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The Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bipartisan Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act ( H.R. 7666 ), which boosts collaborative care models, reauthorizes several federal mental health treatment and recovery programs, and improves behavioral and primary health care integration. The legislation includes the HR Policy-supported Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act ( H.R. 5218 ), which promotes the uptake of collaborative care models by providing grant funding to remove the barriers primary care practices face when trying to implement the model. The legislation also includes the promotion ...
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Wide-spread strikes by union members, from bus drivers to teachers to manufacturers, continue to embroil union-friendly Northern Ireland. With no end in sight to inflation-driven cost-of-living increases, which are at the source of the labor unrest, HR Policy Global hosted a webinar discussing current policies and labor frameworks in Northern Ireland, the unions’ strategy, and what employers in Northern Ireland can do. Key takeaways from the discussion include: Currently, unions have been asking for a significantly higher pay increase than what employers typically counteroffer to offset inflation. With labor shortages in the region, employers don’t ...
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The EEOC issued technical guidance on how employers’ use of software that relies on algorithmic decision-making may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC technical assistance focuses on three primary concerns under the ADA: Employers should have a process in place to provide reasonable accommodations when using algorithmic decision-making tools; Without proper safeguards, workers with disabilities may be “screened out” from consideration in a job or promotion even if they can do the job with or without a reasonable accommodation; and If the use of AI or algorithms results in applicants or employees having to provide information ...
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Following the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion potentially overturning Roe v. Wade , the Association held a call featuring staff and member companies to discuss employer communication strategies and the legal implications of maintaining health care benefits that cover expenses related to access to abortion. The call featured member companies discussing their approaches to employee and public communications related to Roe v. Wade being overturned, as well as current or planned health care plan coverage for abortion access, among other issues. Participants noted the importance of having established and consistently expressed company principles ...
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Washington joined a growing list of jurisdictions requiring employers to include wage and benefits information in their job postings. Meanwhile, New York City, one of these same jurisdictions, has postponed implementation of its comprehensive pay transparency law in response to numerous employer compliance concerns. Washington amended its Equal Pay and Opportunities Act to require employers to include wage and benefit information in job postings, replacing a previous requirement that employers provide such information only at the request of an applicant after they receive a job offer. Under the amendments, for each job posting, employers are required to ...
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To kick off Mental Health Awareness Month, HR Policy President and CEO Tim Bartl met with DOL Secretary Walsh, HHS Secretary Becerra, and other stakeholders to discuss employer efforts to increase access to behavioral health services and encourage the Departments to work with employers to develop clearer guidance to help achieve mental health parity. The Secretaries were particularly interested in improving timely access to in-network providers, improving mental health parity, and expanding telehealth. Bartl emphasized to the Secretaries: Over 80% of HR Policy members said their wellbeing benefits are a critical part of their corporate culture and ...
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Despite employers adding 428,000 jobs in April across a broad number of industries, productivity decreased 7.5% in Q1 2022, the largest decline since 1947, and labor costs increased at an unsustainable 7.2% over the last four quarters, the largest four-quarter increase since 1982. Telework decreases: In April, 7.7% of employed persons teleworked because of the pandemic, down from 10.0% in March. Finance and insurance (23.2%), Professional and technical services (22.6%) and Information (19.5%) industries had the highest numbers of teleworkers. Six industries accounted for two-thirds of the April gains: Leisure and hospitality (+78,000); ...
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The Association submitted written testimony for the Senate Budget Committee’s hearing “Should Taxpayer Dollars go to Companies that Violate Labor Laws?,” clarifying several misconceptions regarding labor and employment law compliance and arguing against debarring companies for even unintentional violations of the law. The hearing , led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), focused on whether companies should be prohibited from receiving federal contracts for previous violations of labor and employment laws, even if such violations were unintentional, as well as recent unionization efforts at Amazon. Sen. Sanders called for President Biden to issue an executive ...
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A new French whistleblower law , transposed from the EU Whistleblower Directive, significantly expands the scope of who can be a whistleblower, alters the reporting process, and increases the penalties for any violation. HR Policy Global members can access a recording and the presentation of a webinar discussing these changes here. Natacha Lesellier and Joël Grangé from Flichy Grangé Avocats discussed these critical changes and encourage members who operate in France and Europe to review their existing whistleblower policies and practices, as all EU countries will adopt similar laws by the end of the year. Background: The new law, which will ...
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The GOP Healthy Future Taskforce Treatments Subcommittee released a one-page policy agenda focused on lowering drug costs, increasing innovation, and promoting American-made medicines. The Taskforce report advocated against government-run health care solutions and looked to provide patients with more control over their health care decisions. Recommendations include: Lowering drug costs by passing the Lower Costs, More Cures Act ( H.R. 19 ), which aims to reduce pharmaceutical costs by classifying insulin treatment as preventive care under high-deductible health plans, creating out-of-pocket caps on drug spending for seniors and people with ...
