Bike to work – While falling gas prices have temporarily taken some of the economic sting out of a commute, tight budgets still cry out for frugality. Plus, there is more at stake than just economy – many are looking to establish commuting habits that are more environmentally friendly, such as biking, which also offers health and fitness advantages. There is good news for employers who want to foster the healthy “bike to work” habit work among their employees and offer a new benefit to boot. Beginning this year, the Bicycle Commuter Act will allow employers to provide employees a tax deductible benefit of up to $20 per month for riding to work. Employees can use the money for bicycle purchase and upkeep.
Economic stress and health – According to a recent AARP survey, one in five adults ages 45 and older are suffering health problems due to financial stress. “Right now people are increasingly concerned about their jobs, retirement savings and simply being able to provide for their families and it’s taking a major toll on their health,” said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois Senior State Director. “It’s a harsh irony that worrying about being able to afford health care is actually causing health problems.”
The “Fraudies” of 2008 – Dawn Wolfe of George’s Employment Blawg presents a new award for dubious achievements called “The Fraudies.” Employee fraud winners were chosen based on “cunning audacity” and “the farcical nature of their career-limiting schemes.”
Memory screeningsWellness Corporate Insights posts that in November, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) gave free memory screenings at over 2,000 health fairs across the country. Early identification of Alzheimer’s allows individuals to start treatments that slow the development of symptoms. The post offers a reminder that disease-specific screenings and fairs are often tied to specific months, and suggests keeping a health awareness calendar on hand and alerting employees to local health screening events.
Form I-9 – Mark Toth of Manpower Employment Blawg reminds us that a new year means a new I-9 Form. Thoughts from Training Time offers advice on ensuring compliance.
Cool tool – Google has a new, free 411 service that is fast and easy to use. Dial 1-800-GOOG-411 from any phone. State what you’re looking for and GOOG-411 will connect you with the business you choose. If you are calling from a mobile device, the service can even send you a text message with more details and a map. Simply say “Text message” or “Map it.” Learn more at Goog411.
Quick takes
IRS: 2009 Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits (PDF)
The 10 worst presentation habits
10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online
This fellow may get our nomination for the worst boss of 2008.

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