6 Recruitment Challenges Employers Will Face This Year
Employee Benefits News | By Kayla Webster | 01-11-21

With 2021 being a continuation of last year's workplace challenges, employers are at least confident they’ll be able to recruit the right talent this year. But they’re not oblivious to the challenges.
Job posting and recruitment website, Monster, conducted an employer survey to gauge how companies feel about the state of the workplace. Despite COVID-related layoffs driving unemployment to record levels, 82% of employers say they plan to hire this year and 93% say they feel confident they’ll find the right candidates. 
3 Strategies Employers Can Utilize When Reopening Their Offices Post-COVID
Employee Benefits News | By Rob LaHayne | 01-11-21

In the wake of a global pandemic, 2020 has had an immense impact on all of us. As we enter the new year, it will be crucial for employers to take note of the many shifts in employees’ interests and needs.
Getting employees back to the office safely is no small task. While some are in the midst of planning for returning to the office, it’s important to keep in mind that it is never too late to get a strategy in place. In fact, given that 49% of respondents to a recent survey have not felt supported by their employer during the pandemic...
What Does Work Look Like in 2021? Workplace Experts Share Their Predictions
Employee Benefits News | By Alyssa Place | 01-25-21

No one could have anticipated the total upheaval to the workplace in 2020 — the transition to remote work, a new reliance on technology, persistent pressures on employee mental health and well-being, child care concerns — the year was a roller coaster of crisis management for organizations and HR leaders. With the one-year mark since coronavirus engulfed the U.S. now here, employers and employees are starting 2021 with one question: What will work be like this year?

COVID-19 Relief Bill – What Employers Need to Know Heading Into 2021
National Law Review | By Zachary J. Flood and Robert J. Simandl of von Briesen & Roper, s.c. | 12-28-21

On Sunday, December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the legislation providing government funding and a long-anticipated coronavirus relief package (the “Bill”). The wide-sweeping Bill contains a number of key provisions that will impact both public and private sector employment in 2021.

Employers Need Not Pay for Certain Travel Time Between Office, Telework Locations, DOL Says
HRDive | Ryan Golden | 12-31-2020

An employee who chooses to telework for part of the day and work in an office for part of the day, and who has sufficient time to perform personal tasks in between, need not be compensated for travel time between the two locations, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)'s Wage and Hour Division said in one of two opinion letters published Dec. 31.

4 Steps Employers Should Take to Prepare for Higher Healthcare Costs
Employee Benefits News | By Dr. Miles Varn | 01-15-21

The COVID-19 pandemic has markedly reduced the number of patients seeking preventive care and elective procedures. The American Hospital Association reported a nearly 20% drop in inpatient volumes and a nearly 35% decrease in outpatient volumes compared to baseline levels. Another report by the Commonwealth Fund noted a decline of nearly 60% in outpatient visits in April 2020 with a rebound in volumes...

Good News For Minority-Owned Businesses: Community Banks Get First Crack At The New Round Of PPP Loans
 Forbes | Brian Thompson | 01-10-21

 The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopens tomorrow, but it won’t offer the same edge to big, well-financed businesses as the first iteration did. You might remember the uproar over some very large businesses—with plenty of other sources of liquidity—swooping in to claim PPP money. This time, to promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. 
Why Remote Work May Render the 5-Day Workweek Obsolete
Fast Company | BY SCOTT DUST | 01-22-21

During the conventional 5-day week, most workers’ productivity levels gradually drop off as they move closer to the weekend, signaling the format may be outdated.
A little over one hundred years ago, a New England mill instituted the five-day workweek to accommodate Jewish and Christian day of rest observances. The masses followed suit. This five days on, two days off cadence still exists, but to put it simply, it is inefficient. Employees run out of steam working eight or more hours a day for five days straight. My colleagues at Miami University and I recently...
EEOC Proposes Allowing Only ‘De Minimis’ Incentives for Many Wellness Programs
HR.BLR.com | By David Slaughter, JD | 01-19-21

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) proposed a substantial revamp of its wellness program rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), after its prior version of the rules was struck down in court. In general, only “de minimis” incentives, such as water bottles or gift cards, would be allowed to encourage employees or their families to participate in a wellness program. 

