Battle for the American Worker | Rewards of Tax Reform | Keeping Employees | End to ADA Abuse?

In StaffLink’s Small Business Week this week we look at how businesses are responding to a shrinking labor market and corporate America’s response to the new tax landscape. Plus, businesses may get a break from frivolous lawsuits if a pending ADA law passes. We also look at the latest healthcare trends, today’s hot jobs, tips for a happy life, and more.

Americans are beginning to see pay increases due to tax reform.  

Smuckers has now joined the ranks of the hundreds of companies granting bonuses to employees in response to the tax reform bill. For a full list plus all you need to know about tax reform and corporate America, see the Fox Business report, Tax reform and windfall: These companies are hiking pay, delivering bonuses by Thomas Barrabi.

Lowe’s launches Track to the Trades program to attract talent.

Addressing both the tight labor market and a skills gap in construction and other skilled trades, Lowe’s announced the launch of its Track to the Trades program this week. Partnering with Guild Education, Lowe’s will support qualified employees’ pursuits of a trade to the tune of $2,500 each. CNBC’s Lauren Thomas shares the details in  Lowe’s takes another step to win workers in a tight labor market.

To keep the employees you have, be open to change.

When unemployment is low and competition for talent is high, keeping your current workforce happy and engaged becomes a top priority. Inc.’s Young Entrepreneur Council offers some tips to do just that in 5 Strategies to Keep Employees Engaged in 2018.

Businesses may get some relief from “Drive by” Lawsuits.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the ADA Education and Reform Act this week and the legislation will now move to the Senate. This bill would require those seeking to sue a business for ADA accommodation failures to provide notice and take other steps before taking matters to court.

The bill is aimed at thwarting plaintiffs who engage in so-called drive-by lawsuits and have no real connection to the business they are pursuing.  If the legislation passes, one of Florida’s biggest compliance issues may be addressed.

However, as SHRM’s Allen Smith explains in House Passes Bill to Make ADA Accessibility Lawsuits Harder to Bring, not everyone is happy with the House bill.

Pharmacies and urgent care facilities get smart about sharing.

Pointing out what appears to be a new trend in healthcare, Forbes contributor Bruce Japsen writes UnitedHealth, Walgreens Partner to Put Urgent Care Next to Pharmacies. Located side-by-side, MedExpress and Walgreen stores will form part of a “higher-performing local health system” UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann tells Japsen in the article. Watch for CVS to begin its rollout of these hybrid locations next. 

Headed to a networking event? Don’t be that guy (or gal).

This week’s ‘what not to do’ is brought to us by Inc. contributor Hillel Fuld who writes 6 Common Mistakes Even the Most Professional People Make at Networking Events. Read these tips before your next event to make sure you aren’t being remembered for all the wrong reasons.  

Taking care of us, our pets, and our money.

Having one of these three abilities can land you a job albeit not always a high paying one. In These are the top 10 most in-demand jobs in the US — and here’s how much they pay, CNBC’s Shawn Carter gives us the scoop on the jobs that employers are looking to fill. 


How do the other 2 out of 3 stay awake?

Moneyish reported in January that 1 in 3 young Americans spent more on coffee last year than they invested. Vacations and holiday gifts were also a priority over investing for more than one-third of those responding to a survey by money app, Acorn, writes Moneyish contributor Catey Hill. Caffeine or compound interest? Admittedly, it can be a tough call.


Maybe your boss doesn’t read Inc.

Or, maybe the problem is bigger than one article could solve. In Why You Are Unhappy at Work, Sean Silverthorne shares a collection of thoughts and commentary for Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge readers. Silverthorne cites a Mind the Workplace report indicating that 71% of American workers are hunting for new jobs. Fair pay and recognition can keep your staff in the happy 29%.

Wow. Londoners are tough.

That’s the message of this week’s best global ad.  And, in the Olympic spirit, we’re bringing Nike’s take on London’s most and least popular sports to today’s post. 

 

Podcast: Getting Workers’ Compensation Right | Health Benefits Key to Talent Retention | e-Verify

In StaffLink’s Small Business Week this week we’re sharing an interview with Stafflink’s founder and President, Abram Finkelstein on the importance of complying with your state’s workers’ compensation laws. Plus, we take a look at this week’s stock market performance. For HR professionals, we’ve put together a collection of articles with tips for hiring and retention.

