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Articles by Joanne Wojcik

OSHA Tightens Its Fall Protection Rules

November 17, 2011
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The new directive states that all residential construction industry employers must protect their workers who are engaged in work at six feet or more above lower levels by conventional fall protection systems or by other fall protection measures.
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Health Care Cost Hikes Increasing, Expected to Continue

October 3, 2011
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The key difference between the Kaiser Family Foundation and Aon Hewitt surveys is that the KFF survey included more fully insured plans, 40 percent, and more small and midsize firms, 85 percent, with fewer than 5,000 workers. More than 75 percent of the data from the Aon Hewitt survey was collected from large, self-funded employers with employee populations of more than 10,000.
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EEOC Sues Fashion Boutique Delia's for Pregnancy Discrimination

September 23, 2011
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The suspected harassment included constant questioning about some employees' ability to perform their jobs because they were pregnant, recommending they take leaves of absence or forcing them to take maternity leave early. The suit also alleges that the company fired one of the employees in retaliation after she complained about being harassed because of her pregnancy.
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Social Media Sites Still Emerging as Benefits Tools

July 13, 2010
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Consultants urge firms to use social media for benefits communications, but a survey finds that three-quarters of employees aren't interested in receiving the information from their employers via such sites as Facebook and Twitter.
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Most Employers Arent Combating Workplace Stress

December 1, 2009
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A report by Watson Wyatt Worldwide and the National Business Group on Health finds that while health and productivity management programs are keeping health care costs and absenteeism down, employers aren’t acting to relieve the stress of employees’ long hours and fear of job loss. Such stressors could affect productivity as companies try to bounce back from the recession.
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Health Risk Assessments Face Bias Hurdle

October 14, 2009
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Under IRS rules associated with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, employers are prohibited from collecting genetic information—defined as family medical history—in health risk assessments if that information will be used for ‘underwriting’ purposes. That includes offering employees discounts on their monthly premium contributions or lowering deductibles for completing a health risk assessment.
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Unhealthy Employees Cut Productivity, Study Finds

May 1, 2009
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For every dollar spent on medical costs and pharmaceuticals, there is $2.30 of health-related productivity losses due to absenteeism and presenteeism, according to a recent study.
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Incorporating Behavioral Health Into Disability Management

January 9, 2009
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Pitney Bowes’ Hilary Mitchell talks about why her company developed a mental health component for its disability program.
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Are Tough Times Prompting Employees to Skimp on Health Care

November 11, 2008
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Health benefit experts see signs of skimping, and warn that employees who forgo necessary care now could end up costing their employers more later, in both additional health care expenditures and increased absenteeism, should a serious health threat go untreated or a chronic condition get worse.
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Minnesota Follows the Lead of Bridges to Excellence

August 26, 2008
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The program’s pay-for-performance initiative helped spotlight the need for medical-care payment reform in the state.
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