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The Association examined in a member-wide webinar how companies are approaching workforce vaccine requirements as OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard for large employers took a significant step toward being issued, suggesting the mandate could be published sooner rather than later. Company representatives offered an in-depth look at their vaccine mandate strategies and answered questions from HR Policy members joining the call. Topics discussed included: Communication strategies for employees, Handling reasonable accommodation requests, Compliance tracking strategies and technology, Employment decisions for employees without exemptions who refuse ...
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With calls for stricter rules on clawbacks increasing, the SEC announced it is reopening the public comment period on the proposed Dodd-Frank clawback rules for 30 days. The announcement follows SEC Chairman Gensler’s recently-announced directive to complete the unfinished rules. The SEC originally proposed rules in July 2015 that mandated the following: Boards must claw back incentive payments from the previous three years if those incentives were paid based on subsequently restated financial results, Clawbacks would not be conditioned on fraud or misconduct, and Boards would have some discretion into how the funds are recouped. ...
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The latest Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition shows that risk of PTSD continues to remain elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels and employee capacity for sustained attention is down 53%. Steps employers can take to address these concerns : One Mind at Work, a global coalition of leaders from diverse employment sectors aiming to change approaches to mental health and addiction, has provided the following guidance to employers. Recognize the multiple dimensions of trauma, both in and outside the workplace, by bringing together leadership to better understand the potential risks and sources of trauma their employees may face. ...
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The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions discussed a measure that would impose an annual pay ratio tax, significant reporting requirements, and other labor and employment mandates on companies in the financial services sector. As currently drafted, the Financial Services Bill of Rights Act would: Impose an annual tax on financial institutions with a CEO to median worker pay ratio greater than 100 to 1; Require financial institutions to remain neutral amid union organizing efforts; and Eliminate forced arbitration in employment agreements. Each financial institution would be required to file ...
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The White House launched an initiative to develop an “AI Bill of Rights,” with an emphasis on eliminating bias and “freedom from pervasive or discriminatory” workplace monitoring. A House Financial Services Committee hearing this week also included discussions on AI used in the HR context. AI Bill of Rights: The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) launched an initiative to create a “bill of rights to guard against the powerful technologies we have created.” In an op-ed , OSTP Director Eric Lander and Deputy Director Alondra Nelson noted such right would likely include notification requirements, protections against bias, “freedom ...
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A record-high quit rate is challenging supply chains and industries struggling to recover from the COVID shutdowns, particularly retail trade and the accommodation and food service industries. There are 10.4 million job openings, enough for every unemployed American and half of the 5.7 million Americans who are not in the labor force but say they want a job. Nearly every industry has more job openings than there are unemployed in those industries, suggesting a serious skills mismatching problem. Leisure and hospitality and education and health services industries remain the hardest hit from COVID in terms of jobs lost. Both industries are struggling ...
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As large Chinese tech companies seek to unionize under regulatory pressure, HR Policy Global held a webinar to consider key questions, including whether Chinese unions will play a more active role in addressing emerging workplace issues, and whether non-unionized companies will find themselves under greater scrutiny. Jonathan Issacs, Head of China Employment Practice at Baker McKenzie pointed out that Chinese unions are a “different animal” than unions in the U.S., as they are tasked to help “labor harmony” in China instead of organizing labor. For example: Chinese unions cover all employees, including managers. All company unions are part of ...
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In guidance issued by the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, the Biden administration clarified that employers can legally offer health care premium discounts or surcharges tied to COVID-19 vaccination. However, significant strings are still attached to offering such incentives, perhaps conflicting with the administration’s goal of vaccinating as many individuals as possible. The guidance clarifies that COVID-19 vaccination discounts and/or surcharges cannot exceed 30% of the cost of employee-only coverage. That is, the discounts and surcharges fall under "activity-based, health-contingent" wellness plan rules. Thus, they ...
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Following President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy , the Association’s Center On Executive Compensation urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to distinguish between entry-level employees and executives (or those who have access to sensitive information) as it considers regulating the use of non-compete requirements. Non-compete agreements are necessary for senior executives and employees with access to sensitive commercial information. The Center's comments recommend that the FTC not implement a “one size fits all” ban on non-compete agreements. The letter reiterated several points made in a February ...
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HR Policy expressed support for the latest surprise billing rule , which lays out the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process employers and health care providers will be required to engage in if an initial payment amount is not agreed upon. Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Association's American Health Policy Institute said, “The No Surprises Act is one of the strongest consumer protection laws Congress has enacted over the past ten years. The interim final rule faithfully implements Congress’ intent to reduce unnecessary health care costs, encourage providers and payers to reach reimbursement agreements on their own, and protect employees ...