StaffLink handles workers’ compensation claims for clients nationwide. Find out what we’ve learned about compliance in this podcast featuring our CEO.

South Florida employers top the charts (and not in a good way) when it comes to workers’ compensation fraud. Is your business following the law? You can’t afford not to.

Find out how to handle workers’ compensation compliance the right way in this StaffLink podcast covering what you should know about Florida’s Workers’ Compensation law. While you’re on the podcast web page, be sure to download your free Florida Workers’ Compensation Checklist too!

CLICK TO PLAY

The stock market shakes off doubts and continues to climb.

Reuters reported Thursday that U.S. stocks were headed up for the fifth day in a row. In Tech, industrials bolster Wall Street’s recovery, Sruthi Shankar and Aparajita Saxena report that while some selloffs occurred this week, investors appear optimistic and stocks are trending up.

The new federal budget includes increased spending on immigration enforcement and requires mandatory e-verification.

One of the provisions in the FY 2019 budget is a requirement that all employers nationwide use the federal government’s E-Verify system for confirming their employees’ work eligibility. Explaining this and several other immigration measures included next year’s budget, SHRM’s Roy Mauer gives us Trump Budget Calls for Mandatory Nationwide E-Verify Use.

Finding and keeping top talent requires attention to detail.

Any employer who has ever had to fire an employee knows that a mismatch between candidate and job can be a costly mistake. But how do you avoid a bad hire?  Inc. contributor Marcel Schwantes offers his advice in 20 Interview Questions That Will Reveal a Superstar Job Candidate.

Once you’ve found your dream employee, how can you keep them happy? SHRM’s Stephen Miller writes, Employees Are More Likely to Stay If They Like Their Health Plan. Flexible plans that save employees money can save you from being understaffed.

What else keeps employees engaged? Skilled management.  In Ten Skills Every Manager Needs–But 90% of Managers Lack, Forbes’ contributor Liz Ryan explains that good managers do more than direct workers’ activities; they actively lead. It is these leadership skills, she writes, that many managers lack. Open and two-way communication creates a work environment that makes employees want to stay.

No matter what size your business is, compliance can be complicated. StaffLink is here to help. We manage workers’ compensation for clients doing business in Florida and nationwide.

Don’t forget to download your free Florida Workers’ Compensation checklist this week. And, call us at 877-899-LINK to discover how StaffLink can help you keep your business running smoothly.

 

Pay is Up, Joblessness Down, Market Volatile | Team Building | EEOC | Email Mistakes

In StaffLink’s Small Business Week this week we review the latest news on jobs and pay rates and the volatile market. Plus, we’re sharing tips for engaging employees and conducting annual reviews. We also take a look at trends in B2B marketing and how not to email.

In this week’s HR news, we share advice from SHRM about why you should offer dental benefits and tips for responding to EEOC charges.

Stocks went up and down this week but job news is all good.

According to the latest government reports shared by MarketWatch, the job market is going strong. MarketWatch reporter Jeffry Bartash gives us the one-two punch this month with Wages grow at fastest pace in more than 8 years as U.S. adds 200,000 jobs in January and Jobless claims drop 9,000 to 221,000, remain at near 45-year low.

What does it all mean? Bartash quotes High Frequency Economics’ Jim O’Sullivan saying he expects to see employment growth continue to keep unemployment rates trending down.

At the same time, the market itself is experiencing high volatility.  Correction?  Marketwatch sees the volatility that way with an expectation of slow, sustained growth soon;  CNBC ‘s article this morning provides historical perspective that says the near future will probably depend on the severity of the correction … everyone is watching.

In a tight job market, it pays to keep your employees happy.

When it comes to keeping your employees (and keeping them happy), Inc. has you covered.

First, use Ilya Pozin’s 8 Team Building Activities Your Employees Will Love to ensure that everyone gets to know one another and can work as a team. Then, find out how your employees and you are doing with Spencer Rascoff’s 5 Steps for Conducting an Effective Annual Review.

Pozin writes that “companies that have happy employees outperform their competitors by 20 percent, and contented salespeople rack up 37 percent greater sales.” Meanwhile, Rascoff notes that employees are happiest at a workplace where they feel that their employer supports their career growth.

Got it? Happy employees build strong teams and nurture individual career paths.

B2B Marketing Trends for today’s market.

