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:


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.

2018 HEALTHCARE PLAN TRENDS | STRONG ECONOMY | BITCOIN | OSHA TOP 10

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 15 Highlights

This week StaffLink is bringing you tips on making the best of your day and of your Bitcoin investment. Plus, good news about the economy.

For our friends in HR, this week’s highlights include a free report on coming trends in healthcare benefits, new legislative developments, and a rundown of the top ten OSHA violations. We also found an infographic detailing how 2018’s HR environment will change.

And, for a bit of holiday cheer, a Christmas-themed ad to view.

Free report on healthcare from StaffLink to you.

Just in time to for you to snuggle up and read over the holidays, we bring you our 2018 HR Trends: Healthcare Plans Summary. Learn what to expect and how much it may cost with our free download.

2018 EMPLOYEE HEALTHCARE TRENDS

Learning something new every day.

Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin looked at the research and made a list of do’s and don’ts for having the ideal day. She shared the results in this article: What your daily routine should look like, according to science.

Wait? You already knew all those tips? Okay then, here’s something else you can learn about today. Try this video: Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin in 2 Minutes from Inc.’s Guadalupe Gonzalez.

Good news on the jobs front to close out 2017.

In Employers Report Strong Job Growth, Unemployment Holds Steady, SHRM’s Roy Maurer treats us to a review of several November economic reports. Maurer writes that wages rose slightly and 228,000 U.S. jobs were added in November.

Proposed legislation seeks to limit mandatory arbitration in harassment cases.

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this week seeks to prevent employers from keeping sexual harassment claims out of the courthouse writes SHRM’s Lisa Nagele-Piazza in New Bill Would Ban Mandatory Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims. However, experts interviewed by Nagele-Piazza point out that if a workplace situation has reached the point of arbitration or litigation, matters are already far out of hand.

Is your workplace free of these common safety risks?

The work comp pros at SFM have prepared a slide show featuring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s top ten safety violations of 2017. The linked article also includes a list of SFM resources for addressing each of these violations to help ensure a safe workplace for all.

Looking forward to 2018 and what it will be like for HR teams.

SHRM’s Beth Mirza made a list (and maybe even checked it twice) of what HR will look like next year. She puts it all together in this clever infographic, What’s Out and What’s In for 2018.  

Speaking of lists, this ad tops British viewer’s list as the best Christmas Ad for 2017. Well, of course, they did! This ad features Paddington. Enjoy.

 


DEC 9 STAFFLINK BLOG – GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AVOIDED – TAX BILL MOVES FORWARD – CVS BID TO AETNA – FUTURE OF WORK

This Week: Banking | Budget | Taxes | Merger | Trends | Technology

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 8 Highlights:  Congress averted a government shutdown late yesterday (for now), we learned that several banking apps had security flaws, and both houses passed their version of the tax bill. Also this week, CVS announced its intentions to buy Aetna, a move that signals a new trend in U.S. healthcare delivery. Staying on top of future trends in technology and employment, we found McKinsey’s report on the future of work and Forbes’ coverage of tech trends for 2018 to be worthy of note.

Congresses gives itself a temporary reprieve.

Congress moves government shutdown deadline two weeks later CNN reported Thursday evening. Thursday was the last day that Congress could pass the continuing resolution that permits the short-term funding needed to keep the government up and running. This reprieve is a short-lived one. Congress will still need to approve a spending budget by December 22.

The tax bill starts to take shape.

With both the House and Senate having passed their versions of the tax bill, we can finally get an idea of what might be included in the final version. Stephen Miller offers an excellent summary of the employment-related deduction and credit provisions in each version of the bill in his article, Senate Passage of Tax Bill Signals Benefit Changes–But Which Ones?, written for SHRM.

Will things ever be the same?

CVS Health Corp. recently announced its intention to purchase health insurer Aetna, Inc. This merger would combine one of the largest providers of prescription medications with one of the largest providers of health insurance, a trend that portends major changes in U.S. healthcare delivery. Will this affect employer-sponsored healthcare benefits? Some experts think it could. SHRM’s Stephen Miller tells us more in CVS-Aetna Merger Could Change How Employers Buy Health Benefits.

The future is definitely going to be different.

