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HR Policy and over 350 other companies and business groups sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to expand access and improve affordability by allowing employers and health plans to offer telehealth health services pre-deductible. Expanded employer telehealth flexibilities will expire at the end of 2022 without another extension. The letter notes that without congressional action, employers will be required to charge employees more to access telehealth services, creating a barrier to care. Barrier to mental health care if provision not extended: The letter also notes that in 2022, 75% of large employers offered access to lower- or ...
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EEOC Commissioner Andrea Lucas has initiated charges against several employers for providing employees with abortion travel benefits in the latest legal fallout from the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade . Discrimination against pregnant workers: The charges filed by Commissioner Lucas allege that by offering employees reimbursement and other benefits for procuring an abortion out of state, employers are discriminating against pregnant and disabled workers because they are not offering equivalent benefits for their medical needs. Commissioner charges, which can be initiated by a sole member of the Commission, are rarely used. Not without ...
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The Speak Out Act – which covers employees and independent contractors – makes pre-dispute nondisclosure and non-disparagement agreements unenforceable in cases involving sexual assault or sexual harassment. A study conducted in 2021 found that more than half of workers in surveyed firms were covered by an NDA. Notably, the bill only applies to pre-dispute agreements, and only in sexual harassment and sexual assault contexts. Specifically, “no nondisclosure clause or nondisparagement clause agreed to before the dispute arises shall be judicially enforceable”. The definition of “pre-dispute” remains an open question. Whether ...
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HR Policy Global hosted a webinar to discuss the challenges multinational employers are facing due to widespread inflation, and how to assist employees around the world, especially those in Europe, with diminished purchasing power. When tackling economic challenges, tight labor markets, and pressures from employees and unions, it is critical to keep effective internal communications across countries and functions, to focus on specific local approaches under a global framework, and to implement solutions that won’t have a long-term undesirable impact. Building guiding principles on addressing global inflation : Mr. Cramer started with a Mercer ...
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HR Policy’s Future Workplace Policy Council continued its year-end webinar series with post-election analysis featuring Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), senior Democratic staff members on key congressional committees, and Republican Senate staff. Oversight from the Republican-controlled House ahead: Rep. Foxx noted that we can expect “lots of hearings looking backwards at what the Biden administration has done as well as being contemporary about what they are planning on doing.” She particularly focused on recent NLRB activity, the Federal Trade Commission, and agencies operating without clear congressional authority. “We will not be shy about ...
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Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced legislation cracking down on “ghost networks,” increasing enforcement efforts and allowing the federal government to issue civil monetary penalties to group health plans found out of compliance. This legislation takes aim at inaccurate provider directories after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in March of this year found that ghost networks are one of the barriers to accessing mental health care. The legislation increases requirements for group health plans. Starting three years after enactment, the legislation: Requires group health plans to annually ...
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As more and more pay transparency laws go into effect around the country, pay range disclosure requirements have generated a variety of different company responses, with some companies opting to comply by posting ranges where the minimum and maximum salaries are more than $200,000 apart. NYC law goes into effect: Colorado became the first jurisdiction to require employers to provide salary ranges in job postings, and has since been followed by New York City, Washington, and California (New York state passed a similar law that is currently awaiting the governor’s signature). With the NYC law now in effect, a much larger swath of the employer community is ...
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Employers are increasingly turning to innovative ways to improve recruitment and retention with renewed interest in family formation benefits, onsite childcare, telehealth, and even pet insurance. A new Milliman report found: 38% of employers are currently offering pet insurance, and another 37% plan to offer it in 2023; 71% of employers are offering tuition reimbursement and 64% are offering financial well-being services; and Compared to five years ago, an additional 23% of employers are providing free onsite snacks and meals. Outlook: Nontraditional benefit innovation will continue to increase as employers seek to differentiate ...
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SEC staff are concerned that Chair Gensler’s “aggressive agenda—particularly as it relates to high-profile rules that significantly impact external stakeholders—potentially (1) limits the time available for staff research and analysis, and (2) increases litigation risk,” according to the Inspector General’s annual report. The IG is required to identify and report annually on “the most serious management and performance challenges facing the SEC,” and this year’s report was a doozy. A WSJ editorial opinion on the report noted that the review “would probably get a CEO of a public company sacked” and highlighted the concerns of SEC staffers themselves ...
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HR Policy Association founder Jeff McGuiness, whose vision, drive and unique style set the foundation of today’s Association, returned to his roots as a photographer and writer, publishing a powerful stunning photo book, Bear Me Into Freedom: The Talbott County of Frederick Douglass . The book depicts the places abolitionist, freedom fighter, and statesman Frederick Douglass lived in Talbot County, Maryland, for 11 of the first 20 years of his life. Douglass wrote extensively about his life in Talbott County in his three autobiographies, and his detailed experiences “became the foundation of the most powerful slave narrative in American literature.” ...
