Not a Member?  Become One Today!

More News From the World of HR 

4/18/2014  Compiled by SHRM Online staff 

Long-Term Unemployed Struggle to Find and Keep Jobs
For the long-term unemployed, finding a job is hard—but keeping one may be even harder. New research tracking people who have been out of work for six months or longer found that 23 percent landed a job within a few months of the study. But a year later, more than a third of that group was unemployed again or out of the labor force altogether.
Washington Post

Big Business Gets Creative in Minimum Wage Fight
The minimum wage movement is following the classic American playbook for how you raise labor standards across the country: Constant grassroots pressure, resulting in one local achievement after another, with all of those small gains eventually coalescing into a national wave. But having the momentum on your side doesn’t necessarily mean winning every battle.

8 Million Sign Up for Obamacare
Some 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, President Obama said Thursday, putting sign-ups above the initial goal of 7 million.
But the final enrollment figure remains to be seen: The White House has not released how many people have fully enrolled, which requires paying their first premium.

The Business Case for Paid Leave and Paid Sick Days
Most opponents of paid sick days and paid family leave legislation claim that businesses cannot afford to cover their employees. But cities and states with paid family leave and paid sick days are proof that these policies are working. Growing support from many businesses—both big and small—as well as private-sector leaders, indicates that these policies are not only good for individuals and businesses but also for our economy as a whole.
American Progress

The Problem With Giving Employees a Stipend to Buy Health Insurance
Paul Downs, my You’re the Boss colleague, recently posed a question: If he were to replace the health insurance he offers his employees with a cash payment that they could use to buy their own insurance, would he be committing age discrimination?
New York Times

Paid Family Leave Hits a Snag in States
California became the first state to embrace government-backed paid family and medical leave more than a decade ago. Since then, few other states have followed California's path, and supporters are now considering a different approach. After lobbying state by state for years, some supporters of paid family leave say it's time for a federal solution.

ACA Bellwether, UnitedHealth Posts Lower Profit
The UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, reported lower earnings on Thursday, attributing its weak results in part to the federal health care law. It said profits were also weighed down by an expensive new drug to treat hepatitis C that costs $1,000 a pill.
New York TImes

IT Workers Seek to Use Steve Jobs’ Evidence for Suit Over No-Hire Agreements
Four large technology companies should not be allowed to limit evidence about Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs at an upcoming trial over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley, according to a court document filed late on Thursday by employees suing the firms.

When Being Pregnant Also Means Being Out of a Job
The workplace has become a more understanding place for pregnant women or new moms these days. Many companies now have lactation rooms and offer more liberal maternity and paternity leave policies than in years past. But for some women, pregnancy can still be a career liability.
National Public Radio

A 2014 Graduation Present: More Employers Planning to Hire
Here’s some good news for college students getting ready to graduate and enter the professional world this spring: Employers are planning to hire. A new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows employers plan to hire 8.6 percent more Class of 2014 graduates than they did from last year’s pool.
Fox News

A Hobby Might Be a Smart Professional Move
Maybe you paint, keep a journal or knit. Or maybe you play bass in a punk rock band. Whatever hobby you have, keep at it. A little study published this week suggests that having a creative outlet outside the office might help people perform better at work.
National Public Radio

Employers, Vets Create Win-Win
The relationship between employer and an employee who is also a military veteran is mutually beneficial, but those benefits are not always obvious. "There is some fear among employers that veterans are difficult to hire, however the truth is that they will transition nicely from military to civilian jobs," said Tony Lee, publisher of
Houston Chronicle

Research Details HR Skills Challenge for 21st Century Employers
Few would deny that the human resources department has its hands full. With change bombarding the workplace at an ever-increasing pace, HR professionals feel the heat. Now, a new study examining 21st century workplace trends concludes that HR is at risk of getting burned.
HR Hero

Two-Thirds of Workers Distracted by E-mails, Internet, Social Media
Two-thirds (65 percent) of Canadian workers have been distracted from doing work on their computers by checking emails, browsing the web and engaging with social media. And 59 per cent admitted the reduction in productivity caused them dissatisfaction and unhappiness, according to a survey.
Canadian HR Reporter

Internet Security Relies on a Few Volunteers
Last week's Heartbleed Internet bug revealed a startling fact. The software protecting banks, email, social media and government is maintained by only a few people. They're all volunteers. And only one does it as a full-time job.

NLRB, Congress Mull Changes to Union Election Rules
The National Labor Relations Board wrapped up a two-day meeting April 11 in which both foes and supporters spoke out about a proposed change to the rules governing union representation elections. But even before spokespersons of pro-union and pro-business interests began their statements, a U.S. House of Representatives Committee was advancing bills aimed at stopping changes that many pro-business interests say would create “ambush” union elections.
HR Hero

Treasury Dept. to Start Unit for Oversight of Public Pension Funds
The Treasury Department is creating an Office of State and Local Finance to coordinate the department's efforts to oversee developments in state and local financial markets, including public pension fund liabilities. Kent Hiteshew was named the office's first director; he will start in mid-May, according to a Treasury representative.
Pensions & Investments

Apartheid Abuse Cases Against Ford, IBM Go Ahead
A federal judge on Thursday declined to toss out decade-old lawsuits that accuse IBM and Ford Motor of supporting apartheid by letting their subsidiaries sell computers and cars to the South African government. The three lawsuits seek to hold IBM and Ford responsible for race-based injustices including rape, torture and murder under apartheid.

Major Changes Underway for China’s Workers
China's work force has been going through some seismic changes lately, as the momentum appears to be shifting from the nation's employers to the employed. Faced with a slowing economy, a rising cost of living and fewer new workers entering the job market, several regions in the People’s Republic have been raising their minimum wage rates in an effort to retain employees.
CBS News

Copyright Image Obtain reuse/copying permission