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According to the Field Assistance Bulletin published by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, it was clarified that employers are required to pay employees who work remotely or teleworked for all the working hours. As per the bulletin, it is a mandate for employers to pay the remote and teleworking employees who have worked even if they have a rule against remote working. The bulletin was published on 24 Aug, 2020. DOL also noted that an employer’s obligation to pay employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act was based on both ‘actual knowledge’ or ‘constructive knowledge’ of work. DOL also clarified that the FLSA did not require employers to pay for work that they didn’t know about and had no reason to know about.
The recent situation in the US doesn’t look promising with US private employers hiring fewer workers than expected for a second straight month in August. The trend suggests that the labor market was recovering slowly as the COVID-19 crisis persists and the government funds to support workers and employers are drying up. Another report from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday also flagged the moderation in job growth, showcasing furloughed workers were permanently being laid off in some parts of the country.
According to the data sourced from staffing firm Homebase, it was found that the time worked by hourly employees both at small and medium business was relatively more than 20% below pre-pandemic levels. The data also pointed out that August was the first full month after the $600 per week enhancement for unemployment expired. AnnElizabeth Konkel – economist at Indeed’s Hiring Lab – pointed that the drop in income for the unemployed could hurt spending in the months ahead as Americans burn through whatever is left of their savings.
In an internal announcement made by DHL Supply Chain, keeping in line with its organizational commitment, to ‘attract, retain, and promote’ more women in its workforce, the organization had announced a 12-week maternity leave expansion at 100% of pay. The expansion plan would be effective from 1st Jan, 2021 and would also be applicable to adoptive parents. According to the internal reports, the policy change is cited as a part of a three-tiered approach toward inclusive culture that would include increased college recruitment, flexible work, including its ‘100 Years 100 Women Campaign’ that would highlight the contribution of women to supply chain industry.
According to latest media reports, Ford plans to slash about 1,000 salaried jobs, as it tried to execute an $11 billion restructuring that failed to meet expectations. The reported reduction had come at the time when the company was expected to report its first annual operating loss in a decade. The media reports also stated that the job cuts were expected to come in the form of voluntary buyouts and were not related to rising costs that came from the coronavirus pandemic.
Post the February announcement of the merger between Kronos and Ultimate Software – the company had announced a new, unified branding as Ultimate Kronos Group or ‘UKG’ would take effect from 1 Oct, 2020. As per the reports, the all-stock merger between the two high-profile companies in human capital management (HCM) space would continue to bring together the best of each organization’s award winning solutions. According to the initial merger announcement, the joint venture has about 12,000 employees globally and around $3 billion in annual revenue, with a total valuation of $22 billion.
US President had issued an executive order sometime back deferring the 6.2% tax employees had to pay toward Social Security from 1 Sept to 31 Dec, 2020. The executive law is not a forgiveness of the tax owed. According to the guidance issued by the IRS late last week, the law placed the responsibility on employers for collecting the deferred tax and should be paid by 30 April 2021. Failure of which could result in penalties, interest, and other taxes.
According to the guidance released by the US Department of Labor on 27th Aug., 2020, parents who have a choice of both in-person and online learning options and they choose latter would not be able to take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). DOL in a statement clearly mentioned that FFCRA leave would not be available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance.
In another lawsuit filed by employees, the federal judge dismissed the lawsuit arguing that the individuals didn’t suffer a concrete and particularized injury. G4S Secure Solutions Inc had won the lawsuit that accused the company of mishandling employees’ Social Security numbers, when a Georgia federal judge found that the employees didn’t have much evidence.
According to an internal announcement made by the beverage giant Coca-Cola on Friday, the company is planning a restructuring its workforce and the plan would also include voluntary job cuts. Coca-Cola’s shares that were a market value of $210 billion had risen to about 1% in premarket trading and fell about 12% in 2020. The announcement stated that Coke would offer voluntary layoff packages to all the employees who qualify. The layoffs would start with about 400 employees in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico who were hired on or before 1 Sept, 2017. The move aims to limit the number of involuntary job cuts that would follow.
In a recent development related to the Appvion Inc – the leading manufacturer of thermal, carbonless, and security paper and currently bankrupt – Appvion’s ex-officers and former directors have won the dismissal of a lawsuit. The suit was filed on behalf of creditors and had accused the directors of inflating the company’s stock price and improperly borrowed from the company to make payments under an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).
Mars – the family-owned business – plans to sue the arch rival JAB Holdings over theft claims. According to the lawsuit filed by Mars, one of its ex-executives had stolen more than 6,000 documents and had passed them to JAB. The documents, according to the lawsuit, contained trade secrets. Interestingly, the ex-Mars executive – who is at the center of the lawsuit claimed that one of the Mars’ family member had ‘stamped’ on his foot and warned him that he would regret his decision to leave.
According to an analysis by Gartner report published on 19 Aug, 2020, the number of skills required for a job has increased by 10% year-over-year, however, employees applied only 54% of the new skills they learn. The report also stated that about 33% of the skilled workers that were needed three years ago were no longer relevant in the current corporate world. In addition, the report also stated that COVID-19 pandemic had continued to amplify the need for new skills as business strategies would shift and employees would adapt to new ways of working.
In an internal announcement made by United Airlines it was revealed that the airline plans to cut about 2,850 pilot jobs between 1 Oct and 30 Nov, 2020, if there is no extension on the aid package from the government. The government aid package helped airlines cover employee payroll for another six months, as they weather the coronavirus pandemic. The job cuts announced were higher than those announced by Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
In another lawsuit battle, an electrical company – Air Systems – from California had agreed to pay about $1.25 million as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit. According to the lawsuit the eight African-American employees were subjected to racial discrimination while their tenure at a construction project at Apple Park. The lawsuit also stated that the workers were subjected to racial epithets, a noose at the worksite and were threatened of lynching as well.
As per the report by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump is weighing executive action in order to avoid massive layoffs at the US airlines. The plan was revealed a day later American Airlines announced that it would shrink its staff by 40,000 that included about 19,000 involuntary cuts by October post the government aid expires and no resumption of air travel in sight.
According to Bloomberg, McDonald’s was investigating its HR department along with whether the ex-CEO Steve Easterbrook covered up for the improprieties of other employees. The quick service restaurant is reportedly suing the former CEO for allegedly lying and covering about his sexual relationships with three employees. The report also stated that McDonald’s HR department was under internal review since April 2020.
In a recent announcement made by the New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal dated 20 August, 2020, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights would pursue the discrimination claims made by a former marketing director before an administrative law judge. The worker had claimed that her rights under the New Jersey Family Leave Act were denied and the company had retaliated against her when she had taken the time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act to recover from child birth.
According to the 2020 General Industry Salary Budget Survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson Data Services released on 17Aug 2020, it was revealed that there was an indication of salary hike for employees at numerous companies in the US. The hike in salary was expected to come through in 2021. The survey report also stated that most of the employers were expecting a ‘turn toward normalcy in 2021.
According to the announcement made by JP Morgan, the workers in both corporate and investment bank would cycle between days spent at the office and at home. The move would ensure remote working on a part-time basis. The announcement was made by JPMorgan – the world’s biggest Wall Street bank by revenue – and could pressurize other financial organizations as well to offer similar arrangements.