Top Stories of 2016

'Tis the season to share the 10 most popular stories on over the past year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
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As 2016 draws to a close, it may be an understatement to note that this year was one full of revelations and revolutions in HR.

To give you a better perspective on this tumultuous year,'s 10 most-read news analyses provide the parameters for this year's top topics, from (of course) the contentious presidential race to the rise of the millennials to the continuing saga of the overtime rule.

With so much media focus pointed squarely in the direction of this young demographic, readers of this space should not be surprised that a story about millennials took our top spot this year. Senior Editor Jack Robinson's piece, "Millennials: Free Spirits -- or Workaholics?", uses the results of a new survey -- in which 43 percent of millennials met the definition of a "work martyr," compared to 29 percent of respondents of all ages -- to dispel some stereotypes of this generation of workers.

Not surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Labor's overtime-rule regulations garnered four of our top 10 spots this year. Julie Cook Ramirez unpacks the of final revisions to the regulation proposals in "Overtime Overhaul," while Staff Writer Mark McGraw's "Overtime Rules and Flexible-Work Options" takes a look at new research that finds many employers are responding to the new Labor Department's rules by cutting flexible work options.    "Challenging the Overtime Rule," by Carol Patton, explores the lawsuits that ultimately blocked the new rules from going into effect at the beginning of December. Tom Starner's piece, "OT Rule Overruled," explains how a Texas judge's injunction effectively shut down implementation and enforcement of the overtime rule until the government can win a countervailing order from an appeals court. Experts are not optimistic that such an order will ever materialize, given the current political climate.

And speaking of the political climate, no 2016 roundup would be complete without including the results of the presidential election and the effects it may have on HR in the next four years. In "After Election Day: What's Ahead for HR," experts discuss how the president-elect may move on initiatives that directly affect employers, including sweeping changes in immigration and healthcare policy.

"All indications are that President-elect Donald Trump in his first 100 days will move forward with repeal of the Affordable Care Act, efforts to secure the border and a focus on immigration worksite enforcement by enacting a mandatory E-Verify system," says Michael Aitken, vice president of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Va. "A Trump administration also will try to repeal several of President Obama's executive orders, as well as review several of his regulatory efforts, including ones impacting the workplace."

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Away from the political arena, wellness programs were once again a popular topic this year, with "The Hidden Benefits of Wellness Programs" reaching our top 10 list. The story centers on a new study that suggests "HR professionals should expand their focus on weight-management programs to see how they can impact other critical factors such as employee engagement and retention."

Another topic of intense debate and discussion, paid sick-leave laws, hit our list twice in 2016: "Sick Leave Laws Cause HR Headaches" and "The Bumpy Road to Paid Sick Leave."

Finally, "Strategic Self Awareness" takes a look at next-generation leadership programs designed to produce whole leaders by getting them to turn inward and critique themselves.

See you next year!

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