Predicting big changes for much of the workforce, the McKinsey Global Institute released its publication, What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills and wages, in November. While McKinsey analysts believe there will still be jobs for workers in 2030, they may need to make some major adjustments to their skill sets be able to perform the work.

Also making predictions for the future is Bernard Marr. Marr is the author of the book Big Data and a regular Forbes contributor. In 9 Technology Mega Trends that Will Change the World In 2018 he gives Forbes readers the scoop on what’s to come in the new year.

Think you’ve got mad recruitment skills? Check this out:

HOW TO RECRUIT – The recruiting effort of police officers has taken another step with this recruitment video from New Zealand – voted as one of the world’s best this week.

ECONOMIC BOOM – CYBERSECURITY ADVICE – WELLNESS TRENDS – 30-SECOND LIFE TEST

This Week: Booming Economy | Cybersecurity | 30-Second Test That CAn Save Your Life | Workplace Wellness | HR’s Future | EEOC Claims | Parental Leave

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 1 Highlights: In small business news this week, we’re looking at a rousing response from Wall Street to the proposed GOP tax plan. Meanwhile, responding to the latest round of cybersecurity breaches, experts say more needs to be done.

In health-related news, we learn that an extra step at your next physical could save your life and take a a look at workplace wellness trends for 2018. And in HR news, we found a prediction for the future of the industry, tips for harassment prevention training, and new developments in parental leave benefits.

Economy Hits New Heights

In Surging banks lead Wall Street to highs as tax plan advances, Fox Business reported that all three major indexes closed at record highs on Tuesday, responding favorably to the proposed tax cuts included in the GOP tax bill and statements made by President Trump’s Federal Reserve Chair nominee.

Two-Factor Isn’t Good Enough

When companies such as Uber are paying ransoms and keeping cyber breaches a secret, something needs to change. In Companies Need More Than Two-Factor Authentication to Keep Users Safe, Harvard Business Review contributor Sridhar Muppidi explains what companies need to do to take digital security to the next level.

Two Tests are Better Than One

Most Medical Checkups Miss a 30-Second Test that Could Save Your Life writes Inc. contributor Minda Zetlin. Taking a blood pressure reading from each arm could detect area-specific cardiovascular conditions. Zetlin explains that both arm testing is now recommended by many European and U.S. medical organizations, but the step is often skipped in practice.

Trending in Workplace Wellness

Writing for Talent Culture, Ann Wyatt closed out November with Five Corporate Workplace Well-Being Trends to Watch in 2018. Wyatt predicts that workers will find healthier selections in workplace vending machines, the popularity of standing desks will continue to rise, and wellness programs will place more emphasis on stress management.

Predicting the Future of HR

Looking at the future of work from a different angle, SHRM’s Aliah D. Wright gives us Survey: Some Predict HR Will Be Automated, Data-Driven and Strategic by 2022. Wright reports that survey respondents plan to invest heavily in people and data over the next five years to help them find and keep talent.  The automation disruption continues … 

To Prevent Harassment, Instruction Should Be In Person

Also from Aliah D. Wright at SHRM this week, was an article covering the recent announcement that the EEOC will launch an online system to ease the filing of harassment claims. In Consider Face-to-Face Training as EEOC Makes Filing Harassment Complaints Easier, Wright shares the advice from HR professionals that in-person instruction is the best method for conveying the importance of harassment prevention to employees. While live instruction may cost more than other methods, its effectiveness in reducing complaints makes it a bargain.  

(Grand)Parental Leave?

Wellness isn’t the only voluntary benefit that has seen new trends develop in recent years. In Companies Add New Twists to Parental Leave, SHRM’s Stephen Miller reports that Cisco Systems and Whirlpool Corporation are adjusting their parental leave benefits. Included among the changes are gender neutral designations, time off for grandparents, and support for nursing mothers.  

What a Beautiful World

As we leave Thanksgiving behind and prepare to say goodbye to 2017, it’s a great time to reflect on the things we too often take for granted. You can get started with this Louie Schwartzberg video called ‘Gratitude.’

