Illicit Office Dalliances an HR ‘Nightmare’ and other HR News for February 13, 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. 

Package Deal: Working Couples Blur Home, Work Life

Employers seek out couples who create careers out of working together.

By Kathy Gurchiek  2/12/2015

Mike and Debbie Giurlanda are a package deal at the manufactured housing community where they work in Clarkston, Mich. They wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Illicit Office Dalliances an HR ‘Nightmare’

Infidelity, managers hooking up with subordinates are among findings of UK poll 

By Dana Wilkie  2/12/2015

Handling workplace romances that jeopardize marriages and often involve alcohol hardly sounds like an HR manager’s dream job, but if you’re up for the challenge, you may want to seek employment in the United Kingdom.

Because there, half of office romances involved at least one person who was already in a relationship or married, and nearly half had been drinking alcohol when the romance blossomed, according to a survey of U.K. workers released Feb. 9, 2015, by London-based Approved Index, which matches buyers with suppliers of business products and services.

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Retailers Support National Data Breach Notification Standard

Contention points include federal pre-emption, industry exemptions

By Roy Maurer  2/13/2015 

The association representing the nation’s retailers supports the idea of a national data breach notification law, such as recently proposed by President Barack Obama, as long as it covers all entities that handle sensitive data and pre-empts conflicting state laws.

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FICA Case Has Implications for Deferred Pay Plans

Language aiming to save the plan from inadvertent mistakes may cause more harm than good

By Joanne Jacobson, Laurie DuChateau and David Scharf, © Buck Consultants  2/12/2015

In a January 2015 ruling, a U.S. district court held an employer responsible for not obtaining optimal FICA tax withholding on nonqualified deferred compensation. The court cited the employer’s failure to use the “special timing rule,” which resulted in steeper tax bills for retirees. The fact that the court pointed to plan language to support the retirees’ cause of action suggests that plan language aiming to save the plan from inadvertent mistakes may cause employers more harm than good.

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Know the Compliance Risks of Short-Term Business Travel

By Tulsi Patel  2/12/2015

The decision has been made. The director of sales is going to leave soon on a three-week business trip outside of the United States. The global mobility manager contacts you to confirm that a visa or work permit, formal assignment letter, secondment agreement, and other required elements of a typical, long-term assignment are not necessary. The manager says to you, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a business trip. Can’t we avoid all the paperwork and hassle since the director will be overseas only for three weeks?”  

Don’t be tempted to agree.   

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401(k) Loans and Withdrawals Hold Steady

High loan rates may signal a need for household budgeting advice

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  2/13/2015

Loan activity in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans was little changed in 2014 from the previous year but continued to remain elevated compared with six years ago, before the 2008-09 Great Recession, according to a February 2015 report on Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities.

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