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Free health perks help wellness, recruiting


Full-time employees of Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network don’t pay for health insurance. Plus, the organization hands them a fistful of “wellness dollars”—$700 to be exact—to spend on anything from gym memberships to massage therapy. Not only does the program help current employees, but also it has improved recruiting.

Take a hike: April 29 is Walk @ Lunch Day


Get ready to trade working lunches for walking lunches. On April 29, employees at thousands of companies will take part in National Walk @ Lunch Day, sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Workers’ comp deductibles, premiums to change


Starting in July, Ohio employers will get their choice of five deductible levels on their workers’ compensation insurance. In exchange for lower premiums, employers will assume a larger risk for workplace accidents.

Poor worker training cited in case involving heat death


In 2004, two men were fixing a pump at a plant when one of them complained of being hot and not feeling well. The other man took him to his car and returned to work on the pump. When he checked on the ill man 45 minutes later, he found him slumped over the wheel. He had died.

Beware firing after worker warns about safety


Former employees and their lawyers are always looking for ways to maximize what they can get from former employers. One way is to add a wrongful discharge claim if an employee is fired after he or she complains about workplace safety. These cases can get quite expensive, as the following case shows.

Nuke plant operator fined for sleeping guards


Sleeping on the job isn’t productive, and most employers have rules against it. In some environments, falling asleep on duty is downright dangerous and can result in large fines.

Last-chance agreements put employers on sure footing


If you offer last-chance agreements instead of immediately firing employees, you can impose seemingly draconian measures without worrying about a lawsuit. If you later terminate an employee for violating agreement terms, most courts will take your side.

Show you are serious about workplace safety


You can and should punish employees who refuse to play by company safety rules. You’ll probably win any workplace injury case if you can show that the accident would never have occurred if the employee had followed the rules.

OSHA fines WBG Construction


OSHA has fined WBG Construction, based in Wesley Chapel, for seven safety violations at two of the company’s locations. The agency said the violations exposed employees to potential injury or even death. The fines total $119,000.

Whistle-blower law insulates noncomplaining workers, too


When two workers complained to two co-workers that their employer wasn’t providing protective gear while they installed insulation, it started a chain of events that led to their firings.