January 21, 2020

Pennsylvania Court Holds Employees May Sue Under Medical Marijuana Act
New Jersey Court Holds That Federal Law Does Not Bar Legal Reimbursement for Medical Marijuana
California DFEH Updates FAQ on Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in Light of New Deadline to Comply
Growing State Antidiscrimination and Antiharassment Protections Create Patchwork of Regulations for Employers
New York: 2020 Effective Dates for Employment-Related Legislation
District of Columbia Employment Law Changes: Looking Back at 2019 and Ahead at 2020
ASA Washington Network Training: Taking Action for Safety and Health in Seattle in February
Less Than Half of Employees Say Their Company Provides Remote Work Options

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Staffing as a Mission Acquires DATalent

Nashville Business Journal (01/17/20) Stinnett, Joel

Nashville-based Staffing as a Mission LLC has acquired Franklin, TN-based DATalent LLC. The transaction will grow Staffing as a Mission’s national footprint. The company focuses on the technology and health care sectors. DATalent focuses on staffing information technology workers for clients across the Southeast. Terms of the transaction were not revealed.

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Job Openings Record Biggest Drop Since 2015

Reuters (01/17/20) Mutikani, Lucia

Job openings were down sharply in November—notching the biggest drop in more than four years—while hiring rose moderately. Job openings declined by 561,000 to 6.8 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That was the largest decline since August 2015, pushing job openings to their lowest level since March 2018.

Economists said the drop in vacancies and moderate hiring possibly were signaling that companies were throttling back demand for employees. Yet job openings remain fairly high.

The number of people voluntarily quitting their jobs was little changed at 3.5 million in November, and the quits rate was 2.3% for the third consecutive month. Economists consider the quits rate a measure of job market confidence.

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U.S., China Agreement Will Boost Growth

Wall Street Journal (01/16/20) Torry, Harriet

The U.S. and China trade deal signed last week likely will boost growth in 2020 and spark a pickup in business investment, according to economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal. Most survey respondents also expect U.S. growth to continue at a slow-but-steady pace this year. Approximately two-thirds of respondents said the agreement should prove a small plus for U.S. gross-domestic-product growth in 2020 by pausing the trade dispute between the two nations. About 15% of respondents expected the deal to be a small drag, while 12% said it would have no effect.

Business investment should improve in 2020 as trade tensions wane, the majority of respondents said. Some 58% expect business investment will increase somewhat and 9% expect it will rise substantially.

On average, respondents said GDP will expand 1.9% this year, measured from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of this year, compared with an anticipated 2.3% in 2019. Respondents expected the unemployment rate, which was 3.5% in December, to edge up to 3.6% in December 2020.

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Consumer Sentiment Remained Elevated to Start 2020

Bloomberg (01/17/20) Lanman, Scott; Tanzi, Alexandre

Consumer sentiment was buoyant in January amid record stock prices and a robust job market. The University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index for January moved down to 99.1 from a seven-month high of 99.3 in December. The gauge of current conditions rose a bit to 115.8 while the expectations index edged down to 88.3.

Fairly strong sentiment signals consumers are poised to help drive the record-long economic expansion even as business investment remains lackluster. Still, the decline is the first since August, suggesting growth will stay moderate at the beginning of 2020 after cooling at the end of last year.

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Free ASA Webinar Today—Cybersecurity Tips

Don’t miss the ASA webinar “Protect Your Firm Against Ransomware and Cyber Attacks.” It takes place today from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time. Find out what you can do to protect your firm against phishing and ransomware attacks and to mitigate potential criminal, civil, and regulatory damages if a breach occurs.

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 americanstaffing.net.

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