Hot Topics in Total Rewards

  • 24 Sep 2019 11:03 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    On September 18, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 5, which establishes a three-part test that a business must prove to maintain that a worker is an independent contractor for employment purposes in the state. Some professions — including doctors, insurance agents, and artists — are exempt from AB5, which takes effect January 1, 2020. But transportation network company drivers and potentially other marketplace contractors are not.

    The law establishes stricter criteria, known as the ABC test, to maintain a worker as an independent contractor. Specifically, a business must prove that:

    1. The worker is free from the company’s control.
    2. The duties performed by the worker are not central to the company’s core business.
    3. The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established business, trade, or industry.

    Workers that do not satisfy all three criteria will be reclassified as employees, which could allow them to start earning a minimum wage and qualify for overtime pay and paid leave, among other benefits.

    New Costs and Liabilities

    For employers, AB5 could represent a costly change and expansion of risk profiles. Among other effects, AB5 will affect:

    • Workers’ compensation programs. Beyond the fact that more individuals will now be eligible for statutory workers’ compensation benefits in the event of work-related injuries, the reclassification of independent contractors will almost certainly increase insurance purchasing costs for many employers. If premiums increase to an extent that businesses will no longer be able to absorb their costs and instead pass them on to customers, revenues could be adversely affected.
    • Employment practices liability and wage and hour risks. Misclassification of workers who are eligible for overtime could result in significant legal exposure in a state that was already at the forefront of costly wage and hour litigation and well known for the broad protections provided to its workers. California’s expansive civil rights laws will also now apply to a much larger population of workers, providing protections for oft-filed claims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Any company with operations in California that uses independent contractors can expect to face more frequent wage and hour and employment litigation to unemployment insurance for these newly reclassified workers.

    Take Action Now

    There is still debate on the effect the new legislation will have on workers themselves, and not all have endorsed it amidst fear that new regulations will lead to the companies they work for restricting their working hours or, worse, cut them off completely. Some workers for app-based businesses worry that the new law will take away their flexibility.

    Although AB5 is expected to face legal challenges and there remain some unanswered questions, including whether Dynamex applies retroactively, businesses should begin preparations to adapt to the new law. Employers should take steps now to carefully review the classification of any independent contractors in California, ideally in concert with counsel to ensure the results are protected by the attorney-client privilege. They should also consider how the reclassification of workers — including the potential for employee status to be awarded retroactively — could affect:

    • Insurance programs, including workers’ compensation, employment practices liability and wage and hour liability.
    • Human resources.
    • Payroll.
    • Benefits.

    While AB5 is restricted to California, the Golden State is known as a workplace protections trailblazer, and lawmakers in other states have expressed interest in passing similar legislation, as have labor groups. That means even businesses not directly affected by the new law should keep an eye on its progress and consider how similar legislation elsewhere could affect their organizations. 

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    Source: Marsh LLC (“Marsh”)

    https://www.marsh.com/us/insights/research/california-ab5-impact-on-contractors.html

  • 24 Sep 2019 11:01 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)


    AUTHOR

    Ryan Golden@RyanTGolden

    PUBLISHED

    Sept. 24, 2019

    Dive Brief:

    • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced today it will publish a final overtime rule, setting the minimum salary threshold for overtime eligibility at $35,568. The regulations implement the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)'s overtime mandate and, according to a senior DOL official, will make an estimated 1.3 million additional U.S. workers eligible for overtime pay. The final rule will be effective Jan. 1.
    • The threshold is slightly higher than the $35,308 proposed in the initial draft of the rule and also will allow employers to count non-discretionary bonuses, incentives and commissions as up to 10% of an employee's salary level, as long as those bonuses are paid annually. The FLSA's exemption threshold for highly-compensated employees will be set at $107,432, lower than in DOL's initial draft but still higher than the previous threshold of $100,000.
    • A DOL official said Tuesday the agency "has not set out a time frame" for any automatic updates to the overtime eligibility threshold beyond what is included in the final rule. The official also said the final rule released Tuesday will not make changes to the FLSA's "duties test."

