This is essentially what Obama was trying to create, which is a market that eliminates Company Sponsored health plans and moves everyone to individual coverage. That is a good thing for business to get out of the business of offering Health Insurance, and just provide a stipend for it. I know a lot... Read more

A New Crop of Benefits: Fresh Produce Grown at the Office Indoor farming allows organizations to have fresh produce year-round, and one company wants to offer these indoor farms to companies as an employee community-supported agriculture benefit. Most employers want their employees... Read more

Morgan Stanley Redesigns Offices for a ‘Dynamic, Millennial’ Workforce October 8, 2018 From Bloomberg -- About 1.2 million square feet of office space will get an overhaul in the next 15 months to put technology experts closer to brokers,... Read more

This is an interesting group entering the workforce… 5 Reasons Why You Should Hire Gen Z Candidates Now It was not too long ago that recruiters found out Millennials were the way to go. Not long after this though, a fresh pool of candidates started to appear on the market –... Read more

The retirement landscape is challenging to navigate for employers and employees alike, and employers have a lot to reconsider in how they go about preparing employees for retirement. The concept of retirement has dramatically evolved over the past century. While more people used to expect a... Read more

It will be interesting to see how this manifests in our local market…certainly a shortage of labor here! From Bloomberg: Workers in the world's richest countries are getting their biggest pay bump in a decade, a step toward solving a labor market puzzle that's unnerving central... Read more

This is a little scary, but it is coming… What EY Learned When It Started Using HR Bots From TLNT: Technology has played a significant role in shaping human resources practices in the past decade. Today we are on the cusp of a new revolution in HR: The application of artificial... Read more

This is definitely influenced by the “full employment” economy… From FOX Business: As the U.S. economy creates more jobs, fewer Americans are willing to move for a new employment opportunity. Only 3.5 million Americans relocated for work last year, according to the U.S. Census... Read more

“Health care cost increases continue to outpace workers’ earnings and increases in inflation, making this trend unaffordable and unsustainable over the long term,” said Brian Marcotte, CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “ IW Staff... Read more

Sen. Marco Rubio unveiled legislation Thursday to provide paid leave to new parents by drawing from their future Social Security payments. The senator and 2016 GOP presidential candidate from Florida touted the plan as a novel approach to an issue on which Congress has not taken significant action... Read more

Talent management is gaining a new prominence on corporate boards. It’s evolved from being an agenda item under succession planning or compensation to driving strategic decisions about fostering innovation, growth and the ability to outperform the competition. After all, for an increasing... Read more

Call them dinosaur-brains or Neanderthals, there are people in every business who live to make us miserable. They aren’t necessarily actively toxic, but some are so rude, bureaucratic, and/or annoying, your automatic response may be to disengage from them and your work. As well all... Read more

Minnesota added 6,600 new jobs in June, helping the state maintain its 3.1 percent unemployment rate. The latest seasonally adjusted employment figures were released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The state’s unemployment rate remains at its... Read more

Ensuring employees remain engaged and productive, retaining key talent in a recovered economy, and attracting and retaining diverse talent are the trifecta causing HR leaders’ insomnia, according to HRE’s 2018 What’s Keeping HR Up at Night report. Meeting these needs... Read more

Corrugated box maker Liberty Diversified International (LDI) will cap its 100th anniversary in Brooklyn Park Friday with a nationwide "Great Gratitude Tour" in which the company will donate hundreds of thousands to charities, feed 2,000 guests and attempt to break a... Read more

Just one month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a massive overhaul of Minnesota’s pension system into law, the prominent credit rating agency Moody’s warned that the changes are “far from a cure-all.”   Moody’s was one of several rating agencies that recently... Read more

There comes a time in every HR practitioner’s career where you realizeyou just can’t drive company culture alone. Modern conceptions of company culture are in a state of transition. For as many companies out there that recognize the importance of senior management and... Read more

Tech recruiters today are finding themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one side, there’s an increasing pressure to build diverse teams, which reaches a boiling point every time a story about tech’s diversity problem dominates the news cycle. On the other side, 86%... Read more

Each year, the employment and labor law firm Littler conducts a survey that’s designed to shed light on how employers are reacting to the social and political changes occurring around them at the moment. More than 1,100 companies took part in the Littler Annual Employer Survey 2018. And... Read more

The number of psychiatric disability discrimination claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 has been increasing significantly in recent years, now comprising nearly 30 percent of all ADA charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If a particular... Read more

Apprenticeships — particularly in the construction trades — have been around for many decades. Now the state, businesses and trade unions are trying to beef up training and expand apprenticeships to sectors that haven't traditionally used them. John Aiken, director of... Read more

A Hennepin County district judge this week upheld the Minneapolis sick leave ordinance but ruled that it cannot be enforced against employers based outside city limits. The ordinance, passed by the City Council in 2016, requires that companies track employees who work in the city and... Read more

As American businesses compete for top-tier talent, large firms increasingly see the value of providing workers with voluntary benefits as a way to attract the best workforce possible. Nearly 70 percent of employers say that voluntary benefits will be an important part of their employee value... Read more

Consider the human resources director at a 250-person high-tech startup who wants to strengthen her organization's onboarding practices. Currently the company does little more than a half-day new employee orientation that consists of a code-of-conduct video, safety demonstration, and... Read more

As more HR leaders have begun implementing robotic process automation (RPA) in functions like payroll and benefits to create new process efficiencies and free up HR staff for higher-impact work, many are discovering the technology has applications in broader areas of HR.  RPA is... Read more

Here’s a story about a real company. This company provided doughnuts for its software development team every day. Good doughnuts – and a great assortment of them. This company also had a cafeteria so the employees never needed to be inconvenienced by having to leave the building... Read more

Visitors in Minnesota doctors’ office waiting rooms may have something to read other than years-old magazines: posters with the prices for procedures, itemized by insurance type. HF3893 would mandate that health care providers post a list of the 25 most common procedures, and the out-of... Read more

The traditional 9-to-5 spent in the confines of the office is becoming less and less common. As the needs of both employees and customers change, employers are now having to become increasingly flexible to accommodate these through the provision of flexible work. Flexible working is not a one-size... Read more

Most existing recognition and incentive programs have been designed utilizing traditional economic theories which suggest: People tend to act rationally and in their own best interests when making decisions Money is the most effective motivator This conventional approach (that... Read more

As you work, Big Business is watching. Companies are increasingly tapping into new technology designed to keep a close eye on employees. This monitoring goes beyond traditional security cameras to include portable devices worn by workers. As the Tribune has reported, Amazon recently won patents... Read more

As U.S. employers create more jobs with in-demand skills, businesses, workforce development advocates, educational institutions and the government are turning to apprenticeships to bring workers up to speed.   President Donald Trump has proposed increasing the number of apprentices from... Read more

mployer-provided health coverage is important for recruiting, but even more important for retention. A new survey shows that: 56 percent of U.S. adults with employer-sponsored health benefits said that whether or not they like their health coverage is a key factor in deciding to stay at their... Read more

When I hear the word family, beyond the mental images of my own, I can’t help but think of the Cleavers, the Bradys, the Cunninghams, and the Huxtables. Growing up, I probably spent as much time hanging out with those families as I did my own. Television... Read more

Three corporate giants are teaming up to combat what billionaire Warren Buffett calls a “hungry tapeworm” feasting on the U.S. economy: health care. Inc., Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. said they plan to collaborate on a way to... Read more

If you report business income on your individual federal tax return, figuring out your 2018 taxes is about to get more complicated. That's because there are many unanswered questions about a major business tax break under the new tax law: A 20% deduction on business income for owners,... Read more

January’s cryptocurrency selloff got fresh impetus on Tuesday when Bitcoin slumped as much as 25 percent, as the prospect of regulatory crackdowns appeared to spread.     While the largest digital coin was down 25 percent at $10,338 as of 4:37 p.m. in New York, it was still at... Read more

Appearing in text messages, emails, on T-shirts and even their own movie, emojis — cartoon representations of emotions and common objects — are a ubiquitous presence in people’s lives and daily communications with one another.  Seventy-one percent of Americans use visual... Read more

When you hear the word millennial, what comes to mind? A group of lazy, entitled underachievers or a population reaping the consequences of generations past? Opinions aside, the fact remains that by 2025, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the workforce. This means that... Read more

There’s no denying it. Work can be a grind. You put in a lot of blood, sweat and sometimes tears, and it often seems like no one notices. In honor of this month’s focus on giving thanks, we wanted to know what HR can do to boost employees’ spirits and let them know they are truly... Read more

Showing up feels obligatory. The conversations are superficial and forced. The food is so-so. The activities are hokey. The atmosphere's way too tame. Only about a third of office workers describe workplace holiday parties as entertaining, while about the same amount say they're... Read more

Minnesota farmers are sizing up a new crop of health plans after struggling for years with skyrocketing premiums and diminished insurance options. Lawmakers blessed the new coverage from agricultural co-ops earlier this year in legislation on the troubled individual insurance market under the... Read more

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion—has a much broader reach than some realize. The definition of sex discrimination has expanded recently... Read more

Telecommuting on a regular basis has grown 115 percent in the past decade, a new report on telecommuting reveals—nearly 10 times faster than the workforce itself has grown. So why are some companies walking away from telework? In recent years, Best Buy, Yahoo, IBM, Honeywell and Bank... Read more

BRAINERD, Minn. — MNSure CEO Allison O'Toole offered up solutions Monday, Oct. 9, to help make sure health insurance premiums stay flat. O'Toole is traveling the state, talking to Minnesota media outlets ahead of the open enrollment period starting Nov. 1. She said there... Read more

Roughly 263,000 Minnesotans could be affected by the hikes, expected to range from 8 to 14 percent.  The largest health insurers in the market where small businesses buy coverage are increasing premiums by an average of 8 to 14 percent next year, a slightly tighter range than carriers... Read more

Senate Republicans are poised to take an unprecedented leap into the dark as they prepare to vote on legislation that would affect health protections for tens of millions Americans yet has been subject to virtually no analysis or public scrutiny. The proposal goes far beyond previous... Read more

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton blasted federal health officials Wednesday for holding up approval of a program meant to lower health insurance costs and threatening millions of dollars in cuts to health care for the working poor. State lawmakers tackled a precarious health insurance market on their... Read more

Senate Republicans and the White House pressed ahead Tuesday with their suddenly resurgent effort to undo former president Barack Obama’s signature health-care law, even as their attempt was dealt a setback when a bipartisan group of governors and several influential interest groups came out... Read more

Minnesota’s plan to lower health insurance premiums next year had just one little complication, but it’s threatening to turn into a big complication: It requires approval from the federal government. And with time running out, that approval still isn’t here. The $542 million... Read more

While there's no secret formula for happiness, research suggests that certain factors can influence our overall well-being. In fact, everything from the type of job you have to your relationshipsand your level of physical activity can influence your satisfaction... Read more

Fairmont played host to a gathering this week at which a speaker — Glen Peterson, a professor emeritus at Minnesota State-Mankato — offered praise for the idea of a single-payer health care system in this country. He believes more coverage, for everyone, can be provided at less cost by... Read more

Rep. Clark Johnson hopes the third time's the charm when it comes to a proposal to expand the state's public health plan. The North Mankato Democrat will once more bring a proposal to lawmakers next year asking them to explore selling MinnesotaCare plans on the individual insurance market... Read more

