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Work / Life Issues

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.

Lights out means it’s lunch time in Seattle


Lights out signals lunch time at the NRG::Seattle insurance company. Every day at 11:30 am, the lights go off and all employees must stop working. This one-hour break gives employees the chance to eat together and take a breather before the second half of the workday …

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 …

Free meals bring employees to the table


Employees of Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta don’t nosh on the organization’s famous breaded chicken breast sandwiches at lunchtime. They don’t “brown-bag” it either. To encourage employee bonding, the organization treats employees each day to entrées, such as pork loin with asparagus and crusted chicken breast with cauliflower …

26 weeks of vacation keep employees on the job


Clinical laboratories need almost 24-hour coverage at Salt Lake City-based ARUP Laboratories, so employees work in 10-hour shifts around the clock, seven days a week. They’re hardly complaining: After working seven days straight, employees head home and don’t return for a week …

Incentives for health assessment get employees into wellness


To help create a culture of wellness, the Pepsi Bottling Group in Somers, NY, offered employees who participated in a health assessment a MasterCard prepaid with $75. The incentive worked: 70% of 33,500 U.S. employees participated …

Consulting firm’s ‘Full circle’ program lets new moms put careers on hold for 5 years


At New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers,  the HR staff realized there was a group of women who wanted to step out of the work force and into parenthood while keeping their jobs. The result: It created the "Full Circle" program …