How 2018 Summer Internships Will Change Under President Trump

Employment trends expert explains changing regulations regarding internships

InternshipResearch shows that students who have internships are more likely to find employment following graduation than students who do not. However, in recent years, controversy over unpaid internships has meant that some companies have decided to change their policy regarding student interns.

But, President Trump might be reversing that trend, as new policies regarding unpaid internships will loosen up the regulations that companies formerly faced.

“Under recent provisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is now legal for employers not to pay interns, provided that the intern benefits more from the working relationship than the employer does,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “It is also important that the intern does not perform any tasks or functions which would replace the efforts of any existing employees.”

In other words, says Wilson, these new provisions will make it easier for students to find internships than in previous years, while simultaneously protecting the jobs of paid workers.

“Just because an internship is labeled ‘unpaid’ does not mean that it is valueless,” says Wilson. “Nothing compares to hands-on learning, and students can vastly benefit from these positions.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

The New Rules of Office Etiquette

H.R. expert reveals what employees need to know about their rights

AnnoyedA new survey of 2,000 employees has revealed that 100% of people say that their coworkers are annoying.  Simply put: We all have a coworker that gets on our last nerve. The most annoying behaviors in the workplace include: loudness, gossip, bathroom/eating habits, and email/meeting behavior.

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, and human resources expert, says, “It makes sense that loudness tops the list of most annoying behaviors, because many offices are now embracing an open-floor plan. As a result, it can be difficult to retreat from noise or find peace and quiet to do your work.”

Wilson also says that tech-based missteps also rate high on the list. “People who hit ‘reply all’ when it is not necessary to do so, or who send kissy-face emojis or use text speak in their emails (such as ‘LMK’ or ‘TTYL’) tend to get under other people’s skin,” he says. “It shows a lack of professionalism and an assumption of familiarity that can feel invasive.”

Another new issue that many employees are facing is related to allergens, such as a person who might have a sensitivity to certain fragrances, yet they are sitting close by a coworker who douses themselves in floral perfume every morning.

So, what are employees’ options if they find their coworker annoying?

“When it comes to a small matter such as an issue with a person’s speaking volume or if they have a habit of eating smelly tuna at their cubicle, the best thing to do is to approach the person one-on-one. Keep it light, and you can even be a bit self-deprecating,” says Wilson. “Mention that you have a health issue which makes your nose sensitive to fragrance and can even lead to serious migraines, or explain that you struggle to concentrate when music is playing.”

But, if the employee won’t compromise, you are going to need to speak to H.R., says Wilson. “If you have a suggestion box or an anonymous form, you could select this option if you are concerned with anonymity. Some offices now even have an online suggestion box where people can send in anonymous questions and comments to H.R., and these can be very invaluable. Human Resources can often easily find a solution, whether it’s moving your cubicle farther away from a loud-talking employee or instituting ‘quiet hours’ or allowing noise-canceling headphones.”

Ultimately, Wilson says, some annoying behavior from coworkers is unavoidable, but for the most part, employees can work together to create an enjoyable and pleasant environment for everyone.

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

What Illinois Employers Need to Know About New Required Retirement Plan

Chicago-based employment expert explains “Illinois Secure Choice”

Starting in May 2018, a new retirement plan called Illinois Secure Choice is being introduced in Illinois. For the first several months, this program will be voluntary, but beginning in November 2018, employers will be legally required to participate in this plan. However, many companies are still woefully uneducated or undereducated about this program.

“It is imperative that employers in Illinois become better acquainted with these changing retirement requirements,” says Rob Wilson, President of employment-solutions firm Employco USA, which is based in Chicago, IL and services a number of prestigious Illinois companies.  “This is especially true right now, as big changes are coming with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, which is a retirement savings plan that enables Illinois-based workers to save their own money through a regular payroll deduction.”

Here the employment expert outlines what Illinois employers need to know about Illinois Secure Choice:

  • Voluntary Pilot Phase. “After several delays, the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program is ready to launch its pilot phase in May 2018. Starting in May, employers that elect to voluntarily participate can begin to process employee payroll deductions and remit the funds to the retirement plan provider,” says Wilson.
  • Employer Requirement Phase. “Starting in November 2018, employers will be notified of their legal requirement to participate in the program. Employers in Illinois that have 25 or more employees, have been in operation for at least two years, and that don’t offer a qualified savings plan (e.g., a 401(k) plan) will be forced to automatically enroll their employees into Secure Choice,” says Wilson.

“Employees can opt-out at any time. Employers will be responsible for dispersing information packets (provided by Secure Choice) to each of their employees. Employers will also facilitate enrollment of employees into Secure Choice, set up the payroll deduction process, and remit employee contributions to the plan provider. Employers who do not comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act may be subject to fines and penalties.”

Wilson concludes, “Instead of participating in Illinois Secure Choice, an employer can choose to offer an employer-sponsored plan, similar to ones that we have helped clients transition to. However, you need to move quickly in order to make sure you have your ducks in a row in time for these new deadlines.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Here’s Why Millennials Keep Changing Jobs

Employment expert discusses new findings about “job switching” among young people

Changing Jobs“Job switching” is a fast-moving trend which has changed the face of the American workplace.