MANKATO — If nothing else, Donald Trump has certainly remained consistent in his adversarial attitude toward the Affordable Care Act. He's loudly proclaimed his willingness to let the law implode, and there’s little indication his Department of Health and Human Services overseeing... Read more

I always remind my readers and audiences that however talented they are, their CEOs don’t want them to be sales, marketing, HR or tech leaders – CEOs want them to be business leaders with sales, marketing, HR or tech expertise. It’s more than semantics. It’s... Read more


REALLY? By Laura Litvan, Bloomberg, Steven T. Dennis Republicans can only lose two votes and still pass their embattled health bill, with several Republicans undecided over whether to proceed. READ MORE »

From the Chicago Tribune: President Donald Trump declared Tuesday it's time to "let Obamacare fail" after the latest GOP health care plan crashed and burned in the Senate, a stunning failure for the president, Republican leader Mitch McConnell and a party that has vowed for years to... Read more

The health care bill released by the Senate this week closely hews to the bill that was narrowly approved by the House, at least with regard to employer-sponsored group health plans. On June 22, the Senate made public the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), its measure to repeal and... Read more

WASHINGTON — Senate GOP leaders are planning to vote next week on legislation to repeal large chunks of the Affordable Care Act, even though they don’t yet appear to have secured enough support to pass it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is intent on keeping pressure... Read more

As you know, employee engagement is an important factor in how well organizations function. But how important is it, really? Joe Wedgwood of The Happiness Index answers that question using the latest research on engagement — and he provides some helpful tips on how to improve engagement in... Read more

Providing financial wellness training and tools was expected to be a key workplace trend for 2017, and new research findings show that to be the case. The Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM's) 2017 Employee Benefits survey report (forthcoming), based on a survey... Read more

Over the last several years, as Minnesota’s economy has improved and more job opportunities became available across different industries, one thing has remained a major hurdle for employers: finding — and retaining — entry-level employees. To find ways to address the issue, the... Read more

When building contractor McGough has an opening on one of its construction crews, it doesn’t have to look very far. A short drive from the firm’s national headquarters in Roseville is the campus of St. Paul College, which turns out dozens of graduates in construction for an industry... Read more

"Etihad Airways turns plane around for elderly couple to meet their dying grandchild" That headline signaled as much about the core values of the organization as it did about the story. It was a small article not picked up across the media landscape, though it did make the local... Read more

With companies like GE, Adobe and Accenture revamping the way they do performance reviews, many others are now jumping on the bandwagon. But how do you design a new process that will work for your unique work environment? The best way is to start by asking your people. Beginning a new... Read more

Earlier this year, Deb Reed looked over her family’s bills and wondered if she and her husband would have to drop their insurance. The 63-year-old Willmar, Minn., resident and her husband, Steven, are both semiretired and had saved up money — but were paying more than $1,000 each for... Read more

Over the years, Bill Marriott has seen a seismic change in his business. “Today is a whole new ballgame for me,” he says. “When I went to hotels when I was young, you went into the lobby, you checked in at the desk, and if you were hungry, you went to the restaurant and sat at... Read more

Most jobs of the future will require postsecondary training, but that doesn’t mean every worker needs a four-year degree. Minnesota and states across the nation face a growing shortage of workers qualified to fill “middle-skill” jobs that require some training beyond the typical... Read more

hen recently asked to rank their benefits priorities, most employers (83 percent) chose retaining employees as their top objective, a new survey reveals, and over half (51 percent) said that using benefits to retain employees will become even more important in the next 3 to 5 years, reflecting... Read more

With so much of our lives spent working, progressive organizations try to make the time there more comfortable. Happy employees are more productive, creative and stay in their jobs longer. In this candidate driven job market, employers have to find ways to enhance their job offerings to... Read more

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN, April. 5, 2017 – Clairmont Financial Group, LLC, a full service employee benefits firm headquartered in Minneapolis, was recently selected by Premier Pontoons as the Broker of Record for their employee benefits program. For over twenty-five years, Premier Pontoons has been... Read more

An employer is most likely to lose newly recruited employees when their job is not what they anticipated, according to a new survey. Nearly all (90 percent) of the 1,817 executives polled in a recent survey by the Futurestep division of HR consulting, executive search and recruitment firm... Read more

he fate of a measure to try to stabilize Minnesota’s individual health insurance market now lies in Gov. Mark Dayton’s hands. The “reinsurance” package, which would spend $542 million over the next two years to absorb high medical costs in the state’s individual... Read more

Now that House leaders have withdrawn the GOP's American Health Care Act from formal consideration—at least for the time being—the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will stay in effect and attention is turning to federal agencies for any regulatory relief they can give employers... Read more

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN, Mar. 24, 2017 – The Minneapolis-based employee benefits firm, Clairmont Financial Group, LLC, was recently selected by Wedge Community Co-op to administer their employee benefits. Wholly community owned, The Wedge is a combination grocery store, catering company, wholesale... Read more

The Minnesota Senate on Wednesday evening followed the House in approving hundreds of millions of dollars in spending on a new program aimed at stabilizing the state's individual health insurance market by protecting insurers from major risks.   All Senate Republicans and three DFLers... Read more

The House Republicans' bill to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave 14 million more people uninsured next year than under current law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday. At the same time, the bill would cut the deficit by $337 billion over a decade. The legislation would... Read more

Social media is exploding with political discussion these days, and we’ve all read the stories about employees being fired for something they posted on their personal social media accounts. Are you putting your job at risk by sharing political opinions on social media? How far can you go... Read more

In Bangalore, India, heart surgeons perform daily state-of-the-art heart surgery on adults and children at an average cost of $1,800. For the record, that’s about 2% of the $90,000 that the average heart surgery costs in the United States. And when it comes to the quality of the... Read more

Employers still must distribute 1095 forms to employees and report employee health coverage to IRS, as deadlines loom  Feb. 15, the IRS announced on its ACA Information Center for Tax Professionals webpage that it would not reject taxpayers' 2016 income tax returns that are... Read more

St. Paul and Minneapolis both passed city ordinances last year that require private employers to provide their workers with paid sick leave to care for themselves or family members. In Minneapolis, the earned leave regulations survived a recent court challenge filed by the Minnesota Chamber of... Read more

Minnesota’s state-run health insurance exchange has changed a lot since 2014, when its debut featured cheap premiums and disastrous technological issues. Today its technology works better but the low prices are just a memory. Now its future is uncertain as politics and market forces alike... Read more

Employers and employees have a number of options for setting aside pre-tax dollars to pay medical expenses. The pros and cons of the three most common plans are summarized in this article, but employers should check Internal Revenue Service guidance for specifics. For example, each plan uses the... Read more

Minnesotans buying health insurance on the state’s individual market have endured a lot the past year, from delayed tax forms to skyrocketing premiums and shrinking networks to growing uncertainty about the future. In the past week, though, all the news has been good. Following the... Read more

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) modelhealth insurance marketplace notice forms indicate that they will expire at the end of January 2017. This has caused some concern among employers over whether the forms can still be distributed after their "expiration date." The... Read more

A recent court decision on the validity of wellness-incentive programs is just the "initial skirmish" in a long war over employees' disclosure of personal and family medical information, experts say. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission won the first round in a wellness-... Read more

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN, Jan. 19, 2017 – Headquartered in International Falls, Minnesota, Rainy Lake Medical Center transitioned to utilizing Clairmont Financial Group, LLC as their group health insurance broker. The community healthcare organization, now the firm’s northernmost client,... Read more

Every employer has their own idea of a dream team, but most will agree it would consist of employees who are passionate about their careers, put forth extreme effort, and hit their goals every month. While this deep passion creates driven employees, what happens when the pressure becomes too much... Read more

If both Republicans and Democrats agree that the state should pass $300 million in relief for Minnesotans struggling to pay their health insurance, why is it taking months to pass it? Part of the dispute reflects genuine disagreements about the best way to deliver 25 percent rebate... Read more

Minnesota lawmakers scrambled Tuesday to begin cobbling together a relief plan for residents facing large health insurance premium hikes, but logistical hurdles and disagreements between the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic-Farmer-Labor Gov. Mark Dayton could make it weeks or longer... Read more

Employers now have even more incentive to make sure they abide by wage-and-hour laws.  Now, in addition to liquidated (a.k.a., double) damages and even jail time, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violators can be hit with emotional distress damages as well. That’s... Read more

A Capitol Hill meeting is set for shortly after New Year's Day President Obama will hold a meeting with Democrats on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to discuss how to protect the Affordable Care Act next year against Republican efforts to dismantle his signature domestic... Read more

Legal and HR consultants perked up at the news earlier in this year that Microsoft is at the forefront of a new intelligent automobile trend. In addition to working with Volvo, Toyota, Nissan, Qoros of China, and other automakers and component manufacturers, Microsoft announced that it was... Read more

While the narrative on the state’s insurance exchange MNsure has been driven by grouping the program with failures of the health insurance market or the Affordable Care Act, a recent near doubling of enrollment this year should make think twice about that narrative. Some 54,000 people signed... Read more

President Barack Obama on Dec. 13 signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which will let small businesses use health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to fund employees who purchase individual health plans on the open market. The bipartisan bill, which Congress passed Dec. 7, focuses... Read more

Excluding a certain type of coverage from your company’s health plan has officially become risky business — even though it’s possible the same couldn’t have been said about this exclusion a few years ago.  What kind of coverage are we talking about? Coverage for... Read more

They are among the most valuable but oft-overlooked programs offered by organizations: employee assistance programs (EAPs). Counseling services provided by EAPs help employees deal with everyday or extreme challenges that can impact workplace productivity and performance, improving employee well-... Read more

The Department of Labor (DOL) under President-elect Donald Trump may withdraw the DOL's appeal of a preliminary blocking of the federal overtime rule if there hasn't been a decision on the appeal by Inauguration Day. But there's a slight chance the appeal... Read more

On Friday morning, state officials predicted Minnesota would have a $1.4 billion budget surplus. By the afternoon, Gov. Mark Dayton and bipartisan legislators were close to spending half of it. Almost immediately after the budget forecast was announced, Dayton and legislative leaders huddled... Read more

Recognize This! – Motivating employees requires more than compensation, which can create “prisoners.” Instead, companies need to emphasize a richer employee experience. There is an interesting “iceberg” effect when it comes to employee motivation. Company leadership... Read more

MNsure should repay more than $1.2 million in grant funds, federal auditors say, including money spent on marketing work that wasn't properly authorized until after the job was completed. Auditors from the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)... Read more

A Texas federal court judge has issued a preliminary injunction, delaying the DOL’s changes to the FLSA overtime exemption rule. And while many may welcome the news, the reality is it creates a huge mess for employers.  Granted, you could argue the rule changes themselves created a mess... Read more

The tables have turned on the local job market since the recession as too few people are around to take available jobs. "After four straight months of the labor market dropping, that's a trend," said Erik White, the regional labor market analyst for the Department of... Read more

High turnover is an issue in any job market — especially in the medical field where time and training really can’t be wasted. It’s critical to understand what’s causing the turnover. The 2016 Well-Being and Engagement Report, by Limeade, surveyed 1,276 U.S. employees,... Read more

