Job News Roundup

This article provides a roundup of recent news stories related to employment. Team ZipRecruiter will share frequent updates.

  • Employers are offering sign-on bonuses to overcome hiring challenges. For example, Sea World is offering $1,000 bonuses to food and beverage workers. The city of Houston is using $3,000 bonuses to attract garbage truck drivers. And Disney is offering $1,000 sign-on bonuses for workers at its theme parks, just nine months after laying off 32,000. 
  • Almost one in five young adults in the U.S. was neither working nor studying in the first quarter of 2021. That’s up 24%, from a year earlier, before many lost their jobs or deferred college enrollment during the Covid-19 pandemic. The figures are based on a report released this week by the Center for Economic Policy and Research. (Bloomberg)
  • Connecticut legalizes recreational marijuana. On June 22, Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana—and the fifth to do so just this year. (New York Times)
  • The percentage of workers testing positive for marijuana rose in 2020, and is up 44% since 2016. That’s according to Quest Diagnostics, one of the country’s largest drug-testing laboratories. The highest positive rates for marijuana use were among accommodation and food services workers. (Wall Street Journal
  • San Francisco will require all city employees to be vaccinated. The city of San Francisco said on June 23 that it would require all 35,000 of its employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or risk losing their jobs. As of Monday, June 28, city employees will have to show proof of their vaccination status within 30 days. City officials will allow workers to request exemptions on medical or religious grounds, but will redouble efforts to get every employee vaccinated. (New York Times
  • A court has ruled that Indiana must continue to pay federal unemployment benefits. Indiana canceled enhanced federal unemployment insurance benefits on June 19. But on Friday, June 25, a judge granted a preliminary injunction and ordered that the state must continue to pay the federal government’s unemployment benefits, arguing that the benefits are “instrumental in allowing Hoosiers to regain financial stability.” Making the opposing argument, Indiana Governor Holcomb says that jobs are plentiful, the state unemployment rate is just 3.9%, and Indiana businesses are struggling to find workers. (NBC5 Chicago)
  • Kentucky announces re-employment bonuses. Kentucky plans to continue paying federal unemployment benefits through September 6., but it also joined a small list of states offering return-to-work cash incentives. The state will pay up to 15,000 Kentuckians who are on unemployment insurance a $1,500 bonus for rejoining the workforce by the end of July, using leftover funds from the CARES Act. Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Montana and Oklahoma have introduced similar programs. (ABC News)
  • Nevada is enacting a Right-to-Return Law for certain laid-off workers in the tourism industry. Beginning July 1, under the Nevada Hospitality and Travel Workers Right to Return Act (SB 386), certain employers in the casino, hospitality, stadium and travel industries who have 30 or more employees must offer their former employees, who were laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity to return to work. (SHRM)
  • New York amended its HERO Act to give employers in the state a bit more breathing room. Initially, the law would have required the New York Department of Labor to publish workplace health and safety standards by June 4, but the deadline has been extended to July 5, after which employers have 30 days to adopt a disease prevention plan, and 60 days to share it with staff. (SHRM)
  • New York City wants to ban fast-food restaurants from firing workers without cause, but the law could be blocked before it goes into effect. Most workers in the U.S. are at-will employees, which means their employment can be terminated with or without cause at any time. A new law in New York City banning at-will employment for fast-food workers is scheduled to go into effect on July 5, but is widely expected to be blocked by the courts. (New York Law Journal)
  • The Colorado Supreme Court struck down ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ vacation policies. The court ruled that Colorado employers must pay employees for earned but unused vacation pay at the end of their employment. Employers are not required to offer paid vacation time to employees. But if they do and employees earn paid time off, it will be considered as wages and employers will be obligated to pay departing employees for the vacation that they earned. (SHRM)

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