    Dive Insight:

    This is perhaps one of the most anticipated final rulemakings from DOL, and it likely won't be the last before the end of the year. Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella told attendees at a recent DOL event to expect several proposed and final rules before the year's end, Bloomberg Law reported.

    Pizzella also recognized the possibility of DOL's regs facing lawsuits ahead of implementation, Bloomberg Law said. DOL will likely face legal action of the overtime rule specifically, Tammy McCutchen, shareholder at Littler Mendelson and former wage and hour administrator in the Bush administration, told HR Dive in an earlier interview.

    "It's inevitable," McCutchen said, "but that's another reason to get it out as soon as possible." 

    Some stakeholders took issue with the department's methodology for calculating the new threshold announced in the draft of the rule, which was the same as that used when the threshold was last updated in 2004. That measurement ties the salary level to the 20th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the retail sector within the lowest-wage census region, the U.S. south.

    McCutchen, an author of public comment submitted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the group objected to this methodology because it included parts of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., which are also three of the highest wage-earning areas in the U.S. "Because of that, this data should be excluded," McCutchen said. "If they did that, they would end up closer to $32,000 [per year]."

    Employee advocates think the new threshold was too low and have spoken out against it for being lower than that proposed by the Obama administration in 2015. Heidi Shierholz, former chief economist at DOL during the Obama administration and current senior economist at progressive think tank Economic Policy Institute, wrote in a blog last month that the DOL's proposal "is a dramatic weakening of a rule published just three years ago." The group estimates more than 8 million workers who would have been eligible for overtime under the enjoined rule would not be under the new rule.

    Also at issue was the rule's new minimum threshold for highly-compensated executive employees. McCutchen and others objected to the new, higher threshold for similar methodological reasons, and she noted that small businesses would likely be unable to take advantage of it. Employer groups argued that increases to this threshold should instead be implemented "more gradually over a number of years," McCutchen said.

    Employers now have 99 days to comply with the rule.

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    Source: HR Dive

    https://www.hrdive.com/news/breaking-dol-finalizes-35k-overtime-threshold/562000/

  • 18 Sep 2019 8:33 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

    September 18, 2019 – Each day brings new headlines about artificial intelligence, from an AI system passing an eighth-grade science test to fears of the technology replacing human workers. According to Gartner, enterprise use of AI has grown by 270 percent over the last four years. Despite this acceleration toward AI, many HR leaders feel unprepared.

    Spencer Stuart recently surveyed a sample of Fortune 500 CHROs to take their pulse on how far their organizations are in the AI journey, their biggest concerns and what they see as key opportunities. While many of these HR leaders anticipate that the technology will enable strides in the personalization of the employee experience, reallocation of resources to more value-adding projects and improvement in talent retention, the vast majority, 83 percent, believe their organizations face a readiness gap when it comes to AI.

    For some, it’s financial. “Fifty-three percent 53 percent of our respondents reported that their organizations do not have a budget set aside for AI,” said Fleur Segal, author of the report and a member of Spencer Stuart’s human resources practice. “For others, it’s people: Almost half of the CHROs listed change management and employee experience/receptiveness as top concerns for AI integration. The good news is that HR leaders can greatly influence how the technology is applied in their organizations by focusing on a few key areas.”

    Battling Bias

    A few CHROs commented in the Spencer Stuart survey that they are worried that AI will reinforce bias. AI, for example, can be used to help identify candidates with attributes similar to executives who have been successful in the organization. But if these successful executives all have similar backgrounds, then the technology could potentially limit diversity.

    “Instead, HR leaders can help put safeguards in place to ensure AI works to eliminate bias by challenging assumptions with data (for example, that only candidates with experience in the organization’s specific industry can contribute meaningfully) and participating in the development of robust leadership assessment processes,” said Ms. Segal.

    Protecting the Employee Experience

    The impact on the employee experience emerged as a top issue in the Spencer Stuart survey. While it’s natural to be concerned about what this technology will do to the human element of work, AI can actually be used to enhance the employee experience and improve employee engagement.