Just over half of U.S. employees believe they are being paid fairly compared with workers who hold similar jobs, either at their own or at other companies, new research shows. "Pay equity is rapidly becoming a high priority for employers, especially with base pay continuing to be the most... Read more

The roughly 100,000 Minnesotans buying unsubsidized health insurance from MNsure don’t need any stats or charts to tell them Minnesota’s individual market is in a crisis. Their premiums are going up by an average of 59 percent, their plan options have narrowedand many of them... Read more

People who buy health insurance on their own lost a health plan option on Friday as regulators announced that Minnetonka-based Medica has hit an enrollment cap for 2017. With Medica no longer selling to most new customers in the individual market, that leaves just one option in dozens of counties... Read more

Technology issues are fixed and the state’s MNsure health insurance sales program has enrolled 10,000 Minnesotans, a mark it took almost a month to hit last year. “We’ve helped more Minnesotans than we have in any two-day period in our history,” MNsure executive Allison O... Read more

Minnesota’s state-run health insurance exchange could be eliminated if it doesn’t perform well in the upcoming open enrollment period, Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday. Dayton, who championed MNsure, told Minnesota Public Radio’s Tom Weber that eliminating MNsure, as Republicans... Read more

Over the past 10 years, there have been changes to laws governing medicinal and recreational   marijuana use across the United States. Twenty-five states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana in some form. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C. have... Read more

Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday sent a letter to legislative leaders asking them to come up with a plan to help those facing double-digit health insurance price increases. The DFLer’s letter underscored the request he announced last week: He would like them to draft an agreeable solution by... Read more

Legislators should move quickly to provide relief for consumers.  Work by Minnesota lawmakers on a plan to provide emergency assistance to consumers facing health insurance price hikes should have begun within minutes after Gov. Mark Dayton’s Friday news conference. Both parties have... Read more

The September (Cincinnati) HR Roundtable was jumping into controversial waters, but the timing was perfect because of the current event that will be occurring in November. The topic was “Politics In the Workplace.” This is one of those taboo topics that people tend to skirt around... Read more

A new FlexJobs survey shows that travel is a surprisingly popular motivator for why people work—with 70% of Millennials say the desire to travel is a primary reason to work, second only to paying for basic necessities (88%). Gen X respondents ranked travel (60%) as the fourth most important... Read more

Faced with the competing pressures of getting work done and managing labor costs, individual managers might encourage newly reclassified nonexempt employees to not report all of their work hours, even if corporate policy and the law say otherwise, said Brett Coburn, an attorney with Alston &... Read more

Minnesota’s individual insurance market is in danger of collapse, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said Friday as he announced massive premium increases for 2017 plans. Insurance companies on the individual market will increase their premiums between 50 percent and 67 percent, on average... Read more

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote today on a bill that would delay the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules’ effective date by 6 months.The White House, however, said yesterday that President Obama would veto the bill. The rules are scheduled to... Read more

Earlier this year, we ran an article on managing employee status changes under theAffordable Care Act (ACA). I invited follow-up questions, and you delivered! Here are a few more tricky ACA status change situations (and answers) for you. Note that many ACA status-change questions can be... Read more

Employers should continue preparations for the December 1, 2016, effective date   Posted September 23, 2016 On September 20, 2016, two separate groups filed federal lawsuits in an effort to either delay the effective date or completely stop the implementation of the final... Read more

St. Paul’s misguided workplace mandates ultimately will hurt people their supporters aim to help. The city’s new sick- and safe-time requirement and looming $15 minimum wage discussion are at odds with the drive to attract jobs and address racial disparities that Mayor Chris Coleman... Read more

MANKATO — As human resources administrator at the Mankato Clinic, Becky Kahle knows all about the tight job market that continues to plague employers across Minnesota. "It's definitely a competitive market out there." She said the shortage of qualified candidates covers... Read more

It’s an easy scenario to imagine: an employee goes out on leave and, when another employee takes on his work, she discovers performance deficiencies and maybe even misconduct. Is the employee’s job protected just because he is out on “job-protected” leave? In Olson v.... Read more

I hear too many lawyers strongly discourage employers from ever looking at an applicant’s social media accounts. Yes, there are legal risks, but those risks can be mitigated. As important, there can be legal and business risks in not looking at social media during the hiring process. So we... Read more

As the economy continues to improve, so do the chances of your employees looking for new job opportunities in 2016. A new survey from Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc, finds 52% of employees are open to leaving their current employers for new... Read more

It seems like just yesterday we were all having such fun with the 2015 Form 1095-C, doesn’t it? But believe it or not, 2016 reporting is just around the corner, and the IRS has releaseddraft instructions for the 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Here are some of the key... Read more

Congress is back from a seven-week recess with less than a month to prevent a government shutdown. With a little more than three weeks until the end of the fiscal year, and about two months remaining until Election Day, lawmakers must fund the federal government or watch as national parks close... Read more

Hub International Limited (HUB), a global insurance brokerage, recently undertook an in-depth small-middle market employee benefits study called the Employee Benefits Barometer: SMB Perspectives and Priorities in an Era of Disruption. More than 400 senior-level human resource... Read more

MANKATO — Minnesotans in the market for individual health insurance this fall should expect significant premium hikes. Seven insurers submitted their proposed individual and small group rates for 2017 Thursday. As expected, the rates greatly increased from last year — between 36 and 66... Read more

We have seen astronomical increases in the individual market for the past two years. Unfortunately the “young healthies” haven’t jumped into the pool and what is left is largely the “old sickies”. From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Minnesota's insurance companies... Read more

DOL obtains 'double damages' for intentional misclassification From An employer and its staffing company will pay $1.1 million in back wages and another $1.1 million in damages to resolve U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) findings that they intentionally misclassified workers as... Read more

From It's common for employers to believe that they will be held responsible only for discriminatory or harassing conduct by one of their supervisors or employees. However, the 7th Circuit recently reaffirmed that an employer can be responsible for discriminatory and harassing behavior... Read more

My opinion on this is that it will lead to fewer entry level jobs, more automation, and more competition from retirees, etc, for those entry level jobs that remain. Not going to help the people it is intending to help. From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: A Hennepin County judge on Monday... Read more

Our firm puts a focus on letting our people know that there is a direct connection between what their work and client acquisition/retention/financial success for all of us. It’s part of our culture. From HR Morning: Do your employees really know how their day-to-day duties connect to your... Read more

From TLNT: Smart companies understand the importance of investing in their employees - it pays off in the form of an engaged workforce, higher retention rates, and better business results. Investing in employees isn't limited to providing the best office supplies or health benefits, and it doesn't... Read more

From Reuters: U.S. job openings increased in June and layoffs dropped to their lowest in nearly two years as labor market conditions tightened further, according a government report on Wednesday. The Labor Department's monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report also suggested a... Read more

From A typical work day historically involved 8 consecutive hours of effort for full-time workers, but today, most don't stop working when the clock hits 5 p.m. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, nearly three in five workers (59%) believe the traditional 9-to-5 work day is a... Read more

U.S. stocks slipped Monday as declines in health-care shares offset gains in energy stocks. The pullback came in a relatively light day of trading after a strong July jobs report helped lift the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite toall-time highs The Organization of the Petroleum... Read more

After months of planning and building your benefits package, open enrollment is finally right around the corner. Now, how do you ensure your employees are paying attention and participating? One of the most effective ways to maximize engagement is to limit the confusion and hesitation employees... Read more

It never ceases to amaze what kinds of social media posts employees feel are OK. How could this man have possibly thought it was appropriate to post this while on FMLA leave?  It was a picture of him swimming off the island of St. Martin. And it was taken and posted when he was... Read more

Editor’s note: Integrate technology with your wellness program to both inspire participation and motivate workers. As an additional benefit, you’ll be able to collect even more data. See this related article The Right Way to Use Tech in Your Wellness Program. Many organizations... Read more

The aftershocks of the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union reverberated across financial markets after a weekend of political turmoil, with the pound extending its record selloff and European equities dropping to levels last seen in February. The S&P 500 dropped 1.8 percent to the... Read more

Whether employees are located just down the hall or across the country, training is a critical part of the overall development process, not just for new hires but at every point in the career lifecycle. As more companies embrace the idea of fully remote workforces, training becomes especially... Read more

This article originally appeared in the Winona Daily News. To view the original article, please click here.  After graduating from the University of St. Thomas, Joe Novitzki landed a gig selling medical devices early in his job hunt. For myself and my friends who are also from the area I... Read more

This article originally appeared in Reuters. To view the original article, please click here.  The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and signaled it still planned to raise rates twice in 2016, though it said slower economic growth would crimp the pace of monetary... Read more

This article originally appeared on To view the original article, please click here.  Seventy percent of U.S. office workers and managers report working more than 40 hours a week, and the majority consider the office the most productive place to get work done. But employers need... Read more

The average American worker is in less danger of losing a job than anytime in modern history. The percentage of employees who were laid off fell in early June to the lowest level since the government began keeping records in 1949, according to an obscure measure known as the insured unemployment... Read more

Minnesota’s market for individuals and families to buy private health insurance has fallen far short of enrollment projections, and actually got smaller between December and March. Both factors were highlighted by a report Tuesday from the trade group for Minnesota health insurers, and they... Read more

HR's Role In Technology Disruption From TLNT: It's a modern business reality that if you're not the disruptor, you're at risk to be disrupted. The last thing any company wants is to replicate the demise of the once-venerable Blockbuster at the hands of Netflix's subscription... Read more

From Every year, we see more and more fitness trackers finding a home on wrists. The general increase in fitness and healthy living-as our healthcare system is shifting-has positioned wearables as a valuable tool, especially for fitness tracking. According to a recent study from... Read more

401(k) Fees, Already Low, Are Heading Lower From the Wall Street Journal: The fees savers pay in 401(k) retirement plans have been declining for years. Now, they stand to fall even further.

Why not? From MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Minnesota's Senate passed a bill that would extend 12 weeks of paid leave to new parents and sick workers, a top priority for Democrats this year that faces slim odds of becoming law due to Republican resistance. Many large Minnesota companies already... Read more

From HR Morning: New Obamacare guidance from the agencies responsible for implementing the ACA includes a lot of important info on health plans and cost-sharing.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns dedicated to serving the poor and elderly, is still battling the government mandate to provide contraceptives. Ironically, about one-third of Americans participate in health plans that have been exempted from the mandate. But the Administration... Read more

God help us all…I can’t imagine that voting for Hillary is something I would EVER consider, but now? Today’s sign of the Apocalypse.

The thing is that there are LOTS of jobs available right now that pay well above $15 an hour, you just need a skill and be able to add value. The market doesn’t value someone who flips burgers at $15 per hour. From MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Advocates pushing for a $15 minimum wage in Minneapolis... Read more

From According to multiple sources, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has changed the threshold for overtime exemption to around $47,000. When the DOL issued its proposed overtime regulations released in July 2015, the threshold was $50,440.

It is interesting that when we went to a “virtual office” environment 12 years ago, many of my competitors said we weren’t a real company. Turns out we were on the leading edge of something pretty revolutionary… Wage and hour concerns for employees who telecommute From Telecommuting... Read more

From Is an employee protected by his Constitutional right to free speech even if he didn't actually engage in any protected speech or activity? Yes-according to yesterday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280 (2016).