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Congressional Democrats’ third attempt to include immigration reform in the budget reconciliation bill does not include a path to citizenship but would include temporary legal status and work authorization for millions of undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, calls have grown to bypass rulings by the Senate Parliamentarian to exclude immigration reform from the package, a move which could also open the door to exceptions for other controversial measures. To recap, the “Byrd Rule” prohibits provisions in reconciliation legislation that are viewed as extraneous to the budget. Senate Democrats’ first attempt, which included a path to citizenship for 8 million ...
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Employers added 194,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.8% as the labor force participation rate for 35 to 44 year-olds and 55+ (boomers) remains disappointingly low. Technical seasonal adjustment issues held down the top-line payroll job growth number. Local government education jobs rose less than seasonally expected after not falling as much as expected in June and July. Private sector jobs rose 317,000 in September after rising 332,000 in August and 816,000 in July. Slower job growth is directly related to the Delta variant. Good news on the household front: The BLS household survey, which often diverges from ...
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With a December 8 compliance deadline looming, the Association held a webinar examining the recently issued guidance implementing President Biden’s vaccine mandates for federal contractors, addressing open questions posed by the guidance. The requirements are far-reaching, reflecting the administration's goal to get as many people vaccinated as possible. View a video recording of the webinar here . View the presentation slide deck here . View HR Policy’s summary of the guidance here . View Q&A's from the webinar here. “At this point, there are more questions than answers,” noted Roger King, Senior Labor and Employment Counsel. ...
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The SEC has subpoenaed Activision and several of its senior executives regarding complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination by Activision employees or contractors, expanding its definition of “material risk” in the process to include workplace culture risks. The subpoena is requesting disclosure of specific employment or personnel records for six former employees, separation agreements signed this year, and board minutes going back to 2019. The SEC is expanding the definition of “material risk.” Under SEC rules that went into effect in 2021, companies were required to disclose human capital management issues material to the operation of the ...
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The House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4350) would direct all federal agencies and department heads to automatically initiate debarment proceedings against federal contractors with at least four violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act from the previous four years. The debarment amendment was submitted by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). The final House vote tally on H.R. 4350 was 316 to 113, with 38 Democrats voting against the bill, including Rep. Jayapal. Outlook: This bill will now go to the Senate for consideration, and the Senate’s version of the NDAA does not include a blacklisting provision. Once the Senate passes ...
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Our Future Workplace Policy Council Fall Conference discussion series will feature conversations with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and several other leading government officials, who will provide updates and insights on forthcoming legislative and regulatory efforts impacting your companies. Featured speakers include NLRB Chair Lauren McFerran, NLRB Member John Ring, EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows, EEOC Commissioner Keith Sonderling, and OFCCP Director Jenny Yang. Speakers are still being added to the program, so stay tuned for updates. The discussions will be immediately followed by panels featuring reactions from member companies, HR Policy staff, ...
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The Biden administration adopted a key HR Policy recommendation in its second interim final rule implementing the No Surprises Act, which will significantly impact how employers pay for emergency out-of-network health care services. Background: The No Surprises Act bars health providers from billing patients more than what would be reimbursed for in-network services in emergencies or other circumstances when out-of-network clinicians are used. The Act also creates a process for out-of-network providers and employers to resolve payment disputes. The interim final rule is effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2022. Additional rulemakings ...
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The Senate Commerce Committee held its first privacy hearing of the 117th Congress, with more to follow. The hearing, which did not explicitly cover HR data, illustrated that certain members are looking to increase regulatory enforcement, raising questions about whether HR data would be implicated. Regulatory approach could cover HR data: Most privacy bills thus far have proposed enforcement by some mix of beefing up the Federal Trade Commission, giving state attorneys general jurisdiction, and/or establishing a private right of action. However, giving the FTC or some new agency broad authority to propagate regulations could implicate HR data, especially ...
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Due to internal divisions among Democrats and pending legislative priorities, a vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill remains in limbo as negotiations continue, placing a separate House budget social spending bill with several Democratic workplace policy priorities in the balance. Given the fluid nature of negotiations, HR Policy will provide updates as they occur. Ahead of a planned Thursday vote, House progressives threatened to vote against the infrastructure bill unless Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House first reach an agreement on the social spending bill that they are attempting to pass through the budget reconciliation process. ...
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From Europe to Asia, countries vary drastically in their COVID-19 vaccine policies for workers who return to the workplace. Meanwhile, contrasting laws regarding employment standards, anti-discrimination, privacy, and individual rights make it exceedingly difficult for employers to implement a universal approach on vaccination for their global workforce. More countries are mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for private sector workers. HR Policy Global suggests that multinational companies conduct a country-by-country analysis when it comes to workplace vaccination policy. A brief rundown of various global policy hotspots is below: Italy approved ...
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