    “AI can make the onboarding process more tailored and create a sense of belonging for remote workers,” Ms. Segal said. “Additionally, it can free up time previously taken up by administrative tasks so that employees can focus on more strategic work and career growth opportunities.”

    Honoring the Human Element

    Workforce readiness and adoption — and the lack thereof — are also on the minds of CHROs. Resistance can often be the result of fear (for example, will AI replace my job?)

    “HR leaders can help ease these anxieties by clearly communicating how AI will directly affect employees, as well as helping to shape the overall cultural journey that often goes along with AI implementation,” said Ms. Segal. “We’ve seen organizations make shifts to more learning-oriented cultures in response to digital disruption; two-thirds of CHROs say they are most likely to use AI for learning and development purposes.”

    Spencer Stuart said that in this environment CHROs should be asking: How do we enable learning? How do we ensure there is psychological safety for people to fail fast and learn?

    “Ultimately, HR will be charged with understanding the people side of AI, from its role in the employee experience to the impact on the organizational culture,” Ms. Segal said. “And they need to be ready.”

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    Source: Hunt Scanlon Media

    https://huntscanlon.com/hr-leaders-report-readiness-gap-when-it-comes-to-ai/

  • 16 Sep 2019 12:09 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Image result for EEOC pay data collection

    Friday, September 13, 2019

    To the surprise of no one who’s been following this story, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on September 11, 2019, that it would not renew its request for authorization from the Office of Management and Budget to collect EEO-1 Component 2 pay data after the current authorization expires. If you saw this news and are hoping it means you can skip filing your 2017 and 2018 EEO-1 Component 2 data by the current September 30 deadline, we’re here to both burst your bubble and tell you there’s hope for the future.

    Bad news first — the Notice of Information Collection regarding the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) published in the Federal Register on September 11 does not affect the obligation of EEO-1 filers to submit Component 2 data for calendar years 2017 and 2018 by September 30, 2019. However, in the same notice, the EEOC said it would seek authorization only to continue collecting EEO-1 Component 1 data, as it has been since 1966. Thus, the good news is that the EEOC will not collect Component 2 pay data beyond what’s due on September 30 because, according to the EEOC in the notice, the “unproven utility” of the pay data is “far outweighed by the burden imposed on employers that must comply with the reporting obligation.”

    So if you’re one of the estimated 90,000 EEO-1 filers, you’re still on the hook to submit your 2017 and 2018 Component 2 pay data by the September 30 deadline, but there’s hope you won’t have to go through this wasteful exercise again, at least not when you file your next EEO-1 report in March 2020. In the meantime, if you have any questions about submission of your Component 2 pay data, consult your employment counsel, as the clock is ticking.

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    Source: The National Law Review

    https://www.natlawreview.com/article/eeoc-cans-component-2-pay-data-collection-rule-after-september-30

  • 11 Sep 2019 5:02 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    AUTHOR

    Katie Clarey@kclarey21

    PUBLISHED

    Sept. 11, 2019

    A total transformation of its policies and offerings allowed the company to give employees highly individualized, creative and untraditional options.

    When Reddit brought Katelin Holloway on as its VP of people and culture in early 2016, she kicked off her tenure with a listening tour about benefits. "By asking people what they wanted, it affirmed my thesis that people want choices," Holloway told HR Dive in an interview.

    Her listening tour gave way to a number of benefits-focused projects Holloway said she built with Reddit Co-Founder and CEO Steve Huffman, who "was very open to doing things differently," Holloway said.

    Though creative and non-traditional, Huffman and Holloway designed Reddit's benefits to prioritize growth. "Towards this end, many of our benefits are designed to help our people grow, whether they're starting a family, learning more professional skills, or even taking on a new hobby," Huffman told HR Dive in an email.

    With an overarching goal and buy-in from a founder, Holloway could implement her thesis, giving Reddit workers access to a highly flexible benefits model. "It has become of the people, by the people, for the people," she said. "It is very much owned by the employees in terms of sharing and getting people to opt in."

    A holistic approach to leave

    When Holloway joined Reddit, she expanded and individualized its leave programming. "We blew up everything, not just parental leave programming," she said. Holloway and her team formalized leave options for miscarriage, domestic abuse, military service and military spouses. "We thought about a lot of different life circumstances," she said. "It's a very holistic approach to leave."