Convince and Convert contributor Kayla Matthews wants to make sure you are taking advantage of all the latest communications channels for your business. In 5 B2B Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2018, Matthews writes, “2018 is an exciting time for B2B marketing, with a wide variety of exciting new ways to market with relevancy and technological savvy.”

The new marketing methods go beyond just blogging and videos. AR and influencer marketing are part of the mix now too. Is your brand omnichannel ready?

Speaking of business communication…

Despite the development of new messaging systems and technologies, email remains one of the best tools for business communication and response.  It can also be one of the main sources of embarrassment for some professionals. Take a look at Inc. contributor Betty Liu’s article, The 11 Worst Email Mistakes Everyone Makes for a glimpse of just what can go wrong.  

Are you offering your employees dental benefits?

According to recent studies reported by SHRM’s Stephen Miller, offering dental care to your employees is a good investment. In Preventative Dental Benefits Save Employers Money, Studies Find, Miller notes that preventative dental care also serves as preventive care for other, more serious conditions. Offering dental benefits can also be an effective employee satisfaction and retention tool. Paying for dental care can strain family budgets. Employers who help ease this burden can improve their bottom line and their employees’ well-being.

The EEOC releases 2017’s enforcement report and offers tips responding to EEOC charges.

Summarizing the EEOC FY 2017 report and offering tips for mitigation this week, SHRM’s online staff offers readers EEOC: Retaliation Makes Up Almost Half of Discrimination Charges.

In any case of government action, preparation is half the battle. Find out what charges drew most of the EEOC’s attention in 2017 and what you should do if your business is singled out for action in SHRM‘s informative article.

This year’s Super Bowl Winner? Tide.

Tide turned the Super Bowl into an opportunity to reach millions by creating one of the best ads of the event. Take a look and see if you can recognize the brands the ad parodies.

 

SOTU | Top 7 Compliance Dangers | High Cost of Failing to Save for Retirement

In StaffLink’s Small Business Week this week the big news is, of course, President Trump’s delivery of his first State of the Union address. The speech highlighted recent signs of economic prosperity as do several news stories about companies responding favorably to the recently passed tax reform law. In HR news, StaffLink this week takes a look at leadership and compliance trends and the EEOC’s top charges in 2017. Plus, an article explaining the costs of failing to save for retirement.

A call for unity and a recitation of economic success highlighted President Trump’s first State of the Union Address.

President Trump touched on immigration, unemployment, tax reform, crime, and diplomacy in his January 30, State of the Union speech. Video and commentary on the speech abound. CNN’s montage can be found at Trump’s State of the Union Speech in 2 minutes.  

Corporate America demonstrates its pleasure with nex tax law with bonuses, and wage and benefits increases.

Writing Lowe’s to give some employees bonuses of up to $1,000 and expand benefits due to tax reform for CNBC, reporter Lauren Thomas shares that both Lowe’s and Home Depot will award one-time bonuses to thousands of employees in the coming months. Thomas notes that these incentives are part of a larger move on the part of retailers to retain hourly workers in a tight job market.

It’s not just retailers who are celebrating the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with bonuses and other incentives. John Kartch, writing for Americans for Tax Reform reports that 3,000,000 Americans across 300 companies will receive bonuses or other wage or benefits increases attributable to the reform. You can read the details in List of Tax Reform Good News.

Competition for talent leads companies to expand leave benefits.

More employers offering paid parental leave to hourly workers writes HRDive’s Valerie Bolden-Barrett. The increase in benefits is believed to be a result of a shrinking labor pool as unemployment sits at a low of 4.1%. Companies are hoping better benefits and pay will help them recruit and retain qualified employees.

Changes in workforce demographics prompt changes in leadership styles.

Economic growth and disruption were 2017’s buzzwords and now businesses of all sizes are responding. In 14 Leadership Trends That Will Shape Organizations in 2018 Forbes highlights the changes that companies are making in response to a changing business landscape. Continual learning, empathy, and personal development are the topics that have business leaders buzzing in 2018.

Over 84,000 employers were charged with discrimination and retaliation by the EEOC in 2017.

Reporting for the fiscal year 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disclosed that 84,254 workplace discrimination charges were filed. In Top 10 Employment Discrimination Charges in 2017, Claims Journal lists the top ten charge categories. Retaliation and race hold the top two places. The article also reports that the EEOC filed 184 lawsuits in 2017 and resolved 99,108 charges.

