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Legislative Update

    The following legislative update provided by Jim Albertson.


    SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

    Frontier Co-op program gives workers a second chance at employment
    Alisia Weaver is unsure where she would be without her job at Frontier Co-op.
    With a felony record for a nonviolent crime, Weaver, 36, just needed someone to give her the chance to prove what she already knew: She is a hardworking person, willing to take on challenges.

    What to Expect from OSHA on COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Rules
    Businesses with at least 100 employees will soon be required to mandate that employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus or submit to weekly testing. Employers are still waiting for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard, and some key questions have yet to be answered, but employers can take certain steps now to prepare.

    The NLRB’s New General Counsel Issues First Guidance Memorandum Foreshadowing Reversal of Key Board Decisions

    There’s a new sheriff in town at the National Labor Relations Board, and she is charting a new course for the Board. On August 12, the NLRB's new general counsel (GC), Jennifer Abruzzo, issued Memorandum 21-04, instructing NLRB regional directors on her litigation priorities. The 10-page memo is divided into three sections: (1) cases and subject matter areas where, in the last several years, the Board overruled legal precedent; (2) initiatives and areas that, while not necessarily the subject of a more recent Board decision, are nevertheless ones she would like to examine carefully; and (3) other case-handling matters traditionally submitted to the GC’s office for advice. Learn More

    Job Posts Requiring COVID-19 Vaccinations Rise
    More employers are requiring that applicants be vaccinated against COVID-19, and that shift is being reflected in job listings, according to a recent analysis.

    Hybrid workplace calls for benefit changes
    With the coming of the hybrid workplace, many companies are realizing that their current array of job perks of may no longer be what's needed, reports the Wall Street Journal. In survey of 500 U.S. human-resource executives, 66% said they plan to offer more flexibility, with 63% planning to increase child-care benefits and 41% planning to expand senior-care offerings. In the same survey, the HR pros deemed current benefits like on-site meals and child care less important.

    Instead of ‘Hybrid’ or ‘Remote’ Work, Let's Call It ‘Strategic Flexibility’
    "Remote" and "hybrid" just don't fit the ways leading businesses are getting work done. Strategic flexibility means embracing the concept that employees and managers can be productive just about anywhere, writes columnist Jathan Janove, with good communication and the right expectations. Here's how HR leaders helped two companies succeed with strategic flexibility.

    Health Premium Surcharges for the Unvaccinated?
    Put protections in place for the handling of vaccination data
    More employers are considering a premium surcharge on employees who participate in the company's health plan and are not vaccinated against COVID-19—akin to the surcharge on smokers. There are issues these companies should examine before doing so.

    Delta Air Lines Charges Unvaccinated Workers $200 Monthly Premium Surcharge
    Delta Air Lines announced that it will impose a substantial health premium surcharge—$200 per month—on its unvaccinated employees, making it one of the first big U.S. employers to do so. Other companies are considering such surcharges, similar to those imposed on smokers

    A separate survey by Stanford University researchers predicts 20% of full workdays will be supplied from employees at home after the pandemic ends, compared to just 5% pre-pandemic, reports Forbes. And yet another survey by EY Global finds 9 in 10 respondents want flexibility in where and when they can work. On average, employees would want to work between two and three days remotely after the pandemic.

    Work-Refusal Unemployment Claims Spike During the Pandemic
    Unemployment compensation claims from employees who refuse to return to work after being furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic are on the rise. Here’s how employment attorneys advise employers to respond.

    Viewpoint: Why It’s Time to Re-Onboard Every Employee 
    Workplaces are in a state of tumult. Resignations, new hires, hybrid work, new missions and goals—with all the changes, even long-tenured employees are feeling like newbies. Take the time to reintroduce everyone to one another and to the expectations leaders have for working in the new normal.

    Google's Salary Cuts for Remote Workers Renew Location-Based Pay Debate
    Google said remote employees would see their pay lowered based on local labor costs, even if they haven't relocated but no longer commute to an urban Google office from less-expensive suburbs, raising issues about penalizing teleworkers

    San Francisco Will Tax Employers Based on CEO Pay Ratio
    Measure L, which passed with the overwhelming support of voters, will be effective in 2022 for businesses operating in the city of San Francisco. Its stated objective is to address income disparity.

    OFCCP Reverses Course, Will Use EEO-1 Pay Data for Investigation, Enforcement

    On September 1, 2021, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the Department of Labor sub-agency charged with enforcing affirmative action and non-discrimination requirements imposed on federal contractors by way of Executive Order 11246, announced that it was reversing its prior position regarding the use of EEO-1 compensation data collected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for calendar years 2018 and 2019 (the so-called “Component 2”). Learn More

    NYC Mandates Retirement for All

    New York City employers that do not offer their own retirement savings plans to employees will soon be required to do so. Two recently enacted New York City laws (Bill Nos. 888-A and 901-A, collectively the “Retirement Security for All” acts), will require private-sector employers with five or more employees to enroll eligible New York City employees in either their own plan or in a city-managed retirement savings plan. Learn More