    These additional options made leave accessible to more people, and Holloway expanded the flexibility around the company's leave programming to make it even more approachable. Reddit employees can work with their teams and supervisors to craft a leave plan that best addresses their individual circumstances, Holloway said.

    Reddit uses a service called LeaveLogic "to help individuals plan potential leaves without having to inform their managers or even HR," she said. "This empowers employees to understand their company benefits, state and federal benefits and how they might work in concert."

    Reddit uses another service, Cleo, which enables parents taking family leave to plan their transitions out of and back into the office. "All transition plans are reviewed with the employee, their manager and their colleagues for group sign off," Holloway said.

    Making benefits accessible

    As it competed for talent in Silicon Valley, Reddit had picked up a wide and "weird" array of perks and benefits by the time Holloway joined the company. "It was very much the Silicon Valley arms race for benefits," she said. The resulting model, while generated by employee demand, didn't allow for much individualization. Reddit offered a gym stipend as one of its wellness perks, for example. But this benefit, while common, excluded some people — people like Holloway's little brother, she said, who would rather surf than go to the gym.

    Holloway needed a way to consolidate Reddit's slew of benefits and somehow make them adaptable. "Every person, every family is different. How can I serve the needs of 75 people when they all have very different needs?" Holloway asked. "If you can't actually utilize your benefits, what's the point?"

    Holloway divided benefits usage into two categories: personal development and professional development. Reddit workers receive stipends for each area and have flexibility in how they use them.

    Employees can use their personal development stipends for anything that helps them become "better, healthier" people, Holloway said. The gym rat can use it to fund a membership. Someone like Holloway's brother can put it toward new surf gear. Employees can use their professional development stipends to go to conferences or take courses that relate to their jobs. "It's about choice," Holloway said. "Because of that, our utilization rates have gone way up."

    The pursuit of flexibility: a culture-dependent quest

    The spike in Reddit's benefits usage rates did not shock Julie Stich, vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. "I do think what they're doing is incredibly flexible," she said. "The more individualized you make it, the more appealing it is to employees."

    Individualized plans like Reddit's reap other benefits, too. "With the job market the way it is, employers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors or from others in the same area, in the same region and city looking to hire employees," Stich said. "Benefits are always a great attraction and retention device and can be a great way to increase loyalty and morale."

    Still, highly flexible models may not work for every employer. "It really depends on your company culture," according to Stich. In addition to its other individualized benefits, Reddit also offers unlimited vacation — "a neat idea if it works for your company culture," Stich said. But at another company, in another industry, such policies may not work as well. A manufacturing company, she said, may not be able to coordinate an unlimited vacation policy with the demands of scheduling and production.

    Managers must cultivate trust with the people they supervise to ensure these ultra-individualized benefits are being used. Workers sometimes take less vacation than they need after a company implements an unlimited vacation time policy, she said. Companies discovered employees feared retribution for taking too much time off.

    "When a policy like this is put into place, the company culture has to support it and managers have to support it as well," Stich said. "Convince people that you mean it."

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    Source: HR Dive

    https://www.hrdive.com/news/its-about-choice-how-reddits-katelin-holloway-made-benefits-by-the-pe/562546/
  • 09 Sep 2019 4:12 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Image result for Starbucks plans to improve US employees' mental health benefits

    By Danielle Wiener-BronnerCNN Business

    Updated 8:39 AM ET, Thu September 5, 2019


    Chicago (CNN Business)Starbucks is planning to improve mental health benefits for US employees in one of its latest bids to attract and retain talent in a tight labor market.

    In a letter to employees Thursday, CEO Kevin Johnson announced the initiative along with others designed to improve employee productivity and engagement. The announcement came as Starbucks hosted a massive leadership conference in Chicago, at which 12,000 store managers participated.

    Although Starbucks (SBUX) did not announce any specific new benefits, it hopes to encourage more employees to take advantage of the company's mental health care package. And the company will engage employees to help tailor a new suite of benefits to their needs.

