HR Headline Roundup for November 4-8, 2019

Microsoft Experimented With a 4-Day Workweek, and Productivity Jumped 40 Pct., Business Insider

The company’s Japanese subsidiary closed its offices each Friday during August 2019 as part of Microsoft’s Work-Life Choice Challenge. Full-time employees did not lose any pay, but they were assessed leave. Capping meetings at 20 minutes also helped workers boost their productivity.


2019 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results Released, OPM

Just shy of 615,400 employees at 83 agencies responded, expressing their highest agreement with the statement “Willing to put in extra effort to get a job done” (96 percent) and their lowest agreement with “Promotions in my work unit are based on merit” (39 percent). Based on the definition of employee engagement as “an employee’s sense of purpose that is evident in their display of dedication, persistence, and effort in their work or overall attachment to their organization and its mission,” and as categorized from very small to very large, the agencies where engagement is the highest are the Marine Mammals Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, FTC. NASA and Department of Health and Human Services.


Rule Proposed to Clarify Computation of Overtime Pay for Salaried Nonexempt Employees Who Work Varying Hours Each Week, Federal Register

The meat of the revision is a clarification that “bonuses, premium payments, and other additional pay of any kind are compatible with the use of the fluctuating workweek method of compensation.” Comments will be taken until Dec. 5, 2019.


401(k) Contribution Limit Increases to $19,500 for 2020; Catch-Up Limit Rises to $6,500, IRS

The new limits apply to all 401(k), 403(b) and federal Thrift Savings Plan participants. Individuals with most types of 457 plans can also take advantage of the increased retirement savings opportunities.


It’s Official: Federal Employees Cannot Sleep in Their Offices, Government Executive

Feds can receive exemptions from the ban on sleeping in U.S. government building during shelter-in-place emergencies and when they receive specific authorization from a supervisor. The GSA rule does not apply to elected members of Congress.


Municipal Bonds Are on Pace for a Record Year, Axios

Tax-advantaged returns are drawing investors to munis even at a time when actually payouts are relatively low.

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