The compliance issues that should be on every HR team’s radar.

Human resource professionals know that keeping track of compliance issues can be a full-time job. What are some of the main compliance problems that come up again and again? HRDive author Pamela DeLoatch describes the top troublemakers in 7 compliance issues every HR leader should know.

Are you putting off saving for retirement?

Compound interest can be your friend when it comes to retirement, but only if you use it. Discover the real cost of procrastination in this Fox Business article, The Shocking Cost of Putting Off Retirement Savings for a Year,

In case you missed it, here is CNN’s selection of highlights from President Trump’s Tuesday State of the Union speech:


Podcast: Florida’s Workers’ Compensation| Tax Reform Hikes Pay | Blockchain Technology Uses

In StaffLink’s Small Business Week this week, a StaffLink podcast featuring our own Abram Finkelstein sharing important tips about Florida’s worker’s compensation law and a free worker’s compensation checklist for you to download. We also take a look at the impact the new tax law is having on employee compensation and benefits. Plus, we share resources to help you encourage employee referrals, obtain personal success, and understand blockchain’s real-world applications.

Do you know what you need to do to comply with Florida’s workers’ compensation law?

Complying with Florida’s workers’ compensation law is an essential part of running a successful business. But keeping track of all the details of compliance isn’t easy. Listen to our latest Stafflink podcast to discover what you need to do to keep your business and your employees protected. Then, download our free Florida Workers’ Compensation Checklist to use as your personal guide.

Employees of hundreds of companies receive bonuses as employers celebrate tax reform.

Employers large and small have responded to the passage of the Trump administration’s tax reform by offering pay increases and bonuses to their employees reports the Washington Times’ Paul Bedard. Home Depot, Starbucks, and Disney are just a few of the nearly 100 companies that joined the trend this week.  See the list in 250 companies offering ‘Trump bonuses,’ up 525% . 

Your success depends on knowing when to say no.  

You can’t succeed unless you learn to say no. That’s what Warren Buffett says, writes Inc. contributor Marcel Schwantes. Schwantes also shares tips from Jim Collins and Steve Jobs in Warren Buffett Says This 1 Simple Habit Separates Successful People From Everyone Else.

Could the best recruiters already be working for you?

When it comes to attracting top talent to your organization, your employees are one of your most valuable tools. How can you enable and encourage your employees to make referrals? Sourcecon contributor Kristy Nittskoff shares her tips to help you energize your employee referral program in Creative Ways to Build Your Employee Referral Pipeline.

Blockchain is much more than just the foundation for cryptocurrencies.

If you only think of Bitcoin when you hear the word blockchain, you are missing the bigger picture. Forbes contributor Bernard Marr tells us that blockchain technology has the potential to transform much more than just the way we pay for things. He details some of the many current and potential applications of blockchain technology in 35 Amazing Real World Examples of How Blockchain is Changing Our World.

The new tax law will alter employee benefits.

The Trump administration’s tax reform, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, included several provisions that will affect employee benefits. SHRM’s Stephen Miller first explained how benefits would change in December 2017, writing President Signs Tax Bill Altering Employee Benefits. Since then, the article has been updated to reflect the provisions included in the final version of the bill. From education savings to paid leave, employers should review the new law and prepare to adjust their benefits strategies.

Economy Surging | Tax Reform Boost | 2018 Tax Info | High Achievers

StaffLink’s Small Business Week — January 19 Highlights

In StaffLink’s Small Business Week this week, the economy continues to set records; passage of the tax reform bill prompted many companies to increase employee wages and bonuses; 7-Eleven raids in Florida serve as a cautionary compliance tale for employers; 2018 tax information and tips for businesses preparing for the coming tax season; a look at workplace legal trends; and, how high achievers start their days.

Trump, the Economy, and tax reform 

Love Him or Hate Him, Trump deserves Credit for Booming Economy announces Investor’s Business Daily’s January 12, 2018, editorial. The editorial cites increased wages, bonus payments, and industrial expansions as evidence.  He is not alone, even some of the President’s media critics are now granting the president begrudging praise about his economic policies.

