Number of Mass Layoffs Recede in June from Record High

Mass layoffs of 50 or more employees receded in June to 2,763 events, down 170 from May’s record high. In all, the June layoffs resulted in 279,231 new filings for unemployment insurance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced on July 23.

Thus, over the year so far, the number of mass layoff events has increased by 1,046 and initial claims from those events by 104,483. From the start of the recession in December 2007, there have been 39,822 such events, with initial claims totaling 4,090,538, the BLS added.

Mass layoffs are regulated under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which provides for 60 days’ advance notice for those affected.

The current recession has also seen the number of terminated employees’ discrimination and retaliation filings and lawsuits increase dramatically. Employers, you don’t want to put yourself at jeopardy by not carrying out smart and legal layoffs, and Personnel Concepts has provided just the right tool for your legal compliance in its Workforce Reduction Compliance Kit. Get yours today.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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To Save Their Factory, They Had to Destroy It

Or some such reasoning, if such a thing (reasoning) can be said to apply to French workers and politics.

I’ve blogged before about how terminated French employees will often hold their bosses hostage until a more suitable severance package is offered. As it turns out, “more suitable” has now been defined as 30,000 euros ($53,000) and hostage-taking has been replaced by explosive-wielding-and-threatening, to wit:

A French construction equipment plant owned by U.S.-based Oshkosh Corporation has agreed to boost severance packages for laid-off workers who threatened to blow up machinery, employers say. While only 53 workers are affected, each was guaranteed up to 30,000 euros ($53,000) in severance pay. The incident occurred during a week in which unions at three different French factories used threats of explosions to get their complaints heard.

In other such violent encounters, as at this one, French police refused to intervene.

If Obama and the laborcrats get their way, this is what America will soon be like, except here you can expect the bombs will actually be exploded.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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EEOC Says Age Discrimination Claims Are Up 30 Percent

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is so concerned about the rise in age-discrimination filings that it recently held a public hearing on the matter.

"Age discrimination is an equal opportunity plague," acting EEOC Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said. "It is not limited to members of a particular class or a particular race. It is not limited to particular industries or particular regions. And it is not limited to a particular gender."

The EEOC says claims of discrimination based on age rose almost 30 percent in 2008 over the year earlier, and it expects the number to keep rising in the current economic climate.

Only retaliation was cited more in EEOC filings.

Witnesses at the hearing testified that the Age Discrimination Act in Employment (ADEA), passed by Congress in 1967, has been decimated by several recent Supreme Court decisions that curtail the ability of older workers to challenge age discrimination.

Employer and human resources professionals should obtain a copy of Personnel Concepts’ ADEA Age Discrimination Compliance Kit to ensure all laws and regulations are being observed.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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PATIENTS: Well-Intended Law With No Chance of Passage

Anyone paying any attention (in the voting public, that would be no one except for me and a few others) will soon see unmistkable proof that the Democrats running Congress (and our nation, for better or worse–mostly the latter) are planning to ration health care with a vengeance (except for themselves, of course).

The proof will come when a bill introduced by Republicans called PATIENTS gets shot down in committee or is allowed to die there. PATIENTS makes it illegal for the government to ration any health care or deny any service, procedure or medicine.

(You’ve got to hand it to these overpaid Congressional staffers who have nothing better to do than come up with names for legislation that equate to real words or at least form nice-sounding acronyms. PATIENTS stands for Preserving Access to Targeted, Individualized, and Effective New Treatments and Services–whew, a mouthful!)

“We feel it is necessary to introduce this bill to make it crystal clear that the government should not be funding research which is then going to be used in one way or another to ration health care for Americans, to decide what diagnostics or treatments or prescriptions or care can be allowed under any kind of federal program,” Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said at a briefing with reporters Monday.

Now, will the mainstream media report a word of this when PATIENTS is rationed off into the sunset by the Democrats?

Of course not. Rationing is here to stay. I’m sure those overpaid staffers will come up with some gentle-sounding euphemisms for the “R” word (in Britain, it’s NICE–National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness, aka “the rationing institute”).


