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Jobless Claims in U.S. Decline to Lowest Level in Five Weeks

Bloomberg (03/26/15) Nina Glinski

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 21 dropped by 9,000 to 282,000, the lowest level in five weeks, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast claims of 290,000. The four-week moving average of new claims fell by 7,750 to 297,000.

From Microsoft, a Novel Way to Mandate Sick Leave

New York Times (03/26/15) Claire Cain Miller

Some large companies are requiring their contractors to provide paid sick leave to certain employees. Microsoft announced today that it will require its contractors and vendors that employ 50 or more people to offer employees either 10 paid vacation days and five paid sick days or 15 days of unrestricted paid time off. The policy will apply to employees who have worked with Microsoft for more than nine months.

In the technology industry, average full-time employees earn more than $115,000 a year, along with generous benefits, but many contracted service employees—such as security guards and janitors—earn low wages and often do not receive basic benefits such as sick leave. Following pressure from contract employees and labor groups, some technology companies have instituted changes. For example, Apple and Google have hired security guards as full-time employees instead of contractors.

Register Today for the ASA Staffing Law Conference

The ASA Staffing Law Conference is the only event dedicated exclusively to the legal and regulatory issues facing staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions companies. It’s where you can hear from staffing industry insiders such as ASA senior counsel Ed Lenz, Esq.; ASA general counsel Stephen C. Dwyer, Esq.; employee benefits expert Alden J. Bianchi, Esq.; staffing industry attorney Joel A. Klarreich, Esq.; immigration expert Helen L. Konrad, Esq., and more.

This event has sold out the past two years—secure your seat today for this year’s conference, April 28–29 at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in metro Washington, DC. Review the full agenda and register today at ASA-certified professionals can earn up to 9.5 continuing education hours, including 8.25 hours of legal CE.

Free ASA Webinar Next Month—Building a Corporate Social Responsibility Program

Research has shown that companies that create outstanding corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives may see better client engagement, stronger brand identity, and increased financial performance. Past winners of ASA Care Awards will share best practices for implementing a successful CSR program during the ASA webinar “Building a Sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility Program.” It takes place Thursday, April 9, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time.

All ASA webinars are free for ASA members, and most qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. To learn more and to register, visit

Hawaii Supreme Court Says Employer Failed to Establish ‘Rational Relationship’ Between Applicant’s Drug Conviction and Position SoughtM

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