CNBC’s Market Insider with Patti Domm wrote Trump economy’s sustained growth pace unlike anything seen in 13 years. Will the good times last? Some economists tell Domm that they are waiting to see what happens in Q1 of 2018, but for the most part, there is strong optimism in the business community.  In fact, small business optimism is the highest its ever been in the 45 years since it was first measured. 

Corporate America is also proving critics wrong about the impact of tax reform.  More than 164 companies have either increased wages, paid bonuses, or both, including Apple, Walmart, JetBlue, American Airlines, and several large banks, to name a few.  You can find the list in Paul Bedard’s  article, Boom: 164 companies give bonuses, lower fees to millions. 

Which company is serving up the biggest bonus awards? The Street’s Annie Palmer tells us that most employees of Apple will receive $2,500 bonuses in Apple Just Handed Employees the Biggest Tax Bill-Related Bonus So Far.

What can we learn from the mistakes of others?

As the dust settles following the Department of Homeland Security’s raids on 100 7-Eleven stores, including several in Florida earlier this month, Workforce contributor Montserrat C. Miller examines what we can learn from the event. Miller also offers his tips to ensure that your business has its paperwork in order in Raid on 7-Elevens a Stark Lesson in I-9 Immigration Compliance.

Withholding tables plus small business tax hacks for 2018.

The new tax law included several changes that affect individual income withholdings. What should employers and employees do about the changes? SHRM’s Stephen Miller explains in IRS Issues New Withholding Tables for 2018. According to the article, the Trump administration anticipates that ninety percent of wage earners will take home more of their pay following the adjustments.

What can small businesses do to keep more of their money out of the tax collector’s hands? Entrepreneur contributor Peter Daisyme offers up 10 Tax-Savings Hacks That SMall Business Owners Often Miss to help us out. Save those receipts!

Making the most of your morning.

Inc. contributor Christina DesMarais says that high achievers get a head start by starting their mornings right. She tells us their formula for success in Here’s How the Highest Achievers Start Their Days Differently Than Everyone Else.

A look at the latest workplace legal trends.

Sharing good news and bad, SHRM’s Lisa Nagele-Piazza and Allen Smith have put together 8 Workplace Legal Trends for 2018. They predict that the Department of Labor will be employer-friendly and the Obama era overtime rule will see a rollback. Business challenges will include navigating harassment and retaliation claims. Plus, companies will need to adjust to changes in various state drug laws.

Watch This–

Political and social division is deep in many places, not just the U.S.  And, both sides are to blame.  But in the ‘down under’ one organization thinks it’s come up with a solution, and their ad was voted ‘top ad’ in the world this week in BestAdsonTV.   

There may be ‘mutt-in’ better than lamb to heal the  political divide.

Trends in HR | Healthcare Jobs of the Future | Handling Sexual Harassment Claims | Getting Employees’ Best

StaffLink’s Week Ending January 12 Highlights

StaffLink’s Small Business Highlights for this second full week in January include HR trends and healthcare jobs predictions. Plus, a guide to investigating sexual harassment claims and tips for encouraging your employees to work harder. Also, you’ll find an update on the DOL’s proposed association health plans rule and a look at the best in tech in this week’s edition.

Jobs are changing and so is the role of HR.

Demographic shifts and the adoption of new technologies are driving changes in HR from job design to recruiting practices. This Forbes article by Chee Tung Leong points to Four Key HR Trends to Watch in 2018. Will employers and employees prosper in the growing gig economy? What new benefits and compensation models will be needed to ensure that they do?

The high risks and rewards of advancing technology and its effect on healthcare jobs.

The past few years have seen incredible developments in medical technology. But new threats posed by runaway data and sophisticated biological tools have developed too. Forbes’ contributor Reenita Das discusses how new tools and technologies will shape the healthcare profession in 10 Future Healthcare Jobs to Watch.  

The one employee incentive that works.

According to a recent study (and common sense), the promise of upward mobility is a powerful motivator. Employees who believe they have an equal shot at success are more productive than those who believe the system is rigged.

In This Study of 400,000 People Reveals the 1 Reason Employees Work Harder (and It’s Not Pay or Benefits or Culture Decks), Inc. contributor Jeff Haden share details of the study’s findings.

Dealing with sexual harassment: Be prepared to handle complaints.

After a sexual harassment complaint has been made is not the time to decide how your organization will handle one. Mishandling an accusation can cost an organization its time, money, and reputation. SHRM’s Dori Meinert advises employers to learn what to do before they need to do it.