CyberSecurity Secrets | Achieving Excellence | Blockchain in HR

This Week: Cybersecurity | Achieving Excellence  | Gratitude  | Blockchain in HR | Talent Retention  | Form 5500 Series  | Tightened Visa Rules

StaffLink’s Week Ending November 17 Highlights: In small business news this week, cybersecurity was again on our minds. We also take a look at tips for achieving excellence and the importance of gratitude. And, in HR we found interesting tidbits about using blockchain technology as well as talent acquisition and retention. On the regulatory front, 2017’s Form 5500 Series documents are available for review and visa work rules are tightening for foreign workers.  

Let’s Talk About Cybersecurity

In The Key to Better Cybersecurity: Keep Employee Rules Simple, Harvard Business Review’s Maarten Van Horenbeeck says hackers aren’t the biggest threat to your company’s data, your employees are.

When security protocols are complex, employees tend to cut corners. To encourage employees to follow the rules and not fall victim to phishing attacks, make cybersecurity rules easy to follow and keep the lines of communication about security open.

Of course, sometimes hackers are to blame for a security breach. Just ask Uber. Although, you might not get an answer.

In Uber paid $100K ransom after 57M accounts were hacked, the New York Post’s Ruth Brown fills us in on the details of an October 2016 hack that left riders and drivers vulnerable. Why are we just hearing about this incident now? Apparently Uber is better at keeping its corporate flubs secret than it is at protecting users’ personal data.

This Week’s Secrets of Success

When it comes to discovering the secrets of success, there is no shortage of advice. Harvard Business Review’s Paul Leinwand and Joachim Rotering added to that collection this week with How to Excel at Strategy and Execution. While only 8% of business leaders bring high levels of both strategy and execution skills to the table, the authors suggest that this silo approach is coming to an end.

The Benefits of Gratitude

Want to enjoy more personal success and happiness? Try an attitude of gratitude.  As is traditional during the week of Thanksgiving, several publications have stepped up to remind us that there is real science backing the benefits of gratitude. Inc. contributor Bill Murphy, Jr. offers his take in Want to Be Happier and Healthier? Science Says Start By Making a Gratitude List.

Will Blockchain be the Key to Procuring, Protecting, and Paying Employees?

Blockchain has the potential to transform HR practices from payroll processing to storage and retention of personally identifiable information, writes SHRM’s Dave Zielinski in Is HR Ready for Blockchain Technology? In his article, Zielinski offers readers a quick overview of the technology as well as its potential applications in HR. 

Benefits May Be the Secret to Employee Happiness

As the market for top talent remains tight, employers need to pull out all the stops to keep their best employees. What to do? Focus on fun, food, flexibility and finances Forbes’ Zack Friedman tells us in Think Like a Startup: 4 New Employee Benefits to Attract and Retain Talent.

No Respite From Regulation

Sure, it was Thanksgiving week, and many of us took a little time off to be with family and friends. But that didn’t stop the government from sending HR teams some homework. Monday opened with a U.S. Department of Labor press release announcing that advance copies of the Form 5500 annual report for 2017 were available for review. The DOL press release notes that these copies are for information only. Don’t try to file your return using them.  But, they do tell you what to expect.

Will Visa Restrictions Benefit U.S. Workers?

Remember those benefits that Zack Friedman wrote about? If you are competing to hire tech employees, you may need all of them. Inc.’s Emily Canal reported this week that The Trump Administration Tightens Rules in Worker Visa Program, Making it Harder for Businesses to Hire Foreign Employees.

Snowed In

The holiday season is in full tilt, and this British ad captures the essence of the season, as well as ‘Best Ad in the World’ this week.

FUTURE OF WORK | 2018 TAX BILL | 2018 SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS | MEDICAL MARIJUANA |

This Week: Trends in Income, AI, Employment and More | Tax Law Updates | IRS Sets 2018 FSA Limit | Medical Marijuana Acceptance Expands

StaffLink’s Week Ending November 17 Highlights: This week StaffLink takes a look forward to 2018 with articles about trends in small business, the future of work, tax reform, and income and employment shifts. We also share a guide to the changes coming in the new tax bill. You’ll also find an update on the IRS’ 2018 FSA contribution limits. Plus, a look at how state medical marijuana laws are impacting employers’ drug policies.

