Who Needs a Cubicle? Tennessee Takes Teleworking to the Max

For Tennessee state employees, the concept of individual offices, cubicles, and desks, adorned with family photos and mementos, is becoming a thing of the past. The state's ambitious new approach to the workplace, Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS), goes far beyond traditional telecommuting - and in addition to boosting employee morale and productivity, it's saving the state millions of dollars. According to Governing: In exchange for giving up their desk or office, participating employees can work…

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Supreme Court: Age Discrimination Law Applies to All Public Employees

All state and local governments need to comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, no matter their size. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that local governments with small workforces must comply with a federal law against age discrimination. The justices ruled Tuesday in favor of two Arizona firefighters who claimed they were laid off because of their age when their local fire district faced a budget crisis. According to Route Fifty:…

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Secretary Schulz Visits Charles to Discuss Economic Development

The Charles County Economic Development Department held its annual fall meeting this week to explore ways to grow and maintain a successful workforce in Charles County. Influential community leaders from the public and private sectors participated in panel discussions to share their experiences with educating, training, and sustaining the workforce. Kelly Schulz, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, served as the keynote speaker. According to a press release: “This year’s meeting was…

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Pensions Board Presents 2019 Legislative Proposals

At its October meeting, the Joint Committee on Pensions heard a presentation of the legislative proposals submitted by the Maryland State Pension Board of Trustees (BoT) for the 2019 session. The BoT representatives presented 14 proposals for the Joint Committee's consideration. The proposals were described as mostly administrative in nature and intended to clarify or correct inconsistencies, remove obsolete provisions, or increase efficiencies. The proposals address: Notarization Certification of Payment of Member Contributions Alternative Contributory…

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Unemployment Falls Nationwide

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment has fallen to 3.7%. From the Bureau Commissioner's statement: The unemployment rate declined to 3.7 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 134,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing. As reported by The Hill, The U.S. economy added 134,000 jobs in September, well below expectations, as…

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Conduit Street Podcast: New Laws Take Effect, Internet Regs Spark Latest Clash Over States’ Rights, & More!

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Michael Sanderson and Kevin Kinnally discuss a handful of new Maryland laws, which took effect this week, explain why California's new net neutrality law sparked the latest debate over states' rights, and examine the impact of congressional action (or inaction) on state laws. Listen here: MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit…

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The Mottled Landscape of Unemployment

A dataset shows 51% of counties with unemployment rates below the national average in 2017, while individual rates portray the varied experience of labor successes. The National Association of Counties County Explorer released a analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics from 2017. They found that on average, county unemployment rates were below the national unemployment rate. Much reporting on the recovery from the Recession has described how pockets of the country…

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County Retirement Executive Shortlisted for National Innovation Award

Montgomery County's Retirement Executive Director Linda Herman is recognized as one of the brightest and most forward-looking asset owners in the US. Linda Herman, Executive Director of Montgomery County Employee Retirement Plans was nominated for an innovation award from the online publication CIO, in the category of Public Defined Benefit Plan Below $15 Billion. From Chief Investment Officer (CIO), For the ninth consecutive year, CIO is announcing its short list of the most innovative asset owners and…

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NAFTA 2.0?

After nearly a year of high-level negotiations, the United States and Mexico announced a preliminary agreement on a major overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a trilateral accord negotiated by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Meanwhile, Canadian officials are in Washington to try and salvage the 24-year-old accord that accounts for more than $1 billion in annual trade. NAFTA’s terms, which were implemented gradually through January 2008, sough…

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More Like, ‘Move the Box’ – Discussing Criminal Histories and Job Applications

Panelists at MACo's Summer Conference share how criminal histories continue to be a part of job applications, even when 'ban-the-box' laws are in place. At MACo's Summer Conference, panelists including Hadi Sedigh of the National Association of Counties, Caryn York of the Job Opportunities Task Force, and Jacia Smith of Baltimore City's Department of Human Resources joined a conversation moderated by Maryland Delegate Nick Mosby about ban-the-box legislation and its effect on county hiring practices.…

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