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More News from the World of HR

Compiled by SHRM Online Staff  2/27/2015
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Retail CEOs Dish on Wal-Mart’s Pay Raise
Wal-Mart’s recent raise is the big talk among retailers—as many report their results this week. Wal-Mart made a big impact with investors announcing plans to boost its hourly pay. It’s a big deal for the entire industry—and quite possibly the economy.

Job Market Perks Up for Recent College Graduates
The job market for fresh college graduates is improving—as is the method for measuring the success of graduates. Just more than half of the nearly 67,000 members of the class of 2014 who responded to a survey had landed full-time jobs within six months of donning their caps and gowns.
Wall Street Journal

Coming Labor-Force Squeeze Could Push Up Wages, But Also Inequality
Stagnant wage growth and stubbornly high unemployment have plagued the U.S., Europe and other advanced economies in the wake of the global financial crisis. That may be about to change as the global labor market is set to get squeezed, says Ekkehard Ernst, a top economist at the International Labor Organization.
Wall Street Journal

In Job Islands, Work Is Plentiful but the Workers Are Not
Four mornings a week, at 9:35, Lori Iverson settles into her favorite seat behind the driver for the hour-long bus ride to her job at a sprawling warehouse in this sparsely populated corner of northern Minnesota.
Wall Street Journal

At L.A. Oil Refinery, Striking Workers Vent About Long Hours and Stress
Hanz Zalamea got used to leaving work grumpy and dazed, like a college student after an all-nighter. Before going on strike from the Carson portion of Tesoro Corp.'s Los Angeles oil refinery—one of 15 striking plants nationwide—he often worked several straight 12-hour graveyard shifts in the hydrocracker unit.
Los Angeles Times

Obama Promotes Benefits of Trade Deals to Workers and Smaller Businesses
President Obama, facing an uphill climb in persuading Congress to grant him the authority to complete significant trade deals, sought to ease concerns on Thursday that such agreements would help corporations at the expense of American workers.
New York Times

Obama Pushes Paid Leave for U.S. Workers
Only the United States and Papua New Guinea made this list -- but bragging rights are not in order. These are the only two countries where paid maternity leave is not required by law.
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Escape Bias Claims Related to Time Off for New Parents
Many employers interested in promoting a family-friendly workplace want to offer new moms and dads paid time off for parental leave. But they need to keep discrimination concerns in mind if they plan to offer moms more “parental” time than dads.
HR Hero

High Rate of Shopping and Switching in Obamacare Plans Is a Good Sign
For most customers returning to the Obamacare marketplaces this year, it really paid to shop around. New data shows that a large number of them did. That bodes well for those shoppers and the future offerings of the insurance marketplaces.
New York Times

West Coast Ports Dispute Caused Collateral Damage, Labor Secretary Says
Renee Montagne talks to Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who worked closely with the dock workers’ union and port owners to negotiate a tentative settlement at 29 West Coast ports.
National Public Radio

Pot Is Increasingly Legal. Employers Need to Stop Screening for It.
Legal barriers to marijuana are falling all over the United States. Pot, tried by nearly half of all Americans at some point in their lives, is already legal in some form in 23 states, and four states allow recreational use.
Washington Post

In the Wake of Hobby Lobby Ruling, Employers Object to Exemption Process
Frank O’Brien Jr. cheered last summer when a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court came down on the side of Hobby Lobby and similar for-profit employers. Like the owners of the Oklahoma-based chain of arts and craft stores, O’Brien cited religious objections to providing birth control coverage for his workers.
St. Louis Post Dispatch

What Should Employers Do About Misrepresentation?
Recently, Americans were reminded just how prevalent misstatements are not only in personal life but also in the workplace, when NBC News anchor Brian Williams came under fire for misrepresenting his wartime reporting experience.

Five Types of Toxic Employees and How to Overcome Them
Shakespeare once said "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." Most of us dream of how easy it would be to be the king--err, boss, not realizing the responsibilities that come from managing employees.
Huffington Post

One Reason for Netflix’s Success, It Treats Employees Like Grownups
If you’re one of the many Americans toiling away at a huge corporation, here are some things you’re probably familiar with: tracking vacation days, getting expenses approved and sitting through yearly performance reviews.
Huffington Post

Asian Americans Quickly Catching Up to Whites in the Wealth Race
Asians are on their way to toppling whites as the wealthiest group in America. Asians have had higher median incomes than their white counterparts, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

U.S. Economy Slows in Fourth Quarter, but Growth Outlook Still Favorable
U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter amid a slow pace of stock accumulation by businesses and a wider trade deficit, but the underlying fundamentals remained solid.

Battles Loom Over Tough New Net Neutrality Rules
Despite the Federal Communications Commission's historic vote Thursday in favor of net neutrality, the fate of the Internet is far from settled. The FCC's action triggered jubilation among open Internet enthusiasts, but the powerful telecom industry is poised for a legal challenge to the new rules.

Economic Survey: Skill Development, Job Creation Pose Major Challenges in India
Fostering growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises is critical to create jobs, even as a skill development overdrive is needed for productive employment, says the Economic Survey 2014-15.
Times of India

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