The United States government has repeatedly stated its commitment to creating more jobs and helping the economy rebound more effectively. However, there are some new policies intended to ease the troubled economic situation of Americans that could change the way you hunt for jobs, perform at your job, and live your life outside of your job.
It’s important that you understand how these policies can affect your job search and adjust your search accordingly. Here are three recently enacted policy changes that might impact the way you look for a new job.
1. The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or Obamacare, has permitted hundreds of thousands of individuals and families to obtain legitimate, affordable health insurance that would have been prohibitively expensive or unobtainable in the past.
Perhaps the most valuable part of the Act is that insurers may no longer deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, meaning people with illnesses may obtain life- and finance-saving care. What this may mean, however, is that increasing or changing premiums in new or updated policies might cause your employer to drop your coverage or change it.
You need to read all changes to your health insurance policy closely to know what coverage you’re getting and what part of the premium, copays, or deductible you’ll be responsible for if any changes occur to your healthcare policy.
Keep the ACA in mind when searching for a new job and if you receive an offer, be sure to inquire about the insurance benefits, if any, that the job extends.
2. The DREAM Act
The DREAM Act (known as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) helps minor children of immigrants achieve citizenship without going through the traditional legal avenues, which can be costly and lengthy.
In addition, minor children will not be penalized for the illegal immigration that brings them to the U.S. before their 18th birthday. This policy allows minors whose immigration to the U.S. before age 18 to receive access to financial aid for college. They’ll also receive temporary or permanent residency within six to eight years with completion of particular college or military programs.
Hiring of these immigrant minors may change policies within companies. If you or a loved one is affected by the DREAM Act, know your rights when asked about your citizenship by prospective employers or when an offer is made.
3. Overtime Updates
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 mandates that workers receive overtime pay—or extra pay for hourly earners who work more than 40 hours in one week. But despite more productivity and working harder and longer than ever, Americans are seeing ever-stagnating paychecks.
Why? Because they’re not getting compensated for overtime. Updates in overtime reporting laws under the Obama administration may require more accurate reporting of any extra time you’re working and not getting paid for it. If your employer is paying you hourly or expects you to keep time for particular work or projects completed, be sure to ask what compensation for extra work is offered.
Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights in the workplace is very important, whether you’ve been at a company for years and are negotiating a raise, or just starting out in your job search. Some employers try to take advantage of a down economy and squeeze extra work out of desperate workers, or pay a highly skilled worker an unskilled worker’s wages.
Knowing recent policy changes helps you make educated decisions when looking for a job and negotiating a salary or benefits. For more information, check out LiveCareer’s job finder and career tips to stay updated on policies that affect your job search.
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