Is quiet quitting really about boundaries?

A recent Monster poll revealed that 62% of workers are quiet quitting (or have thought about it). This is a term used to describe employees who are just “going through the motions”, so to speak. They’re at work, they’re doing their job, but they don’t seem engaged and they’re definitely not going the extra mile.

Although there’s been a lot of buzz about quiet quitting, not everyone is buying the hype. What if quiet quitting is really just the pendulum swinging from “lean in” culture?

“The term ‘quiet quitting’ is misleading, because it refers to doing exactly what is required of you by your job description, rather than leaning in to take on the extra work of two or more employees just to win favor,” says Sep Niakan, managing broker at CondoBlackBook.com. “It involves establishing a reasonable limit on what an employee will and won’t do.”

Why ‘Quiet Quitting’ Isn’t the Best Term

The problem with “quiet quitting” is that many workers aren’t in danger of leaving — they’re doing what they were hired to do.

Jill Santopietro Panall, a human resources consultant at 21Oak HR Consulting describes quiet quitting as simply not overworking yourself. “Quiet quitting really pertains to people just doing their nine-to-five, and you know what? That’s what you’re going to get from folks who aren’t living to work.”

In a job market with 11.2 million open positions, workers have more power than ever. What that means, in some cases, is that they’d rather not put in the long hours that some employers used to expect.

“This new trend is a response to grind culture, which refers to the mentality that workers have to be switched on, work longer hours and be available to work at all times to achieve success,” says Gareth Hoyle, managing director at search engine marketing firm Marketing Signals. “Quiet quitting is about making a healthy work-life balance and setting boundaries.”

Real Warning Signs

While many HR experts object to the term “quiet quitting,” it’s true that some workers have become disengaged. Those are the workers who aren’t doing their jobs, or they aren’t doing them well.

“In the current economic climate, with wages struggling to keep pace with spiraling inflation and endemic staff shortages causing burnout, I don’t blame some employees for feeling undervalued and becoming increasingly disengaged from their work,” says John Ricco, cofounder of recruiting company Atlantic Group.

Here are some signs that should concern you:

  • Lack of communication. Pay attention if an employee stops responding to emails or phone calls for extended periods of time. “It’s usually because they’re starting to mentally check out,” says Bonnie Whitfield, human resources director for vacation site Family Destinations Guide.
  • Change of work habits. If your go-getter employee has suddenly pulled back, that’s likely a sign that something’s going on.
  • Change in attitude toward others. Is an employee talking badly about co-workers or managers? “This can be a red flag that they no longer care for their work or the company,” Whitfield says.
  • Keeping a new schedule. It’s one thing to work your regular hours. It’s another to be consistently late, leave consistently early or take many more sick days.

What Employers Can Do

If an employee seems to have changed their work efforts, there are a few things you can put in place to try to reel them back in:

  • Have an open conversation. Does an employee seem unhappy? Ask them about it. “Having that relationship and that culture where people are open to expressing themselves honestly is important,” says Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, N.Y.
  • Make sure you’re paying enough. “An employer should first ensure that they are properly compensating employees according to their skills, experience and market rate,” says Adrienne Couch, human resources analyst with business site LLC. Services. “Proper compensation is enough to keep an employee committed and highly performing.”
  • Adjust your expectations. What are you expecting of your workers? Is it reasonable? If you’re looking for an employee to be available during off hours and on weekends, or you’re asking them to take on more responsibilities than their job encompasses, you may want to rethink.

Speak With Your Team Directly

If employees are pulling back, it’s time to examine your work practices. “Most of the time, this form of protest arises due to inflexible working conditions, inadequate pay or an insufficient benefits scheme,” says Andrew Gonzales, president of BusinessLoans.com. “Speak with your team directly as soon as you notice the signs of quiet quitting. Otherwise, it could have a serious impact on your business’s longevity.”

