HR Newsletter: Legislative Updates

State and Local Legislative Updates

Check out the following links and PDFs to help you navigate current state and local legislative updates.

  • DOL Issues Guidance on FMLA and Mental Health Conditions – The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released new resources on workers’ rights to leave for mental health conditions under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In a press release, the DOL said it published the new guidance in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.

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HR Newsletter: Attracting and Retaining Employees During the Great Reshuffle

HR Newsletter: Attracting and Retaining Employees During the Great Reshuffle

While employees continue to quit their jobs at high levels, it no longer appears that massive numbers of workers are leaving the workforce entirely. Economists have begun referring to the situation as the “Great Reshuffle” as total employment in the United States continues to trend up. Employees have been finding better jobs, with key decision factors generally revolving around compensation, benefits, career advancement and workplace flexibility.

Here are some common strategies employers can explore when it comes to attracting and retaining workers in today’s labor market.

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HR Newsletter: Employee Quits Fall Slightly in April

HR Newsletter: Employee Quits Fall Slightly in April

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary. This month’s reported number of employee quits fell from a record high of 4.5 million in March to around 4.4 million in April. April marks the eleventh consecutive month that more than four million workers left their jobs.

Despite the slight decrease in total employee quits, the April report reveals that the employee-quit rate held at 2.9%. Industries like real estate and rental leasing saw a slight increase in employee quits while state and local government education decreased somewhat.

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HR Newsletter: Wearable Technology and the Workforce

Wearable Technology and the Workforce

Are employers already using wearable technology to help employees track their work schedules, communicate with co-workers, and find products located in a store or warehouse? Yes. While other employers are also exploring technology that monitors how employees physically move when accomplishing daily tasks as a way to identify and prevent ergonomic issues.

Wearable technology isn’t a new feature. For years, personal gadgets such as smartwatches have been gaining popularity among people who want better insight into their health trends. According to Pew Research Center data, nearly 1 in 5 Americans (21%) say they regularly wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker. In fact, wearable technology has grown so commonplace that employers have been exploring ways to leverage it among their workforce.

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HR Newsletter: Positive Workforce Drug Tests Reach 20-Year High

Positive Workforce Drug Tests Reach 20-Year High

Recent drug test rates show that positive workforce tests from 2021 climbed to the highest level since 2001, according to a new analysis released by Quest Diagnostics, a leading provider of preemployment and post-accident drug and alcohol testing.

Quest Diagnostics’ study was based on a total of more than 11 million deidentified urine, hair, and oral fluid drug test results from its testing index collected between January and December 2021. In 2021, the rate of positive drug test results among America’s workforce was found to be 4.6%, up from 4.4% in 2020. 2021’s positive test average is Quest Diagnostics’ highest recorded since 2001 and is up more than 30% from the all-time low of 3.5%, recorded 10 years ago.

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HR Newsletter: Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health—your mental and emotional well-being—can change over time due to factors like workload, stress, and work-life balance. Observed every May, Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to join together to fight stigma and provide support for people with mental illness and their families.

Mental illnesses are some of the most common health conditions in the United States.

  • More than 50% of the population will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point
  • 1 in 5 will experience a mental illness in a given year
  • 1 in 25 lives with a serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression)

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HR Newsletter: Designing an Internship Program

Designing an Internship Program

If you hear the word “intern” and think of a young person who can fetch the coffee and make copies, you’re not alone. But internships have evolved into more valuable roles, and well-designed internship programs can become an important part of your recruiting strategy and corporate image.

Internships are opportunities for undergraduate students, recent graduates, and graduate students to learn from on-the-job training and to experience work in their chosen field. What distinguishes an internship from a part-time job is that an internship’s purpose is to provide an educational experience for the intern, whereas a part-time job does not promise any educational value beyond necessary job training.

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HR Newsletter: Employee Quits Reach Record High

Employee Quits Reach Record High

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary. Notably, the number of quits increased to around 4,536,000 in March, up from approximately 4,384,000 in February. The BLS defines a quit as a “voluntary separation initiated by the employee.” March’s quits rate rose to 3%, setting a new record high. Additionally, employment openings exceeded the level of available workers by 5.6 million.

The March report includes a relatively unchanged quit rate, despite the increase in total quits. Although, increases were noticed in the professional and business services and construction industries. Quits also rose slightly in the Southern United States but generally remained steady across industries and regions. Lastly, the number of job openings in the United States slightly increased to roughly 11.5 million open positions.

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HR Newsletter: EEOC Guidance on COVID-19 and Disability under the ADA

EEOC Guidance on COVID-19 and Disability under the ADA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued FAQ guidance about how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal fair employment laws while also observing workplace safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAQs were originally released on March 17, 2020, and were most recently updated on March 14, 2022.

In section N of the guidance, the EEOC addresses the definition of “disability” under the ADA and how COVID-19 may or may not fit that definition.

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