FINALLY? This is probably the single greatest threat to our way of life and well-being and Obama wants to pretend it doesn’t exist? From the Wall Street Journal: President Barack Obama urged European allies on Monday to step up their efforts to combat terrorist threats, as he outlined plans to... Read more

From Entrepreneur: Why is it that human resources is the one department people love to hate? From the outside, the job looks simple. So, why can't HR professionals just process requests faster, be better organized and manage talent more efficiently? people ask.

From TLNT: These days you can't evade commentary on what HR should be doing and assuming responsibility for. The list is endless and maybe even unreasonable.

All of our people work remotely at least some of the time and we have found that it not only increases productivity but is generally seen as an employee benefit. The issue of maintaining a cohesive company culture and creating a collaborative environment is one that can addressed in a number of... Read more

Once again, our tax dollars hard at work. Wonder how much it will cost to “fix” MnSure this time? If Governor Dayton was a private business owner and wasted investor dollars the way he misuses taxpayer dollars? He would probably go to JAIL. From ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: After years of struggling... Read more

From The latest Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey concerned the minimum wage, with nearly 75% of minimum-wage paying firms in the United States saying they would reduce current or future employment if the minimum wage is raised to $15 per hour.

From TLNT: Most employment lawyers - especially us blogger types - are never at a loss for a good war story. Like that time I sat through the deposition of a construction site employee who testified about how the walls of the control room were covered ceiling-to-floor with porn. Not a single... Read more

I have been told that it is easier for high school kids to buy illegal drugs then it is to buy alcohol? If that’s not losing the WAR then I don’t know what is? From the Los Angeles Times: At what is being billed as the most significant high-level gathering on global drug policy in two decades,... Read more

From You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but just how much time does it take to make one when starting a new job?

From Faced with the need to attract and retain a competitive workforce and maintain or decrease overall operating costs, employers are looking for meaningful data to guide their benefit decisions.

Socialism works great until you run out of other people’s money? From the Washington Post: Lise Ramslog was out for a barefoot amble on the warm day last September that Europe's refugee crisis came to her remote village in southern Denmark.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: We think of state government taxing Minnesotans and then using the money for some desired end like educating children or cleaning the air. But there's another way government works that is less visible but often just as far reaching: by creating a tax credit or... Read more

From Health insurance companies have increasingly become the target of cyberattacks, a trend which has spurred a wave of class action lawsuits brought by individuals whose personal information has been breached.

From As a part of its continued efforts to assess compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules, the U.S. Department of Health... Read more

From TLNT: In a deadlocked 4-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court could not reach a majority consensus in determining whether it is unconstitutional for states to force public sector employees to pay agency shop fees to their unions.

Can worksite wellness make a real difference in employees' health? Mayo Clinic research is optimistic From Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have determined that employer-based health interventions may be effective in improving some health behaviors, according to the results of... Read more

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: MNsure is pledging to staff up once again as the state's health insurance exchange still needs to generate more than 13,000 tax forms before next month's IRS filing deadline. The pace of progress looks slow, with about 1,000 documents generated in the past week... Read more

From TLNT: One of the challenges of implementing a social recognition solution is developing employees' capacity and comfort around peer-to-peer aspects.

It’s only a matter of time… From Time: Oregon just collected its first revenues from the marijuana sales tax, and pulled in $3.48 million.

From Market Watch: Only six U.S. states lost jobs from January 2015 to January 2016. The common thread? They are all large energy producers.

From Companies need to move their employees for many reasons: in order to expand into new markets, to fill roles with technical skills, to manage projects, but also because employees increasingly want an adventure or a career change as a way of staying engaged.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Health spending in Minnesota rose by 3.1 percent in 2013, the fourth-lowest rate on record, but it's unclear whether it was a positive result of medical reforms or a negative sign that Minnesotans lacked the money to spend on care. The $40.9 billion in outlays on... Read more

Of course they are! From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: About 18,000 people who had MNsure plans at any time during 2015 have yet to receive their 1095-A forms, which are necessary to verify whether someone received any federal tax subsidies for their health plans. Some or all of the forms that have... Read more

From Market Watch: Any lingering worries about a U.S. recession were erased by another big gain in hiring in February.

From TLNT: There are a couple of reasons illustrating why employees should be appreciated throughout the year instead of on a one-off basis (in response to Employee Appreciation Day or other milestones that businesses may sometimes choose).

From You are undoubtedly aware that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is planning to issue final regulations that will increase the minimum salary level for exempt status under the so-called white-collar exemptions.

We can help with this! From Despite the extra time bestowed by the IRS to file and distribute 1095-Cs for the 2015 tax year, coding challenges abound. How do you account for folks on COBRA? Noncalendar-year plans? And what the heck is a "Limited Non-Assessment Period," anyway?

From Job seekers aren't the only ones struggling with the job market. Businesses have to work harder than ever to acquire and retain the top-tier talent they want in their ranks-and with health benefits becoming more important to potential employees, businesses need to step up their... Read more

The Clairmont Group has actually had really terrific results with our remote strategy for employees… From TLNT: More than anyone else, the manager sets the fun/work balance for the office, and is responsible for keeping everyone on an even keel. But that can be extra difficult when trying to... Read more

From TLNT: Right now, I know of at least one organization where - despite lackluster performance, poor behavior, and the disbanding of their team of direct reports - a leader is being salvaged beyond their time because no one has the juevos to let go of the people who are detracting from the... Read more

All the young healthy people will sign up, so that will lower costs for everyone!!! Wait. From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: 'Consumers buying health insurance through MNsure are getting older, according to data released Wednesday from the latest round of open enrollment, a troubling sign that... Read more

From the Washington Post: In the crowded waiting room of the Vargas de Caracas hospital, the walls are decorated with peppy pro-government slogans: "It's only possible with socialism."

From the DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE: Scott Killerud was about to throw away a mailing about the 2016 enrollment period for MNsure last November when something caught his eye. "Just as I was going to drop it in the trash, I was like - wait a second. What did I just read?" the Pine County farmer said. What... Read more

From TLNT: Some people will take any good reason to miss work. And, recovering from the Super Bowl is probably just as good a reason as any.

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: MNsure enrolled 85,390 people in private insurance through the end of its annual open enrollment period Sunday night. That's above the 83,000-enrollee target MNsure's board adopted in its budget, and the state-run health insurance exchange's CEO Allison O'Toole... Read more

How about we just cut to the chase and give everyone in America free food, free healthcare, free education, free housing? Wait, a place like that already exists, it is called prison. From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: St. Paul is exploring the controversial idea of requiring businesses to... Read more

The ST. CLOUD TIMES says: While there certainly is room to debate whether MNsure is helping or hurting Minnesotans' health insurance markets and coverage, there is much less (if any) room to debate the exchange's functionality, especially as the enrollment deadline nears: It remains a problem.

From Reuters: Stocks rose on Wall Street Thursday as oil prices recorded their biggest gain this year and ECB President Mario Draghi raised hopes of more stimulus for the euro zone.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNEL: Lawmakers grilled MNsure and state officials Tuesday about enrollment and call center problems that occurred in December as thousands of Minnesotans tried to renew or establish health insurance coverage for 2016. At the time, the Star Tribune reported that 64,000... Read more

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Fairview Health Services has acquired sole ownership of PreferredOne, the Golden Valley-based health insurer that saw dramatic growth during the first year of the MNsure exchange only to retreat after financial losses. Previously, Fairview had a 50 percent... Read more

From ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Officials at MNsure vowed Wednesday to beef up call center staff for the final weeks of open enrollment, hoping to reverse lengthy call delays late last month that hark back to the exchange's disastrous first year rollout. Just past a key deadline for consumers to... Read more

From TLNT: Promising workers lower health insurance premiums for losing weight did nothing to help them take off the pounds, a recent study found.

From The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) really kicked things into high gear at the very end of 2015. While the rest of us were winding down, hanging out with friends and family, and eating far too many gingerbread men (or perhaps that was just me), the industrious tax elves slipped a... Read more

Didn’t he already do this? I thought this was one of his big campaign promises? Wait. From Fox News: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Sunday vowed that President Obama will close the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility before his presidency ends in 11 months.

This is not what the politicians told us would happen? From Market Watch: The Great Recession was especially devastating for people between the ages of 16 to 30 who lack a high-school education. And the opportunities have not gotten much better for them despite a surge in hiring and a plunge in... Read more

From Reuters: U.S. stocks dropped on Monday, giving the Dow its worst start to a year since 2008 after weak Chinese economic data fanned fears of a global slowdown.

Ya think? If I wasn’t paying so much in taxes maybe I would hire another person, buy a new laptop or a white board, or just take my wife out to dinner? Instead of giving it to the dummies in St Paul so they can invent ways to waste it? Really? From the CAPITOL REPORT: The Minnesota Chamber of... Read more

So, in the real world we have to actually have a plan before we request funding---clearly not the case with Govt From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday said he wants the Legislature to quickly approve $15 million in spending to help alleviate Minnesota's... Read more

From Market Watch: The International Monetary Fund on Monday is adding the Chinese yuan to the basket of elite currencies comprising its lending reserve, marking a milestone in the country's ascendancy as a global economic power.

From the RED WING REPUBLICAN EAGLE: Insurers joined the discussion at a health policy summit Tuesday in the St. James Hotel, a follow-up to a Cannon Falls summit last month organized by state Sen. Matt Schmit on the topic of health insurance prices in southeastern Minnesota. The six-person panel,... Read more

From TLNT: All of us have heard the words "hostile work environment" bandied about to the point where the most minor slight in the office can supposedly create a hostile work environment.

From On November 6, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to once again review the contentious issue of the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

From TLNT: The best people to answer this question might be our friends in the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) as they are consistently ranked as the happiest countries on Earth.

From TLNT: How much of a raise would it take for you to switch jobs? According to one new survey, not very much.

From the MANKATO FREE PRESS: It's been known for well over a month that MNsure rates would surge next year. But for those signing up for new health insurance plans this week, sticker shock is just now becoming a reality. "My rates are up more than 48 percent," Paul Campbell said, voicing not only... Read more

The DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE says: That stressful time of year is here again. No, not the elections. Let's take a break from that for a moment. This is about open enrollment, that annual period when the masses of wage slaves enroll or re-enroll for health insurance, weighing plans and options,... Read more

From TLNT: Hopefully it's not once in a year type of thing, but let's imagine it was two days ago when you finally finished a long-lasting project that had been keeping you up all night.

From MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Medica will stop selling health insurance to small businesses through MNsure, leaving just one insurer on the portion of the state's health exchange for firms with 50 employees or fewer. The Minnetonka-based health plan cited a lack of interest among small employers... Read more

From Market Watch: The U.S. economy used to be like a muscleman surrounded by 98-pound weaklings. It regularly flaunted its power and was little swayed by what happened to the crowd on the beach.