Monster’s Quiet Quitting Poll Data

  • The clear majority (62%) of workers say that they’re currently quiet quitting (36%) or have thought about it (26%) after learning what the term means.
    • Alarmingly, the top two reasons for workers quiet quitting or thinking about it are feeling burned out (61%) and being underpaid for what they’re asked to do (60%).
    • 58% of workers cite prioritizing work-life balance as their reason for quiet quitting or thinking about it.
  • On the other hand, almost 40% of workers are not thinking about quiet quitting.
    • The top reason to avoid quiet quitting is that they like their job and want to exceed expectations (44%).
    • However, 34% think that quiet quitting is just an excuse to be lazy at work and 22% are worried about being fired, laid off or demoted.
  • Nearly three-quarters (72%) of workers have been asked to work extra hours outside of their contracted hours.

Source: Monster poll conducted among workers, September 6, 2022

3 Tactics for Hiring During a Recession

Amid high inflation, everything—from the price of goods and raw materials to employee wages to interest rates—is going up, up, up. More and more economic indicators hint that a recession is coming. To keep your business healthy, you’ll need to be more efficient when it comes to hiring during a recession.


Monster’s economist Giacomo Santangelo summed up what employers can expect when a recession hits: “What happens during a recession is the economy slows down, production slows down, unemployment increases, which slows down production even further. And that’s where we see GDP falling,” he says. 

 

Santangelo says employers will need to find ways to cut costs and be more efficient to stay afloat. Below, we outlined some strategic efficiencies employers can consider when managing a workforce and hiring during a recession.

 

Upskill Employees to Better Meet Market Demand

When a recession hits, Santangelo says the effects are often felt among different industries, companies, or even within organizational departments. Instead of hiring during a recession, companies should consider reskilling or upskilling their existing workforce to meet today’s economic demands as business needs and priorities shift.

 

Monster’s Future of Work report found that one of the top ways companies plan to stay competitive over the next three years is by offering skills training. After all, it’s cheaper to reskill or upskill a current employee than it is to hire and onboard a new one. 

 

“When firms need to hire someone new, that’s a new salary, that’s more benefits, and that’s more money you have to spend,” Santangelo says. “But if you have someone on staff already who you can train to do the job, you can expand their responsibilities. If you can do that, you do that.” 

 

So, if you must make cuts in one area, consider training workers in other departments where you can use good employees who know your business.

 

Hire Part-Time or Contract Workers

When it comes to hiring during a recession, employers may have to pivot from hiring one full-time worker to fill a role to hiring multiple part-time workers for the same job as a cost-saving measure. “Firms can hire part-time workers, freelancers, who are per diem, or gig economy workers during a recession,” Santangelo says. “They’re a lot cheaper to employ than a full-time worker to whom you have to give benefits.”

 

Despite the ongoing labor shortages, the barriers for companies tapping into the gig economy could be minimal as we approach a recession. Candidates are more likely to be less picky about the types of jobs they choose. Some workers may even be looking for a side hustle to supplement their income amid high inflation. In fact, a recent survey shows that workers are already moving in this direction. According to the study, 85% of workers said they have increased or plan to increase their amount of gig work, with 58% citing inflation as the reason behind this change.

 

Switch to Remote Work

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, select job sectors, especially those in white-collar industries like business, finance, and tech, proved they can be successful when working remotely. “Companies have lots of costs they can cut because they can switch their labor force,” Santangelo says. “We learned they can move a lot of their workforce to work remotely.” 

 

When planning your hiring strategy for a downturn, consider remote work rather than bringing workers back on-site, where costs like rent and building maintenance can eat away at your bottom line. Remote work saves on overhead costs and can also provide money-saving benefits when it comes to hiring. For instance, remote work can open up your talent pool to workers in other, possibly cheaper locations. With COVID cases on the rise yet again, working from home can help keep your workforce healthy and prevent costly shutdowns in production.

 

Layoffs May Be Unavoidable for Some

Even when applying the tactics listed above, layoffs are sometimes an inevitable reality of a recession. We saw this during the economic crisis of the 1970s and 80s, and we are seeing it again today with layoffs already announced at companies like Netflix, Carvana, Wells Fargo, and more.

