Notes On: Unintended Consequences of the ACA’s 30-Hour Work Week

Source: Harold M. Bishop, Labor Law Journal, Vol. 66 no. 1, Spring 2015
(subscription required)

After describing the statutory basis for the ACA’s 30-hour rule, this article will examine: (1) general industry reaction to the rule; (2) the potential unintended effect of the rule on school districts and institutions of higher education; (3) proposed legislation to repeal and replace the rule with a traditional 40-hour per week definition; and (4) expert analysis and industry reaction to the proposed legislation, particularly from the retail, restaurant, and hotel and lodging industries.

Big Data Is Already Predicting When You’ll Quit Your Job

Source: Nikelle Snader, Business Cheat Sheet, March 26, 2015

…Instead of just wringing their hands and waiting to receive a letter of resignation, company leaders are trying to devise formulas that will help them predict when their employees will leave. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, companies such as Walmart are already using formulas to predict such moves. Data crunchers use numerous factors such as job tenure, position, geography, performance reviews, and more to identify flight risks….

…Being able to predict that someone is leaving a company might be helpful for executives. But a continuing challenge will be what happens after a formula shows an employee might be on the way out the door. It’s perhaps disconcerting enough that your manager is using a formula to predict your behavior. How much more weird will it be if they approach you, asking when to expect your two week’s notice? …

Subsidizing Corporate Tax Dodgers

Source: Ben Wilcox, Alan Stonecipher and Dan Krassner, Integrity Florida, February 25, 2015

From the summary:
As Florida policymakers consider cutting corporate profits tax revenues, nonpartisan research institute Integrity Florida released a study on February 25, 2015 to provide more transparency about the actual corporate profit tax rates being paid by the Fortune 500 corporations headquartered in Florida to state governments in the U.S. …

Key Findings about the Fortune 500 corporations headquartered in Florida:
* While the corporate profits tax rate in Florida is 5.5 percent, the 13 profitable Fortune 500 corporations headquartered in Florida paid a 2.7 percent average corporate profits tax rate to state governments in the U.S. between 2011 and 2013.
* The 13 profitable Fortune 500 corporations headquartered in Florida made $35.1 billion in estimated corporate profits between 2011 and 2013.
* The 13 profitable Fortune 500 corporations headquartered in Florida paid $945.7 million in total estimated corporate profits taxes to all state governments in the U.S. between 2011 and 2013.
* Florida taxpayers paid more than $2.4 billion to 10 of Florida’s 17 top Fortune 500 corporations for state government contracts between 2011 and 2013.
* Florida taxpayers have provided 13 of the 17 Fortune 500 corporations headquartered in the state more than $147 million in subsidies.
* Floridians gave the largest profitable corporations in the state more public money through government contracts and subsidies than those corporations paid back in state taxes on their profits nationally between 2011 and 2013.
* Policies that allowed these corporations to take advantage of low corporate profits tax rates, along with large government contracts and subsidies, could be a result of the corporations’ significant lobbying and campaign contributions, including the more than $22 million they spent for those purposes in Florida just between 2012 and 2014….

What Do Unions Do? A Cross-National Reexamination of the Relationship between Unionization and Job Satisfaction

Source: Lena Hipp, Rebecca Kolins Givan, Social Forces, Advance Access, First published online: March 15, 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
What is the relationship between unionization and job satisfaction? Despite a great deal of research over several decades, the answer to this question is still uncertain. In contrast to earlier work, which analyzed mostly data from individual companies or countries, we examine the association between union membership and job satisfaction in a cross-national perspective. We therefore combine large-scale survey data with country-level information about union and labor-market characteristics. Our multilevel approach allows us to examine whether and why the unionization–job satisfaction relationship varies across countries. The main finding of our analyses is that the relationship between union membership and job satisfaction varies across countries and that unions matter only for certain aspects of job satisfaction—those that can more readily be changed by unions. This effect, moreover, is contingent on countries’ industrial relations systems, in particular union density, bargaining coverage, and the centralization of bargaining agreements. Taken together, our results show that in order to understand how unionization influences job satisfaction, it is important to distinguish between the various aspects of job satisfaction and to consider the larger context in which unions operate.

A Guide to Organizing Women’s Committees: Everything You Need to Know to Make a Difference

Source: Jane LaTour in consultation with Lois Gray and Maria Figueroa, Cornell University Workers Institute, January 2015

In the early history of unionization, unions and other organizations limited the participation of women or organized them into separate unions. Such restrictions are not the case today, but the fact remains that genuine, systemic equality for women at the workplace, in unions, and within the labor movement is still unrealized.

A Guide to Organizing Women’s Committees builds on the findings of the Women’s Committees in Worker Organizations report to provide step-by-step instruction for forming women’s committees in unions and worker-centered organizations. Union and worker center members can use this Guide to plan and implement women’s committees at their organizations.

The Guide was written by consultant, journalist, and author, Jane LaTour, in consultation with Cornell University Workers Institute faculty Lois Gray and Maria Figueroa. It was produced with funding and support from the Berger-Marks Foundation.

CEO Pension Benefits: Bigger Than the Pay Advantage?

Source: Carol Hymowitz, Margaret Collins, Bloomberg Businessweek, January 8, 2015

For many new retirees, the biggest worry isn’t about how they’ll keep themselves busy after years of the 9-to-5 grind. It’s whether they’ll have enough money to get by during their golden years. Not so for Gregg Steinhafel, who stepped down as chief executive officer of Target last May following a massive credit card data breach. The 35-year veteran of the retailer received retirement plans valued at more than $47 million—1,044 times the average balance of $45,000 that workers have saved in the company’s 401(k) plan.

That’s far different from the experience of Ron Pierce, who worked from 2007 to 2012 at the retailer’s distribution center in Stuarts Draft, Va. At the time of his departure, he had $32,000 in his 401(k) account, which had been bolstered by Target’s 100 percent match of workers’ contributions up to 5 percent of their pay. Pierce also left the retailer with a one-time payout of about $4,600 from a pension, which the company ended for new employees in 2008. …

For years, public attention has been fixed on the rising gap in the U.S. between the highest- and lowest-paid workers. Less noticed has been the gulf in retirement savings, which has grown along with executive compensation. Most workers are left only with their 401(k) plans when they leave the workforce, but top managers often receive far more lucrative executive pensions….