Tech companies demand $350M in suit alleging 'unlawful' H-1B fees

HR Dive | January 31, 2020

ITServe Alliance filed a lawsuit against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Jan. 26 "demanding $350 million in refunds to its member companies. A victory in this lawsuit will have USCIS write big checks to tech companies nationwide," the trade organization said in a tweet Jan. 27. The group alleges that USCIS illegally accumulated millions in border fees by charging a $4,000 fee for H-1B applications for professionals who extend their visa status while inside the U.S. The plaintiff argues the fee should only be charged when the employee enters the country. According to the lawsuit, posted by the National Foundation for American Policy, ITServe is advocating on behalf of "50/50" tech companies in its membership, including iTech US, Saxon Global, and SmartWorks. Companies that have more than 50 workers in the U.S. and more than 50% of workers on H-1B and L-1 are referred to as 50/50 companies. ITServe is seeking for USCIS to "pay restitution or refunds in the actual amount of unlawful fees collected for the past six years from today or back to January 14, 2014," the lawsuit states.

Spotlight

The role of Human Resources (HR) varies significantly depending on company size, industry, and organisational structure. The traditional HR department found in many waterfall organisations get weighed down by administrative tasks, including general management of personnel and process follow-up. A trend within HR is identified where they take a proactive role in the organisation, aligning their work with the overarching goal and mission of the firm.


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HR ANALYTICS, WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT

Firstup Addresses the Employee Digital Overload Crisis With New Data-Driven Enhancements

Firstup | October 20, 2022

Firstup, the first intelligent communication platform for the workplace that connects over 17 million employees worldwide, today unveiled a series of data-enabled platform enhancements designed to help employers build a more sustainable workforce by reducing the level of noise bombarding employees daily and deliver meaningful, personalized communication at scale. Recent research from Firstup found that over 70% of communicators and HR leaders recognize an increase in employee burnout and frequently discuss the corrosive impact of digital overload and the drain of workforce energy. While a majority (62%) believe great employee engagement can improve performance, retention and loyalty across their workforce, many said they lack the tools for an effective employee engagement program and more than half admitted to feeling overwhelmed when receiving too much communication through too many channels at work. These teams feel increased pressure to be more communicative and transparent with their distributed workforces, but without the right tools and data, their programs run the risk of turning into information overload and noise. Firstup has introduced a number of new intelligent communication enhancements into its platform to solve this digital overload crisis. The Firstup platform connects to and continuously captures data from all aspects of the employee experience ecosystem - from human resource information systems (HRIS) to recruitment, learning & development, talent acquisition, performance management, and more. Using that data to build holistic employee profiles based on attributes and activities, the platform can then determine what campaigns each employee should get, when and to which channels and orchestrate those communications at scale. Through continuous engagement insights spanning the entire employee journey, programs can become more personalized and effective for every individual employee over time. Now every company has even more power to connect the employee experience ecosystem, understand its employees better, and confidently get insights that can improve engagement, productivity and retention, with new features including: New Connections and In-App Experiences: Firstup unifies employee communications on a single platform and, with upcoming new HCM connectors (including Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle HCM, UKG), more systems will be able to send notifications directly into Firstup. In addition, a new employee hub will serve as a single access and action point for all important employee tools and systems, and an enhanced integration with Microsoft Teams provides an in-app experience and eliminates the need to switch in and out of apps. All of these features were designed to eliminate unnecessary complexity for employees and improve the signals to what matters most. Enhanced Universal Employee Profile: Organizations can gain an unprecedented view into their workforce with the Firstup Universal Employee Profile that pulls employees' attributes, channels, and activities from across multiple employee systems and delivery channels. The Universal Employee Profile is continuously updated and gets smarter from each activity, ensuring the next engagement is relevant, personalized, and meaningful. New Employee Journey Campaigns: HR and communications teams can identify the moments that define an employee's journey using the intelligence from the Universal Employee Profile and design end-to-end employee journeys. They can make every moment count and automatically trigger journeys based on events such as new hires, promotions, or new learning opportunities and more–and continuously update based on employee engagement. Optimized Intelligent Delivery: Organizations can optimize delivery of employee campaigns with the new Engagement Boost feature that intelligently predicts and orchestrates the optimal delivery channel and time, resulting in up to 3x increase in engagement results. With new delivery connectors being added, teams can now deliver content into even more employee experience platforms (e.g. MS Viva Connections, ServiceNow, Workday People Experience, Oracle ME, SuccessFactors), with new real-time delivery reporting capabilities. Continuous Employee Journey Insights: The platform can proactively push actionable insights to HR and communications teams so they can gain a deeper view into what their organizations, teams, and cohorts of employees are or are not engaging with, which can serve as an early warning for more significant problems, such as employee dissatisfaction, burnout or a need for change in the business. "There's no denying that the workforce is experiencing a digital overload crisis. Most organizations are trying to find a solution to the symptoms, like burnout, rather than solving the underlying problem, which is digital complexity, Businesses should focus first on building meaningful connections and look for ways to reduce digital noise, which might require different methods for different employees. Our platform empowers HR, communicators, and leaders to engage on a personal level, intelligently, throughout every employee's journey – which will mean better outcomes for all." -Nicole Alvino, CEO, Firstup About Firstup Firstup is the world's first intelligent communication platform. More than 40 percent of Fortune 100 companies use our platform to connect with their people, design and deliver personalized communications, and gain engagement insights throughout the employee journey. With Firstup, employers can view engagement data in real time, by organization, department, or employee. That helps leaders better understand their workforce, make informed decisions and provide better experiences from hire to retire. Companies like Amazon, Tesco, Ford, and Hilton use Firstup every day to improve outcomes for their employees.

