"Things You Never Say to a Pregnant Worker" and other #HR News for March 24, 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.

Minimize Potential Liability with Social Media

By Allen Smith  3/23/2015

Social media can unearth some deal-breaking surprises during the application process, but a company should leave the checking of social media web sites to HR, not managers, to minimize potential liability, Jonathan Segal, an attorney with Duane Morris in Philadelphia, told attendees of the SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., on March 23, 2015.


Workplace Laws and Regulations Under Scrutiny in 2015

By SHRM Online staff  3/23/2015

Immigration reform, the Working Families Flexibility Act and the Affordable Care Act are among the many public-policy issues before the 114th Congress that affect employers and their workforces. It’s imperative that HR professionals keep abreast of such policies and federal regulatory activity, said Michael P. Aitken, the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) vice president of government affairs, during his keynote address opening the 2015 SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 23.


Things You Never Say to a Pregnant Worker

By Dana Wilkie  3/23/2015

With pregnancy discrimination claims growing at a faster rate than in any other protected category, it’s critical that employers know what comments and behavior to avoid when dealing with workers who are expecting, attorney Courtney Barksdale Perez said March 23 at the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2015 Employment Law & Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.


Some Employers Cutting Part-Timers’ Hours, SHRM Finds

Findings highlight the impact of the Affordable Care Act on its fifth anniversary

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  3/24/2015

A meaningful number of U.S. employers have reduced the total number of their part-time employees’ weekly hours due to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide health coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours per week, according to a March 2015 survey report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).


401(k) Participants Focus on Funds, Not Contribution Level

Skewed priorities may be limiting long-term savings prospects

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  3/20/2015

About three-quarters of employed U.S. adults with investments said their employer offers a 401(k) or similar plan, and of these, 89 percent participate in the plan. The majority of those in a 401(k) or similar plan—64 percent—said they can manage their plan by themselves, but 35 percent said they need advice from others, according to a survey of investors by financial firm Wells Fargo and Gallup, conducted from Jan. 30 to Feb. 9, 2015.


NLRB General Counsel Offers Guidance on Employee Handbooks

By Allen Smith  3/20/2015 

Employers need not read the tea leaves anymore about what employee handbook language the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) general counsel considers to be prohibited. NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin Jr. put the agency’s cards on the table in a March 18, 2015, report to NLRB regional directors that he said hopes “will be of assistance to labor law practitioners and human resource professionals.”


Mass.: Expanded Parental Leave Law Goes Into Effect April 2015

By Joanne Deschenaux  3/23/2015

Effective April 7, 2015, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA) extends coverage to male employees.

Under pre-existing law, Massachusetts employers with six or more workers are required to provide female employees with eight weeks of leave for the birth or adoption of a child.