Here are this week’s links to a few good stories we found and selected. We feel they might add valuable insights and perspectives for small to midsize businesses.

The U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced on June 7, 2017, that the department was withdrawing from prior rulings in 2015 and 2016 involving joint employment and independent contractors.

The notice read as follows:

“U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta today announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2015 and 2016 informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractors.  Removal of the administrator interpretations does not change the legal responsibilities of employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, as reflected in the department’s long-standing regulations and case law. The department will continue to fully and fairly enforce all laws within its jurisdiction, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.”

For an accurate summary and more information, read DOL Pulls Back Policies on Worker Classification, Joint Employers.

An article called Hiring Made Simple: 3 New Recruiting & Candidate Vetting Tools For Your Small Business points out something we’ve seen quite regularly of late.

Even though the national unemployment rate is low (4.3% at this time of writing), small businesses are having difficulty attracting and retaining employees. Three websites are suggested as helpful tools (LinkedIn, Workable and Recruiterbox). We suggest that partnering with a PEO is also worth considering.

Lastly, those in Massachusetts who may be alarmed by President Trump’s decision to withdraw for the Paris Agreement should take heart.

On May 8, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change began the MA Clean Energy Future Tour. Whatever your position on climate change, it’s pretty clear that future economies will be affected. To learn more, read Senate “MA Clean Energy Future Tour” Continues Across the Commonwealth.