Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Optional Practical Training: As this workforce grows, so does HR professionals' need to have hiring plan for the visa program
Optional Practical Training (OPT) workers are becoming an indispensable part of the American workforce. Small and mid-sized companies are the largest beneficiaries, as just 4 percent of all OPTs work at the 10 largest tech companies in the Fortune 500. So what are OPT workers? What are the challenges and benefits of this visa category?

OSHA kicks off Safe + Sound Week, offering guidance on workplace safety
Federal OSHA as well as the South Carolina and North Carolina labor departments have designated June 12-18, 2017, as the inaugural Safe + Sound Week. The purpose of this nationwide initiative is to raise awareness and understanding of the value of workplace safety and health programs by encouraging employers to plan activities that include the core elements of a successful safety program.

Potential Minimum Wage Increase
On May 25, bills were introduced in Congress that would increase the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage to $9.25 an hour from $7.25 an hour immediately and incrementally to $15 an hour in annual steps over seven years.  (S. 1242 in U.S. Senate and H.R. 15 in U.S. House of Representatives).  The FLSA establishes a mandatory floor for minimum wage, not a ceiling, so some states that have minimum wages higher than $9.25 per hour would not be impacted by the initial proposed federal increase.  North and South Carolina, however, would be affected as they currently do not have separate minimum wages but, instead, default to the federal minimum wage.  While it is doubtful, but possible, that these bills can pass under the current Congress, we will keep you updated.

Additional employment law resources can be found in our HR Tool Kit: Employment Law Resources & News.


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