Posted in pre-employment background checks
An estimated 7.6 million Americans will be regularly working as providers in the on-demand (“gig”) economy by 2020, according to a study and forecast from Intuit.
The rise of the gig economy is part of a broader long-term growth trend in the contingent workforce, which is expected to reach 43 percent by 2020.
When talking about the gig economy, most are referring to flexible, independent job opportunities such as:
- Transportation and/or logistics for people or products (e.g. Uber, Lyft, Grub Hub)
- Finding work via online talent marketplaces (e.g. Upwork, OnForce, Work Market HourlyNerd, Fiverr)
- Renting out space (e.g. Airbnb, Couch Surfing, etc.)
- Providing other miscellaneous services (e.g. Task Rabbit, Gig Walk, Wonolo)
With more and more of the workforce working with/for multiple companies but maintaining independence, we’re often asked what this means for the safety and protection of companies. Aka – what role will employment screening play in this future economy?
No doubt, it will be more important than ever.
Lower commitment in the employer-employee relationship and the ease of movement for the worker between companies and locations will make it easier for some folks to “slip through the gaps”.
Here are three tricky areas we think businesses should keep in mind:
This is a brand new landscape and regulations are struggling to keep up. Companies such as Uber and Lyft have faced a multitude of lawsuits over the last few years as local governments try to understand who plays what role in ensuring the safety of the consumer using these products, as well as precisely what that responsibility looks like.
Keep an eye on local and employment screening news for how this relates to your state or city.
More fluctuation in staff will also mean that companies need to commit more resources to onboarding, turnover processes, and training. The constant flow of contractors in and out of businesses, industries, and even regions, will result in the need for companies to bolster their HR teams.
Despite popular belief, there is no federal database that background screeners can use to run a holistic pre-employment background check. Screening companies need to look to various local, state, and federal databases and points of contact to verify different areas of someone’s background.
Given that it will become increasingly easier for contractors to move from city to city and state to state, it will become even harder to get accurate info on an individual.
More than ever, companies must be able to trust their screening partner to deliver rapid turnaround times, accurate information, and committed customer service support in order to leverage their independent workforce.
Get in touch today to learn more about how MYB can help your business in the gig economy.
Posted in background check
Earlier this month, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a measure that will license and regulate the ride-sharing industry (Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies).
The “Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act,” mandates drivers and the companies that employ them meet insurance coverage standards and undergo a driving and criminal background check.
The law takes effect on May 1, 2017 and makes N.J. the 36th state to regulate ride-sharing businesses.
According to the law, drivers would be banned from employment by a ride-sharing company if they had been convicted of homicide, sexual assault, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reckless driving and possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance.
The law also states that passengers injured in an accident while being transported by a ride-sharing company would have medical coverage through either the driver, the company, or both that covers $1.5 million in medical bills.
Uber spokesman Craig Ewer stated that the legislation “allows us to continue operating across the state and will improve the lives of New Jerseyans through access to safe, affordable transportation for riders and flexible economic opportunities for drivers.”
Lyft spokesman Adrian Durbin also expressed gratitude, noting it will allow the company to continue to “improve transportation around the Garden State” and “empower New Jerseyans to improve their lives through economic opportunity.”
Posted in ban the box
Earlier this month, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin issued an executive order that will ‘ban the box‘, removing questions about criminal conviction history from the initial application for all state jobs in the executive branch.
The order – known as the Fair Chance Employment Initiative – means that applicants will not be required to check the box for criminal convictions on the initial state application.
“Ours is a nation of second chances, founded upon core principles that include mercy and redemption,” said Gov. Bevin. “The simple act of removing this box will help to level the playing field for all applicants, and it is my sincere hope that many of the private employers in our state will consider doing the same thing.”
Governor Bevin stressed the importance of Kentucky leading the way in removing barriers for felons to become gainfully employed, which helps reduce recidivism and improve public safety.
Conservative estimates from the National Employment Law Project indicate that nearly 70 million people in the United States have a criminal record of some type. Employment is a key factor in keeping people from reoffending, according to several national studies.