 

“Right now, we are experiencing an economy that we have not experienced since the 1970s,” Santangelo says. “With increases in gas prices, with increases in food prices, with rationing of certain food items at grocery stores, and a general increase in price levels across the board, employers may be forced to lay off people. Whether you are Walmart or a small mom-and-pop pizzeria around the corner, when the price of your products goes up, and you have bills to pay, you have to lay off people.”

 

Stay Informed During a Recession

When it comes to hiring during a recession, there are different approaches to take. Depending on your business, some will work better than others, but the key is having current economic information and analysis at your fingertips. That’s where we can help. Stay connected with Monster, and you’ll get free access to expert insights, from the latest in economic trends and news to recruiting advice and strategies.

What impact will unionization have on your hiring strategy?

Labor unions are nothing new. Efforts at unionization date back centuries but became popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s when workers were forced to work more than 8 hours a day, over 40 hours a week for little pay, no benefits, and zero time off. Despite improvements in working conditions, fewer workers (just 10.7%) today are represented by labor unions, down from its peak of 34% in 1954. 

Only now, talks of unionizing are beginning to spread, and employers are starting to take notice. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to unions and how they can impact hiring, wages, and more. 

Where Workers are Unionizing

In certain industries and professions like education, transportation, and nursing, unions have been—and still are—quite common. But as behemoths like Amazon and Starbucks swat off workers’ unions’ demands for better pay and protections, employers may be wondering if they, too, are at risk of seeing similar requests among their own workers. 

Monster’s economist, Giacomo Santangelo, says we won’t see unions formed in every industry or at every company. In these instances where talks of organizing are occurring, he says it’s largely among freelancers, independent contractors, and part-time workers.  

The reason why unionization was necessary at one point in history was that workers demanded that they be treated well,” Santangelo says. “But in the gig economy, people can actually volunteer to be exploited by their employer. They can voluntarily give up their labor rights. Now, those people who tend to unionize in the gig economy are the ones who have been in the gig economy for a number of years and have realized that this was a choice they made. Now they’re older and they’re going to need healthcare, they’re going to need to start thinking about their future, and this job is not offering them that..” 

How Labor Unions May Affect Wages and Hiring 

Workers’ rights are important, but unionizing may come at a cost that can have adverse effects on the labor market. Santangelo says, “The belief is that unionization is going to raise the cost of production because an organized labor force is going to force a firm to pay benefits and to increase costs above what they should be. Therefore, firms are then going to have to turn around and increase the prices of goods that they’re offering to consumers.” 

This presents a serious issue in today’s economic climate where inflation is already sky high, and wages are rising at their fastest pace in 20 years. Should workers organize, Santangelo says companies will either have to raise prices even further or find ways to cut costs. He says, “Unionization will raise wages above a level that is appropriate and efficient, and it will lead to increases in unemployment.” 

Understand Worker Demands 

No employer wants to see a slowdown in production or be forced to lay off workers as a result of union activity. “It’s important to remember that the only reason why workers want to unionize is that they’re unhappy,” Santangelo says. “They’re unhappy because they’re being asked to do something that they don’t want to do. It’s the definition of exploitation. So, if employers are giving benefits and all the things that workers want, then the workers don’t have to organize.” 

So, what do workers want? Monster’s Future of Work report found that today’s workforce is looking for: 

  • Salary protection/fair compensation (up 6% compared to last year)
  • Financial compensation beyond salary
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Paid time off

Finding balance may be key for employers to maintain production and profits while also keeping workers happy. After all, unions don’t just happen overnight. 

Stay on Top of Labor Market Trends 

Monster aims to provide employers with the insight needed to move forward, whether it involves unionization, recruitment, or management. As you plan your hiring strategy over the next month, check out Monster Intelligence for a deeper dive into data and labor market trends and what they mean for your business. 

How Will Inflation Affect the Job Market?

From mom-and-pop shops to large corporations, companies of all shapes and sizes are not immune to the effects of inflation. But how will inflation actually affect the job market? Employers are having to find ways to cut costs to turn a profit, while workers are asking for higher pay to combat the rising cost of living.

