HR Buzz: Super Bowl Monday, Whose Tax Cut, Office Romance Dead?

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By Martin Berman-Gorvine

What you need to know this week about workplace trends, surveys, and reports.

Maybe Call It Super-Hangover Day?

Weary of dealing with massive sickouts by football fans the day after the Super Bowl, many HR managers say that Monday should be made a paid national holiday.

To be precise, 72 percent of them said so in a survey conducted by Menlo Park, Calif.-based staffing firm OfficeTeam. Additionally, 27 percent of employees say they have skipped work the day after a big sporting event, and 32 percent say they have been late to work on those days. More than 300 U.S. HR managers and more than 1,000 U.S. workers took part in the survey.

Will Tax Cuts Put Cash in Employees’ Pockets?

The only major bill President Trump signed in his first year in office was a tax cut package promoted as a way to put money back in American workers’ pockets. But it’s not clear it will work out that way.

Less than one-third (32 percent) of U.S. employers say they will save money from the tax cuts and are planning to put some of that into employee rewards, according to a survey by consultancy Mercer. And these employee rewards include things like training that won’t directly fatten individual workers’ wallets, as well as bonuses.

Another 47 percent of the 241 companies surveyed Jan. 8 to 15, which ranged in size from less than $500 million to more than $25 billion in annual revenues, said they would save money thanks to the tax cuts but weren’t planning to put any of it into employee rewards, or didn’t say what plans they have. Lastly, 22 percent of the employers surveyed said they didn’t expect to receive any benefit from the tax cuts.

One-Third of Employers Plan to Apply Corporate Income Tax Savings Toward Employee Rewards
#MeToo Curbing Enthusiasm for Office Romance?

The #MeToo movement of people who say they have been victims of sexual harassment has captured widespread attention in the U.S. and overseas since it began last October, but is it putting a damper on office romance?

It might be, the results of a survey by Chicago-based jobs website CareerBuilder indicate. Responding to questions from Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder last Nov. 28 to Dec. 20, 36 percent of the 809 employees contacted said they had engaged in an office romance, down from 41 percent the preceding year and 40 percent in 2008.

Some may not be deterred, however; 20 percent of men, and 15 percent of women, said in the most recent survey that they had engaged in multiple office romances.

It’s Broken and They Won’t Fix It

The vast majority (86 percent) of the employees currently looking for another job are searching for the exit because of broken “processes” at their organization, Bellevue, Wash.-based workflow and content automation provider Ninex found in a survey of 1,000 employees—one-third of whom were looking for a new job—at companies with more than 500 workers each.

Technology troubleshooting is the most broken process, followed by “access to tools and documents that enable good job performance” and annual performance reviews, the survey found. Survey respondents worked with computers or other mobile devices five or more hours a day.

Millennials Getting Wise to Benefits

It’s time to retire the stereotype of the flighty, self-centered millennial for good: First-time job seekers of the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s are asking about benefits right out of the gate when interviewing for jobs.

Over half (53.85 percent) of HR professionals said they’ve seen more questions about benefits from millennial job candidates, according to a survey by Pentegra, a Shelton, Conn.-based provider of retirement plan, fiduciary outsourcing, and institutional investment solutions.

Of the common range of benefits, 63.64 percent of millennials rate health insurance as “extremely important,” followed by vacations (54.55 percent), and retirement benefits such as 401(k) plans and pensions (45.45 percent).

It’s All About Who You Know

The conventional wisdom that knowing someone on the inside is the best way to get a job with the organization holds a lot of validity, but peeking under the hood reveals some ugly truths.

Women of color are 35 percent less likely to get a referral than white men, men of color are 26 percent less likely, and white women are at a 12 percent comparative disadvantage, Seattle-based PayScale Inc., which provides on-demand compensation data and software, found in a survey of 53,200 respondents conducted April 24 to Aug. 25, 2017.

Getting a referral from a former co-worker, client, or colleague is very valuable, but men get much more out of it: a bump of $8,200 in salary at the new job, compared with just $3,700 for women, the survey found. Moreover, being referred by a family member or close friend may get you the job, but at a penalty of $1,600 in the job offer.

In short, PayScale Vice President Lydia Frank told Bloomberg Law, “you have a less diverse workforce if you rely on referrals, but companies say it’s a more engaged workforce.”

Going to Pot

Marijuana enthusiasts might want to think twice about applying for work with traces of the drug in their systems, even in states such as California where it has been legalized for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

More than seven in 10 hiring managers surveyed by Owings Mills, Md.-based Employment Background Investigations Inc. late last year still test prospective employees for marijuana, and more than half said a positive result automatically disqualifies the candidate. Safety first, followed by liability, insurance, and job performance concerns, are driving the continued drug testing.

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