    Keeping partners — Starbucks' term for employees — well and happy is critical to the company's business. To execute its ambitious expansion plan, the coffee company needs to hire rapidly. That has been challenging for the entire retail and food service industries, as the US unemployment rate remains at an historic low. Competition for workers is fierce.

    Should you be ready to sell everything in a downturn?

    One way to attract talent is by offering robust benefits and unique services.

    "The more thoughtful we are about creating a range of benefits that matter to our partners — that helps us attract new partners," Johnson told CNN Business. "Over this past year, one of the things that partners have highlighted is the need for increased focus on mental health."

    Spotlight on mental health

    Mental health services are not new for Starbucks. Through its health insurance, Starbucks offers inpatient and outpatient mental health care, as well as six free visits with a mental health provider through its Employee Assistance Program

    The offerings are "very comprehensive," according to John Kelly, senior vice president of global public affairs and social impact for Starbucks. But, he noted, just 4% to 5% of employees actually use it.

    Every Starbucks growth strategy is working


    To raise that participation rate, Starbucks will spend the next several months working with employees to figure out a better plan, Kelly said.

    He suspects Starbucks employees aren't taking full advantage of what is currently being offered because they may want something different or more tailored to their needs, such as the ability to text therapists instead of calling or setting up an appoint.

    With its new efforts, Starbucks is also hoping to "break the stigma," said Kelly, "and really normalize that your mental health is just as important as your physical health."

    During the Chicago conference, Starbucks is running a "mental health matters" session with a clinical psychologist. The training is designed to help educate managers about the range of mental health problems, identify signs that someone may be struggling and offer tips on how to approach them in the right way. Starbucks will continue to offer similar training to managers moving forward, Kelly said.

    The company has already taken steps to improve mental health benefits in other markets. In 2016, Starbucks Canada started offering $5,000 toward mental health benefits annually.

    Burger King has a message for McDonald's: Not every meal is happy


    The increase was a sector-leading move, according to Paula Allen, vice president, of research, analytics and innovation for the Toronto-based human resources company Morneau Shepell, noting that the average plan is about $500 a year.

    "That investment was quite well received," she said, adding that in Canada, other companies followed Starbucks' lead.

    The changes the company has made in Canada could help guide what happens in the United States, said Kelly.

    Labor crunch

    Starbucks has launched a number of employee benefits and programs to keep and attract workers. In 2014, the company introduced the Starbucks College Achievement Program, which gives employees a full, free ride to Arizona State University. The company offers stock options to workers, and last year started testing a program that allow some employees to spend half of their workweek at a local nonprofit.

    Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference Wednesday, Chief Financial Officer Patrick J. Grismer called the company's benefits "an important asset" to attract and retain employees.

    Events like the ones held in Chicago can make store managers feel good about their jobs. At the Chicago event Wednesday, employees were welcomed by cheering, pom-pom waving greeters. They listened to high-profile speakers and learned more about the company and its philanthropic efforts.

    Starbucks wants to improve mental health benefits for employees.


    "In a lot of ways, the most important role in the company is the store manager," Johnson said. Managers are responsible for hiring and taking care of staff, and for ensuring that Starbucks locations maintain the atmosphere of a "third place" after home and work, he said.

    And Starbucks has to do more than just hold on to employees. In the 12 months ended in July, the company opened 641 net new stores in the Americas. To manage and staff those new locations, Starbucks needs to be able to hire aggressively.

    It's not alone in seeking ways to bring on new talent. Taco Bell has thrown hiring parties and McDonald's (MCD) targeted a new, older demographic by partnering with AARP. Chipotle (CMG) CEO Brian Niccol has called 2019 "the year of the general manager."

    By focusing on mental health, Starbucks is highlighting yet another type of benefit.

    Improving mental health among employees is also just good business. Many companies are trying to figure out creative ways to help their workers.

    "This is an area that, as HR professionals, we weren't talking about quite as much until recent years," said Tracie Sponenberg, chief people officer for The Granite Group and a panelist on the Society for Human Resource Managment's HR Disciplines Special Expertise Panel.