From Reuters: U.S. stocks rallied on Thursday after two days of losses, led by sharp gains in biotechnology shares and a rebound in financials following upbeat results from Citigroup.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Health insurers have directed thousands of enrollees off the MNsure exchange by renewing certain policies only in the "off-exchange" market, a practice that threatens to take a bite out of MNsure's revenue. The most recent shifts were announced earlier this month... Read more

The MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE says: It's hard to imagine a more unproductive, ill-informed policy debate than the one that took place in Minnesota recently with the announcement of double-digit premium increases for those who buy private health insurance on their own. There was palpable GOP... Read more

From Reuters: The number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits fell more than expected to near a 42-year low last week, pointing to ongoing tightening in the labor market despite the recent slowdown in hiring.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: The average small business in Minnesota should see a relatively small increase in health insurance premiums next year, as rates in the market continue to be more stable than for people who buy individual policies. Last week, the state Department of Commerce... Read more

From ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: On Thursday, 2016 got a lot more expensive for about 300,000 Minnesotans when the state announced how much health insurance would cost next year on the individual marketplace. Every company will impose double-digit percentage rate increases, and several companies will... Read more

From Let's just say it's not most people's favorite thing to do. Known in human resources offices as "Open Enrollment," the annual ritual of choosing your medical plan, opting in or out of dental and vision coverage, and deciding how much money to put in your flexible spending account... Read more

From TLNT: The willingness and ability to learn throughout one's career is increasingly important as changing technology, markets and methods require new skills and behaviors. Learning ability influences the extent to which you grow as an individual, as well as how you're perceived by others.

From TLNT: Connection is the feeling that being part of your organization makes you part of a community of people who are engaged in something that's bigger than any one person.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: People with work-based health insurance are paying much bigger deductibles than they used to. Those with single coverage are paying an average deductible this year of $1,318, up some 40 percent since 2010, when the total was $917, according to national data... Read more

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: When patients need simple health care, they can get impatient about having to wait. That's prompted more health care systems to stress convenience. This month, North Memorial Health Care will open two easy-access clinics in new Hy-Vee grocery stores in New... Read more

From TLNT: If you have, you've smart. As Ian Hutchinson, author of People Glue has said: "Your No. 1 customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last."

Of course he does… From Time: The White House says President Barack Obama has told advisers he wants to let 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. in the coming budget year.

From TLNT: One of the finest employment-law bloggers, Daniel Schwartz, recently marked the eight-year anniversary of his Connecticut Employment Law Blog with a post about the three most notable changes in employment law over that span.

As Margaret Thatcher said…”socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money” From Time: President Obama signed an executive order Monday that gives an estimated 300,000 workers new access to paid sick leave.

From Reuters: Wall Street stocks jumped almost 2 percent on Wednesday in the latest volatile session as investors weighed the impact of a stumbling Chinese economy and global market turmoil on the Federal Reserve's impending decision about when to raise interest rates.

From Reuters: After a dizzying two weeks that saw a rapid plunge and rebound in equity prices, investors are looking forward to a week of economic data that may provide clarity on the likelihood of a near-term U.S. interest rate hike and help tamp down the market's recent wild swings.

From Reuters: A strong rally on Wall Street evaporated on Tuesday and stocks ended with deep losses as concerns about China's economy outweighed lower valuations that some saw earlier as bargains.

Same thing could happen here if we continue to print money out of thin air to pay all that debt… From CNN Money: Venezuela's money is nothing more than a greasy napkin to one of its citizens.

House of Cards? From Time: Greece's new €86 billion ($91 billion) bailout plan won the crucial approval of lawmakers in Germany Wednesday, bringing the new rescue package a big step closer despite the lack of a formal commitment so far from the International Monetary Fund to share the burden.

We have found this to be true, education is the key to engagement with Health Insurance. From To most Americans, health insurance is confusing and just plain unenjoyable. Only 14% of U.S. workers can correctly define common insurance terms like deductible, copay...

From TLNT: That was an interesting insight I was given the other day. It caused me to think of a seminar on employee engagement I ran in Cairo a few months back where one of the participants gave another interesting insight. They said, "Fire all the bad managers since that is where engagement... Read more

We have clients in the manufacturing sector that have created partnerships with VO-Tech schools to get the workers they need… From America's skills shortage continues to plague the manufacturing industry. According to a McKinsey... Read more

Tax dollars at work… From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Several years after a 2011 government shutdown and budget shifts caused Minnesota to lose its top credit rating, the state is slowly starting to earn back investors' trust. Should Minnesota return to a triple-A bond rating, the state could... Read more

From TLNT: In the business of engagement there is always a disconnect between leadership's view and their workforce's view. MetLife recently published their 2014 and 2015 Employee Benefit Trends Study benefits analysis for the Middle East and this stood out prominently:

Reuters: Wall Street ended lower on Tuesday for a third straight session as investors worried about a rise in interest rates while Apple's shares hit their lowest in over six months.

Let’s see, how about we create a Gov’t task force to study the failure of a Gov’t taskforce? #taxdollarsatwork From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday appointed his former state budget commissioner, an Olmsted County commissioner and former state senator, a handful of... Read more

So, American Taxpayers could be paying for non-citizens to have free or low cost Health Insurance? Sounds like something that would happen in California? ;)

Never a dull moment… From Market Watch: The eurozone's economy will fall further behind that of the U.S. without a concerted effort to boost demand through increased government spending and lower taxes, make labor markets more flexible, and rid banks of bad loans, the International Monetary Fund... Read more

We have a rule in our office that we never have a meeting, just to have a meeting…;) From TLNT: What's a good staff meeting? This is such an important topic that any effective manager needs to really get it right.

From Reuters: The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits last week dropped to its lowest level in more than 41-1/2 years, suggesting the labor market maintained a sturdy pace of job growth in July.

As an employee benefit consultant, my job is to help employers attract and retain the very best employees. Visionary business owners and senior leaders understand and appreciate the value of quality people. We are all looking to hire and keep...

From People are an organization's most valuable asset. The HR department is tasked not only with recruiting and hiring top talent, but also keeping them engaged and happy at work so they will stay with the company. And with the Millennial Generation switching jobs every 2 years on... Read more

From As more Millennials enter the workforce, HR professionals-many of them Millennials themselves-are scrambling to find a way to effectively communicate the value of their benefits package and engage Millennials meaningfully in benefits programs.

From TLNT: In my younger days, I had a summer job in college where I clocked in at 9 and left at 5. They gave me a desk, a computer, training, a supervisor, job instruction, and a not-so-fat paycheck.

From the New York Times: Four federal appeals courts have upheld efforts by the Obama administration to guarantee access to free birth control for women, suggesting that the government may have found a way to circumvent religious organizations that refuse to provide coverage for some or all forms... Read more

From the Los Angeles Times: From Six years after end-of-life planning nearly derailed development of the Affordable Care Act amid charges of "death panels," the Obama administration has revived a proposal to reimburse physicians for talking with their Medicare patients about how... Read more

From Market Watch: Not sold on the U.S. labor market's revival? You're not alone.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Ryan Rosenthal opened a healthy-choice sandwich and snack shop in a Minneapolis skyway last fall and now works 60 hours a week with nobody guaranteeing his paycheck but himself. The shop, called Simpls, has no manager, but Rosenthal hopes to hire one in the future... Read more

From Sometimes people do some really stupid things. And, since most people are also employees... boy, sometimes employees do some really stupid things.

From Time: Global stock markets are stumbling as investors worry about fallout from Greece's deepening debt troubles as talks between the country and its creditors broke down over the weekend.

From USA Today: The IRS awarded $18.8 million in contracts to 17 corporations that owed back taxes in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, despite a ban on the agreements, according to a government report issued Wednesday.

From As a large portion of their workforce becomes eligible for retirement, state and local governments are having a greater sense of urgency about recruitment, retention, and succession planning.

From TLNT: Not a day goes by - or, so it seems - that an employee isn't making headlines for some social media stupidity that results in losing a job. But, social needs to keep its ego in check and pay respect to the true OG that paved the way.

From Reuters: The U.S. economy is growing moderately after a winter swoon and likely strong enough to support an interest rate increase by the end of the year, but concerns remain over the recovery of the labor market, U.S. Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday.

From TLNT: Whenever managers are polled about the most effective employee retention tools, money and benefits always top the list. In stark contrast, whenever employees are polled on the same subject, the results are quite different.

From the Washington Post: The Islamic State was routed Monday from one of its key strongholds on Syria's border with Turkey after its defenses crumbled and its fighters either defected or fled, raising new questions about the group's vaunted military capabilities.

From TLNT: As a company that provides human resource consulting to our clients, we see a wide range of mistakes made in the employment relationship.

From Reuters: Global equity markets rose on Thursday on optimism over still testy Greek debt talks and on strong U.S. retail sales, which lifted the U.S. dollar and bolstered expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year.

From Market Watch: Job openings hit a record high in April, and data signal that employers are having trouble filling spots and holding onto workers, trends that should support wages, economists said Tuesday.

From the Los Angeles Times: Millions of Americans could soon lose health insurance when the Supreme Court decides the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act , but states have made few, if any, concrete plans to deal with the chaotic fallout potentially just weeks away.

The MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE says: Opponents of the Affordable Care Act were quick to jump on the news last week that some health insurers in Minnesota and elsewhere have requested hefty premium hikes in 2016 for consumers in the individual market - the small group of people who don't get their... Read more

From Real Clear Politics: On Tuesday, President Obama hosted a discussion at the White House with a group of 75 young Southeast Asian Leaders on themes of civic engagement, environment and natural resources management and entrepreneurship. The group is the first cohort from the Young Southeast... Read more

The median household is still worse off now than before the recession From Market Watch: The good news: household income is starting to show some movement. The bad news: most families are still worse off than they were before the Great Recession.

From Market Watch: A quarter of respondents to a Federal Reserve survey delayed getting needed dental care because finances were too tight.

From Challenges and opportunities created by the Affordable Care Act are prompting two-thirds of companies to consider altering their pre-65 retiree health strategies over the next few years, according to a new Aon Hewitt survey.

From Fox News: The upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act could wipe out insurance for millions of people covered by the president's health care plan, leaving states that set up their own health care markets scrambling to subsidize coverage for those left uninsured.

Initiative focuses on expanding access to apprenticeships, on-the-job training From PG... Read more

From Market Watch: Faster job creation and cheaper gasoline were supposed to encourage Americans to spend more in 2015, fostering the strongest U.S. growth in a decade.

From the Washington Post: The U.S. government wants to relinquish control of the Web. But the alternative really dot-sucks.

From Reuters: U.S. retail sales were flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other big-ticket items, the latest sign the economy was struggling to rebound strongly after barely growing in the first quarter.

From TLNT: Employee benefits are an incentive for most employees to accept a position and work with a level of dedication that will benefit all. A generous benefits package also give the employee a sense of good will passed on from employer to employee and gives them a sense of belonging at a... Read more

From Market Watch: Spending expectations in April fell to the lowest level in at least 22 months, according to a survey released Monday that suggests the U.S. consumer is still cautious toward the economy.

From TLNT: If you want to create the best business, then you need the best people. But you're not the only one. Every company is seeking out the top talent, and you're competing with all of them. Offering candidates a well-paying job is no longer enough to guarantee you'll win the... Read more

From TLNT: Yesterday, we listed 20 real employee benefits (The 20 [Best] and Real Employee Benefits) in no particular order. Today, we add another 13 of the best benefits and perks - and again, in no particular order.

From A recent ruling from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals- which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin-provides helpful guidance on a simple employer misstep that led a seemingly defensible retaliation claim to a jury trial: dawdling.