What the Future Holds

According to the South Florida Business Journal, the future for Miami includes higher incomes. Reporter Keith Larsen shares the details in Miami ranks No. 1 among US cities with fastest-growing incomes.

Meanwhile, Forbes contributor Jeanne Meister shares her predictions about trends in the workplace in The Future of Work: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform the Employee Experience.

What career path offers a promising future?

SHRM’s Allah D. Wright gives us a big hint with Study: More Cyber Jobs Exist Than People to Fill Them.

Bringing together workplace trends and hiring expectations for 2018 and beyond is Small Business Trends’ Rob Starr who writes that 90% of Small Businesses Plan to Hire in 2018–Depending on Budget. Along with its hiring predictions, Starr’s article also details what small businesses have planned for advertising, cyber security, and more.

The Future of Taxation

We are all a little bit closer to finding out what our future tax bill may be as the House passed its version of the tax reform bill this week.

In a November 16 article, Tax overhaul drama moves to Senate as House approves its bill, Reuters reporters David Morgan and Amanda Becker explain the latest twists and turns of the tax overhaul journey.

Not sure what it all means? Fox Business offers Your Guide to 2018 Tax Changes, breaking down the details to help us figure out what the final numbers will be when tax time rolls around.

Happiness is…

What is the secret to happiness? After Studying the Lives of 724 Men for 79 Years, Harvard Reveals the 1 Biggest Secret to Success and Happiness, writes Dana Severson for Inc. The answer? Keep your friends close.

HR Updates

Remember to say thanks to your HR department as the new year approaches and the 2018 updates keep coming.

Learn about next year’s flexible spending account limits in 2018 FSA Contribution Cap Rises to $2,650 at SHRM.

Also on HR’s radar for 2018– recent court decisions and other challenges surrounding the adoption by states of varying medical marijuana use laws. Read all about it in 4 Things Employers Should Know About Medical Marijuana Laws by SHRM contributor Lisa Nagele-Piazza.

Speaking of Gratitude

As we approach Thanksgiving, we leave you with a short film on ‘Gratitude’ by renowned filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg.  It is a key to health, happiness, and longevity – as well as good relationships. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

STAFFLINK – Jobs & Pay | Sleep Hazards | Healthcare Costs | FMLA | BOXES (Video)

This Week: Jobs and Pay | Sleep Hazards | Healthcare Costs | FMLA Case | Joint Employer Bill  | I-9 Compliance

StaffLink’s Week Ending November 10 Highlights: Employment is up but wages aren’t; Employees carry increased healthcare costs; Losing sleep can cost a lot; Ignorance is not bliss for FMLA compliance; the Joint Employer Bill gets past the House; and applying I-9 procedures to remote workers.

Hiring Heats Up, But No Money in the Pot

The U.S. continues to experience record unemployment rates and Fox Business reports that the U.S. added 261,000 jobs in October. Nonetheless, wages aren’t going up MarketWatch’s Jeffry Bartash observes in Everything about the U.S. job market is red-hot–except for paychecks.

Wages Aren’t Up, But Expenses Are

In Workers Pay More of Rising Health Costs, SHRM’s Stephen Miller reports that premium renewal rates increased by over 6% in 2017, but employer premium contributions remained almost unchanged. Miller shares these and other findings from the 2017 United Benefits Advisors Health Plan Survey in his article.

This is Your Brain on Drowsy

Reporting on a new study released by UCLA regarding the dangers of sleep deprivation, the Daily News’ Joe Dziemianowicz explains that a lack of sleep can be as disruptive to cognitive function as drinking alcohol. The article, titled This is what happens to your brain when you don’t get enough sleep, highlights the risks of sleeplessness on the body and mind.
Don’t Mess(Up) with FMLA

The U.S. District Court in Massachusetts wasn’t hearing any excuses from an employer who was found to have willfully violated the Family and Medical Leave Act. Following a jury verdict, the judge awarded double damages just to make sure the defending employer got the message. Jeff Nowak provides his lively take on the proceedings and his takeaways in Train Your Managers on the FMLA, or You’re Courting Trouble.  

