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Work / Life Issues

Utah firm requires employees to take off their pants

Employees of Richter7, a Salt Lake City-based advertising and public relations agency, weren’t allowed to wear long pants to work last month. The organization’s no-long-pants policy lasted four weeks during this summer’s dog days as part of a push to beat the heat …

Successful weight watchers attend program at no cost

Weight watchers at Sheboygan, Wis.-based Acuity can lose weight free if they meet their program goals. Employees who sign up for the Weight Watchers program pay $100 for 17 weekly meetings, and the insurance company reimburses them if they meet their program-established weight-loss goals.

Help working parents—and their kids—with a homework hotline


When their kids head back to school this month, parents who work for California-based SanDisk won’t have to spend much time figuring out middle-school math problems. The digital storage manufacturer offers its working parents access to a homework hotline run by WorkLife Innovations …

Shorter workweeks save gas

Is gas costing your employees more than they’re willing to pay to get to work? If so, consider shortening your workweek. In August, Utah extended its government service hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and started closing about a third of the state government offices on Fridays …

Employers pumping gas perks: 8 high-Octane tactics

In a recent survey, nearly a third of HR professionals said they know at least one employee who quit in the past year because the high price of gas made the commute too expensive. Rather than watch those employees jump ship for jobs closer to home, some employers are actively addressing the driving dilemma …

Santa Clara firm fined for not accommodating lactating mom

A Silicon Valley security services company has been fined $4,000 for failing to provide a private space for one of its employees to express breast milk. California regulators fined International Security Services, based in Santa Clara, after receiving a complaint from a new mother …

Michigan considers four-Day week for state government employees

Gov. Jennifer Granholm is considering four-day workweeks for some state workers to help cut commuting costs in light of skyrocketing fuel prices. More than a third of state workers already enjoy alternative work schedules …

Sign of the times? Schools consider 4-Day week

The MACCRAY School District, which serves the towns of Maynard, Clara City and Raymond, has floated a plan to cut Monday classes to save on fuel prices …

Long list of conveniences keeps employees on board

The HR team at Insomniac Games in Burbank, Calif., constantly surveys employees to learn which benefits they want. The exercise, says HR Director Carrie Dieterle, boosts productivity. One employee favorite: the firm’s $125,000-a-year snack program …

Tailor incentives to encourage most important health behaviors

Half of large employers use incentives to encourage employees to quit smoking, lose weight or otherwise improve their health, and that number will leap to 74% next year, predicts HR consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide …