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ASA Addresses Proposed Employer Regulations Under Health Care Reform

On Dec. 28, the Obama administration released proposed regulations under the Affordable Care Act detailing the obligations of employers under the law. ASA has published an issue paper that focuses on the key provisions of the proposed regulations of particular interest to staffing firms—for example:
  • how the “look-back” rule will apply to new “variable hour” employees
  • the new “break-in-service” rules
  • the common law status of staffing firms (and why it matters)
  • the proposal to allow businesses to determine their coverage and penalty obligations on a “disaggregated” basis
ASA members can download the paper at Staffing firms interested in learning more about the proposed regulations should register for the free ASAPro webinar scheduled for Feb. 14. Attendees will also get an overview of a new ASA online calculator for estimating their costs under the “play or pay” provisions of the law.

Legalpeople and the Partners Group Announce Merger

Law Firm Newswire (01/23/2013)

Legalpeople LLC and the Partners Group LLC, two legal placement, staffing, and document review companies, announced on Jan. 23 the completion of their merger. The management team intends to maintain both the Legalpeople and the Partners Group brands with no changes to operations in existing markets.

Georgia Staffing Firm, Workers Scammed by Subcontractor

Associated Press (01/23/13)

The staffing firm Everything Staffing plans to sue Black Sparta LLC after dozens of construction workers looking for jobs say they were scammed by the subcontractor. WSB-TV in Atlanta reports the workers responded to a Craigslist posting promising two-year job openings across the country. Everything Staffing assembled a group of workers for Black Sparta, which agreed to provide food, gas, money, and lodging for workers in Columbia, MO. Would-be contractors arrived in Missouri only to be told their services were not needed and were stranded at a hotel when no one paid for the workers’ hotel rooms.

Jobless Claims Drop to Five-Year Low of 330,000

Associated Press (01/24/13) Christopher Rugaber

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000 in the week ended Jan. 19, marking the lowest level since January 2008. Today’s report from the U.S. Department of Labor may be evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs and may step up hiring, although the decline could reflect the government’s difficulty adjusting its numbers to account for layoffs after the holiday shopping season. The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, fell by 8,250 to 351,750, the lowest level since March 2008.

Organized Labor Loses Members

Wall Street Journal (01/23/13) Melanie Trottman; Kris Maher

The percentage of employees who belong to unions declined in 2012 to the lowest level since World War II, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some 11.3% of the work force was in a union last year, down from 11.8% in 2011. Most of the decline took place in the public sector, which accounts for the majority of union members. Manufacturing was particularly hard hit. Union membership fell despite an increase in manufacturing employment. Construction, steel plants, and food manufacturing also were hit by union membership declines, says the Center for Economic and Policy Research. However, unions are adding Latino members and employees in fast-growing sectors of the economy, such as some components of the health care industry.

Economic Slowdown Likely in Early 2013, Followed by Better Growth

Bloomberg BNA (01/22/13)

Bloomberg BNA‘s annual Economic Outlook, a forecast of economists at 21 top financial, consulting, and academic organizations, predicts that the U.S. unemployment rate will slip to 7.5% from 7.8% in the second half of this year. Although the payroll tax increase and federal spending cuts will put a damper on growth early in the year, business investment, job creation, the housing recovery, and consumer spending will help the economy pick up steam in the latter half of 2013. The report predicts modest job growth during the first half, but 176,000 jobs per month will be added during the last six months of the year. It also forecasts a 2.6% increase in total hourly compensation for private-sector employees, compared to a 2% gain through the third quarter of 2012.

Is Your Company Ready for Health Care Reform?

As the leader in staffing industry advocacy, ASA has been hard at work to mitigate the effects of the Affordable Care Act on staffing companies. The 2013 ASA Staffing Law Conference, May 7–8 in Washington, DC, will deliver the latest information, strategies, tools, resources, and expertise on all the most pressing legal and legislative issues affecting the staffing industry—including health care reform.

The ASA Staffing Law Conference will feature a special session, “Health Care Reform Panel Discussion—What Are Staffing Firms Doing to Prepare?” This discussion will be led by ASA senior counsel Ed Lenz, the industry’s leading expert on the new law.

Learn more and register today at