3 Strategies for Right Now to Encourage Employees to Get COVID Vaccines
HRExecutive.com | By: Jeff Levin-Scherz | 12-21-20

And 3 others that could backfire if they're rolled out too soon.
Many employers are eager to encourage their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, which will allow safe return to the workplace and drive economic recovery. But with many Americans unsure about getting the vaccine, it won’t be easy to establish “herd immunity,” where the virus dies out as enough of the population is immune and patients with new COVID infections can’t infect others.
3 Tips for Managing Long-Term Remote Work in 2021
HRExecutive.com | By: Jen Colletta | January 11, 2021

With more organizations making remote work permanent, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Remote work was one of the biggest HR stories of 2020—and it’s not looking like the headlines will be much different this year. As the pandemic rages on, many employers are keeping their workers at home for the time being, and potentially permanently, creating new priorities for HR leaders as we head into 2021. When organizations had to quickly pivot to remote work early last year, HR leaders scrambled to ensure workers...
11 Trends That Will Shape HR in 2021
HRExecutive.com | By: Jen Colletta | 12-15-20

Gartner’s Brian Kropp says 2021 will be another year full of reinvention.
This year has upended the priorities of most HR leaders, as they had to quickly navigate everything from remote-work culture to legal concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. The changes and challenges 2020 brought are setting up next year to be another of transformation, according to Brian Kropp, chief of HR research at Gartner.
The Year Ahead for Employers
Jackson Lewis P.C. | Adam C. Doerr Attorney at Law Adam.Doerr@Jacksonlewis.com
In 2020, COVID-19 collided with a presidential election, forever altering the workplace as we knew it. In 2021 employers are faced with reimagining the employer/employee relationship while simultaneously trying to keep pace with the evolution of workplace law. 2021: The Year Ahead for Employers details trends, legislation, regulation and litigation...
5 Telehealth Trends to Watch in 2021
INSPRO | Jan. 2021

Employers that are interested in cutting their health care expenses are likely familiar with telehealth. This is the process of communicating with a doctor via an app, or a webcam and computer. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth usage skyrocketed, making it one of the most popular ways to receive health care. As such, employers should stay apprised of notable telehealth trends to ensure they stay competitive...
2021 Health Plan Compliance Deadlines
INSPRO | Jan. 2021

Employers must comply with numerous reporting and disclosure requirements throughout the year in connection with their group health plans. This Compliance Overview explains key 2021 compliance deadlines for employer-sponsored group health plans. It also outlines group health plan notices that employers must provide each year. Some of the compliance deadlines summarized below are tied to a group health plan’s plan year. For these requirements, the chart below shows the deadline that applies to calendar year plans. For non-calendar year plans, these deadlines will need to be adjusted to reflect each plan’s specific plan year.

DOL Issues New Guidance on Posting Notices for Remote, Hybrid Workplaces
SHRM | Roy Maurer | 01-25-2021

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently provided guidance from the Wage and Hour Division on complying with its notice and posting requirements when employees are working remotely.

DACA Notice for E-Verify
Completing Form I-9 for Employees with Extended Work Authorization under DACA

Want to provide content for this newsletter distributed to 30k+ local business professionals?
OSHA Electronic Reports Are Due March 2
Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires certain employers to submit information from their OSHA Form 300A electronically. Affected employers must submit their reports using OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA).
RECAP: President Biden Issues Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety
INSPRO | Jan. 2021
On Jan. 21, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order on the health and safety of workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The order directs the Department of Labor (DOL) and OSHA to protect workers from COVID-19 under the OSH Act and to protect other categories of workers.
We are already several months into the planning of the 2021 conferences & Spring is going to be AWESOME!

Careful consideration determined April 7-8 Iowa Employment Conference will be live virtual training once again. The speaker line up & topics are fantastic & will be revealed soon! Looking forward to live in-person conferences hopefully later in the new year. 
Seven Oaks is the place to skisnowboard and snow tube in central Iowa! Located in Boone – a quick drive from Ames, Fort Dodge, Des Moines, Johnston, Urbandale, Waukee, West Des Moines, Grimes, Adel, and other surrounding communities..
At the Food Bank of Iowa, we’re dedicated to ending hunger in Iowa—for the children, families, and seniors we serve. With your help, we can.
$0.98 cents of every dollar donated to Food Bank of Iowa supports our food distribution programs. By keeping administrative services expenses (1.45%) low, we can provide 4 meals for every dollar contributed to Food Bank of Iowa.
2020 presented some challenges for the event industry, but the team quickly adapted to a new format of virtual live sessions via Zoom to rise up & meet the needs of the Iowa Employment Conference attendees, sponsors & speakers.

Continuing on into 2021 again with live virtual conferences, Iowa Employment Conference isn't missing a beat this spring by offering over 50 highly qualified speakers, 42 expert sessions + 3 networking sessions - along with interactive virtual sponsor booths! Proud to be here for YOU through good times & bad!

As I sit here writing this note, it's snowing like crazy. I'm not sure about a lot, but I love it when it snows. It's so beautiful and very calming. But in all honesty, as quickly as it comes I'll be ready for it to be gone.

Much like snow, everything is temporary. You can choose to worry about the past, worry about the future or you can appreciate the now. It's all in your hands. It's your outlook that changes your perspective.

I'm thankful for warm shelter and big windows to appreciate the beauty right outside.

Please be kind to each other and appreciate all the good around you.

I'm also thankful for you reading this note.