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HR ANALYTICS,EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

Vault Consulting Announces Nonprofit Human Resources Consulting

Vault Consulting | November 22, 2022

Vault Consulting, the nation's leading accounting and research firm, announced its expansion into Human Resources Consulting today. The DC metro-based firm provides a partnership approach to help nonprofit organizations and associations advance their missions to thrive and grow. DC metro-based accounting and research firm Vault Consulting announces expansion into Human Resources Consulting for nonprofits and associations. The expansion is led by Vault's head of Human Resources, Kendra Janevski, SPHR, SHRM-SCP. Vault offers more than subject matter expertise; we deliver a powerful new perspective and a clearer path forward. Vault Human Resources Consulting does not focus on a specific issue or offer only packaged services. The team begins with client challenges and offers customized solutions to the client's individual and specific needs. "It is unique because we offer a suite of complementary services that no other consulting firm does. We equip organizations of all types with the financial acumen to thrive, the HR oversight to drive successful and compliant people practices, and the data-based insights and analytics for actionable intelligence and informed strategic decision making." - Vault CEO Wes Tomer, CPA, CGMA This expansion offers a new but complimentary service offering and will assist clients and partners manage challenges, gain insight into best practices, and establish change management processes.

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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

O’Reilly Awarded for “Best Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy” by Brandon Hall Group

O’Reilly | September 07, 2022

O’Reilly, the premier source for insight-driven learning on technology and business, today announced that it has been awarded a silver medal for excellence in the “Best Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy” category by Brandon Hall Group’s 2022 Human Capital Management Awards program. O’Reilly was recognized for its efforts to elevate the voices of minorities including women in the technology industry on its learning platform, increasing the number of diverse hires within its workforce, and providing historically marginalized communities with opportunities to build technological skills. To foster better representation in the technology industry, O’Reilly established a corporate goal to increase the number of experts on its platform who identify as members of an underrepresented community from 30% to 40% in 2021 a full 10 percentage points higher. Today, O’Reilly has achieved nearly 50% representation in its mix of instructors, authors, and speakers. Furthermore, 62% of its Superstream Series speakers in H1 came from diverse backgrounds. Furthering its broader set of goals to create opportunities inclusive of all genders, races, ethnicities, religious views, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities, O’Reilly also reignited its Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Program. Originally created to grant deserving talent from marginalized communities admission to its in-person events, the closure of O’Reilly’s conference business led the company to rethink how it could provide underrepresented technical talent with access to its community of experts. In 2021, O’Reilly revamped its scholarship program to award 500 people from underrepresented groups free subscriptions to its online curriculum for one year, including access to unlimited live online training courses and live virtual events such as O’Reilly’s popular Superstream Series. These users just completed their yearlong memberships, during which they consumed more than 480,000 units of content across nearly 5,000 unique resources on the O’Reilly platform. “Part of the challenge of improving diversity across the industry is showing diverse groups that there is a place for them within the technology community, Instead of waiting for these skilled individuals to find us, we’ve created initiatives at O’Reilly that aim to seek out talent from these underrepresented groups and provide them with a platform which supports them in sharing their valuable technical expertise and developing the skills needed to break through barriers within the field. While we’ve worked hard to bring balanced representation to the industry, we recognize that there’s still much more to do and are continually raising our goals to increase diversity both within the platform and within our workforce.” -Laura Baldwin, president at O’Reilly Beyond developing initiatives to improve representation within its platform, O’Reilly also set aggressive hiring goals to build a more diverse organization. In 2021, O’Reilly aspired to bring in 40% of its new hires from underrepresented groups. The company surpassed this goal and achieved 51% representation from underrepresented communities, with women making up 44% of its workforce well above the U.S. tech industry average of 28.8%. In 2022, O’Reilly increased its hiring goals by 20%, targeting 43% of new hires to come from diverse backgrounds. So far this year, 72% of new hires identify as members of underrepresented groups. Excellence Award winners distinguish themselves through their growing understanding that all the functions of HCM are integrated and must work together to move businesses forward, It is a pleasure to see more organizations collaborating across functions and getting more sophisticated and accomplished at delivering measurable benefit through ground-breaking HCM practices. For example, it was inspiring to see how diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are increasingly embedded into people and business strategies and cultures. We saw more alignment between HCM and business objectives than ever before,said Brandon Hall Group Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke, leader of the HCM Excellence Awards program. O’Reilly is actively hiring for a number of open positions, including roles within its customer success, data science, engineering, product management, marketing, and operations teams. About O’Reilly For over 40 years, O’Reilly has provided technology and business training, knowledge, and insight to help companies succeed. Our unique network of experts and innovators share their knowledge and expertise through the company’s SaaS-based training and learning platform. O’Reilly delivers highly topical and comprehensive technology and business learning solutions to millions of users across enterprise, consumer, and university channels. For more information, visit www.oreilly.com. About Brandon Hall Group Brandon Hall Group operates the largest and longest running awards program in Human Capital Management. As an independent HCM research and analyst firm they conduct studies in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management. These benchmark studies help organizations by providing strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results. Coupling the research studies with the best practice from the awards, Brandon Hall Group has helped more than 10,000 clients globally and more than 28 years of delivering world-class research and advisory. At the core of our offerings is a membership program that combines research, benchmarking and unlimited access to data and analysts. Membership enables executives and practitioners to make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, coalesced with analyst advisory services which aim to put the research into action in a way that is practical and efficient. Brandon Hall Group has also launched professional certifications for business and human capital management professionals to upskill themselves and gain credentials for career advancement.