      Increasingly, companies are encouraging mental health with counselors, meditation sessions, campaigns designed to reduce stigma and more.

      If employees don't get the support they need, there could be "significant" costs to employers, Allen said. Employees suffering from mental health issues are less productive. And in the service industry, where employees may deal with particularly stressful situations, mental health support is especially important, she added.

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      Source: Cable News Network

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/05/business/starbucks-mental-health/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twbusiness&utm_content=2019-09-05T13%3A00%3A04&utm_term=link

    • 09 Sep 2019 4:07 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

      Posted on 09.06.19 // by Michelle Cammayo // Compliance

      Employers who have not yet implemented the new training requirements discussed in our original blog post back in October of 2018 (found here) received welcome news over the weekend as Governor Newsom signed SB 778 into law delaying the training requirements to January 1, 2021.

      What does this mean? The extension addresses employers’ confusion with compliance training deadlines for those trained in 2018 or 2019. Employers now have an additional 12 months to train employees under the new anti-harassment training regulations.

      Which employers are affected? Employers with 5 or more employees.

      What if I already trained my employees using the new requirements? For employers that have provided the new training in 2019, the employer is compliant with the training and is not required to provide it again until 2 years thereafter.

      For employers that trained in 2018, there is an opportunity to train in 2020 instead of 2019 as would have been necessary prior to the extension in the deadline.

      What if I haven’t yet trained my employees?  Good news!  The deadline to comply has been extended 12 months to January 1, 2021. To read more of the new anti-harassment training requirements, go to: https://boltonco.com/2018/10/03/california-governor-jerry-brown-signs-law-updating-sexual-harassment-training-requirements/

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      Source: Bolton & Company

      https://boltonco.com/2019/09/06/california-sb-778-delays-expanded-sexual-harassment-training-requirements-to-january-1-2021/

    • 06 Sep 2019 1:19 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

      AUTHOR

      Valerie Bolden-Barrett

      PUBLISHED

      Sept. 3, 2019

      Dive Brief:

      • Delivery app DoorDash joined ride-hailing platforms Uber and Lyft in committing a total of $90 million in support of a ballot measure to oppose a California bill that could force them to reclassify contractors as employees, according to a statement from DoorDash and reporting from Bloomberg
      • In May, the California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill No. 5 (AB-5), which would make certain components of the Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles ruling state law in California. The three companies oppose that bill. "Achieving a legislative solution is our top priority, but should the legislature fail to act, we will be left with no choice but to pursue a ballot initiative," DoorDash Head of Public Policy Max Rettig said in the statement. 
      • According to DoorDash, any ballot measure they would initiate would: 1) give workers the freedom to dictate "when, where and how long" they want to work; 2) provide gig workers a minimum pay standard, with tips added on top of their pay; 3) create "new benefits"; and 4) protect gig workers from sexual harassment and discrimination. 

      Dive Insight:

      AB-5 is California's attempt to codify the "ABC test" for classifying workers established by Dynamex in 2018 into state law. According to the Dynamex ruling, workers are considered employees unless they meet the three conditions of the test: 1) workers must be free of control and direction from the hiring entity in performing their work; 2) workers must perform tasks outside the hiring entity's normal business; and 3) workers must be engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed. If passed by the state Senate, AB-5 would change the employment status or more than one million California workers, the Los Angeles Times said

      The argument these companies have made for the flexibility of gig work comes as contract work has become a more common way to make a living. However, the push is set against the backdrop of recent allegations that Uber, Lyft and DoorDash treat contract workers unfairly. Last January, Uber paid $1.3 million to a class of workers claiming misclassification. DoorDash has faced recent criticism of its tipping model for "dashers," and it subsequently drafted a new pay policy that is slated to launch this month, according to the Verge

      Thousands of gig workers in California have sent letters to Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators asking them to support their independent contractor statuses, the DoorDash press statement alleged. Notably, the LA Times reported that Uber and Lyft promised drivers extra pay to speak out against AB-5. 