“When ex-offenders are able to find stable jobs, they are able to support their families and find new purpose for their lives,” said Justice Secretary John Tilley. “Studies show that removing that box and giving a person a chance at an interview increases the likelihood they will get a job.”
Twenty-four states across the country have now implemented ‘ban the box’ legislation.
Bevin indicated that Kentuckians with criminal records can take advantage of the change to the executive branch’s job applications right away.
Posted in EEOC
Last month, the EEOC released their Enforcement and Litigation Statistics for 2016.
According to the data, the EEOC resolved 97,443 charges and secured more than $482 million for victims of discrimination in private, federal and state and local government workplaces.
The agency responded to over 585,000 calls and more than 160,000 field office inquiries, reflecting the significant public demand for EEOC’s services.
Specifically, the charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged, in descending order:
- Retaliation: 42,018 (45.9 percent of all charges filed)
- Race: 32,309 (35.3 percent)
- Disability: 28,073 (30.7 percent)
- Sex: 26,934 (29.4 percent)
- Age: 20,857 (22.8 percent)
- National Origin: 9,840 (10.8 percent)
- Religion: 3,825 (4.2 percent)
- Color: 3,102 (3.4 percent)
- Equal Pay Act: 1,075 (1.2 percent)
- Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 238 (.3 percent)
(These percentages add up to more than 100 because some charges allege multiple bases)
“EEOC advances opportunity for all of America’s workers ad plays a critical role in helping employers build stronger workplaces,” said EEOC Chair Jenny Yang.
“Despite the progress that has been made, we continue to see discrimination in both overt and subtle forms. The ongoing challenge of combating employment discrimination is what makes EEOC’s work as important as ever.”
More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.
Posted in employment
According to ‘The Employment Situation‘ report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States remained quite steady at 4.8%, while the economy added 227,000 jobs, in January.
Both the number of unemployed persons, at 7.6 million, and the unemployment rate, at 4.8 percent, were closely aligned with the numbers from the previous month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians (3.7 percent) increased in January. The jobless rates for adult men (4.4 percent), adult women (4.4 percent), teenagers (15.0 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (7.7 percent), and Hispanics (5.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month.
In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.9 million and accounted for 24.4 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 244,000.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised down from +204,000 to +164,000, and the change for December was revised up from +156,000 to +157,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 39,000 lower than previously reported.
Posted in employment checks
Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley reintroduced legislation to aid businesses in complying with immigration laws by certifying the legal status of their workforce.
The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act would permanently authorize and require employers to use the E-Verify program.
“E-Verify is a proven tool for employers, including myself, that helps reduce incentives for illegal immigration and safeguards job opportunities for Americans and other legal workers. Expanding the system to every workplace will improve accountability for all businesses and take an important step toward putting American workers first,” Grassley said.
The Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act does the following:
- Permanently reauthorizes the E-Verify program that was created in 1996
- Makes the program mandatory for all employers within one year of date of enactment, requires federal contractors and agencies to use the program immediately, and directs “critical employers,” as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to use the system within 30 days of designation
- Increases penalties for employers who illegally hire undocumented workers
- Reduces the liability that employers face if they participate in E-Verify when it involves the wrongful termination of an individual
- Allows employers to use E-Verify before a person is hired if consent is provided by the employee
- Requires employers to check the status of all current employees within 3 years
- Requires employers to terminate the employment of those found unauthorized to work due to a check through E-Verify.
- Helps ensure that the Social Security Administration catches multiple uses of Social Security numbers by requiring them to develop algorithms to detect anomalies
- Establishes a demonstration project in a rural area or area without internet capabilities to assist small businesses in complying with the participation requirement
- Amends the criminal code to make clear that defendants who possess or otherwise use identity information not their own without lawful authority and in the commission of another felony is still punishable for aggravated identity fraud, regardless of the defendant’s “knowledge” of the victim
- Requires employers to re-verify an employee’s immigration status if the employment authorization is due to expire
E-Verify was established in 1996 as a pilot program with employers in five states allowed to participate. The pilot program was reauthorized in 2001, expanded to employers in every state in 2003 under Grassley-authored legislation, and reauthorized several times since 2008. It is set to expire on April 28, 2017.
