HR News for February 3, 2015

News Updates
 

Updated daily, the HR News home page is your one-stop shop for the latest news and featured articles. This page compiles top staff-written and external news of general interest to HR, plus major stories in the HR Disciplines. 

 

HR Executives Favor Greater Salary Transparency

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  2/2/2015

With more attention being focused on pay issues—CEO salaries, minimum wage rates and the ever-widening income gap—one workplace policy likely to become an increasingly hot topic is salary transparency.

While still far from being widespread, the idea of instituting an open-book policy on what every employee earns is gaining traction. One new survey shows that more than half of HR executives would welcome a policy that sheds light on employee salaries.

In the survey conducted by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 55 percent of respondents said that companies should practice some form of salary transparency. Meanwhile, 39 percent of those surveyed were opposed to opening the books on salaries.

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Know the Dangers of Working in Trenches

By Roy Maurer  2/2/2015

Dirt is heavy. One cubic yard of dirt is the weight of a midsized car, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). A trench collapse can suffocate or crush a worker in seconds, a fact that one North Dakota company seems willing to repeatedly ignore.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Northern Excavating Co. of Jamestown, N.D., on Jan. 15, 2015, for putting its workers at “great risk” in trenches without cave-in protection and a safe means to exit the trench, the agency said.

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Forecast: Restrained Wage Growth Continues into 2015

U.S. wages overall are likely to remain under pressure, with variations

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  2/2/2015

The wages of U.S. workers are anticipated to grow 1.7 percent year over year when measured at the end of the first quarter of 2015, according to the PayScale Index, which follows the change in wages of employed U.S. private-sector workers. The forecast is based on a predictive model that incorporates the Consumer Price Index and U.S. unemployment rates over time.

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Morale, Productivity Suffer from Bad Hires

By Roy Maurer  2/2/2015 

A new survey suggests the biggest cost of a bad hire might not be financial.

The majority of chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed were most concerned about degraded staff morale (39 percent) and a drop in productivity (34 percent), according to a study released by global staffing firm Robert Half. Monetary costs came in third (25 percent).

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Small Biz Panel Shoots Down OSHA Infectious Disease Proposal

By Roy Maurer  2/2/2015

A panel representing the interests of small businesses has recommended against an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposal to regulate infectious disease exposure

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Consumerism, Cost-Shifting Helped Restrain Health Spending

Half of all organizations increased their employees’ share of health care costs last year

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  1/30/2015

HR professionals indicated that offering consumer-directed health plans was among the most successful strategies for controlling the costs of health care, along with increasing the employee share of total costs and offering a variety of preferred provider organization (PPO) plans.

These were among the key findings of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Strategic Benefits—Health Care survey report, posted online in January 2015. The survey was fielded in April-May 2014 to randomly selected SHRM members. Health care costs were defined as employer-paid premiums, administration costs and any individual medical claims covered by the employer.

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Bill Would Add Sixth Member to NLRB

By Allen Smith  1/30/2015

A Jan. 28, 2015, proposal to add a sixth member to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could “lead to gridlock at the agency, especially for controversial decisions,” according to Michael Lotito, an attorney with Littler in San Francisco.

But it might be just what the agency needs to become less politicized, said Steve Bernstein, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips in Tampa, who said he remembers a time when the board wasn’t so deeply divided along party lines

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