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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EEOC Reviewing Closed Cases For Renewal Under Ledbetter Law

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is currently reviewing closed cases of wage discrimination complaints to determine if it can reissue right-to-sue notifications to those affected under the provisions of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

Grounds for reissuance would be based upon new statute-of-limitations guidelines under the Fair Pay Act. Previously, a complaint had to be filed within 180 days of a discriminatory employment decision, but the Lily Ledbetter Act extended the 180-day limit to recommence each time a paycheck is issued based on an earlier discriminatory decision, which could stretch out employer liability for years or even decades.

Employment lawyers earlier this year forecast a spate of new and reopened lawsuits based upon Ledbetter, and the EEOC may indeed open the legal spigot to get matters rolling. So far, however, courts have ruled narrowly in their interpretation of the Fair Pay Act and have generally not allowed it to be applied retroactively, but time will tell.

Any new right-to-sue notification would be good for 90 days.

Meanwhile, employers, you need to carefully protect yourselves against charges of discrimination based on gender, wage, age, disability and other factors. Personnel Concepts provides several discrimination resources to help you do just that. In matters of fair pay, pick up your copy today of our Compensation Discrimination Compliance Kit and safeguard yourselves.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Pfizer Maintains: Who Says Free Enterprise Is Cruel?

Drug manufacturer Pfizer has launched a program called Maintain to provide free prescription drugs to laid-off Americans who lack insurance. Powerhouse drugs like Lipitor, Norvasc, Caduet and, yes, Viagra, are on the list, though you might be hard pressed to make a medical necessity case for the latter.

Cynics will counter that it's all "great PR," and I can see the New York Times invoking "the Obama Effect," as in "the Jesus Effect" in parting the waters, feeding multitudes with one fish–and now providing free prescriptions (soon health care as well).

As an enrollee you, of course, have to be able to prove your unemployment and meet other tests, but this sounds great to me (especially since I've used one or two of those drugs to treat my own conditions, and no, not Viagra–LOL).

Check out the program's Web page, or call (866) 706-2400.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Do Recessions Make the (Cheatin’) Heart Grow Stronger?

According to Vault’s Office Romance Survey, the answer is no. More people are playing office romances closer to the vest in these tough economic times, no doubt fearful they could be escorted out the office door instead of into the boudoir.

However, good times or bad, those cheatin’ hearts (and other body parts) do indeed abound, as the results of the survey show. Those who don’t play around appear to be in the minority. Click on the link above and feast on the results.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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The Public Option Could Bankrupt the Whole System

I found this great graph on a site called The Glittering Eye that shows exactly what will happen to costs when the public option takes over. Note how the U.S. costs for health care are stable and relatively equal to other countries up to the age of 65 when the current public option, Medicare, kicks in.

demographic-change_health

Gee, once health care in America becomes subsidized at age 65, people flock to their doctors. What does that portend for our health care costs when Obama’s “public option” starts signing people up?

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that costs will skyrocket out of control (which says a lot about the level of intelligence of those in the White House and the left side of the aisle in Congress).

I hope those making $250,000 and above won’t mind paying for all of this. (Another great farce and illusion in the whole argument, but I’ll save the topic for another time.)


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Wal-Mart Finds Another Way to Crush the Competition

It was big news when Wal-Mart came out this week in favor of an employer mandate for health care, meaning that all employers (unless exempted by size) would have to provide health care for their workers or pay a tax to the government.

Not only did Wal-Mart endorse the employer mandate now under discussion in Congress, but it also did so in concert with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) by issuing a joint statement.

Is this a reprise of the British surrender tune at Yorktown of “The World Turned Upside Down”?

Not really, though the news did garner gushing gagas from the liberal media.

In truth, there was at least one obvious motive in Wal-Mart’s endorsement–crush the competition by making them spend their money on health care.

Behind the scenes, there may also have been some promises or compacts made between the SEIU and Wal-Mart: “Keep the unions out, and we’ll endorse the employer mandate” or some such.

Finally, there’s the obvious clout with official Washington that this brings to the nation’s largest private employer.

Plus, why fight the obvious? With Democrats holding all the cards in D.C., an employer mandate is as sure as death and taxes.

Chalk one up for Wal-Mart.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Union Organizers Reveal Organizing Techniques

In their own words:




NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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