In How to Investigate Sexual Harassment Allegations, Meinert outlines a step by step process businesses can use to get up to speed on this sensitive topic.

Potential good news for small businesses seeking employee healthcare coverage.

SHRM’s Stephen Miller reported this week on a proposal by the Department of Labor that would allow small businesses greater access to association healthcare plans. Miller explains how the proposed rule would work in DOL Proposes Rule to Expand Association Health Plans for Small Employers. The DOL is accepting comments on the proposal through March 6.

CES 2018 in 2 Minutes

With the Consumer Technology Association’s CES 2018 taking place in Las Vegas this week, tech talk is everywhere. If you can’t attend the conference you can still see what all the fuss is about.

Just check out this video:

Job Growth and Stock Market Climb | New Income Tax Brackets | 2018 Trends for Talent and Tech

Welcome to 2018! StaffLink’s best for the week ending January 5 includes signs of economic strength, news of the new income tax brackets, and a court ruling on Miami Beach’s municipal minimum wage ordinance. Plus, this year’s talent acquisition and tech trends.

The economy is on the up and up.

On January 4, the Dow Jones Industrial Average made history. Fox Business News reported that the index hit an all-time high of 25,000 during this first week of 2018. If the trend continues through today, the Dow will hit its 90th record close since the November 2016 elections. Fox Reporter Leia Klingel writes all about it in Dow 25,000 powered by fastest 1,000-point advance ever.

MarketWatch’s Andrea Riquier added to the positive economic news on Thursday with Private-sector job growth sizzles in December, with 250,000 jobs added, ADP says. “The American job machine remains in full swing,” Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told Riquier before cautioning that future growth may be limited by a shrinking labor pool.

The new tax law shifts taxpayer brackets.

The Republican-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law in December and brought with it a set of new income tax brackets. CNBC’s Darla Mercado breaks down the new numbers in New year, new tax brackets. Here’s where you stand.

Mileage deduction rates see a small adjustment.

Beginning on January 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for deductible business mileage will increase by 1 cent to 54.5 cents per mile writes SHRM’s Stephen Miller in IRS Announces Higher Standard Mileage Rate for 2018. The deduction for moving and medical driving expenses increased as well, Miller reports.  However, the deduction when driving for charity remained unchanged.

A district court decides a Florida minimum wage dispute.

In December 2017, a district court in Florida found that Florida local governments’ authority to set minimum wage rates were preempted by state law. The ruling resolved an issue of interpretation between an amendment to the Florida Constitution and Florida statutes. SHRM contributor Sarah Smith Kuehnel explains the details of the ruling in Florida Statute Preempts Miami Beach Minimum Wage Ordinance, Court Finds.

Sourcing new hires in the new year.

How are hiring managers and recruiters adjusting to demographic shifts in the labor market? SHRM brings us some predictions in Tim Sackett Peers into the Future: Talent Acquisition Trends and Predictions for 2018. Millennials are no longer the new kids in the cubicles as members of Generation Z began graduating from college in 2017.

Finally, from CNET, we bring you this video featuring a look at the tech you may expect to see influencing your life in 2018. From augmented reality to voice assist, the future is here (even the Star Trek ad at the front) … 

Benefits and Compensation in 2018 | Affordable Care Act Deadlines and Deals | Marketing in 2018

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 29 Highlights

Closing out 2017, StaffLink brings you good tidings for retailers, updates on benefits and compensation trends, the latest ACA events, and a peek at what marketers are planning for 2018.

Employee benefits and compensation are changing with the times.

Earlier this month, SHRM’s Stephen Miller took a look back over employee pay trends in 2017 and made some predictions for 2018. In 4 Key Compensation Trends in 2017, he offers his insights into what employers should expect in 2018. One notable development for 2018 is that hiring managers in some jurisdictions will be prohibited from asking candidates about their past salaries.

Also from SHRM’s Stephen Miller is 5 Big Benefits Trends Going into 2018. Miller writes that employers will invest more in financial wellness programs for employees. He also predicts that health care costs will continue to rise, and everyone will need to adjust to the Affordable Care Act’s requirements.

Retailers enjoyed robust sales this holiday season.

Earlier this week, Fox Business reported that holiday sales increased by almost 5% between November 1 and Christmas Eve with electronics purchases leading the way. Fox Business shares the sales results and reactions from shoppers and retail representatives in Retailers feel shoppers’ Christmas Cheer.