We consulted Mon ster’s Economist Giacomo Santangelo to provide insight into how high inflation will impact compensation, jobs, and more in the months ahead. Simply put, he says, “When unemployment is high, inflation is low. The problem that this creates is that in order to fight inflation, unemployment has to go up.” Here’s what you need to know.

How Inflation May Affect Hiring

Just because unemployment is expected to increase doesn’t necessarily mean that hiring will decrease. Santangelo says, “Firms aren’t going to slow down hiring; they’re going to change the way they hire.” He expects employers to move away from the traditional idea of hiring one full-time worker to perform a job and instead will seek to hire multiple part-time, contract, or “gig” workers as a cost-saving measure.

Hiring these types of workers means companies won’t be required to pay for expensive benefits like healthcare. Not to mention, companies can usually bring them in at a cheaper rate than a full-time employee.

Despite the ongoing labor shortages, research shows that the barriers for companies breaking into the gig economy could be minimal. In fact, a new survey found that workers are already moving in this direction as a way to make up for a lack of pay. According to the survey, 85% of workers have increased or plan to increase their amount of gig work in the past six months, with 58% citing inflation as the reason behind this change.

How to Adjust Salary for Inflation

Given high inflation, it’s not surprising that workers are asking for more money to account for the greater cost of living. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly jobs report shows that wages have increased by 5.6% over the past 12 months, while prices have increased by 7.9%. You can do the math here.

While many employers are likely reaching their limits in terms of how much more they can pay workers, Santangelo says they will have to address these concerns on a case by case basis. For instance, a bartender’s hourly rate is likely going to be a different conversation than one regarding a vice president’s annual take-home. But, Santangelo says, “The commonality between those two individuals is the question of, ‘What exactly is my bargaining power?’”

For candidates, Monster’s Future of Work report showed that “financial compensation beyond salary” and “fair wages” are most important to job seekers right now. Employers wanting to hold onto good employees will need to get creative if they don’t have the budget for the typical raise percentage.

Looking Ahead: Will Inflation Create a Recession?

Fears of a recession are rising amid inflation with reports showing that consumers are already cutting back on spending. Santangelo says, “Historically, whenever inflation is as bad as it is right now—which it was back in the late 1970s—the way that the government fights inflation is by plugging the economy into a recession. That is going to happen.”

Fortunately, there are steps companies can take to insulate themselves for when the economy goes south. From investing in marketing to prioritizing customer service, employers should brace themselves for what appears to be the inevitable.

Stay on Top of Labor Market Trends

Monster aims to provide employers with the insight needed to move forward. As you plan your hiring strategy over the next month, check out Monster Intelligence for a deeper dive into data and labor market trends and what it will mean for your business.

Employer Vaccine Mandates: What You Need to Know

With about 35% of working-age Americans not fully vaccinated, health concerns are growing within the workforce amid the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. In a sweeping attempt to contain this latest surge and get workers back into the office, President Joe Biden recently announced a vaccine mandate for employers of large companies, as well as for federal workers and contractors.

Given the unprecedented nature of this employer vaccine mandate, we consulted Keith Wilkes, a labor and employment shareholder at the national law firm Hall Estill, who has been fielding calls from employers about the recent announcement, to understand the legal nuances for large companies and their workers. Here’s what employers need to know.

What does the COVID-19 employer vaccine mandate entail?

On September 9, 2021, Biden announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will create a rule for private sector businesses with 100 or more employees to require all workers to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. This includes employees who have already contracted the virus as well as people working from home. OSHA will also require these employers to offer paid time off for vaccination or to recover if they experience symptoms post-vaccination.

“The emergency OSHA rule, which will require all private sector employers with at least 100 employees to mandate vaccinations in their workforce or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis, is expected to impact over 80 million private sector workers,” Wilkes says.

