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Passed in a 51-50 vote on Sunday, the Inflation Reduction Act’s key prescription drug provisions are limited to Medicare, likely resulting in price increases for employers and their employees as manufacturers find ways to recoup losses in the commercial market from reduced Medicare sales. Employers likely to see increase in drug costs : Previous versions of the Senate bill had included the commercial market in provisions allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. However, these were removed according to reconciliation rules as well. Employers would therefore not have access to negotiated drug prices, likely increasing drug costs. However, many employers ...
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The Association filed an amicus brief in each of the Supreme Court cases involving the use of race in college admissions– Students for Fair Admission, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admission, Inc. v. University of North Carolina . The Association urged the Court to allow colleges to use diversity-conscious admissions programs and stressed the importance of such to ongoing efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the American workplace. The brief detailed the business community’s ongoing commitment to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and, in particular, at the corporate ...
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The latest Future Forum pulse survey results demonstrated that employees without flexibility have high rates of attrition, leaving companies with decisions around how to increase flexibility not only in where their employees work, but when. Brian Elliott, Executive Leader of Future Forum and Senior Vice President, Slack Technologies, LLC, and Deborah Lovich, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group discussed the survey results and provided specific examples of how to create efficient and flexible policies for the changing workplace. Ms. Lovich opened the conversation by stressing the importance of being intentional about culture, ...
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In the latest twist of a long running joint employer saga between multiple Labor Boards and D.C. Circuit panels, the D.C. Circuit vacated a Trump Board decision that declined to apply a stricter test for joint employer liability developed by the Obama Board. The current Board, meanwhile, is expected to issue a proposed rule on joint employer liability by the end of the year. The case, Browning-Ferris Industries , was originally used by the Obama Board in 2015 to create a new, stricter test for joint employer liability that more closely factored in one company’s indirect or unexercised control over another company’s workers. That decision was partially upheld ...
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In December 2020, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a blanket ban on noncompete clauses, which had been unanimously approved by the City Council. However, that law never took effect after significant pushback from the business community. The Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act ( B24-0256 ) would reverse the blanket ban and instead limit the ban to workers making less than $150,000 per year. The measure is awaiting Mayor Bowser’s signature and, if signed, is scheduled to take effect October 1, 2022. The Act includes the following provisions of interest: Bans noncompetes for employees whose total compensation per year is less than $150,000, ...
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Inflation in India crossed 7% in July, after remaining stable at 4% for over 3 years. Labor unions in India are planning to take on the government on this issue as well as other subjects such as minimum wages, unemployment, corporatization of Public Sector Undertakings, and quashing of labor codes as they feel that these have made conditions worse for workers in the informal sector, which comprises 90% of the Indian workforce. (The “informal sector” is defined by the First Indian National Commission on Labour as “those workers who have not been able to organize themselves in pursuit of their common interest due to certain constraints like casual nature of employment, ...
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The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in July as employers added 528,000 jobs, significantly higher than the average monthly gain over the prior four months (+388,000). Job growth was widespread across industries, led by gains in leisure and hospitality (+96,000), professional and business services (+89,000), and health care (+70,000). Wage growth remains robust with average hourly earnings increasing 5.2% over the past year. However, the number of job openings fell for the third consecutive month in June, the largest one-month decline since the government began tracking this data. Employers are responding to recession concerns and rising interest ...
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Many Americans covered by employer-sponsored health plans face significant gaps in diagnosis and disease management across race, ethnicity, and income levels, according to a new analysis from Morgan Health. The most significant disparities appear to be associated with income differences, while others vary by race and sexual orientation, even when controlling for other factors. Black enrollees were 15.6 percentage points more likely than white enrollees to have uncontrolled high blood pressure. Black, Asian, and Hispanic enrollees with low-risk pregnancies were more likely to undergo more costly C-section deliveries than their white counterparts. ...
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The “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors ( CHIPS ) Act” is a compromise bill which includes provisions from the House-passed America COMPETES Act ( H.R. 4521 ) and the Senate’s U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) ( S. 1260 ), which have been under negotiation by a bicameral conference committee since May. The bill passed the Senate on July 27 by a bipartisan vote of 64–33 and the House on July 28 by a vote of 243–187 (24 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill) and President Biden is expected to sign it. Pro-labor provisions removed. The pro-labor provisions that the Association previously reported on that were included ...
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Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report found that employees are under increasing amounts of stress and that the employee engagement rate is stagnantly low. Specifically, 44% of employees around the world have experienced “a lot of daily stress” and only 21% of global employees feel engaged at work. According to the report, legislation, policies, and disclosure requirements are not sufficient to make employees happy at work. Instead, how managers treat employees and care about their wellbeing plays an important role in employee happiness and engagement. Other import ant discoveries include: Europe and South Asia were hit particularly ...