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HR ANALYTICS, WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT

VirgilHR Launches Web-Based Platform, Brings Real-Time, Self-Service Legal Guidance to HR Teams

VirgilHR | September 06, 2022

VirgilHR announces the launch of its new web-based platform, putting real-time, automated employment and labor law guidance at the HR team's fingertips. The disruptive SaaS platform empowers individual HR professionals and teams to make smart, well-informed employment and labor law decisions in the moment, without the need to research regulatory requirements. As an HR leader with experience at both public companies and growth-stage technology startups, Jocelyn King, CEO & Founder of VirgilHR, has had the privilege of supporting executives and departments in all functions across the business. "When we started building VirgilHR, we wanted to do two things - reduce the complexity and mitigate the risk of legal action from human error against companies and get HR professionals back to why they got into HR and building, growing, and nurturing great people and great cultures, With this evolution in our product, we've made it possible for every HR professional to have a real-time legal guide by their side." -Jocelyn King, CEO & Founder of VirgilHR VirgilHR hosts a proprietary database of employment and labor law requirements that helps HR professionals manage the compliance of employment decisions, including leave requests, final wages, and termination. HR team members can access real-time, prescriptive guidance across federal, state, and local employment and labor laws via the online web-based, self-service application. As part of the product launch, HR professionals are eligible for a 30 day free trial of VirgilHR with access to all employment modules and all features including: The VirgilHR chatbot built on smart, automation technology, which provides legal guidance to on labor and employment law queries in the moment, no research required Educational content, developed by experienced labor and employment attorneys Policy templates, which cover the newest labor and employment laws released across the country, to supplement employee handbooks The platform helps HR professionals navigate the complexities of employment and labor law, close the knowledge gap, and empower HR teams to make compliant employment decisions with ease and confidence. The company's early customers have come from organizations across the mid-market with small HR teams looking for efficiency gains; King sees growth for the business in manufacturing, construction, technology, government contracting, and medical services. About VirgilHR VirgilHR is the new evolution of HR compliance software, enabling HR professionals to spend more time on strategic objectives and less time on researching and tracking thousands of ever-changing employment and labor laws. Our mission is to help HR professionals navigate the growing employee complexities, close the knowledge gap and empower HR teams to make compliant employment decisions with ease and confidence.

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Spotlight

The role of Human Resources (HR) varies significantly depending on company size, industry, and organisational structure. The traditional HR department found in many waterfall organisations get weighed down by administrative tasks, including general management of personnel and process follow-up. A trend within HR is identified where they take a proactive role in the organisation, aligning their work with the overarching goal and mission of the firm.

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