Additionally, all federal workers and contractors must be fully vaccinated, with no option for weekly testing. Biden also said 300,000 educators in federal Head Start programs must be vaccinated and called on governors to require vaccinations for teachers and staff. The vaccine mandate was also expanded to about 50,000 hospitals, home care facilities, and dialysis centers, requiring the 17 million health care workers at those facilities receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated.

Who is excluded from the employer vaccine mandate?

Businesses with fewer than 100 employees are excluded from the vaccine mandate. (If you’re a small business owner, see below for guidelines on legally mandating COVID-19 vaccines at your company.)

Additionally, certain workers who are employed at companies where the vaccine is mandated may also seek exemption. “The employer vaccine mandate allows for an employee to seek an exemption and reasonable accommodation from their employers based upon a sincerely held religious belief, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, or based upon a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” Wilkes says.

Employers must offer reasonable accommodations

Before an employer fires an employee for not getting a vaccine, the employer needs to ensure they are not violating ADA or Title VII or possibly any of their state laws that require providing reasonable accommodations based on medical reasons or religious beliefs, like allowing remote work.

Additionally, Wilkes says, “Some low-cost solutions or accommodations may be to reduce contact between the employee and others by designating one-way aisles, using plexiglass barriers, or other means to ensure minimum distances between customers and coworkers. Employers may also consider modifying a work schedule or shift assignment to allow the exempt person to safely perform the essential functions of their job while reducing exposure to others in the workplace.”

Implementing the employer vaccine mandate

Federal workers and contractors will have about 75 days to become fully vaccinated. Employees are considered fully vaccinated two weeks or more after they have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Meanwhile, large companies will likely want to get the ball rolling on getting shots in employees’ arms. “OSHA, which falls under the U.S. Department of Labor, will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement the new rule,” Wilkes says. “Although the timing of when the ETS requirement will go into effect is not clear, it will likely not be a long wait.”

The cost of noncompliance

The penalty for noncompliance is substantial and can become even more severe if left unchecked. “A ‘willful or repeated violation’ can result in a minimum penalty of just under $10,000, while the maximum penalty for a willful or repeated violation can be as high as $136,532 per violation,” Wilkes says. “How OSHA is going to view and apply a violation remains unknown at this time. An ongoing willful or repeated violation, however, is not going to result in only a one-time penalty if the employer does not comply.”

The vaccine mandate may impact hiring

While many large white-collar employers, including Google, Facebook, and Johnson & Johnson, have already implemented vaccine mandates, this new rule will take the pressure off companies that have encouraged, but not required vaccination. It can also help ensure that vaccinated employees and candidates feel safe in their work environment.

According to the Boston Globe, the new federal mandate will likely have the most impact on massive retailers and other low-wage employers that have not yet required vaccinations for all of their workers. However, with many retailers, restaurants, and even transportation companies struggling to find and keep workers, some fear they could lose valuable workers or won’t be able to find new ones amid the ongoing labor shortages and the Great Resignation. A recent Monster poll conducted a few weeks before Biden’s announcement found that a resounding 79% of workers said they do not want their employer to mandate vaccines. Monster will be monitoring how the new vaccine mandate may impact hiring and retention in the months ahead.

Stay tuned: additional vaccines mandates may be coming

The employer vaccine mandate is part of Biden’s six-part strategy that he will continue to work to implement in the months ahead. In her daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden will be “building on the steps that we’ve already announced, the steps we’ve taken over the last few months, requiring more vaccinations, boosting important testing measures and more.”

Small business owners have a right to mandate vaccines

As a general rule, any employer can require employees to get vaccinated—not just those that fall under Biden’s vaccine mandate. Small businesses, for example, will want to take certain precautions if choosing to require employee vaccination. Employees can legally object for several reasons, including medical reasons, religious objections, or in some states for philosophical reasons.

To help employers understand their rights and their responsibilities, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new guidance on employers’ federal rights during the pandemic, suggesting employers have a right to create a policy that mandates vaccines. However, if an employer mandates vaccines, it must allow exceptions for an employee’s sincerely held religious belief or for an employee’s health issue that make it dangerous or not medically recommended for an employee to get the vaccine.