Making a plan for personal success.

It’s that time of year when people begin making plans for their futures, setting goals, and resolving to achieve them. If you are short of ideas on what you’d like to change in the coming year, check out 30 Habits, Qualities and Secrets That Lead to Success from Entrepreneur.com.

ACA change-ups: Employers get a little more time and individuals get to avoid a penalty.

On December 22, the IRS announced an extension of the 2018 deadline for employers to provide ACA-related insurance coverage information forms to their employees. However, SHRM reports in IRS Extends Deadline to Supply ACA Forms to Employees, employers are still required to meet the existing deadlines for filing their information forms with the IRS. Employers may also qualify for a good-faith exemption from penalties in circumstances where inaccurate information is filed.

Speaking of penalties, the tax reform bill passed by Congress lifts the so-called individual mandate penalty for 2019. This change will effectively eliminate the individual coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act in 2019. How will this affect employers and employees? Read, What Individual Mandate Repeal Means for Employers at SHRM.org.

What will marketers do differently in 2018?

Inc. contributor Melanie Deziel asked a few people to find out. She tells us their plans and predictions in What 28 Entrepreneurs & Marketers Are Doing Differently in 2018 (And You Should Too). Among the predictions are a move to video and a focus on building stronger connections with customers.

For more on what marketers will be up to in 2018, check out this video from MSNBC. (That was quick. The move to video has already started.)

Tax Overhaul Triggers Optimism | View the New Tax Rates and Brackets | Keeping Company Data Secure

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 22 Highlights

The big news this week was the passage of a major tax overhaul. How are investors, taxpayers, and corporations responding to the new law? You’ll find out in our highlighted articles of the week.

Plus, discover how hackers can trick your company into exposing sensitive data. And finally, just in time for your New Year’s Resolution making, we found articles on improving your exercise routine and your brain’s performance.

A festive response to the passage of the GOP-led tax overhaul.

On Monday, Wall Street hit another record-setting high. As Fox Business reported, the lofty gains were attributed to investor excitement over the lowered corporate tax rates included in the new tax bill. Read the details and what analysts had to say about this latest market spike in Tax plan optimism propels Wall Street to record highs.

It wasn’t just Wall Street investors who were celebrating the new tax bill this week. On Wednesday, CNBC published AT&T, Comcast giving $1,000 bonuses to hundreds of thousands of workers after tax bill. The article quotes representatives from both companies explaining their motivations for the payouts.  

How will the new tax bill affect you?

After weeks of speculation, individual taxpayers can finally begin making their calculations. Forbes contributor Rob Berger gives us the information we need to do the math in The New 2018 Federal Tax Income Brackets and Rates. Under the 2018 tax structure, there are seven individual tax brackets with rates beginning at 10% and capped at 37%.

Education assistance is in and the ACA mandate is out.

Employer-sponsored tuition assistance survived the new tax law but the ACA penalty did not. Beginning in 2019, individuals who fail to purchase health insurance will owe a $0 tax penalty. This move effectively eliminates the ACA’s individual coverage mandate.

These are just a few of the many changes detailed by SHRM’s Stephen Miller in his article, Final Tax Bill Dices and Splices Benefit Changes. Miller’s article is well worth the read. He does an excellent job of identifying the key tax changes that employers will need to contend with in the new year.

Lest you think taxes are all you should be thinking about.

Can cybersecurity ever be far out of mind for modern businesses? Keeping us on our toes is Harvard Business Review’s Eric Cole writing The Most Common Ways You Could Get Tricked into Compromising Company Data. According to Cole, sophisticated phishing emails, infected attachments, and unsecured devices should be on your watch list for 2018.

Getting into shape for whatever the future brings.

Enough about business, let’s talk about you. How can you make the most of your time in 2018? Start with The best workout routine for losing weight- according to an exercise physiologist brought to you by Business Insider’s Zach Williams and Kevin Reilly.

You can enhance your brain workout too. Just follow the advice Forbes contributor Tara Swift shares in 4 Habits You Didn’t Know Were Holding Back Your Brain Performance.

Can you keep a secret?

What would you do if you had the number of a VIP? Would you keep the information to yourself or share it with the world? Watch what happens when someone gets Santa’s number in this ad from Portugal.