IRS to Employees: Check the Math!
After the adoption of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS
updated its income-tax withholding tables for 2018.
The IRS is encouraging employees to use a new witholding
calculator it will release on IRS.gov in late February to ensure the
appropriate amount is being withheld from their paychecks.
Tax calculators aren’t new, but this is the first time employees
are going have to use them in such a big way, says Bill Dunn,
director of government relations for the American Payroll
Association. While many employees don’t revist their W-4s
after their initial hire, “People are being encouraged to use [the
calculator] because [of the] awareness that this tax cut might
not show up the way people expect it to ... and the change in the
way allowances are being handled,” says Dunn, based in APA’s
“It’s a complicated change and these things take time,” Dunn
adds. “Changes don’t just happen with a push of a button.”
According to the IRS, further changes involving withholding
will likely be needed in 2019.
—by David Shadovitz
Should Job Descriptions Include Pay Data?
According to a new Glassdoor survey, nearly half of HR and
hiring managers in the U.S. and U.K. expect employees departing
their organizations this year to be leaving because of salary.
About two-thirds of the respondents say their organizations
do a satisfactory/very satisfactory job at clearly setting pay and
benefits expectations within job postings, yet fewer than one in 10
online job listings includes pay data in the description.
“If candidates were better informed about how their pay and
career could progress during the initial job search and recruiting
process,” says Glassdoor CHRO Carmel Galvin, “they would be
less likely to take a job that turns out to be a bad fit. Recruiters
and hiring managers need to manage expectations and use
all channels available to them to communicate with potential
candidates to ensure pay realities meet expectations.”
HR leaders should also keep in mind that, while pay is critical,
it’s not the only predictor of retention, Galvin says, as research
has shown that company culture matters more than pay as a
driver of long-term employee satisfaction and commitment.
—by Andrew McIlvaine
Illegal Immigration Raids Expanding
The Trump administration is taking its campaign against illegal
immigration to the workplace, according to the New York Times,
which reports that the recent “raids by federal agents on dozens
of 7-Eleven convenience stores were the administration’s first big
show of force” to employers that hire undocumented workers.
A flurry of public, on-site investigations happened under
President George W. Bush but the Obama administration pursued
employers mainly by inspecting their paper work, according to
the Times. Current law requires employers only ensure that
immigration documents appear valid, and federal law prohibits
them from requiring specific types of identification from workers.
Under Obama, most companies employing workers illegally
avoided serious charges, as it is often impossible to prove they
knew someone had handed in fake documents, the Times notes.
Doris Meissner, the former head of Immigration and
Naturalization Service, which preceeded the current Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, noted that, without a visa system that
allows unmet labor needs to be addressed with foreigners, ICE
shouldn’t expect patchwork enforcement stings to be persuasive.
—by Michael J. O’Brien
As many baby boomers continue to work into and
throughout their 70s,
it would make sense
that the number of age-discrimination suits being
filed would be increasing.
But in the past several
years, the number of such
lawsuits has remained fairly
steady. Of the 86 cases
filed last year by the Equal
Commission, only two alleged
discrimination based on age.
That may change, as the
EEOC just commemorated
the 50th anniversary of
the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act of 1967 by
“bringing renewed attention
to age discrimination,”
according to the federal
agency’s website. With that
in mind, here’s a look at three
age-discrimination suits filed
within the past four years.
In 2013, Boeing supplier
Spirit AeroSystems laid off
nearly 360 workers, nearly
half of whom were at least
40 years old, according to
the suit, which claims some
were let go because of serious
medical conditions suffered
by them or their spouse.
After the layoffs, according to
the suit, Spirit held a job fair
seeking workers for positions
similar to those eliminated.
In a statement, Spirit said:
“Reductions in force are never
easy, however all decisions
are based on job-related, non-
Another EEOC complaint
says a 47-year-old man worked
at Keer America Corp. for two
weeks until the plant manager
fired him after seeing his age
on his driver’s license.
The last one is a class-action lawsuit against Google
by 269 job applicants, who
say recruiters asked their
graduation years and later
discriminated against them.
Neither Keer nor Google
offered any comment upon
John Gilbert, who heads
the labor and employment
team at Sandberg Phoenix
& von Gontard, a law firm in
Edwardsville, Ill., notes that
cost-saving reductions often
target highest-paid employees.
More often than not, those
are the longest-tenured, and
thereby oldest, workers.
Unlike other anti-discrimination laws, he says,
the age law requires “but for”
causation to win a case. If the
employer can establish that
the employment action was
taken for any reason other
than age, then the employer
will win, says Gilbert.
Although HR professionals
are not always aware of
discriminatory behavior by
managers, there are warning
signs, such as patterns of
promoting younger workers.
Comments such as “Once you
get past 60, you should retire”
or “We want a fresh or young
approach” can also create the
perception of ageism, adds
Edson McClellan, partner
and chair of the labor and
employment department at
Rutan & Tucker law firm in
Costa Mesa, Calif.
McClellan believes the
plaintiff in the Keer America
suit will have an uphill battle
proving ageism, since most
involve employees over 60.
“I wouldn’t be surprised
if [Keer] has another
explanation,” McClellan says,
adding that roughly half of
his age-discrimination cases
are also attached to disability-
discrimination cases. “Make
sure that you have your
ducks in a row and the reason
for termination is properly
documented ahead of time.”
However, no company is
excused from hiring younger
individuals shortly after laying
off older workers for similar
positions, says Lisa Von
Eschen, partner at Lamb &
Kawakami in Los Angeles.
“If you let people go
who are in a protected age
group and replace them with
younger people, you’ve made
a prima facie case of age
discrimination,” she says.
While it’s important to
train all employees about
ageism, Von Eschen says,
managers and supervisors
should receive additional
sensitivity training to ensure
they recognize and ban stray
comments that could create a
hostile work environment.
HR can also encourage
employees to report any age-discrimination experiences.
“If there are avenues for
reporting, it shows that the
employee had a means of
doing so,” she says. “If they
choose not to, remain silent
and bring a lawsuit, it can
bring their motivation into
Busted by Boredom
American workers planning to job
hunt in 2018 are largely motivated
by boredom, according to a new
survey of 4,900 professionals.
Of those intending to search for
new employment this year:
• 33 percent are “bored” at work and looking for a
• 24 percent report corporate values inconsistent with
• 21 percent experienced, or expect to experience, a
• 19 percent are seeking a higher salary; and
• 3 percent are dissatisfied with company politics.
Source: Korn Ferry, Los Angeles