Attempts to dismantle MNsure fail in Minnesota Senate From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Governance of Minnesota's health insurance exchange could be in for a change, but MNsure won't go away entirely. The Democratic-led Minnesota Senate defeated GOP attempts to dismantle MNsure. Several MNsure-... Read more

From With Administrative Professionals Week (April 19-25) approaching, many members of the office support team will receive special acknowledgment for their contributions. But opinions are divided between employers and their staff on what constitutes effective employee recognition,... Read more

From A new study of nearly 400 United States employers by Lee Hecht Harrison, a global talent mobility consulting firm, has identified that 33% of employers perceive their talent pipeline to be poor or nonexistent. Only 4% reported their talent pipeline to be excellent.

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Faced with widespread and public technology problems, MNsure's board is struggling with whether to prioritize fixes to the website where customers can buy private health insurance, or to the software running public health programs such as Medical Assistance. On... Read more

From TLNT: I've been speaking a few local SHRM events and some corporate events, and I'm always amazed to hear about all of the "enemies" that HR has!

From Market Watch: The first shoots of a spring bloom in the economy might pop up this week, but don't expect fresh doubts about the pace of U.S. growth to melt away overnight.

From Time: President Obama is overwhelmingly popular in Cuba, according to a new poll-so popular, in fact, that residents of the island nation give him almost double the approval ratings he gets back home.

From TLNT: Investing in the success of Millennials isn't a request or a dilapidated plea to appease the emerging workforce anymore. Millennials are a critical part of the current workforce, and 30 percent of high-growth companies say the young professionals even have leadership positions in their... Read more

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: In 25 years running a flower shop, Steve McCulloch always felt like he should provide health insurance to his employees. But finding affordable coverage was a struggle, and ultimately forced McCulloch to make a tough decision in late 2013. Confronted with a more... Read more

From TLNT: Imagine that you are walking alone across a vacant parking lot on a breezy day, when out of the corner of your eye you notice a crumpled-up bill blowing at your feet.

From TLNT: A small business located in New Castle PA, Ezeflow USA, Inc, recently settled a disability discrimination lawsuit for $65,000 before it went to trial.

From The United States Supreme Court is currently reviewing yet another challenge to healthcare insurance reform (also known as the Affordable Care Act or ACA). So what ACA provision is the Court reviewing this term?

From As the focus on employee recruitment and retention sharpens in a recovering economy, many executives may be undervaluing a perk their workforce wants most, suggests new research from Accountemps.

From More organizations are looking to retain some of the interpersonal advances they made during the recession, such as higher levels of trust and better teamwork.

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday that he is open to abolishing MNsure, the embattled health insurance exchange he has championed and defended from Republican attacks. That's the most drastic option Dayton mentioned in a letter calling for a task force to study "future... Read more

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: From military veterans to medical device companies, from retirees on Social Security to pizzeria owners, legions of Minnesotans are coming to the Legislature for tax cuts. The pilgrimage to the ¬Capitol happens every year, but this time, it's different. For the... Read more

From TLNT: Job seekers care about the benefits you offer. In fact, 4 out of 5 say that the benefits offered are the deciding factor in taking a new job, according to data from The Guardian 2014 Workplace Benefits Study.

From Reuters: The prospects of higher U.S. interest rates buoyed the dollar but also kept share prices in many countries in check on Thursday, with Asian stocks hovering around seven-week lows.

From the Los Angeles Times: Five years after Obamacare became law, the projected costs continue to tumble, according to a nonpartisan report released Monday.

From Time: Have you ever noticed that during extreme economic cycles, when trends are roaring on the upside, or conversely crashing back down to earth, there often appears an air of extremism in news headlines?

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: On Friday, Minnesota politicians competed for the best way to say: "Good news." Their cause of joy: A projected $1.87 billion surplus for the next budget cycle. The state is forecast to spend less in 2016 and 2017 and take in more than had been expected,... Read more

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Beneath a scathing audit of MNsure released last week are additional details that could bolster lawmakers' case to give the Legislature greater power over the state's health insurance exchange. The state Office of the Legislative Auditor concluded that MNsure... Read more

There has been a lot of debate lately about the effectiveness of companies’ wellness initiatives, both from the pro and con camps, and here at we have covered it before. Do great company benefits really retain the workforce or help candidates make the decision to join a... Read more

From For good or bad, employees like to talk about their employers. That's a fact of business that has been true for hundreds of years. And social media is where many people, especially Millennials, are "talking" today.

Editorial: A nonpartisan review of MNsure's lapses The MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE says: A much-anticipated report released last week confirmed what many Minnesotans who spent hours trying to buy health insurance on MNsure already knew: The online marketplace performed miserably during its first... Read more

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: An expansive new study that chronicles MNsure's troubled debut concludes that failures outweighed achievements in the health insurance exchange's first year. The report that Legislative Auditor James Nobles delivered Tuesday is the most thorough government review... Read more

From Forbes: When Democrats were ramming Obamacare down Americans' throats, many of them wanted a "public option" that was supposed to demonstrate just how efficient and affordable government-run health insurance could be. What they settled for was something called "co-ops"-which stands for... Read more

The ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS says: For too long, the spotlight on MNsure, the state's troubled exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act, has focused on website malfunctions and poor customer service. MNsure's problems are far bigger and more complex, and lawmakers' attention this session to... Read more

From The Minneapolis Star Tribune: State Senate lawmakers took the first step to eliminate MNsure's governing board, a move that even its chief proponent said Wednesday won't fix all the issues with the state health insurance exchange. "It is not a perfect solution. But we don't... Read more

From TLNT: Savvy employers have come to understand that a company's main competitive advantage comes from its people. It's the employees' energy, passion, talents and creativity that makes a company stand out and excel.  

From According to a new workplace survey commissioned by Red Bull and Glassdoor, the leading jobs and recruiting community, nearly half (48%) of employed Americans are distracted by fatigue at work, causing them to make mistakes and even doze off. Tiredness is a bigger distraction to... Read more

  From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Lackluster enrollment in private plans and drying-up federal funds may force Minnesota to pick up more of the tab for its health insurance exchange. MNsure would get another $11.7 million of state money under Gov. Mark Dayton's proposed budget for... Read more

  From TLNT: During the first employment-related hearing conducted Friday by the new Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Senators and panelists debated whether the Affordable Care Act's definition of "full-time" employment should be amended.... Read more

From TLNT: Data suggests that 70 percent of employees are disengaged. To put this in perspective - 70 percent is considered barely a passing grade by most educational institutions.

  The MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE says: New legislation that would scrap MNsure's independent governing board and turn it into a new state agency should be viewed as a starting point - not the end point - in a much-needed debate over how to improve the new health insurance marketplace.... Read more

  From Unavoidably, the question of marijuana use is finding itself on the HR radar. This is because there are currently over 20 jurisdictions with laws that legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. What's more, five of those jurisdictions-Colorado, Washington,... Read more

  From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: The debate is on at the Capitol over how to fix MNsure. Last week, the Senate DFLer who crafted legislation to create the state's health insurance exchange proposed scrapping the MNsure board and making the new marketplace a state agency. The new GOP... Read more

  From the Wall Street Journal: The U.S. last year racked up its smallest budget deficit since 2007, marking an economic shift of fortunes as President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans prepare to face off over legislative priorities this year.      

  From Reuters: The U.S. dollar took a dip on Monday as Asian investors caught up with a benign payrolls report and the subsequent slide in Treasury yields, though turnover was light with Tokyo on holiday.    

Oil Trades Near 5 1/2-Year Low as U.S. Export Surge Adds to Glut From Bloomberg: Oil traded near the lowest level since April 2009 as record oil exports from the U.S. bolstered speculation a global glut that drove crude into a bear market will linger. Futures were little changed in New York after... Read more

From Time: Just under 42% of Americans didn't take a single day of vacation in 2014, while about 15% of Americans took at least 20 days of vacation, according a survey by Skift, a travel intelligence site. The survey was administered via Google Consumer Surveys to 1,500 adult Americans on the... Read more

From TLNT: Sure you can create development plans for your employees and share a meaningful company vision, but those efforts will be for naught if any of these toxic elements exist in the workplace...

From Time: Officials say has gotten cybersecurity upgrades ahead of a Nov. 15 start for the second open enrollment season under President Barack Obama's health care law.

From the ST. CLOUD TIMES: Counties will have to start next month processing thousands of paper applications for health insurance for MNsure, the state's online health exchange. Local officials say the unexpected shift will result in a significant increase in workload for counties, which already are... Read more

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Republicans won control of the Minnesota House of Representatives in Tuesday's election as their candidates swept several rural Democratic incumbents out of office. House DFL Speaker Paul Thissen of Minneapolis conceded the takeover shortly after midnight. The GOP... Read more

From CNN: Gross domestic product increased 3.5% between July and September, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. It exceeded analysts' expectations and offered more proof of an economy gaining momentum.

From the Wall Street Journal: The Federal Reserve said it would end its long-running bond-purchase program, concluding a historic experiment that stirred disagreement among policy makers, economists and investors about its impact even though the central bank said it helped accomplish its goal of... Read more

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: MNsure's marketing department approved more than $925,000 in contract work without first obtaining required authorization, according to a financial audit released Tuesday by the state legislative auditor's office. The money was available and planned for in the... Read more

From Bloomberg: Europe faces the risk of the latter as it teeters on the edge of a recession that could trigger a debilitating dive in prices and wages. The U.S., meanwhile, may end up with the more benign version as surging oil and gas supplies push energy costs down and the economy ahead.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Almost immediately after the state's insurance regulator earlier this month announced that rates for plans sold through MNsure would rise 4.5 percent on average, Republicans, health policy experts and other critics decried the figure as bogus and misleading. The... Read more

From Time: The U.S. stock market surged on Wednesday, erasing a steep loss from the day before. Investors were reacting to minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting, which showed that the central bank wants to keep interest rates extremely low for the time being.

From TLNT: Over the summer, the EEOC issued new guidance on accommodating pregnant employees. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act doesn't require reasonable accommodation for pregnant employees. That is, unless you accommodate other employees who are not considered to have a disability under the... Read more

From TLNT: Propelled by strong hiring across a range of occupations and industries, September saw 248,000 new jobs added to the economy, which helped drive down unemployment to a six-year low of 5.9 percent.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Minnesota's online insurance exchange, MNsure, has cut more than a dozen agencies from its roster of enrollment subcontractors after concluding that the $4.7 million outreach effort lacked proper oversight in 2014 and needed an overhaul for its second year. The... Read more

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Premiums on the state's MNsure health insurance exchange will rise in 2015, but they will still likely be the lowest in the nation. The Minnesota Department of Commerce said Wednesday that the rates offered by the four insurers still participating in the exchange... Read more

From TLNT: With over a year of debate and some last-minute amendments, the District of Columbia's Council recently passed a ban-the-box law that includes its own unique list of considerations before an employer can withdraw an offer of employment based on criminal history.

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Details about what Minnesota insurance will cost to buy for 2015 through the state's online health exchange are being made public on Wednesday. The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced Monday that officials will release information then, though it could be... Read more

From TLNT: In 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch because of a failed O Ring that employees of NASA had earlier highlighted as a risk. Investigation into the tragedy revealed that NASA's employees tried to sound the alarm before launch...

