Benefits benchmarks – Want to see how your benefits stack up with other organizations in your size, industry, or geography? Try the Benefits Benchmarking Tool from Metlife, which allows you to benchmark benefits objectives and offerings and employee attitudes to those of similar companies and employee populations. Also see and download the recently released 10th anniversary edition of MetLife’s Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends. Some of the study’s key take-aways: 9 out of 10 employers don’t plan to reduce benefits, seeing them as a retention tool. Nevertheless, the loyalty gap widens: “The percentage of employees who feel a very strong sense of loyalty towards their employer is at only 42% – a seven-year low.”
Medical Marijuana – Employment law attorney Daniel Schwartz offers the scoop on Connecticut’s recent medical marijuana bill. He notes employer restrictions: “…employers are prohibited from refusing to hire, firing, penalizing or threatening an employee “solely on the basis…as a qualifying patient or primary caregiver.” The law does have an important caveat; the employer can act if ”required by federal law or required to obtain federal funding.” Thus, if there are, for example, commercial driving laws in your industry that restrict the use of marijuana, it appears that law will trump state law.” The law is still awaiting the Governor’s (expected) signature. Here is a list of the 16 legal medical marijuana states with links to the respective laws. This chart also lists the 12 states where legislation is pending.
5% Lost to Fraud – A new study says that fraud is costing business an average of 5% of annual revenues yearly. Emily Holbrook of Risk Management Monitor highlights some of the key findings and offers a link to the report. One of the key points is that occupational fraud is more likely to be detected by a tip from employees than by any other method. The report notes that most internal fraud perpetrators are first offenders with clean employment histories. Banking and financial services, government and public administration, and manufacturing sectors were among the industries most commonly victimized. More than three-quarters of the fraud in the study was committed by individuals working in one of six departments: accounting, operations, sales, executive/upper management, customer service and purchasing. The report also notes that, “…the fraudster displayed one or more behavioral red flags that are often associated with fraudulent conduct. Living beyond means (36% of cases), financial difficulties (27%), unusually close association with vendors or customers (19%) and excessive control issues (18%) were the most commonly observed behavioral warning signs.”
Let the games begin – If you’re looking for a way to turbo-charge your health and wellness program, borrowing videogame-style techniques might be just the ticket to motivate people and bolster results. In Pitting Employees Against Each Other … for Health, Anna Wilde Mathews of the WSJ.com reports on how some employers and insurers are creating healthy enthusiasm by the use of contests, games, teams, and incentives.
A Winning Culture – How do you create and maintain a positive work culture at your organization? In a series of articles, OPEN Forum experts focus on a winning company culture – ranging from how to identify the right model for your organization to tips on building a strong culture in your workplace, as well as some case histories of organizations that are fostering strong cultures.
Disability & comorbidities In Too Much Sitting Plus Comorbidities = Big Trouble, Jon Coppelman of Workers Comp Insider looks at a recent court case that demonstrates the complexity and cost that employee health issues such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes can have on workers compensation. He also cites a recent study on comorbidities, which showed – among other things – that claims with comorbidities cost twice as much as those without.
EEOC State Charge Data Tool – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced the availability of private sector workplace discrimination charge statistics by state and U.S. territories for fiscal years 2009-2011: Access EEOC charge data by state.
More News of Note


ESI-Logo.jpg When complex employee issues arise, ESI EAP offers member employers direct access to Certified Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHR) and senior clinical counselors. If you need an Employee Assistance Program give us a call: 800-535-4841.

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