How not to sugarcoat a bad employment report

UC Berkeley economist Brad DeLong calls “nuh-uh” on the Obama administration’s wan attempt to put the best face on Friday’s dispiriting employment report, pointing to the “absolute and total complete disaster” lurking not far beneath the “flat-lining employment-to-population ratio.”

Jason Furman, the White House chief economist, underscored that the private sector has added jobs for 46 consecutive months, though he could hardly avoid noting that the December figure was a meager gain of 74,000 (attributed by most to that all-purpose winter rascal, the weather). The overall unemployment rate is still “trending down,” Furman said, to 6.7% in December, the lowest since October 2008.

Furman acknowledged, as how could he not, that the sour note in the statistics is the rate of long-term unemployed (those jobless for more than six months), which is tenaciously high.

DeLong’s gloss focuses on a trend unmentioned by Furman, which is that the reason for the decline in the unemployment rate is that “labor force participation is falling.” If those dropping out of the labor force fail to return once the

Low-wage workers pay the price of nickel-and-diming by employers

The continuing push for higher minimum wages across the country has much to recommend it, but the campaign shouldn’t keep us from recognizing a truly insidious practice that impoverishes low-wage workers all the more. It’s known as wage theft.

Wage theft, as documented in surveys, regulatory actions and lawsuits from around the country, takes many forms: Forcing hourly employees off the clock by putting them to work before they can clock in or after they clock out. Manipulating their time cards to cheat them of overtime pay. Preventing them from taking legally mandated breaks or shaving down their lunch hours. Disciplining or firing them for filing lawful complaints.

Nickel-and-diming pays well, for the employer.

A study published in 2010 by a network of employment rights organizations calculated that employment and labor law violations cost low-wage workers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles alone an estimated $56.4 million a week. In Los Angeles, where the survey was conducted by UCLA’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, the respondents lost an

Management/Employee Liabilities When to Call in a Coach

Management styles can differ between reasonable people. Some employees respond more effectively to a more forceful approach while some employees react better when individually empowered. When employers fail to employ proper motivational techniques, productivity and morale may suffer. Employers who do not understand the nature of the problem may exacerbate it with ham fisted approaches. It is in these situations where executive coaches can be useful.

Increasing Organizational Morale

Morale is important for any business. Poor organizational morale will lead to friction between the organization’s various departments and an unwillingness to voice concerns to management. Interdepartmental friction and poor communication between organizational strata will substantially reduce productivity and decrease the amount of valid information that managers have to make vital decisions.

Low morale can also lead to high turnover. New employees must be oriented, trained, and otherwise integrated into the organization while departing employees take their training and skills to competitors. Employee retention is a problem for many businesses. There is a tendency among certain managers to dismiss elevated turnover rates as seasonal fluctuations or attribute them to external factors. While a consultant can be brought

Three Arguments to Bring a Discrimination Suit When Suing Is the Right Choice

Why would you file a suit for discrimination or harassment at work? You’re a peace loving person who just wants to do his or her job, and go home to enjoy the family. Besides, you ask yourself, how can I prove it?

There are three reasons to file a case for discrimination:

1) Your efforts to enter an early dialogue and resolution of your employment grievances have reached an impasse despite your best efforts to be transparent and reasonable;

2) You know the company treated you unfairly in deciding to let you go, and you strongly suspect, even if you cannot put your finger on it, that it was because you were an older worker, or that you took some time off for a serious health condition, or because you weren’t a member of the “old boys” club.

3) You have obtained expert legal counsel who informed you of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, giving it to you straight. Your questions about financial costs, and risks of losing were answered forthrightly, and you’re ready to make the investment.

This third reason includes an assessment of just what you have to

3 Common Employment Law Questions Answered

Sometimes employment law can be difficult to comprehend. Here are three common work place situations and their legal ramifications.

1: DISMISSAL DUE TO ILLNESS

There are three potential areas of legal exposure:

· unfair dismissal;

· unlawful termination; and

· discrimination

From time to time an employee will have to leave your employment due to long term health issues. They may decide to resign or you may have to eventually consider dismissing them. It is beneficial to consider as many ways possible to help them back to work – dismissal should be a last resort and could be deemed unfair if not managed properly.

If continued employment is no longer achievable because there are no reasonable adjustments that can be made, it may be fair for you to dismiss them.

The Fair Work Act 2009 states that an employer must not dismiss an employee because the employee is temporarily absent from work due to illness or injury.

The Fair Work Regulation 2009 provides that it is not a “temporary absence” if the employees absence from work extends for more than 3 months, or the total absences of

What Happens After Filing an Initial Claim for Long Term Disability

Filing an initial claim for Long Term Disability (“LTD”) benefits is very time-consuming and exhausting for claimants. It is a juggling act of balancing the medical care necessitated by your disability, the down time needed for you to rest and heal, and the seemingly never ending requests for information and documents thrust at you by the claims administrator or insurance company. However, it is important to understand that once you are approved for LTD benefits, the juggling act does not stop there. Throughout the duration of your LTD claim, you will be subject to ongoing and period eligibility reviews. During eligibility reviews, the plan or its administrators will be reviewing your evidence to determine if you still meet the test for disability. If during the review, there does not appear to be enough evidence to support disability, your LTD benefits may be denied. Therefore, it is important to understand when such reviews may take place and how to advocate for your claim during an eligibility review in order to avoid wrongful LTD claim denials.

