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Florida farmers nervous about threats to their labor force

Florida farmers are nervous about multiple legislative attempts to keep them from maintaining a workforce. Farmers claim recent proposed legislation threatens to take their ability away to hire undocumented workers, which account for up to 75 percent of their workforce. It’s not uncommon for undocumented workers to purchase false Social Security cards and use them upon being hired. There is currently no legal requirement for farmers to check that the cards are legitimate. Most farms file the numbers away and start paying the new employees for their work. Up on Capitol Hill, the proposed Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885) would require all farmers (indeed, all employers) to use a federal database to confirm the numbers. This system is the E-Verify database. Farmers would then be mandated to not hire undocumented workers. The proposed law is sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas. Proponents of the bill talk about how these jobs should be given to legal workers, like American ...

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Two possible major changes to how 401(k) plans operate

In an effort cut federal the deficit, 401(k) plans are being targeted for changes. Historically, the employers’ and employees’ contributions to 401(k) plans have been sheltered from taxation. Then, down the road, as employees take withdraws from their accounts during retirement, they are taxed on the withdraws. The first proposal has assumed the nickname of the “20/20 cap”. This would limit employer and employee contributions to 401(k) plans to $20,000 or 20 percent of an employee’s salary, on an annual basis. The plan creates the cap at whichever limit is reached first. Currently, under law, the limits are $49,000 or 100 percent of a worker’s salary. Supporters of this plan direct attention to the concept of limited high-income employees from gaining a much larger tax advantage than lower income employees that never get near the $49,000 limit. Supporters emphasize “leveling the playing field”. The other concept aims at ending the tax decoctions for 401(k) p ...

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Human Resource Consulting in St. Petersburg Expected to Continue Increase

Over the next several years, human resource consulting services for companies in St. Petersburg and beyond are expected to continue to increase as the demand for HR and payroll software continues to rise. IBISWorld estimates that over the next five years, revenue for the HR and Payroll Software industry will increase at an average annual rate of 5 percent to $4 billion. IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry market research, says while some companies will go back to outsourcing administrative tasks, others are expected to continue to invest money in HR and payroll software as the economy continues to recover. IBISWorld says as corporate profits increase, more and more businesses are expected to continue to branch out and use human resource consulting services. The company expects industry revenue will increase 1.1 percent this year. For example, in St. Petersburg, as we wait for the tourism levels to rebound, keeping your company lean through the use of outsources can be a big advanta ...

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Your New Year's resolution? Harassment Training for your staff.

Not the most exciting resolution, but don't you want to protect your company a little better from expensive harassment judgments? Consider revising your harassment training process. If the last time a manager received harassment training was in the first two week of their employment with you seven years ago, you may have a bad situation brewing. A recent legal appeal in New Jersey is just another example of how important it is to have a clear harassment policy that is routinely communicated to staff. In New Jersey Appellate Division case Wallace v. Mercer County Youth Detention Center, the court emphasized the need for employers to not only distribute a harassment policy, but to also back it up with routine training processes. Companies should: Have a written harassment policy, that includes how to report incidents Have documentation of distributing the policy to all employees Have documentation of running harassment training programs for staff In addition, the court mentions the ne ...

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Not hiring right now? You're not alone, especially in the manufacturing sector.

In September of 2012 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the manufacturing sector accounted for 25 percent of all mass layoffs. Mass layoffs is defined as 50 employees or more per event. A general U.S. hiring drought is predicted to extend into 2012. It seems companies will continue to be wary of taking on expense during this unpredictable economy. Unemployment is hovering around 9 percent as most companies just are not hiring, yet. Yet, at the same time, many company HR directors are complaining that they can't find the specialized talent they are seeking to hire. Recent surveys are giving some insight into the situation. Many jobs are disappearing as companies invest in processes and automation, leaving a smaller number of employees. The positions left average to be more highly skilled. This produces the situation we're seeing where the unemployment rate is still high in the lower skilled arenas, while there's a shortage of applications in the higher skilled areas. This situation d ...

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