The Friday News Roundup aggregates some of the week’s most interesting and relevant HR news from across the web. This week we cover the world’s first lab-grown burger, laid-off worker compensation packages at Boeing, breastfeeding in the workplace, the new I-9 form regulations and interactive language maps.
Changes to I-9 Form
With form I-9 audits now on the rise, businesses are making sure employees fill out the form accurately and appropriately to ensure compliance. The latest version of the I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification form) was released in May 2013 by U.S Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) and has several changes. The new form includes clarification around deadlines for Section 1, as well as new fields for an email address and phone number. What do you think of the changes?
Languages in the Workplace
A recently released interactive map from the U.S. Census Bureau shows while English language proficiency has remained steady, the percent of individuals speaking additional languages is on the rise. Apart from Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, French, German and Korean are now among the top ten languages spoken in the U.S. For elearning designers and purchases, this information shows a growing market for multilingual courses within the U.S.
Boeing Unions Win Increased Unemployment Benefits
The U.S. Department of Labor has approved a federal program for Boeing workers laid off between April 2012 and June 2015 to provide benefits beyond those the state would typically offer. The program is a result of a petition by the International Association of Machinists (IAM), though non-union employees will also be covered under the guidelines. The benefit package will allow laid-off workers to draw unemployment for up to 2 ½ years as opposed to 6-months. It also includes a grant to of $25,000 if unemployed employees go back to school, tax credits for three quarters of their health care premiums and a relocation allowance.
World Breastfeeding Week
Organizations around the world participated in ‘World Breastfeeding Week” from August 1-7 and advocated on behalf of nursing mothers everywhere. New mothers face a number of challenges in the workplace, including mother-baby contact and storage of breastmilk. As part of the week’s activities, HR.BLR.com provided an excellent resource for companies seeking best practices and policy examples to support working mothers in their organizations.
The $385,000 Burger
A select few got a taste of the first test-tube burger this past week. Made from 20,000 strips of cultured meat and cow stem cells, the burger cost around $385,000 and did not come with fries. The research team says the lab-grown meat would considerably reduce costs, improve sustainability and provide high-quality protein to meet the world’s growing population. If the research goes as planned, lab-made meat would be commercially available in supermarkets in the next five to ten years. The entire project was funded by Google co-founder Sergy Brin due to his interest in creating sustainable and environment friendly practices.
Image Credit: John Patrick Robichaud via Flickr