Study Says $15/Hr Minimum Wage in Seattle Harms Workers

Employment trends expert discusses troubling new findings

Rob Wilson, president of Employco USA and employment trends expert is unsurprised by these latest findings. He says, “Past numbers show that increasing the minimum wage has a direct and negative impact not only on businesses, but on workers themselves. Research by economists Jeffrey Clemens and Michael Wither of the University of California-San Diego showed that minimum wage increases were responsible for 14 percent of the job losses suffered between 2006 and 2012.”

Furthermore, Wilson says, only 1.8 percent of Americans earn minimum wage.

Wilson explains, “The reality is that most companies endeavor to pay a competitive wage to lure talent and ensure employee loyalty. However, certain positions (such as retail and hospitality) have a very thin margin of profit. These employers can only afford to pay workers minimum wage if they want to stay profitable and remain in business. An increase hits their businesses hard, which is why so many people have actually lost their jobs due to the minimum wage increases across the country.”

There is another downside as well.

“Traditionally, minimum wage jobs have been employment opportunities for young adults and those first entering the workforce. When these jobs are reduced, teens and other inexperienced workers suffer as a result.”

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

Why 74% of People Want to Leave Their Current Job

Employment expert reveals the reasons behind why people leave their jobs

A recent survey found that 74 percent of people say that they are looking for a new job. Although that number might sound high, employment expert Rob Wilson says that the number is accurate. And here’s something else: Hating your job now can equal poorer health even years in the future.

“Many people are dissatisfied at their current place of employment, so even if they aren’t actively searching for new employment each day, they are passively keeping an eye out and networking when possible,” he says. “And now a new study shows that poor job satisfaction in your late 20s and 30s can have a huge negative impact on your physical and emotional health even decades in the future.”

So what is the reason why so many Americans aren’t happy with their jobs?

“The number one reason that people say they leave their jobs is because they aren’t happy with the possibilities for advancement,” says Wilson, CEO of Employco USA. “No one likes to feel like they are spinning their wheels. And the corporate culture itself is changing. Staying at a job for decades used to be a mark of accomplishment and loyalty. Now, today’s generation view that as stagnation—they are always looking for the next best thing.”

What are the other reasons people give for why they want out of their current jobs?

“The other two reasons are that people are unsatisfied with their management and/or their office climate,” he says, “Overly restrictive bosses or unfair management practices can make people feel like their work isn’t appreciated or as though they are being treated like children, rather than as valued employees.”

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

Are Summer Dress Codes Unfair to the Trans Community?

Employment expert explains how companies can ensure their dress codes are equitable for all

With summer temperatures climbing, employees are looking for ways to keep cool while in the office. But what happens when office dress codes are biased towards the cis community?

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert, says, “Summer dress codes present a big issue for many companies. This is a particularly important to discuss as June is Pride Month, and many dress codes are seen as transphobic.”

So how companies create a comprehensive and equitable dress code for men and women, including those in the LGBTQIA community?

Here, employment expert Wilson outlines the important steps that companies of every size should take:

  1. Don’t use gender-specific language in your company policies. “For example, instead of saying ‘Women should not wear miniskirts’ or ‘Men must wear a tie’ simply state ‘No miniskirts’ or ‘Business professional attire required.’ Don’t assume that all of your employees identify as cissexual or that they all dress according to specific gender stereotypes.”
  2. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. “If you allow your female staff to wear dark nail polish and edgy hair styles like pastel dye, then realize that is setting a precedent for the entire office. This means that all of your employees, including transwomen or men or those who identify as non-binary, will expect to have equal rights when it comes to expressing their fashion tastes. If you want to limit such expressions of individuality, then make a policy that only light nail polish is allowed and that no extreme hair colors or styles are permitted.”
  3. Send out a reminder at the start of each season. “As the weather gets warmer, more people are going to start reaching for open-toed shoes and sundresses,” says Wilson. “Now is the best time to send out a mass email to your staff with clear and concise instructions about summer dress.” Continue reading

Is the Debt Worth the Degree?

Employment expert weighs in on how Skilled Workers fare Vs. College Grads

“We have this idea in our society that a college degree is the gateway to financial freedom and success, says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “But the statistics don’t necessarily bear that out. Most college grads end up moving home after graduation to live with their parents, and it takes several months or more for them to find a job. In many cases, that job won’t be in their field of interest, and these young people end up spending a good chunk of their paycheck paying off their hefty student loans.”

In contrast, Wilson says that skilled trade workers make $50,000 a year (similar to a new college graduate’s annual salary), and they have around $2,500 in student loan debt as opposed to $37,000.

Wilson says, “Getting a 2-year degree can be a very smart move for many Americans. Baby boomers are retiring in droves, and as they do so, they will be leaving many of their jobs in skilled trades like carpentry and electrical work. Companies will need trained workers to replace this staff, and those few that can fill these positions will be in high demand. Alternatively, a college graduate with a degree in communications will be competing with millions of other equally qualified and motivated young people with similar degrees.”

So does Wilson think a college degree is not worth the debt?

“It really depends on your goals,” says Wilson. “Some careers certainly will require a 4-year degree. However, the reality is that we need skilled workers in this country, and companies are willing to pay good money to get that. Some will even pay for your training…meaning you can actually get paid to learn invaluable job skills that will look good on your resume no matter what career you end up choosing.”