Posted in DoL, employment
The U.S. Department of Labor announced that it has signed an agreement with Amazon to establish a registered apprenticeship program to train veterans for in-demand technical careers.
“We are pleased that Amazon is joining the remarkable group of forward-looking organizations that are pursuing innovations in apprenticeship for the 21st century,” Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu said.
“Partnerships like this one have reinvigorated our nation’s apprenticeship system, creating opportunity and pathways to prosperity for hundreds of thousands of Americans that will last for years to come.”
In May 2016, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company’s goals of hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years and training 10,000 more in cloud computing skills as part of Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces Initiative.
This initiative worked hand in hand with the public and private sectors to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives.
Apprenticeships are a valuable piece of the transition process for veterans, as emphasized by the DoL ApprenticeshipUSA LEADERS program.
To date, more than 200 employers, colleges, and labor organizations have signed on to be ApprenticeshipUSA LEADERS by starting or expanding their own work-based learning programs.
Interested in participating? Find more information on the ApprenticeshipUSA LEADERS opportunity here: https://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/leaders.htm
Posted in workplace safety
According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, serious, nonfatal workplace injuries amounted to nearly $60 billion in direct U.S. workers compensation costs.
This translates into more than a billion dollars a week spent by businesses on these injuries.
Given the magnitude of these costs, it’s troubling that such a large number of employers fail to create and implement holistic safety measures.
How do employers instill a proper safety culture?
- ensuring all employees believe in a safe and healthy workplace
- offering ongoing training (not just basic training upon employment)
- creating an environment that allows failure (when failure is punished, employees are more likely to hide their mistakes. Creating an environment that allows for failure allows you to learn from mistakes, preventing the same mistakes happening time and again)
- having meaningful and measurable safety and health improvement goals
This is the seventeenth year that the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has produced the index. The researchers use the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance along with Liberty Mutual’s own data.
Posted in employment
The hiring outlook for 2017 is the best the U.S. has seen in a decade, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. Delving into the data, 40% of employers say they will hire full-time, permanent employees this year, while 3 in 10 intend to hire part-time, permanent staff.
The national survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 16 to December 6, 2016, also indicates five additional, key trends:
- Increased wages
- Emphasis on candidates’ soft skills
- Reaching out to candidates via texts to invite them for job interviews
- Expectations for social media savviness
- Investment in employee training
“Three in four employers reported that they are in a better financial position than they were a year ago, which is instilling more confidence in adding people to their payrolls,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation.
“Following a divisive election season, employers are entering the New Year with a watchful, yet optimistic approach. One of the key challenges for employers will be bridging the talent gaps within their own organizations by either offering better wages or by helping to reskill and upskill workers.”
Take a look at the full press release and the useful infographic, highlighting the report data and 2017 expectations.
Posted in employment
According to ‘The Employment Situation‘ report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States remained steady at 4.7%, while the economy added 156,000 jobs, in December.
The report revealed the number of unemployed persons in the U.S. increased to 7.5 million in December of 2016. Overall, job growth totaled 2.2 million in 2016, less than the increase of 2.7 million in 2015.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.4 percent), adult women (4.3 percent), teenagers (14.7 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (7.8 percent), Asians (2.6 percent), and Hispanics (5.9 percent) showed little change in December.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.8 million in December and accounted for 24.2 percent of the unemployed. In 2016, the number of long-term unemployed declined by 263,000.
The labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, changed little in December and was unchanged over the year. In December, the employment-population ratio was 59.7 percent for the third consecutive month; this measure showed little change, on net, in 2016.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from +142,000 to +135,000, and the change for November was revised up from +178,000 to +204,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November were 19,000 higher than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 165,000 per month
Next Page »