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For the second year in a row, HR Policy Association and the American Health Policy Institute’s Mark Wilson was named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of policy experts on health care issues. In its selection process, the Washingtonian “sought out smart, innovative people who care about issues and spend a lot of time thinking about them. They have deep subject-matter expertise and significant understanding of how DC works, with the goal of getting action. They comprehend policy’s nuances and complexities. And yes, they’re all wonks in one way or another.” The Washingtonian pointed to Mark’s leadership regarding COVID and the ...
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As data privacy talks in Congress heat up, HR Policy urged policymakers to consider the inherent differences between consumer and HR data to ensure that legislation expanding privacy rights for consumers does not inadvertently undermine employers’ efforts to provide leading wages, benefits, and safe workplaces. Consensus forming on federal privacy legislation? Questions on whether a federal privacy law should preempt state laws and whether to include a private right of action have been major sticking points in forming agreement around consumer data privacy legislation. However, compromise solutions may be taking shape. John Beezer, a senior advisor ...
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A bipartisan, bicameral proposal that would prohibit the use of noncompete provisions in employment agreements is garnering the attention of lawmakers, setting the stage for legislative action next year. Meanwhile, the FTC is likely to issue proposed rules on noncompete agreements sometime this summer or fall. The Workforce Mobility Act (S. 483/H.R. 1367) prohibits the use of noncompete agreements except in cases where a business is sold or in partnership dissolution situations. In addition, the bill places enforcement responsibility on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Labor (DOL) while including a private right of action. Impact ...
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The Q1 2022 Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition continues to show a decline in sustained attention combined with a rising risk of PTSD—up 121% compared to before the pandemic. Several notable improvements: The risk of anxiety and depressive disorders dropped to pre-pandemic levels and the risk of stress has dropped 18% since December. However, domestic and global concerns like inflation and the war in Ukraine make employees still vulnerable to rising anxiety and depression. The risk of PTSD remains high and makes employees more susceptible to additional mental health concerns. There is a strong correlation between PTSD and other mental health ...
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China ratified two International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions on forced labor amid global criticism of the country's treatment of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang. By ratifying the conventions, China agreed to abolish any forms of forced or compulsory labor, including for political coercion and religious discrimination. The significant move, in concept, will oblige the country to implement the conventions into national laws and expose it to supervisory mechanisms and interventions for failures in implementation. However, as the ILO itself says, for many countries “ratification is the first step on the path to implementing a[n ILO] standard.” ...
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The Connecticut Senate unanimously passed a comprehensive consumer privacy measure that excludes HR data except in circumstances involving a solely automated process that impacts an individual’s employment opportunities. Also this week, a concerning California workplace privacy bill reported last week was withdrawn from consideration this year, with HR exclusions under existing law to expire by year’s end, absent further action. Under Connecticut’s S.B. 6 , individuals would have the right to access, obtain a copy of, correct, and delete their personal data being processed by an employer using a solely automated process in circumstances involving the ...
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With congressional action on drug prices currently in limbo, a letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) outlined a set of actions the Biden administration should take, including using special patent authority, to lower drug prices for government programs. If carried out, the recommendations may have negative consequences for employer plan costs. The letter calls for: Using existing “government patent use power” to purchase patented drugs from a low-cost manufacturer, authorize a third party ( e.g., a contract drug manufacturer) to use a patent in the government’s place, or manufacture drugs itself; Using the Bayh-Dole Act, where the government ...
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An increasing number of CHROs—including HR Policy Association members—are being approached to fill board of director seats and are beginning to make their mark in boardrooms across the country. To assist CHROs and other executives in assessing a prospective board position, Sidley Austin has put together ten questions for candidates to ask themselves and the company. The trend of public companies seeking CHROs to fill board seats is being driven by human capital concerns including talent strategy, diversity and inclusion, and culture, which are increasingly at the forefront of board discussion. Key considerations include: The type of commitment ...
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NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has formally called on the Board to compel employers to recognize and bargain with unions that show signed authorization cards from a simple majority of the employees they seek to represent. The process— called card check —would make unionization a much easier and quicker process, particularly in smaller single-facility organizing efforts. Current law: The secret ballot election is currently the typical path for a union to gain recognition as the exclusive bargaining representative of a private sector workforce. The NLRB orders an election if the union shows that 30% of employees in a potential bargaining unit have ...
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A recent Future Forum survey suggests non-executives are facing more challenges in the “return-to-office era” than executives, with work-life balance scores 40% worse than their bosses, and rates of working in the office five days per week at 35%, compared to 19% for executives. Non-executives are reporting more than twice the level of work-related stress and anxiety as executives, according to the survey. In the U.S., work-life balance is at an all-time low and work-related stress is at an all-time high since the survey began in June 2020. “Where” vs. “when”: Many companies, the survey reports, have focused on the “where” as opposed to the ...
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