From Five Thirty Eight Economics: In 1988, the typical American adult was 40 years old, white and married, with a high school diploma. If he was a man, he probably worked full time. If she was a woman, she probably didn't.

From the Wall Street Journal: The unemployment rate has fallen sharply across the U.S. over the year, but some states performed far better than others. Among the 50 states, joblessness fell fastest in Illinois, which saw its unemployment rate drop to 6.7% in August from 9.2% a year earlier.

From ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: The chief executive of Minnesota's health insurance exchange says help will be available for consumers as its largest carrier pulls out. MNsure CEO Scott Leitz told the exchange board Tuesday he's disappointed PreferredOne won't offer new coverage when open enrollment... Read more

From Is your organization handcuffed by human resources data? Many organizations struggle to govern HR data as it often resides in multiple HR systems, in e-mail, and in hard copy form. However, the risks and exposures of not managing it effectively can be significant.

From Reuters: U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as Apple (AAPL.O) shares declined and as bond yields hit their highest in a month on concerns the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than some investors had expected. All 10 S... Read more

From Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors National Preparedness Month to highlight the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. And according to FEMA 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major disaster.

From Time: No personal information was stolen in the breach. A hacker managed to breach cybersecurity at and implant malicious code on the federal Obamacare website, officials revealed Thursday.

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: ALEXANDRIA, MINN. - Gov. Mark Dayton called the troubled rollout of the MNsure insurance exchange the low point of his first term in a campaign appearance Wednesday, but embraced the program's successes in extending insurance coverage to those who historically... Read more

From the Wall Street Journal: U.S. consumers view the economy with more optimism this month, according to a report released Tuesday. An upbeat view on jobs hints at a solid August payrolls report, some economists say. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of...

From Time: Calling all pot farmers: Uncle Sam is looking to buy. An arm of the National Institutes of Health dedicated to researching drug abuse and addiction "intends" to solicit proposals from those who can "harvest, process, analyze, store and distribute" cannabis, according to a listing posted... Read more

From TLNT: Let's assume that you have an employee who commits a terminable offense. For example, in Martins v. Rhode Island Hospital, surveillance cameras and the Hospital's employee ID swipe system suggested that Martins left work for approximately four hours and, later, he could not... Read more

From HR Hero: Since 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has provided eligible employees with job security for unpaid leave related to certain family and medical issues, including serious health conditions and the care of a newborn baby, a newly placed foster child, or an adopted child.... Read more

From CNN: According to an exclusive CNNMoney-Manta survey released Tuesday, 28% of small business owners said the economy is the "biggest challenge" they're currently facing, topping issues like sales, regulations and financing. The survey polled over 1,500 small business owners... Read more

From Reuters: Asian stocks got a lift on Tuesday from an upbeat day on Wall Street, while the dollar got some help as U.S. Treasury yields pulled away from recent lows on upbeat U.S. housing data and hopes of progress in the Ukraine crisis. Foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and... Read more

From TLNT: The time to fill open positions has reached a national average of just about 25 days, the lengthiest job vacancy period in the 13 years covered by the DICE-time to fill by industry DFH Vacancy Duration Measure. The monthly report on time to fill and recruiting efforts says that on... Read more

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: State officials offered assurances Wednesday that software fixes to the flawed MNsure health insurance exchange are happening as planned, and that the system should be in good working order by the Nov. 15 start of open enrollment. Still grappling with consumer... Read more

From Bloomberg: The balance of power in the job market is shifting slowly toward employees from employers. Bob Funk sees it firsthand from his position as chief executive officer of staffing agency Express Employment Professionals. "We're short of people in a number of cities," he said.

From the Wall Street Journal: The job market's improvement in 2014 has been a welcome development, but we are still a long way from the ideal: a market in which anyone who wants to work can quickly find a job and anyone who wants to hire can, for the right price, find a willing employee. One... Read more

From CNN: So much for the summer doldrums. Investors got a rude awakening last week, and now they're scrambling to figure out what comes next. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 300 points on Thursday, erasing its gains for the year. The S... Read more

From Forget the stereotypes of arrogant, macho leaders who don't care about anyone else's opinion. A new study from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows humble CEOs significantly benefit a company and its management more than the arrogant ones who... Read more

From the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: The state will pay Deloitte Consulting an additional $3.2 million to get the MNsure online health insurance exchange up to snuff by Nov. 15, the start of open enrollment. The payment comes on top of a nearly $5 million contract that runs through the end of the... Read more

From CNN: The long-term prognosis for Medicare has improved thanks to slower health spending, while the outlook for Social Security remains unchanged. That's according to the annual report from the trustees of both entitlement programs released on Monday.

From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: Long before Minnesotans go to the polls in November, they should have a good idea of what health insurance premiums will look like for next year. Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday called for the release of rates by about Oct. 1, so long as the state Commerce Department... Read more

From A great salesperson has a unique combination of skills-a combination that is difficult to find and just as difficult to interview for. They have to balance persuasion with likability, relationship quality with quantity, and your company's reputation with the need to make the... Read more

From CNN: Some corporations have religious rights, a deeply divided Supreme Court decided Monday in ruling that certain for-profit companies cannot be required to pay for specific types of contraceptives for their employees. The 5-4 decision based on ideological lines ended the high court's term... Read more

From the HR Executive Online: Figuring out the true impact of the Affordable Care Act can be a tricky proposition for employers both large and small, but experts agree that you can't manage costs if you don't know what they are.

From Benefit corporations, most simply, combine the "greater good" and social purpose of a non-profit organization with the freedom to create and distribute profit among members and shareholders. With 25 states thus far signing legislation to recognize benefit corporation status,... Read more

From the LA Times: President Obama urged Congress and employers to broaden benefits for families, arguing that paid leave for new parents and good-quality child care are basic needs for today's workforce, not "frills." But with Congress unlikely to mandate major new benefits any time soon, Obama... Read more

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: MNsure is still plagued by problems, with nearly two-thirds of its operating systems "absent or not functioning as expected,'' and the glitches threaten fresh trouble for consumers during the coming fall enrollment period, the MNsure board was warned... Read more

From CNN Money: After lazing about for most of the day, the S... Read more

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: Minnesota officials have slowed a massive transition of public insurance beneficiaries to the new MNsure system, but say the health insurance exchange still will meet projections for 1.3 million enrollees by 2016. As of May, the exchange had enrolled more than 200,... Read more

The Rochester Post-Bulletin says: There was little doubt that the troubled rollout of Minnesota's health insurance exchange would be a campaign issue this fall. Using footage of Mark Dayton saying MNsure's debut was going "phenomenally well," the Minnesota Jobs Coalition started... Read more

From Your next sales hire will be one of the most crucial hires that you make this year. However, there have been recent and quite systemic changes to the sales process that have may have perhaps crept under the radar-changes that should now start to inform the sales hiring strategy... Read more

By Kathryn Mayer The HHS exchange enrollment system IT team is (once again) operating on a "very tight time frame."

From CNN Money: President Obama will announce on Monday an expansion of a program that helps student loan borrowers manage their debt, a White House official said. The official said Obama will expand the criteria for an alternative repayment program, which caps monthly payments for certain federal... Read more

From Fox News: China has reportedly blocked all Google services days before the 25th anniversary of the military clampdown on the student protest centered around Beijing's Tiananmen Square., citing a Chinese news website, reported Monday that Chinese users have found Google's... Read more

From The Washington Post: Republican candidates have begun to retreat in recent weeks from their all-out assault on the Affordable Care Act in favor of a more piecemeal approach, suggesting they would preserve some aspects of the law while jettisoning others. The changing tactics signal that the... Read more

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: It's no longer a crime in Minnesota to carry fruit in an illegally sized container. The state's telegraph regulations are gone. And it's now legal to drive a car in neutral -- if you can figure out how to do it.Those were among the 1,175 obsolete,... Read more

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: It's no longer a crime in Minnesota to carry fruit in an illegally sized container. The state's telegraph regulations are gone. And it's now legal to drive a car in neutral -- if you can figure out how to do it.Those were among the 1,175 obsolete,... Read more

From It can easy to dismiss prospective employees who don't fit the mold, but overlooking young talent is bad business. Here's a look at what hiring managers can learn from the Cleveland Browns' decision to roll the dice on Johnny Football at No. 22.

From It can easy to dismiss prospective employees who don't fit the mold, but overlooking young talent is bad business. Here's a look at what hiring managers can learn from the Cleveland Browns' decision to roll the dice on Johnny Football at No. 22.

From MarketWatch: The case for faster U.S. growth in the second half of 2014 largely depends on a broad improvement in the economy, but the housing market remains in danger of falling behind. Many economists believe home sales and construction will rebound after a recent lull. Housing starts... Read more

From MarketWatch: The case for faster U.S. growth in the second half of 2014 largely depends on a broad improvement in the economy, but the housing market remains in danger of falling behind. Many economists believe home sales and construction will rebound after a recent lull. Housing starts... Read more

From Employers might want to incorporate a recent court case, which involved accusations of ongoing sexual harassment and racial harassment by a customer, into their training on harassment. The court in this case concluded that "an employer is liable under Title VII [of the... Read more

From Employers might want to incorporate a recent court case, which involved accusations of ongoing sexual harassment and racial harassment by a customer, into their training on harassment. The court in this case concluded that "an employer is liable under Title VII [of the... Read more

 you've noticed that the age 20-ish and early 30-ish employees at your organization often seem a bit less enthused about their work than their older colleagues, you're hardly alone.

If you've noticed that the age 20-ish and early 30-ish employees at your organization often seem a bit less enthused about their work than their older colleagues, you're hardly alone. According to Aon Hewitt's 2014 Trends in Global Employee Engagement annual study, millennials are the... Read more

A National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge recently ruled that Laurus Technical Institute, a for-profit technical school in Georgia, broke federal law with a no-gossip policy because it was overly broad, ambiguous and restricted employees from discussing or complaining about any... Read more

A National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge recently ruled that Laurus Technical Institute, a for-profit technical school in Georgia, broke federal law with a no-gossip policy because it was overly broad, ambiguous and restricted employees from discussing or complaining about any... Read more

Despite pleas from business to slow down, the Minnesota House gave final approval Wednesday to a women's employment rights bill that supporters say will level the playing field. New parents would be entitled to longer unpaid leaves. Mothers would find more private space at work to nurse, other... Read more

Despite pleas from business to slow down, the Minnesota House gave final approval Wednesday to a women's employment rights bill that supporters say will level the playing field. New parents would be entitled to longer unpaid leaves. Mothers would find more private space at work to nurse, other... Read more

WASHINGTON — Two separate legal challenges to President Obama's health care law met with skepticism Thursday from a federal appeals court panel dominated by Obama's latest appointees.

Recent gains in sales, exports and the return of production to the United States have boosted the confidence of Minnesota manufacturers to the highest level in five years, according to findings released Thursday from Enterprise Minnesota.

Here are 10 ways to guarantee that your best people will quit: 10. Treat everyone equally. This may sound good, but your employees are not equal. Some are worth more because they produce more results. The key is not to treat them equally, it is to treat them all fairly. 9. Tolerate mediocrity. A-... Read more

Here are 10 ways to guarantee that your best people will quit: 10. Treat everyone equally. This may sound good, but your employees are not equal. Some are worth more because they produce more results. The key is not to treat them equally, it is to treat them all fairly. 9. Tolerate mediocrity. A-... Read more

U.S. stocks rose, after benchmark indexes climbed to records last week, as an expansion in American service industries offset concern over growth in China and political tensions in Ukraine.

