This Week in Business News: Labor Unions, Benefit Money, and a New Ad Platform

In the news this week, we’ve got some varied topics. California Governor Jerry Brown faces a bill that would drive state contracting power to the unions and leave out non-union small business owners. Companies around the nations have been getting creative in their methods of dealing with the ACA fallout. And today, Facebook rolls out it’s new net-wide advertising platform. Here’s what’s going on this week in business.

California Lawmakers Throw Business New Roadblock

Lawmakers in California have pushed a bill onto Governor Brown’s desk that would punish cities that ban PLAs. PLAs, or Project Labor Agreements, are contracts put in place on government contract jobs that force even non-union companies to pay labor wages (prevailing wage), pay into union dues and pension funds, and allow union to be the sole representative in the contract. These contracts create an unequal playing field for non-union companies when it comes to winning government contracts, as they have to raise their rates just to maintain a profit. Many local city governments have outlawed them, including San Diego, but the law (AB 155) would fine those cities if they continue to refuse, putting even more government control in the hands of unions. Read more on WND.

Many Small Businesses Stop Offering Health Insurance

Despite the promises made by proponents of the Affordable Care Act, health care costs have gone up for many employers. They were left with the choice to radically reduce the coverage they provided their employees, or pay prohibitively high, unsustainable rates to keep the coverage level. However, some businesses have chosen to think outside the box. Many companies have decided to stop offering benefits to their employees directly, instead opting to give the employee money to buy their own insurance with. In many cases, insurance is more affordable when purchased by an individual than it is as a company benefit under the ACA, so this practice allows employees to have better health care at a rate that is much more affordable to the business. Read more on the Green Bay Press Gazette.

With New Ad Platform, Facebook Opens Gates to Its Vault of User Data

Today Facebook rolls out its new Atlas ad platform. This platform is Facebook’s most direct attack at Google’s ever, allowing advertisers to target users across the web based on Facebook’s collected data. What this means is that Facebook will place these ads on sites other than Facebook and serve them up based on their databases of information. Read more on the New York Times.

That’s all this week. If there is a news story we should have covered or you have an opinion on what we did cover, please share it in the comments below. Have an awesome Monday!

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards branding and content marketing for small business owners.