Getting America back to work

Navigating work and hiring post-COVID-19 will be an ongoing challenge for 2021. For more insights like this that can help you manage this new way of working in 2021 and beyond, download our Fall 2021 Hiring Report.

 

Staffing firms: moving forward from crisis

By: Tim Robbins, Monster Vice President and General Manager, Staffing and Recruiting

I don’t think anyone could have predicted where we’d be as a country—or as a staffing industry—just a few months ago. We went from unemployment rates as low as 3.8% to job losses exceeding 10 million. Although it’s too soon to know what the real long-term impact of COVID-19 will be, there are some clear signs of change that I’m seeing on the landscape. Here are just some of my thoughts on the staffing industry outlook:

One of the most dramatic examples of the pandemic’s impact has been on permanent placement. Permanent placement has long been a major segment of staffing firms, but has seen steep declines with the onset of COVID-19. There is some good news here, though. In recent weeks, we’ve begun to see recovery, especially in the higher skilled segments.

As expected, some staffing companies saw declines in job orders and had to make the painful decision to reduce staff. Monster is stepping in to help these reduced size staffing teams operate efficiently when new orders start coming in. At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we worked closely with some staffing firms  to help triage at that very critical time. We’re thrilled to hear customers sharing early signs of recovery, with some segments rebounding faster than others.

The healthcare surprise

As surprising as it sounds, there were some areas of healthcare that experienced layoffs. For example: elective surgeries stopped during the pandemic, and furloughs and layoffs ensued. Now, however, elective surgeries are beginning again, and we can expect to see an uptick in hiring for the positions that support these medical procedures. Staffing organizations were expected to find this talent—and quickly. To help these healthcare sectors ramp up hiring as regions re-open, video interviewing, texting, and social media will figure prominently in recruiting strategies now and going forward.

Not so surprisingly, there is a nursing shortage and it’s particularly prevalent in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. But what’s noteworthy about this is that state-contracted staffing agencies responding to the COVID-19 surge are luring nurses from hospitals with wages that are almost four times higher than what they’d normally be paid. It would be interesting to see if other areas of Texas, or even other states, follow suit.

Increased activity in some areas

There are pockets of business – like tech and certain areas of healthcare – that have been less impacted by COVID. For instance, there continues to be a critical shortage of nurses, senior resident care workers, and nursing assistants, which may continue through the end of the year. This is another area where we’ve been able to help our staffing partners, and we’ve formed partnerships with agencies and vendors to deliver solutions addressing these high-volume hiring needs.

Mental health care hiring

Mental health issues have been an unfortunate effect of the pandemic, and we’ve seen a corresponding increase in demand for mental health care workers as a result. Monster data bear this out as we see more and more job postings for psychologists, therapists, social workers, and other professionals in the field, and an increase in candidates searching for these jobs.

Upskilling and retraining

We can expect to see more companies retraining talent for jobs that didn’t exist prior to the pandemic. Temperature taker and contact tracer are two of the top-most searched job titles, yet most of us have never heard of these positions. Monster solutions – like SearchMonster – enable staffing companies to match candidate skills to jobs that didn’t exist prior to COVID.

New opportunities

As previously mentioned, hiring in some areas has been less impacted by COVID and in some instances we’re actually seeing new opportunities come to light. Let’s take technology for example. In addition to enabling virtual recruitment through virtual open houses and job fairs, video, and more, it’s giving many people who previously couldn’t work from home (e.g. therapist), the opportunity to work remotely.

The pandemic has also pushed staffing companies to become more creative when filling their candidate pipelines. Whether it’s reaching out to unemployment offices to engage the newly unemployed, or filling jobs quickly by fast-tracking background checks, new ways of recruiting continue to present themselves.