Not My Circus

A bill to clarify exactly who is an employer passed the House this week and will head to the Senate for a vote next. In House Passes Joint Employer Legislation, SHRM’s Allen Smith explains the NLRB decision that precipitated this legislative action and shares reactions to the potential return of the direct control standard for determining if a joint-employer relationship exists.  

If You Thought That Was Confusing…

Oh those wacky government officials, they’re always looking to make life complicated. Compliance with the Form I-9 document verification requirements is no exception to this rule. Roy Maurer explains just how complicated things can become and offers some methods to alleviate those complications in How to Comply with I-9 Requirements for Remote Workers.

Uber’s ‘Inside the Box’ Approach to Improving Cities

Well, this week’s ‘Best in the World’ video ad features one company’s ‘spin’ on what will improve city living.

Enjoy Your Weekend.

MARKET HITS NEW HIGH | TAX PLAN IMPACT | POWELL TO THE FED | BAD HIRES

This Week: Tax Plan Reactions | Powell Appointed  | Bad Hires | 401(k) Advice | Overtime | Immigration | Social Security

StaffLink’s Week Ending November 3 Highlights: This week, StaffLink takes a look at reactions to the GOP’s proposed tax bill and the naming of a new Fed chief. We also look at an update on the overtime rule litigation, new bills on immigration and farm labor, changes to the social security base rates, what the experts say about 401(k)s, and how to avoid bad hires.

Changes in Tax Plan and Fed Leadership Trigger Positive Market Response:

The stock market closed at a record high on Thursday for the 55th time in 2017. MarketWatch reported the details and offered some explanations for this latest remarkable close in Dow ends at a record as Trump taps Powell for Fed chief, GOP unfurls tax plan.

As noted in the MarketWatch article, President Trump announced his replacement for outgoing Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, this week. Reuters’ contributors Howard Schneider and Jeff Mason provide more details and their analysis of the move in Trump taps Fed centrist Power to lead U.S. central bank.

Of course, Powell’s appointment wasn’t the biggest reason for the stock market bump. That claim goes to the GOP’s proposed tax bill which caps the corporate tax rate at 20%. Reviewing the bill, Forbes contributor Tony Nitti notes that individual tax rates for many taxpayers would be lowered but we’ll also see significant changes in allowable deductions. Nitti explains the numbers in Breaking Down the House Tax Bill: What’s In and What’s Out?

This Week’s HR Legal and Legislative News:

A legal challenge to the Obama administration’s overtime rule which increased the minimum salary necessary to exempt workers from overtime payment requirements has been put on hold.

The Department of Labor asked the court to stay the litigation while it works on drafting a new rule. SHRM’s Allen Smith explains the history of the case and its current status in DOL Calls for Temporary Halt on Overtime Rule Case.  Expect to see a bump in the current OT exemption to $33,000 when the administration does present its new rule. 

Covering the legislative front this week, SHRM’s Roy Maurer gives us Mandatory E-Verify, Farm Labor Bills Clear First Hurdle explaining the complex interaction of two proposed bills approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Maurer writes that the Legal Workforce Act has been well-received by HR professionals while the Agricultural Guestworker Act is getting mixed reactions from members of the agriculture industry.

Retirement Savings:

Employers and workers can expect to contribute a little more to social security retirement savings in 2018.  Read about it in the HR Daily Advisor’s report Social Security Wage Base Limit Raised to $128,700.

But it’s not just the Social Security Administration that wants to see more money put away for retirement. In Push 401(k) Default Savings Rates Higher, Researchers and Plan Sponsors Agree, Stephen Miller of SHRM reports that experts believe employers should encourage workers to stash more money in their 401(k) plans by setting a higher default-contribution rate.

Hiring Savings:

Hiring can be time consuming and expensive, but firing is even worse. This week, SHRM’s Roy Maurer put together some tips to avoid making a hire you’ll regret in 5 Common Bad Hire and How to Prevent Them.

THIS WEEK’S VIDEO – A SCARY GOOD SOUTH FLORIDA OFFER, VOTED ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST.

One of the Week’s Best Global Ads – a Scary Good Offer that Hit south Florida Burger King Stores Halloween Night (they’re not clowning around with McDonalds anymore).

Enjoy Your Weekend.