Wednesday, December 29, 2010

HIRE is Expiring, but tax credits are still available

Although the HIRE Act is set to sunset on December 31, 2010, employers should remember that tracking a qualified employee's wages goes beyond December 31, 2010.

Under the Act, employers are eligible to seek two types of credits:

1. The payroll tax exemption: the employer does not pay its 6.2 percent share of Social Security tax on wages paid to qualifying employees during the period of March 19, 2010-December 31, 2010.

2. The new hire retention credit: for each qualified employee you retain for at least 52 consecutive weeks, the employer is eligible for a business tax credit of 6.2 percent of wages paid to the qualified employee during that 52 week period (up to $1000).

You can read more about the HIRE Act in our post from April.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NLRB To Consider Rule Requiring Employers to Post Notice Informing Employees of Rights

The National Labor Relations Board announced on Tuesday that it is considering adoption of a rule that would require employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act to post a notice informing employees of their rights to form, join, and assist labor unions. If the rule is implemented, the required notice would mirror the notice that federal contractors must post pursuant to an Executive Order issued by President Obama and implemented by Department of Labor regulations earlier this year. The Notice prepared by the Department of Labor was criticized by business and employer groups as going too far to promote union membership as opposed to merely informing employees of their rights under the Act.

For years, the Board has avoided the formal rule-making procedure in favor of adopting rules in reported Board decisions. The Board’s announcement today that it intends to participate in rule-making is a significant departure from its prior practice. This rule-making is likely a reflection of the Board’s current make-up, which many believe is decidedly pro-union.

The public will have 60-days to comment on the Board’s proposed rule. The Board’s press release can be accessed here:

We will continue to monitor the Board’s proposed rule as it progresses through the administrative rule-making process.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"S" is for silver (not tinsel) and succession

I read an interesting article on Knowledge@Wharton concerning "The Silver Tsunami"--older workers who were once feared to be exiting the workplace so quickly that the labor force coming behind wouldn't be able to supplant them. Those older workers are now staying in the workforce longer due to dwindling retirement options, and the article discusses the benefits of capitalizing on the industry knowledge these employees have to offer.

When coupled with a report from the Society for Human Resource Management dwelling on the lack of succession planning in companies, it seems like the perfect time to capture the willingness of older workers to stay, or come, out of retirement. For many employers who don't have a succession plan in place, one would think that keeping people who want to be in their organizations would be a high priority. Additionally, if the opportunity to bring back someone with institutional knowledge presents itself, a company without a strong succession plan would be wise to consider opening the fold.

Most employers would like to consider themselves desirable to workers--and workers have indicated a strong pull for being in an environment where training and progression are opportunities, not concepts alone. Although budget strings remain tight, investing in a succession plan that recognizes your current human capital and focuses on how to get the most value from it would not be time wasted. Current economics point to some shaky times remaining--and a succession plan not only benefits the business but also can instill confidence in your employees that you see a future for the company and they are part of it. Finally, we all hope that we can retire one day, and those ahead of us on the age scale are no different. Eventually, the Silver Tsunami will leave the labor force--and where will that leave you?