When will your claim be subject to ongoing eligibility reviews?

Unless your LTD plan states otherwise, approved LTD claims are typically subject to ongoing and periodic

Preventing Sexual Discrimination in Chinese Employment Law

Although China has established laws to ensure fair treatment and equality in the workplace for all its citizens, the country is still some way from achieving employment laws that match the western world’s treatment of employees.

Discrimination in employment is not a new occurrence in The People’s Republic of China, but as the country continues its recent progression of economic and social reforms, the Chinese government has increased its desire to end the sexually discriminatory employment policies that exist throughout the country. This includes upholding laws that forbid jobs to be advertised with gender specific requirements, like those that state applicants should be “male only” or “male preferred”.

A recent example of legal action against the unfairness of China’s labour and employment laws occurred in Beijing, where the private training institute Juren School was sued by a young female job-seeker named Cao Ju, who asserted that her application for the position of ‘administrative assistant’ was snubbed at the expense of the company’s preference towards male hiring employees. This is an unquestionable case of discriminatory behaviour as the job advertisement published on the internet clearly stated that men only need apply. Miss Ju sued for RMB

Simple trick that will make people open your emails

I get more than 500 emails a day, on 4 different accounts. It’s hard to pay attention to all of them. There are emails you know you can ignore, and some you know you have to read. But there are so many you simply don’t know.

The trick to notice anything is for it to stand out. But how do you get an email to stand out? There are not too many elements to an email header that you can play with.

This reminds me of my first trip to Tokyo. The sheer amount of street advertisement was overwhelming. How can anyone see anything here? How can one advertisement stand out over the others? It was impossible for me to notice anything among all the colors and pictures all around me.

Except for one advertisement that caught my attention. I don’t even know what the street “sign” was for, but there were several people (live…) who were strapped to the building wall, playing soccer with a ball held by a string. This is how far you needed to go to grab my attention.

So what about email? There used to be a time when

3 actually useful job perks you didn’t know you wanted

These days, it’s all about the perks: companies, possibly in lieu of an abundance of jobs or exorbitant salaries, have made an effort to outdo each other in the perk department. Netflix upped the ante in 2015 by announcing a year of paid family leave, and Facebook went as far as to offer egg freezing. And while those are certainly offers that will make you pause, the majority of us not working at the world’s most sought-after tech jobs may wonder what’s left on the table for the regular folk. Enter: these interesting offers.

While smaller companies struggle to present competitive packages to new employees, perks and benefits can be a great place of leverage for hirees. When there isn’t a lot of cash left over, it can be appealing for companies to take the hit in other forms of investment.

These may not be the perks you find in your next offer, but be inspired: great benefits are around the corner; you just have to know what you’re looking for!

College Classes

Your company may not have a tutor on hand to teach you the finer points of theoretical physics, but that doesn’t

Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act How Are These Related To Each Other

Discrimination has many forms and offenders have different means of doing it. This sad state of things has continued to exist. There might be a perceivable drop in the incidence of different forms of discrimination in the workplace. However, there are some discriminating acts, such as giving irrational differences in the pay given to different employees that actually deserve to get more. This is a more serious problem in a way because of its subtle approach that causes real, tangible effects to the victims of it.

The Equal Pay Act

Originated in 1963, this United States federal law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act that aims to abolish wage disparity based on sex. With this law, one receives equal pay for equal work. While there is no need for jobs to be identical, as long as these are substantially equal. All forms of pay are covered by this law. It includes salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits. If a case of inequality happens, a company can never lower or reduce the wages

Don’t Follow Your Doctor’s Orders – Your Legal Rights As an Injured Worker

Rosalie is a bus driver. Before the end of her shift, on a particularly rainy day, Rosalie walked up and down the aisle to make sure that no personal belongings were left on the bus. She slipped in a puddle that had formed on the floor from the rain that had been tracked in from her route. Instinctually, Rosalie tried to break her fall by holding out her hands, which resulted in a fractured wrist. Fortunately, Rosalie did not hit her head, but she also strained her back when she fell. Because Rosalie had already returned to the bus station, she was able to yell for help and seek medical attention right away. It was obvious that Rosalie’s wrist was broken so she was sent to the emergency room right away which resulted in surgery to correct her fracture. While the surgeon told her that it would take about 6 – 9 weeks for her wrist to heal, she could start “light” duty at work and physical therapy after a couple of weeks depending on how well she was healing. After about 3 weeks, Rosalie returned to work and was given “light” office duty as she wouldn’t

Stopping an Employee Working for a Competitor – Do Restrictive Covenants Really Work

This is an issue that rears its head very regularly. The employer has invested a lot of time and resources in training the employee and providing that employee with experience that ultimately would be attractive to competitors. The general approach to such covenants is that the narrower the restriction the more likely such covenants will bind the employee. To illustrate that point, if the period of the non-compete clause is six months, as opposed to twelve months, and refers only to a competitor in, say, a local town as opposed to the entire State, then it is more likely that the restrictive covenant will bind the employee. That can fairly be described as the general approach of the law, but of course much depends on the facts of each case, and two cases illustrate that point.

In a recent Irish case the judgment does in my view illustrate the difficulties for employers. In that case the employee worked for a telecommunications company and there was clause in the contract that restricted him from working for a competitor for a period of 6 months. He was offered employment by a direct competitor,and gave notice of his resignation