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Work / Life Issues

‘Green’ goals help Wal-Mart employees save the environment


Wal-Mart employees have created “green” goals that help them save the environment at work and at home. More than 20,000 of the 1.3 million people who work for the country’s largest employer participate in the retailer’s voluntary Personal Sustainability Project. Employees designed the program to help them incorporate the principles of sustainability into their daily lives …

IBM pays employees to become teachers


IBM employees who would rather teach school than work for the computer giant go for it with their employer’s blessing—and with up to $15,000 in tuition assistance …

Analyze EAP caller data to learn about employee concerns


You might be surprised to learn that men call employee assistance programs (EAP) because of relationship troubles more often than women, and only 7% more men than women ask for help with substance abuse. It’s still true that women use the services of EAP counselors about three times as often as men. But what men and women call about is changing …

The smoke-Free workplace: complying with Florida law


Florida employers were required to have smoke-free workplaces since the mid-1980s, but the state recently amended the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act to comply with the Florida Health Initiative. The law prohibits smoking in an “enclosed indoor workplace” with the exception of …

Is mortgage meltdown affecting your employees, applicants?


Recently, more and more Georgia homeowners are having trouble paying their mortgages. In fact, Georgia is in the top five states for foreclosures this year. And that’s driving down home prices, as foreclosed properties flood the Georgia market, especially in the Atlanta metro area. Here’s why that’s important for employers …

Join NJ state employees in fall fitness challenge


Employees at New Jersey state agencies who want to get into better shape, live healthier and perhaps save taxpayers a few dollars in health care costs are participating in the Working Well New Jersey Fitness Challenge. Employees track their wellness and exercise efforts over a six-week period ending Nov. 3 …

Battle of the benefits: PTO bank may calm parent vs. nonparent tension


Parents vs. nonparents. Gen Y vs. Gen X and the baby boomers. In some workplaces, there’s growing tension over benefits inequality. HR better listen if employees complain that they’re getting worse benefits than their co-workers. One solution: Paid time off banks can help calm discontent.

EEOC Focuses on ‘Family-Responsibilities Bias’


The EEOC recently issued enforcement guidance declaring that disparate treatment of employees who care for children, parents or other family members violates federal law. “Disparate treatment” generally means an employer intentionally treated employees differently because of a protected factor such as race, gender, age or—in this case—their need to care for family members …

How much time off for children’s school activities?


Q. With school starting, can you remind us what our obligations are to grant workers time off to participate in their children’s school-related activities? …

Plan now to reduce impact of flu pandemic in the workplace


It’s a doomsday scenario worthy of a movie: A virus spreads around the globe, killing millions and sending millions more to hospitals. Panic ensues, infrastructure breaks down and commerce comes to a halt. But this isn’t a scriptwriter’s invention. Many scientists believe this nightmare is only a matter of time—when the next influenza pandemic hits. What should businesses do to prepare for a pandemic? Employers must be proactive and consider how they will sustain their operation in truly trying times …