U.S. stocks rose, after benchmark indexes climbed to records last week, as an expansion in American service industries offset concern over growth in China and political tensions in Ukraine.

From the Wall Street Journal: The fastest start on record for corporate takeovers is providing fuel for a stock market stuck in low gear. U.S.-based companies this year have proposed or agreed to $637.95 billion worth of mergers or acquisitions-either as the buyer or the target-the most at... Read more

From the Wall Street Journal: The fastest start on record for corporate takeovers is providing fuel for a stock market stuck in low gear. U.S.-based companies this year have proposed or agreed to $637.95 billion worth of mergers or acquisitions-either as the buyer or the target-the most at... Read more

What a joke! That is not what I am seeing? This from the same guy who promised to lower costs for Family Health Insurance by $2500 a year?        

What a joke! That is not what I am seeing? This from the same guy who promised to lower costs for Family Health Insurance by $2500 a year?    

The man who runs Minnesota's online health insurance marketplace says there is plenty of work ahead as MNsure prepares for this fall's effort to get as many residents signed up as possible, as smoothly as possible.

The man who runs Minnesota's online health insurance marketplace says there is plenty of work ahead as MNsure prepares for this fall's effort to get as many residents signed up as possible, as smoothly as possible.

IRS provides details on employers’ healthcare insurance reform reporting requirements By Jessica Webb-Ayer, JD, Legal Editor When it comes to healthcare insurance reform, the employer responsibility section (also commonly referred to as the “play or pay” provision) has... Read more

IRS provides details on employers’ healthcare insurance reform reporting requirements By Jessica Webb-Ayer, JD, Legal Editor When it comes to healthcare insurance reform, the employer responsibility section (also commonly referred to as the “play or pay” provision) has... Read more

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: Republicans want top officials from the Dayton administration to answer questions about what they knew of problems with the MNsure health exchange before its rocky launch on Oct. 1. Citing recent news reports, Republicans on a MNsure oversight committee said that... Read more

From HR Hero: I'm no longer allowed to cuss in my house. It was a tough habit to break, as the only girl in a family of seven children, I grew up with a lot of profanity. But I realized that I had to change my family's behavior after a recent trip during which my three-year-old "... Read more

A former longtime advisor to President Barack Obama predicted Wednesday that the employer mandate-a key piece of the law-will not survive.

When all is said and done a media firm estimates that more than $1 billion will be spent on advertising for and against Obamacare. With $500 million already spent, Kaiser Family Foundation polling shows that public opinion has remained relatively static regarding the law with 35 percent approving... Read more

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: People who run into technical problems at MNsure that prevent them from obtaining health insurance by March 31 still might be able to avoid a federal tax penalty, health exchange officials announced Monday. The deadline for people to obtain coverage remains March 31... Read more

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: When Minnesota launched its new health insurance exchange Oct. 1, the problems came quickly. By late October, the error rate at the MNsure website peaked at 22 percent. In November, state officials started rerunning 30,000 applications because of a variety of... Read more

From the Wall Street Journal: A big decision awaits each recipient before his or her payments begin: To maximize the benefits you receive over your lifetime, do you start collecting in the first year of eligibility, at age 62, and accept a smaller monthly payment? Do you wait until age 70,... Read more

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: MNsure wants to spend an additional $12.5 million this year to continue repairs to its website and call center, officials said Wednesday as they unveiled plans for a balanced budget in 2015. Meeting in St. Paul, the health insurance exchange's board approved a $... Read more

The plan selection number is down, and HHS has posted no premium payment data

Stat of the Week: $1.8 billion - the cost the Obama administration says they need to run the federal Obamacare exchange,  

The official version of the guidance includes help for employers with 50 to 100 full-time employees

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: MNsure is significantly cutting enrollment projections and planning how it would make cuts if needed next year to prevent a budget deficit.  New projections for 2015 show enrollments in commercial insurance plans are about 25 percent below figures presented in... Read more

From CNN Money: A majority of small businesses that offer health insurance could see premiums rise, according to a new government report. The report from the actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that 65% of small firms will likely incur higher premiums this... Read more

Lawmakers see if the new exchange system consultant will talk...

The Vice President arges that getting 5 million QHP enrollees would be a "hell of a start."

From USA Today: Because paying taxes just isn't fun enough, fraudsters spend extra time during tax season trying to steal your hard-earned money. This year's top scams from all the five-star boiler rooms, according to the IRS: Identity theft: Con artists just love to get your Social... Read more

From the HR Executive Online: Employers looking to lower their healthcare costs by dumping spouses off their insurance plans may not necessarily save money, according to a recent report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington.  

From ComputerWeekly: No-one really argues about where HR technology is heading - unified, streamlined talent management suites, sharing datasets with other business functions, powered by predictive analytics and accessible everywhere.

From the HR Executive: New research finds 50 percent of employers accepting applications from high school students for internships. Younger students naturally come to the workforce with less professional polish, but high schools can still be a rich talent source for employers and recruiters seeking... Read more

Amid growing consumer frustration and a series of embarrassing disclosures, MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov resigned Tuesday from her post running the state's new health insurance exchange.

Republicans intensified criticism of the states fledgling health insurance exchange Monday as Minnesota consumers are one week from MNsure enrollment deadline to receive health coverage next year.

Spending on doctors , drugs and other medical care in Minnesota grew a tiny 2 percent from 2010 to 2011.........

Worries about Minnesotas new online health insurance marketplace are keeping Dayton awake at night.

When Jennifer Slafter first ran the numbers, she thought the new federal health care law would cost her family an extra $171 a month for an insurance plan with a higher deductible. So the stay-home mom from southeastern Minnesota felt compelled to go public with her frustration. Though she voted... Read more

Share Your Story Please share your story about how you have been impacted by Obamacare. Your story will be compiled for research and posted on our public website. Your story needs to be told and will make a difference.

(Reuters) - A surge of visitors clogged the U.S. government's revamped healthcare insurance shopping website on Monday, signaling that President Barack Obama's administration has a way to go in fixing the portal that showcases his signature domestic policy.

Some consumers seeking coverage through MNsure, the state's new health insurance exchange, might have received incorrect information about whether they qualify for federal tax credits or coverage from a public health insurance program, officials said Tuesday.

The success of the Affordable Care Act could ultimately turn on the performance of an agency that has so far eluded the public spotlight amid the program’s tumultuous rollout. Whether the new law can be enforced will be up to the Internal Revenue Service, an already beleaguered agency... Read more

Republicans are pressing for answers about whether MNsure, the state's new health insurance exchange, will successfully complete enrollments so that people have coverage on Jan. 1. As of Nov. 3, 1,774 people had signed up for coverage through the health exchange, where qualified health... Read more

While substantial attention has been given to the so-called “play or pay” rule, which will penalize larger employers that don’t offer insurance in 2015, a series of recent reports indicates that businesses of all sizes, in Minnesota and elsewhere, are voicing their concerns about... Read more

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama, in a retreat aimed at quelling the latest protest over his health-care law, on Thursday said insurers can extend by one year those policies they had canceled for failing to meet the law's requirements. Mr. Obama accompanied the policy shift with an... Read more

It’s getting worse. I’m talking about the cool ads coming from Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education to promote PPACA. Now that they’ve dealt with bros, they’ve moved on to the hoes — no, seriously.

For the past two months, Minnesota officials have celebrated how health insurance rates in the Twin Cities will be among the lowest available in the country next year. But Larry Goedtel isn't joining the party. Like some other consumers, Goedtel is looking at a steep premium increase for... Read more

When asked "Does your organization sponsor a Christmas or year-end holiday party/celebration for employees?", 69.9% of employers responded that they do. Of those employers hosting a party, 56.9% said they hold their party off-site versus within their facility according to the survey,... Read more

Millions of Americans are being informed they're being dropped from their insurance plans because the plans don't meet minimum Obamacare standards, but President Obama so far has stood by his promise that "if you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that... Read more, built by 55 contractors, is one of the most complex pieces of software ever created for the federal government. It communicates in real time with at least 112 different computer systems across the country. In the first 10 days, it received 14.6 million unique visits, according to... Read more

From his insurance agency in Stillwater, Dennis Conger has seen in recent weeks how the St. Croix River can divide Minnesota and Wisconsin in unexpected ways. As Conger has worked with clients shopping for individual health insurance policies, he's been surprised by premium rates on the... Read more

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - For 31 days now, the Obama administration has been telling us that Americans by the millions are visiting the new health insurance website, despite all its problems.   But no one in the administration has been willing to tell us how many policies have been purchased,... Read more

Despite the promises of choice and affordability offered by the federal health care overhaul, many Minnesotans outside the Twin Cities area aren’t seeing much of either. In certain pockets of the state, shoppers on the new MNsure website have just a handful of insurance companies to choose... Read more

The state has received a $41 million grant from the federal government to further the ongoing implementation of its health insurance exchange site, known as MNsure. With this latest infusion from the feds, Minnesota has received about $155 million to hire staff and vendors and build the website,... Read more

So few insureres offer plans on some of the new government health insurance exchanges that consumers in those states may pay to much or face large rate increases later, insurance experts say.

While more than 12,000 Minnesotans have created MNsure accounts, fewer than one-third of those have completed enrollment in health plans, state officials said Wednesday. The meager sales figures didn’t alarm MNsure officials — not when Minnesotans still have two months to secure... Read more

WASHINGTON — China has become shrill in its criticism of the fiscal train wreck in the United States, arguing that the answer to a potential government default is to begin creating a “de-Americanized world.” Beijing’s alarm is understandable, given that it is the world... Read more

Daniel Schmidt is intrigued by the idea of buying coverage for his small-business employees through the state's new health insurance exchange. But the more pressing issue for Schmidt's office products business is a possible rate increase of up to 40 percent if he renews in 2014 his current... Read more

MNsure officials said Wednesday that the online marketplace for health insurance has fixed the identity-verification problems that at one point kept half of interested shoppers from creating accounts and pricing health benefits on the site.

Registration problems that prevented some Minnesotans from shopping for health coverage last week on the new MNsure website have been fixed, officials said Monday, but a new one has emerged.

Officials with MNsure, the state's health insurance exchange, asked people shopping for insurance online to delay creating accounts for a period Thursday because of problem connecting with an identity verification system operated by the federal government.

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama and congressional leaders met Wednesday for the first time since the federal government shut down, emerging more than an hour later with no evidence of progress toward resolving their impasse over health care and government spending.

Government shutdown in sight? House GOP nixes stopgap bill if it fails to defund Obamacare WASHINGTON — Moving closer to the brink of a government shutdown, House Republicans vowed Thursday they won't simply accept the stopgap legislation that is likely to remain after Senate Democrats... Read more

It was one of candidate Obama’s most vivid and concrete campaign promises. Forget about high minded (some might say high sounding) but gauzy promises of hope and change. This candidate solemnly pledged on June 5, 2008: “In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,... Read more

Recognized By: Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

Recognized By: Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

Recognized By: Twin Cities Business.  

Recognized By: Twin Cities Business.