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With global heat waves threatening the working conditions of millions of workers worldwide, governments around the globe are considering adding specific health measures to help workers deal with the agonizing heat, which could have implications for global employers. The U.S. is considering a national heat illness rule. The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is prioritizing the development of a new national heat illness rule . Currently, there is no specific federal policy regulating heat-related workplace safety. States can set their own standards—for instance, earlier this month Oregon announced emergency rules mandating ...
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EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows claimed a newly released report analyzing the Commission’s 2020 pay data collection from employers—Component 2 of the EEO-1 report—showed that the collection is a “useful tool” in combating pay discrimination. The report’s release is likely an initial step towards the EEOC resuming collection of pay data from employers in the future. The EEOC originally approved the collection of pay data from employers through Component 2 of the annual EEO-1 report in 2016, but the collection was subsequently halted in 2017 by the Trump administration. A federal judge later ordered the data collection resumed for 2019 and 2020, and the EEOC ...
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The SEC recently proposed amendments to shareholder proposal rules that could have significant consequences for companies. In 2020, the SEC passed HR Policy-supported revisions to shareholder proposal rules that would make it harder for activists to place proposals on the ballot without sufficient ownership stake and shareholder support. The new rule would leave those in place, but encourage activist proposals by limiting companies’ ability to exclude them. The following categories of proposals would now be much more difficult for companies to exclude: Proposals that have already been substantially implemented, Proposals that are duplicative ...
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One lesson learned from the Mental Health Index over the last three years is that addressing and improving mental health is not a linear process. Many factors, including the seasons, impact the overall wellbeing of employees in the U.S. Key findings from the survey show: The risk of stress is now 10% lower than it was pre-pandemic, and The risk of general anxiety disorder has decreased 39% and is now back to pre-pandemic levels. Workplace flexibility remains an important tool employers can use to help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety employees feel. Despite improvements, it is possible employee mental health could decline in the ...
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The National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Trade Commission announced a new partnership to “put an end to unfair labor practices that harm workers,” in a memo of understanding between the two agencies issued this week. The new collaboration initiative, which is particularly focused on gig economy issues, is the latest example of the Biden administration’s “all of government” approach to labor and employment law and policy enforcement. Enhanced enforcement of labor and employment laws: The two agencies detailed a new commitment to cross-agency enforcement collaboration through enhanced information sharing for enforcement purposes, new cross-agency ...
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A bipartisan measure would establish “worker flexibility agreements,” where workers could maintain flexibility as independent contractors while benefiting from certain federal employee protections and benefits. The bill was introduced this week by Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Michelle Steel (R-CA). The Worker Flexibility and Choice Act would allow workers who enter into a “worker flexibility agreement” to retain “rights provided to employees in connection with other workplace laws, including those relating to individual employee privacy rights, nondiscrimination, nonharassment, nonretaliation, safety, and leave ...
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The SEC voted this week by 3–2 to adopt amendments to its existing, not yet effective, rules governing proxy voting advice by rescinding key provisions that would have helped curb proxy advisors. Dissenting Commissioner Hester Peirce cited the Association’s Center On Executive Compensation several times in her opinion. Bowing to significant pressure from ISS and others, the amendments rescind two important rules applicable to proxy advisors adopted in 2020: that companies should get proxy reports in a timely manner and that they should be able to include written responses to their reports in the final report received by investors. The final amendments ...
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The lower house of the Dutch Parliament approved draft legislation to establish remote work as a legal right for employees, making the Netherlands one of the first countries to protect remote work flexibility by law. The Dutch Senate is likely to approve the measure, which could cause a ripple effect in other European Union countries. Amendments to the Flexible Work Act : Currently, a right to work from home is not embedded in Dutch employment law. The Flexible Work Act (in Dutch: Wet flexibel werken ), which became effective in 2016, regulates the rights of the employee regarding working hours, working time, and place of work. Significantly, the Act contains ...
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A new Federal Trade Commission enforcement policy statement says challenging Pharmacy Benefit Manager conduct that may raise prices and stifle innovation is a top priority of the agency. The stronger FTC enforcement initiative is coupled with a new inquiry into the competitive impact of the operations and business practices of PBMs. FTC’s statement claims rebates and fees “may incentivize PBMs and other intermediaries to steer patients to higher-cost drugs over less expensive alternatives…[which] could lead to increased costs for both patients and payers…[and] insulate more expensive drugs from competing with less expensive alternatives.” ...
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The number of union representation petitions filed in 2022 has already surpassed the total number of petitions filed in all of 2021, according to newly-released data from the National Labor Relations Board. Unfair labor practice charges have also increased during this same period, amidst perhaps the most significant period of labor unrest in the country in recent memory. Representation petitions skyrocket: During the first nine months of FY2022, union representation petitions filed with the Board have increased nearly 60%, for a total of nearly 2,000 petitions through June 30. By May 25, 2022, the number of petitions filed had already exceeded the total ...
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