      Employers looking to hire independent workers should check state laws to make sure their employment practices comply. Otherwise, employers might need to reclassify certain workers. Reclassification could nullify their reasons for hiring gig workers in the first place ⁠— such as keeping employment costs down and adjusting staff as needed.

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      Source: HR Dive

      https://www.hrdive.com/news/doordash-uber-and-lyft-commit-90m-to-oppose-california-independent-contra/562086/
    • 06 Sep 2019 1:15 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

      By Alex Wolmart
      United States | Aug 28, 2019 at 11:29 am


      The U.S. workforce knows its worth.

      A new study from the California-based staffing firm Robert Half International shows 82% of professionals feel informed about the amount they should make in their current role while 73% compared their salary with market rates.

      More than half (54%) admitted to comparing compensation with coworkers, the study found. Less than half (47%) feel they are paid enough for the work they do, even though the level of salary research is rising.

      “Workers have more access to information about their salaries, roles and career options than ever before, arming them for conversations with current and potential employers,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, said. “Managers must remain equally knowledgeable, regularly evaluating salaries to ensure they’re paying at or above market rates to recruit and retain highly skilled talent in today’s competitive hiring market.”

      McDonald said talented employees are likely to stay at a company if they feel they’re fairly compensated.

      Additional findings:

      • More men (87%) feel well-informed about how much they should make than women (76%);
      • Half of the women surveyed feel underpaid compared to only 41% of men;
      • Nationally, 57% of professionals feel a stronger economy has helped their earning potential;
      • About two thirds (67%) of workers 18-34 have talked about their salaries with colleagues, compared to 54% aged 35-54 and 38% for those 55+.

      Over a thousand workers across the country and 2,800 in 28 U.S. markets were surveyed, Robert Half said.

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      Source: ROI-NJ

      https://www.roi-nj.com/2019/08/28/finance/money-on-the-mind-study-finds-majority-of-workers-know-their-worth/
    • 20 Aug 2019 11:13 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

      Image result for California law

      By ADAM BEAM 

      Updated: 11:03 PM PDT Jul 30, 2019

      SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

      Heterosexual couples now have an alternative to marriage in California. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law on Tuesday that lets straight couples register as domestic partners.

      California has recognized domestic partnerships since 2000. But the law only applied to same-sex couples who, at the time, were not allowed to get married. The law's goal was to give same-sex couples the same legal protections as marriage.

      In 2015, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. The ruling had no effect on the state's domestic partnership law, giving same-sex couples the choice of getting married or filing as a domestic partnership.

      Same-sex couples -- except for those older than 62 -- still had just one option: marriage. That changed Tuesday, when Newsom signed a law authored by San Francisco Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener.

      "Couples should be able to protect their relationships under the law by registering as domestic partners, without being forced to marry," Wiener said in a news release. "(This law) brings long overdue parity to same-sex and opposite-sex couples."

      After same-sex marriage became legal, some states either got rid of their nonmarital statuses or converted them to marriages. But Wiener's office said some couples prefer domestic partnerships because they "are not associated with traditional gender-differentiated roles" and don't have "the same historic and cultural connotations that some people may find undesirable."

      Other couples, Wiener said, might prefer domestic partnerships for financial reasons. California law treats domestic partners and married people the same for tax purposes. But federal law does not recognize domestic partners. That could let some couples avoid the federal "marriage penalty," which is a higher tax resulting from when two people marry who have the same income.

      Wiener's bill passed the state Senate 30-4 and the state Assembly by a vote of 60-0. It had no registered opposition from outside groups.

      When it took effect in 2000, California's domestic partnership law guaranteed domestic partners had hospital visitation rights and allowed health benefits to domestic partners of state workers. That same year, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 22, which said California would only recognize marriage between a man and a woman. That proposition was later invalidated by the California Supreme Court.

      Over the years, the state expanded its domestic partnership law several times, including in 2003 when the Legislature voted to make registered domestic partners have "the same rights, protections, and benefits" as married people.

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      Source: Hearst Television Inc. on behalf of KCRA-TV

      https://www.kcra.com/article/truckee-placer-county-bear-in-home-surveillance-camera-california/28754294
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