dwyer, a logistics analyst with Aberdeen Group, notes that in 2009, temporary workers made up 17% of the work force, while this year they will make up 26%.

U.S. Leading Economic Index Dips Slightly

The Conference Board (05/17/2012)

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. declined 0.1% in April to 95.5, following a 0.3% increase in March, and a 0.7% increase in February. Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board, notes the LEI’s six-month growth rate fell slightly, but remains in expansionary territory and well above its growth at the end of 2011.

H-P to Slash Work Force By Up to 30,000

Wall Street Journal (05/17/12) Ben Worthen

Hewlett-Packard Co. reportedly plans to eliminate 25,000 to 30,000 employees, as chief executive Meg Whitman plans a companywide restructuring. Cuts in that range would constitute about 8% of the company’s work force, which stood at approximately 349,600 at the end of October. People familiar with the matter say that the cuts will be across the company and that the exact number is not yet final. The cuts rank among the largest by large U.S. companies since the financial crisis triggered a recession in the fall of 2008, according to the outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.

Free ASAPro Webinar Tuesday—New EEOC Enforcement Guidance

When can employers ask about applicants’ criminal history? How should employers treat applicants’ arrest and pending records? Do employers have to allow applicants an opportunity to provide additional information? Find out Tuesday, May 22, during the ASAPro Webinar “New EEOC Enforcement Guidance—Employers’ Use of Arrest and Conviction Records” sponsored by People 2.0.

Attorneys Gerald L. Maatman and Pamela Q. Devata of Seyfarth Shaw LLP will provide a comprehensive analysis of new guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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

Independent Contractor Misclassification Update 2012: How Companies Can Minimize the Risks

Lexology (05/15/12) Richard J. Reibstein; Lisa B. Petkun; Andrew J. Rudolph

Employers seeking to avoid potential worker misclassification liability have a few options, including restructuring and re-documenting their relationships with independent contractors. This involves adjustments to how much control they have “over the manner and means by which their ICs accomplish their work.” Employers also can reclassify their ICs as employees through a government-sponsored reclassification program or voluntarily, which is less burdensome and costly than being forced to do so by a government agency. Finally, employers can use a work force management company or staffing firm.

Legal Issues Abound in Telecommuting

Minneapolis Finance & Commerce (05/15/12) Dan Heilman

As more companies permit telecommuting, experts say they must pay close attention to legal issues that arise from working outside the office. Employers must take into consideration workers’ compensation issues, because the courts tend to view home locations as extensions of the workplace and hold employers at fault when injuries occur at home. Wage and hour issues also are a concern, with Minneapolis employment attorney Cynthia Bremer stating, “There has to be both a trust relationship and a written understanding that the employee is not using work time to do chores around the house and then checking his computer every so often.”

IT Jobs: Staffing Levels to Hold Steady

CIO Insight (05/18/12) Dennis McCafferty

The most recent Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report, a survey of more than 1,400 chief information officers, indicates that chief information officers and other technology managers anticipate an uptick in hiring as the economy begins to recover, but the hiring pace is expected to slow. Most, however, plan to maintain their current level of staffing. Meanwhile, networking talent is first on the staffing firm’s list of the information technology skills that are the hardest to recruit.

Social Media Hiring Still Breaks Records

Wanted Analytics (05/17/12) Abby Lombardi

Hiring demand for social media skills has been increasing for years and continues to do so. The number of job ads continues to grow, with more than 51,000 online job listings including social media requirements in April—both for using social media sites or developing programs and apps for social platforms. That represents a 36% increase compared to the same time period in 2011. Many of the jobs that require social media skills are in marketing, public relations, and technical occupations, but social media skills are also being included in job ads for sales professionals, recruiters, and administrative and support positions.