Skip to main content
A Better Partnership

Publications

Jul 2017
28
July 28, 2017

HR Focus - News Digest - Summer 2017

  • U.S. Union Membership Rates Reach a Historic Low
     
    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall union membership rate in the U.S. fell by 0.4 percent in 2016 to 10.7 percent of workers. This is down from 11.1 percent in 2015. Public-sector workers had a union membership rate of 34.4 percent — more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers, of which only 6.4 percent were union members.  In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data is available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent.  Union membership in Michigan in 2016 declined to 14.4 percent of workers compared to 15.2 percent in 2015.

  • ERISA Fidelity Bond

    Most retirement plans subject to ERISA are required to obtain an ERISA fidelity bond that protects the  plan against losses resulting from fraud or dishonesty caused by anyone who handles plan assets. The bond must be at least 10% of plan assets as of the beginning of the year, with a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $500,000 ($1,000,000 if the plan includes employer securities).  We often find that the bond amount has not been updated as plan assets grow. The amount of the bond is reported on the plan’s Form 5500 and an insufficient bond increases your audit risk.  Check the amount of your ERISA bond before you file your Form 5500 each year to avoid increasing your audit risk.

  • Think Twice When Asking for Salary History

    It is fairly standard for an employer to ask an applicant about salary history. This information can then be used to negotiate a starting salary. Some argue that this practice can propagate wage disparities between women and men (and between minorities and whites). Some jurisdictions are now taking steps to stop this practice. The cities of Philadelphia and New York have adopted laws prohibiting employers from asking applicants for their salary histories.  Under California’s Fair Pay Act, salary history is not a proper justification for a pay disparity (meaning that an employer cannot use prior salary history as a basis  for paying one worker more than a co-worker who is performing “substantially similar” work). Employers should expect this trend to likely continue. 

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.

ACCEPTCANCEL

Text

+ -

Reset