“Gone are the days of retiring after 50 years with a gold watch,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “A new study has found that job-switching continues to rise, particularly among Millennials and those working in the tech industry.”

Wilson says that “job-switching” is the result of employees seeking greater learning opportunities and increased pay. “Today’s young workers aren’t afraid to leave a well-paying, suitable job, which makes them different from former generations. And, research shows that this willingness to try new things pays off, especially when you are young: New research shows that workers who spend 2-3 years at their first job end up earning more money over their lifetime than workers who spend 4 or more years in the same role.”

The employment trends expert says that becoming complacent could stagnate an employee’s growth, as well as keep them from learning new skills and networking with new people.

“A person who shows up to the same office every day for years is probably not going to be greeted by opportunity very often,” says Wilson. “On the other hand, workers who are willing to put themselves out there and keep their skills sharp could find that their tenacity pays off.”

So, what should employers do to keep employees from bailing?

“Make sure that you are offering your employees more than just a paycheck. Along with room for advancement, offer your employees continued learning seminars and educational opportunities. Allow them room for creative control where possible, and help tease out their hidden skills and abilities.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Employco USA Hires a Loss Control Consultant

A human resource and employment solutions firm, Employco USA is pleased to announce the growing expansion of its staff.

Omar Fundora

Employco’s newest team member:

Omar Fundora, Loss Control Consultant – will be responsible for providing consultation and training to employers regarding safety matters. Omar will be developing business partnerships and ambassador-type relationships with insured policyholders. He will evaluate: physical premises, equipment, materials, work practices, and safety policies and programs. He will also be conducting safety surveys of employers’ premises to gather information to assist in risk selection as an integral part of the underwriting process. And, he will work with management to develop loss control strategies that will have the greatest impact on company success measures.

I am glad to be joining the Employco family and I am looking forward to getting to know the team members and working together to meet our client accounts loss control targets. I believe that people should go home the same way they came to work.” -Omar Fundora

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Rob Wilson on Business for Breakfast: Why So Many Americans Are Still Opting out of Health Insurance

Rob Wilson discusses why so many Americans are going without health insurance on a segment of Business for Breakfast (Money Radio).

Read more on this topic here:
http://www.employco.com/blog/2018/03/26/many-americans-still-opting-health-insurance/

Contact us with any questions you may have, we’re here to help: hr@employco.com

Employco USA Hires a Senior Commercial Account Manager

A human resource and employment solutions firm, Employco USA is pleased to announce the growing expansion of its staff.

Employco’s newest team member:

Megan ChamberlinMegan Chamberlin, Senior Commercial Account Manager – in this blended role, a portion of Megan’s time will focus on coordinating the workers’ compensation plans for Employco and its clients and assisting with the underwriting process prior to submission to carriers. Megan’s remaining time will focus on the ongoing management of Corporate Risk Management’s commercial clients, retention of new and renewal clients, and maintaining a partnership with the producers to support business development activities while upholding high service standards.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Employco family at a time in my life when changes are both intimidating and refreshing. The feeling I enjoyed during the interview process gives me confidence that this is just the beginning of great new relationships and experiences in my career with the company.” – Megan Chamberlin

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

New Study: Actually, Robots Won’t Take Our Jobs

Employment trends expert explains new findings and whether humans should fear being replaced by A.I.

A new study suggests that previous findings regarding job automation predictions might have been way off. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says that fears over artificial intelligence stealing jobs might be overstated.

“The findings from the OECD are helping to reassure some workers who feared that they were going to be replaced by robots in the next 20 years,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “These researchers are now saying that previous numbers were overstated and did not take into account different types of jobs which fall under the same name and title.”

In other words, says Wilson, previous studies regarding job automation may have been too broad. In fact, when it comes to considering the risks of artificial intelligence’s impact on the workforce and our economy, Wilson says we need to break down the numbers as much as possible.

“The fact remains that earlier findings show that fast-food workers could be at serious risk of losing their jobs to robots in the next several years. Another recent study found that each new robot added per 1,000 workers causes wages to drop in the surrounding area by around 0.25 and 0.5 percent,” says Wilson. “We can clearly see that in specific industries, the impact of automation cannot be overstated.”

Wilson says minimum wage hikes could also make robots the preferred option for employers. “Robots don’t need raises,” he says. “They don’t need healthcare or sick days. For employers who are looking down the barrel of ever-increasing business costs, robots are a cost-saving option in the long-run.”

The employment trends expert also points to a new study which highlighted the fact that Seattle workers lost $129 a month on average after the city’s minimum wage was increased to $15.

“Higher wages sound like a boon for employees, until you realize that employers simply cannot keep pace with these increased costs,” says Wilson. “As a result, they cut staff, limit hours…and consider new technology like automation to replace workers. This is just the beginning of a very disturbing new trend which could lead millions to end up out of work.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Webinar: Employee Engagement

Jason Eisenhut, Vice President of Human Resources for Employco USA, recently joined Jim Wurm of the EACA (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association) for a webinar on “Employee Engagement.”

Check out the recorded webcast to learn how this workplace approach can result in: all members of an organization giving their best each day, as well as remaining motivated to contribute to the company’s overall success and value.