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Continuing the ongoing anti-ESG push by Republican politicians, several Republican senators sent a letter to U.S. law firms warning them about the advice they provide to clients regarding ESG initiatives and to be prepared for congressional oversight hearings. The letter claims that the “ESG movement attempts to weaponize corporations to reshape society in ways that Americans would never endorse at the ballot box.” Signatories include Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). The letter points out a “particular concern” that there is a “collusive effort to restrict ...
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Company representatives and legal experts based in the U.S. and the EU examined recent U.S. privacy developments, drawing from experiences with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation in a webinar moderated by HR Policy’s Daniel Chasen, Vice President, Workplace Policy. In addition, panelists discussed NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo’s new memo on employee monitoring and AI, which points to the significant employee relations implications of new privacy developments. NLRB General Counsel Abruzzo’s new memo on employee monitoring sets high bar for employers: Last week, GC Abruzzo urged the Board in a memo to “adopt a new framework ...
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Although midterm election voting has ended, tallying up the final vote counts across the country will continue this week and possibly into next week. In addition, Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker will head to a runoff on December 6. In the meantime, the balance of power in Congress is in limbo, which could delay party leadership elections and committee chair decisions. As of publication, c ontrol of both chambers of Congress remains up for grabs , with several House and Senate races too close to call. House makeup (211 R; 192 D; 32 not yet called): Republicans could claim the majority with between two to ...
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The latest discussion draft of the Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan mental health package focuses on integrating primary and mental health care as well as expanded access to crisis and follow up care. HR Policy sent a statement to the committee earlier this year recommending any legislation include funding for integrated care, specifically the Collaborative Care Model, and remove barriers employers face in expanding telehealth offerings to employees. Civil monetary penalties against employers are not included in the draft. HR Policy has opposed the application of civil monetary penalties against employers for mental health parity violations ...
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HR Policy’s Future Workplace Policy Council opened its year-end webinar series with a discussion with Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda regarding the administration’s current and upcoming labor and employment law and policy priorities. Ms. Nanda offered her thoughts on a number of different burning regulatory topics, while a reaction panel representing the employer view offered their thoughts from the management perspective. Robust enforcement, substantial rulemaking: Ms. Nanda emphasized the Department of Labor’s “early and often” commitment to enforcement of wage and hour laws. She also detailed how continuous collaboration with other agencies ...
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The NLRB ratcheted up its unprecedented campaign against employer speech, filing unfair labor practice complaints against prominent CEOs for alleged anti-union comments. The complaints reflect General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo’s philosophy that employers are essentially prohibited from making almost any union-related comments during an organizing campaign. The first complaint, against Starbucks, stems from comments made by CEO Howard Schultz during a meeting with employees in April. According to the complaint, Schultz told one worker, “if you hate Starbucks so much, why don’t you work somewhere else?” Board prosecutors, on behalf of General Counsel Abruzzo, ...
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Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, elected to be the next president of Brazil, represents the return of the left into power, albeit in a much more divided country. The former trade unionist and ex-president promised to revise the 2017 labor reform, but likely will not have enough political leverage to completely repeal it. His primary goals on labor and employment will be to strengthen collective bargaining and promote union density, gender pay equity, and platform worker regulations. Lula will likely focus on the following labor and employment policy areas: Regulating platform and gig workers to help manage their working hours and guarantee paid weekly ...
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Employers continued to add jobs at fairly robust pace, with 261,000 jobs added in October, but the unemployment rate ticked up from 3.5% to 3.7% as the number of jobless Americans increased by 306,000. Average hourly wages rose by 4.7% in October compared to a year ago, but down from 5.6% in March as the pace of wage growth continues to cool. Health care added 52,600 jobs in October, followed by professional and technical services (+42,700), manufacturing (+32,000), local government (+29,000), and accommodation and food services (+25,900). Most other industries were little changed. The number of job openings rose by 437,000 in ...
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SEC Finalizes Clawback Rules

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The Center On Executive Compensation’s comment letters were cited 30 times, including a discussion of our survey which found that more than 90% of Center members already maintain a clawback policy. Further, the Center was successful in getting the Commission to agree to board discretion on how to recoup erroneously delivered compensation, such as cancelling unvested compensation awards or offsetting unpaid incentive compensation. The rule was announced on October 26. Here is the press release , final rule and fact sheet . The final rule will require stock exchanges to adopt listing standards requiring all issuers to adopt a no-fault, mandatory clawback ...
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On October 31, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two pending cases involving university affirmative action admissions policies , Students for Fair Admissions (SFA) v. Harvard an d SFA v. University of North Carolin a. The five-hour oral arguments covered a broad range of issues in a very complicated and controversial area of the law. The legal issues in the cases arise under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Right Act and pertain exclusively to discrimination and the use of affirmative action policies in college admissions processes. However, employers are watching the cases closely ...
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