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HR News

PeopleSpan consultancy offers HR News to employers - providing perspective and insight on relevant human resource topics impacting the bottom line of business.

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HR News highlights up to date information on workforce planning, employee relations, benefits, pay, compliance and legal. Read HR News to stay current with employment best practices and industry standards. 

Topic: NLRB Posting Rule Blocked

4/16/2012 By Allen Smith 

A rule slated to take effect April 30, 2012, that would force most U.S. employers to post a notice of employees' rights under labor law has been blocked by a federal circuit court on the heels of a federal district court's determination that the issuing agency lacked authority to approve the rule.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) lacked the authority to issue a notice-posting rule, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina ruled on April 13, 2012. That decision was followed on April 17, 2012, by the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia granting an emergency injunction pending the appeal of a prior D.C. district court ruling that the NLRB had the authority to issue the rule.

New NLRB Election and Posting Rules, Effective April 2012

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently adopted two final regulations, one imposing a workplace poster requirement and the other speeding up the process for holding representation elections. They are scheduled to go into effect on April 30, 2012.

The poster rule would require employers to post a workplace notice informing employees of their right to form a union. It has been challenged by, among others, the Chamber of Commerce, which claims that the posting obligation violates employers' rights under the First Amendment. Supporters of the requirement argue that the Board's intent is simply to notify employees of their legal rights, like currently required posters on discrimination, workplace safety, and the minimum wage.

Topic: Employer Benefits -Health Insurance

(February 17, 2012 by Steve Bruce BLR Inc.)

Nearly 70 percent of respondents to a recent BLR/HRHero survey on health insurance benefits said they expect their health insurance costs to rise in 2012, but an equal number believe that health insurance is too important a part of the compensation package to consider eliminating it.

Other highlights from the BLR/HRHero 2012 Health Insurance Benefits Survey:

  • More than 96 percent of respondents to the health insurance benefits survey said they offer health insurance to workers
  • More than 2/3 of respondents pay 75 percent or more of single coverage premiums. That number drops to 40 percent for family coverage
  • 74 percent of employers reported their health insurance packages are about the same as last year
  • 30 percent said they absorbed some of the increased costs they incurred
  • 47 percent reported their costs have not yet been significantly affected by health insurance reforms
  • 49 percent said their main priority in 2012 regarding health insurance is reigning in costs

Nearly 200 entities participated in the survey. About sixty percent were private, 20 percent non-profit, and 20 percent government. Respondents represent a wide range of industries, and came from all 50 states. There was equal representation of below 50 employees and above 500 employees. Eighty-four percent were non-union.

Topic: Paid Time Off

Failure to Pass Vacation Wages to Mass. Employees Costs Employer $64,000

(1/12/2012 By Business and Legal Reports, Inc.) 

California-based health care provider Sun Healthcare Group, Inc. and 21 affiliates have agreed to pay more than $64,000 for failing to pay vacation wages to departing employees in Massachusetts, Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley announced. The damages include more than $40,000 in unpaid vacation wages and a $20,000 civil penalty to the commonwealth.

In October 2010, the Fair Labor Division of the AG’s Office began investigating Sun Healthcare following a complaint from a former employee. Investigators found that between January 2009 and January 2011, 348 former Sun Healthcare employees were not paid earned vacation wages upon termination or separation from their jobs. Massachusetts law requires that employers who provide paid vacation treat vacation pay like any other wages. Upon separation or termination, employees must be compensated for vacation time earned “under an oral or written agreement,” AG Coakley noted.

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