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

What Managers Can Learn from the Steve Harvey Memo Fiasco

Human resources expert explains where Harvey went wrong, and how managers should confront problematic open-door policies

Television host and comedian Steve Harvey has been lambasted in the media for his memo to employees, excerpts of which include “Do not approach me in the makeup chair,” “Do not open my dressing room door,” and “I want the ambushing to stop now.”

Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, says, “Perhaps Harvey could have worded his memo a bit better, but he does raise a valid issue. An open-door policy is not applicable for every office environment, and for many workers, such as those with ADHD or other learning differences, constant, unplanned interruptions can really impede their ability to concentrate and get things done.”

Here, Wilson reveals some ideas for workers and managers who are struggling with this very same issue:

Encourage employees to proceed with caution. “Open door policies can work depending on the company’s culture, size, and if the executive’s time allows for it.  It helps to win employees’ trust, and it makes the office feel more like a team and less like a dictatorship.  However, when possible, it is more efficient to create a policy that encourages employees to bring issues, ideas and complaints to supervisors and lower-level managers before they head straight to the CEO. If a CEO is putting out small fires all day, they can’t tend to the real work of running the firm.”

Schedule regular, ongoing meetings. “If allowing for open door policy is too disruptive, management should schedule ongoing meetings with different types of employees to ask for feedback and suggestions for improvement.”

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Here’s How Trumpcare Is Going to Impact the Average American

Group insurance expert reveals what Americans can expect

President Trump’s American Healthcare Act is under ever-increasing scrutiny from politicians and pundits alike. However, misunderstandings and oversights have been rife when it comes to the way many Americans talk about the Republican healthcare bill, says Rob Wilson, group health insurance expert and President of Employco USA.

Here, Wilson identifies key part parts of ‘Trumpcare’ which he believes are important for Americans to become aware of:

  • Elimination of the employer and individual mandates: “It will no longer be a requirement for anyone (such as young, healthy people) to have for health insurance. And, the elimination of penalties means that they will not be penalized if they decide if they would rather spend their hard-earned money elsewhere.”
  • A 30% surcharge to premium cost for lapse of coverage over 60 days: “This will allow insurers to charge people who drop in and out of the market, which will help to keep costs fair and encourage people to keep their health insurance intact.”
  • Repeal tax on over-the-counter medicine: “This will be a nice boon for consumers.”
  • Repeal of tax increase on Health Savings Accounts and increase in maximum contribution for HSA accounts: “This will remove the excess penalty if Americans need to use their HSA for costs other than healthcare bills, and the increase in max contributions will also offer tax benefits for Americans, as these funds are 100 percent tax-deductible.”
  • Repeal of Medical Device Excise Tax: “A $20 billion tax cut, this will help to increase lower costs for manufacturers and breathe life back into states such as Indiana where medical device manufacturing is a multi-billion dollar industry.”
  • Repeal of increased Medicare tax: “Removing the 0.9% Medicare payroll tax on any money Americans earn above $250,000 will be a relief for many Americans.”
  • Repeal of tax on Prescription Medications: “This will amount to a $28 billion tax cut,” he says. “It will lessen the burden on Americans who purchase prescriptions each month, and it will allow drug companies to spend more money on research, production and development of medications.”
  • Repeal of Tanning Tax: “That 10 percent federal tanning tax is going away,” says Wilson.
  • Cadillac tax would not go in to effect until Dec 31, 2025: “The astronomical tax is now being delayed until 2025, which will lift a huge burden on consumers.”

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Crain’s List of Chicago’s Largest Privately Held Companies

Employco USA took the 141th spot on the Crain’s List of Chicago’s Largest Privately Held Companies with $317 million in revenue for 2016, up 7.5% from 2015.

Crain's List Employco

Employco was also recognized on the Workforce Giants (#13) and Local Employers (#1) charts with 12,681 total full-time employees and 7,442 local employees, respectively.

Crains List Employco

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

Going Back to Work After a Workplace Shooting

Employment expert explains HR procedure after an act of violence at the office

workplaceLast week Cedric Anderson brought a gun to his wife’s school in San Bernardino, killing her and a special-needs student in the crossfire. Classes resume today for the first time since the horrific crime. But as the community tries to put the pieces back together, Americans are once again left wondering if their schools and their workplaces are safe.

“Many people worry about the children in these situations, as well they should, but we tend to forget the overwhelming reality that the teachers and school staff are confronted with. They have to put on a brave face and make everything okay for the kids, even as they might be dealing with anxiety, dread and even PTSD,” says Rob Wilson, CEO of Employco USA, “Workplace violence is a growing concern in this country, from the 2016 shooting at a Kansas lawncare company, to the 2016 San Bernardino mass shooting, to the WDBJ-TV shooting which occurred on-air. These shootings seem to be on the rise, and when acts of senseless violence like this occur, it robs us of a sense of security in our workplaces and beyond.”

Here, Wilson outlines the steps that an employer should take in the event of workplace violence:

1)      Put emergency guidelines in your handbook. “Make sure that your employee handbook offers procedures on how to handle the unthinkable. We have everything from fire drills to tornado drills, we should also have steps in place for how to handle a mass shooting. If possible, you can even discuss these steps with a local law enforcement officer to help to ensure that the best procedures are given to your employees.”

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