Monster as the bridge

Now, more than ever, I see the future of Monster as the bridge between staffing firms and candidates. Staffing firms are upskilling people into new jobs – like tech and healthcare – and Monster is helping them reach and connect to that talent. Monster brings recruiters and candidates together by finding the right fit for both. Through our solutions and services, recruiters get a broad view of the person behind the resume and can make an accurate assessment of their match potential. And candidates get an inside look at the job, culture, and company, and can determine if their experience and goals are in sync.

It’s our belief that the world would be a much happier place if there was a better fit between people and their jobs, and we’re committed to making that happen…in these uncertain times and beyond. Check out Monster’s staffing solutions, where you can explore our offerings and connect with a rep.

Temporary work visa suspensions: what employers need to know

In the latest government response to COVID-19, an executive order went into effect on June 22, extending the existing green card ban and issuing temporary work visa suspensions through the end 2020. The order applies to H-1B visas, H-2B visas, L-1 visas, and certain J-1 visas.

This work visa suspension doesn’t impact every industry, but there are many employers who will need to take these new restrictions into consideration as they plan their hiring over the second half of the year.

Here’s what employers need to know:

Who is included in the work visa restrictions?

The order builds on restrictions that were implemented earlier this year in April, which temporarily halted visas for certain family members of green card holders for 60 days. In addition to extending those earlier restrictions through Dec. 31, 2020, the latest proclamation also includes freezing new work visas for:

  • H-1B speciality workers: Those with a bachelor’s degree or higher who work in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in fields, such as information technology, engineering, finance, accounting, mathematics, science, medical etc.
  • H-2B non-agricultural workers: Temporary workers at any skill level not working in the agricultural field who fill seasonal, intermittent, supplemental, or one-time roles.
  • Non-physician J-1 visas: Exchange visitors who take part in work-and-study-based programs, excluding high school students and those in the medical field.
  • L-1 intracompany transfers: Executives, managers, and employees with specialized skills who transfer from a foreign company to a U.S. office, subsidiary, or affiliated company to perform a temporary service.

Dependent family members are also included in the above restrictions.

Who is exempt from the work visa restrictions?

Healthcare workers and researchers combating COVID-19, university professors, and food processing workers in the agriculture and seafood industries are exempt from these suspensions. These exemptions “should cover people involved in meatpacking and processing plants, as well as all aspects of the food supply chain from production to transportation and logistics,” says Rebecca Bernhard, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney. Additionally, she says, “Most physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel should still be able to obtain visas.”

Along with those exemptions, Bernhard says that those who won this year’s H-1B lottery and who are waiting for their H-1B status to take effect on October 1 can breathe a sigh of relief.  “The vast majority of these people are not affected by the new executive order, since most people in this situation are already in the United States and will not need to travel abroad to obtain a visa,” she says.

What these restrictions mean for employers

The work visa restrictions will likely affect every employer differently. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that these restrictions are for visas and do not affect the status of foreign workers currently in the U.S.

“One thing that is often lost in these discussions is the distinction between a visa and a status,” Bernhard says. “A visa is merely an entry document that is stamped into a passport – often called the visa stamp. A visa status is a legal right to be and work in the United States. This executive order stops the Department of State from issuing certain new work visas (to enter the U.S.), but it does not cancel or affect the status of foreign workers already in the United States.”

However, under these restrictions, many employers looking to hire will have to limit their search to American workers. This means that H1-B visas won’t be issued for foreign coders or engineers. Hotels and amusement parks can’t hire seasonal workers from abroad this summer. International companies won’t be allowed to transfer employees into their U.S. offices, and foreigners wishing to work as camp counselors or interns won’t be granted J-1 visas.

Those in favor of the restrictions believe these suspensions will help unemployed U.S. workers find jobs. In total, the White House projects that 525,000 American jobs will be saved or created by the executive order.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that these restrictions are “fiercely opposed by business leaders, who say it will block their ability to recruit critically needed workers from countries overseas for jobs that Americans are not willing to do or are not capable of performing.” A number of CEOs, including Tesla’s Elon Musk and Google’s Sundar Pichai, took to Twitter to express these concerns that the talent pool may be much more shallow compared to what they might normally experience in a global economy.

Further immigration restrictions to be expected

 While the effects of these temporary work visa suspensions have yet to be felt at its onset, it will be important to monitor as the situation evolves in the months to come. Looking ahead to the not-so-distant future, employers can expect to see even more restrictions implemented.

“The order hints at more immigration restrictions to come, although additional restrictions will not likely be issued through an executive order,” Bernhard says. “Further policy is likely to be issued through the federal rulemaking process which could take several months. President Trump has made it clear that he sees restricting immigration as a key campaign issue, so it is likely that as the election draws closer we will see further action on these issues.”

Looking for more workplace and hiring advice? Get Monster hiring updates and learn the latest insights as this situation evolves.

NLRB social media policy guidelines for employers

You may think you’re ahead of the game if you’ve already drafted a policy that regulates social media use by your employees. After all, you’re just protecting your investment and your business’s good name if you forbid employees from bad-mouthing their jobs on their Facebook pages or posting about their latest compensation plan on Instagram, right?

Not so fast.

According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), employers’ attempts to control or limit what employees post on social media websites and their personal accounts often violate the employees’ rights to engage in “protected activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Make sure you understand the NLRB’s social media policy guidance (and consult an attorney) before drafting or enforcing your company’s policy. Read on to get started.

A short history lesson

Way back in 2010, the NLRB began receiving complaints from employees regarding their employers’ social media policies or enforcement actions based on those policies. The so-called “Facebook Firings” caused particular concern to the NLRB, which immediately stepped in to warn employers that in many cases, workers had the right to say negative things about their jobs in public forums without risk.

While some policies and enforcement actions were found to be valid, others were not. These decisions were based on the NLRA which protects employees who band together to try to make changes to their employment conditions, even if all they wish to do is complain as a group.

NLRB social media policy guidelines

As a result of these complaints, the NLRB issued a series of guidelines urging employers to use specificity and provide examples when instructing employees about appropriate social media use. It’s important to note that it’s not just a question of being able to discipline employees for their postings — employers’ written policies can get them in trouble even if they have not yet been applied.

For instance, an NLRB ruling said that Costco’s employee handbook contained a number of policies that were too broad and had the potential to stifle employees’ rights to free speech and restrict their rights under the NLRA. The board ruled that the policies could be seen as prohibiting protected activity like taking part in grievances, on-the job protests, picketing, and strikes.

NLRB social media policy tips

So, what do the NLRB guidelines and its decisions have to say about social media? Take a look at your employee handbook and talk to an employment lawyer to ensure that you follow these recommendations:

  • Avoid general, blanket prohibitions on any employee actions with respect to social media. This includes banning employees from talking about their job, complaining about their boss or co-workers, or disparaging company policies, among others.
  • Instead of generally banning employees from revealing confidential company information or trade secrets, be specific about what employees may not reveal. While it may be okay to protect trade secrets, formulas, customer lists and technological data, the NLRB has found that employees may have the right to discuss certain aspects of their confidential employment situation (such as salaries or bonuses) via social media.
  • Give employees specific examples of inappropriate postings. Acceptable limits include prohibitions on bullying, discrimination, and retaliation. Talk to a lawyer before disciplining an employee for defaming or otherwise lying about the company via social media.
  • Do not restrict employees’ ability to “friend” co-workers on their personal social media pages.
  • Unless you have a legitimate and defensible business purpose as part of your social media guidelines, do not ask employees (or worse, applicants) for their social media account information or passwords.
  • Be consistent in how and when you review the social media accounts for prospective employees.

While it is important to have a social media policy in place, you don’t want to have one that violates your employees’ rights. Take another look at your policy, and have it checked by an attorney to be sure you’re on solid ground.

Protecting your business starts with better recruiting

Building a strong employer brand and protecting your reputation are critical goals for any business. Adhering to the NLRB social media policy guidelines will help, but it’s also crucial to hire employees who share your values and goals for the company. Assemble your team with help from Monster Hiring Solutions where you’ll receive expert recruiting advice and the latest in hiring trends.