Fitbit Captivate Conference: Behavioral Economics, HIPAA and More

Here are some major takeaways from the wearable wellness company’s recent conference, which explored how to impact employee behavior and how to deal with employee privacy concerns.

Fitbit has its annual Captivate 2017 conference in Chicago at Revel Motor Row, a beautiful Chicago landmark. This Sept. 19 wellness-centric event provided many opportunities to listen to speakers and talk with HR professionals about well-being at their companies. Also, plenty of opportunities to have the best conference food I’ve ever consumed, including green smoothies, piles of arugula salad and…

A Work-Life Balance Reminder: Iowa Treks and Sacred Mounds

It’s worth the reminder to employers that giving employees the opportunity to be satisfied in both their professional and personal lives goes a long way.

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday with my parents and sister. The four of us drove five hours away to Harpers Ferry, Iowa, home of the beautiful Effigy Mounds National Monument. We stayed overnight in a Decorah, Iowa, where dined at a pizza place right off a residential gravel road and had ice cream and wine in a lovely…

Organizations Caring More About Caregiving Benefits

Cigna is among the latest to unveil its Caregiver Leave Program for employees.

Gail Hunt remembers what it was like to care for her aging mother who recently died. She knows the emotional, physical and mental stresses of being a caregiver and also has a keen perspective on caregiving benefits.  As the president and CEO of the National Alliance of Caregiving, Hunt oversees the nonprofit’s dedication to conducting research and developing national programs…

When Technology Meets Benefits

Three benefits pros share how they’ve used technology to improve their organizations’ benefits operations in this Q&A.

Whether employees love or detest the technology around them, there’s no getting around its continued influence on workplace policies. Considering that employee benefits at many organizations remains a paper-based, pencil-pushing operation, enormous opportunities for technological advancement — not to mention saving a few rain forests — are emerging for CEOs and benefits managers alike. Mozilla employees at a planning workshop….

It’s Evident That Paid Family Leave Has Bipartisan Agreement

With a wide gap between the have’s and have-nots, conservatives and liberals agree that expanding paid family leave to all is crucial to the workplace. Whether it becomes law is another story.

Between 2015 and 2017 there was a boom in the number of employers announcing paid family leave policies. Workforce writers have covered many angles regarding paid leave. Speaking from my own personal experience, I’ve enjoyed writing about the gender divide of leave policies. Naturally, birth mothers will get a little more time to recover physically from a birth. But any…

It’s No Holiday When It Comes to PTO Use

Vacation days often go unused in the United States, but sacrificing PTO days may not help employees get ahead.

Vacation time is always sweeter in the summer, but why do Americans not use all their time off? According to a study this year by Project Time Off, 662 million vacation days went unused — 4 million more days than in 2015. Vacation time is always sweeter in the summer, but why do Americans not use all their time off?…

Engagement, Apathy and Benefits Plans

As technology gets more sophisticated, employers can’t do enough to educate employees about their privacy and protections.

We all walk around with unbelievably powerful computers in our pockets. An incredible 77 percent of Americans across income levels have a smartphone, and that number will continue to grow. The data our phones collect helps to personalize the world around us in so many ways, from the information we see in personalized ads, to the news we consume, to…

Gig Economy Workers May See Benefits Relief

The Portable Benefits for Gig Economy Workers Act addresses a real need at a time when many people work in the gig economy and don’t have employer-provided benefits.

Two U.S. senators earlier this year introduced the first federal bill that addresses benefits and the on-demand workforce. Well-known gig economy platforms include e-commerce site Etsy, ride sharing apps Uber and Lyft, and hospitality service Airbnb. The Portable Benefits for Gig Economy Workers Act by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Suzan DelBene, D-Washington, comes at a time when an increasing…

Dads Are Parents, too — Baby Bonding and Sex Discrimination

I see no reason, other than an archaic view of the role of men versus the role of women in raising children, why mom is entitled to six paid weeks but dad only two.

Should new dads receive the same amount of time off from work to bond with their newly born child as do women? That is the question at the center of a lawsuit the EEOC recently filed against cosmetics giant Estée Lauder. According to the EEOC, Estée Lauder’s parental leave program provides eligible new mothers six weeks of paid parental leave…

Some Constructive Criticism on Health Savings Accounts

The HSA is another tool in the employer health care arsenal, but it’s clear some employees just don’t want or need one.

I recently came across a blog on LinkedIn written by John Lowell, a consultant and actuary, titled “Perhaps Employees Just Don’t Want HSAs.” Health savings accounts are valuable to many employers though it appears it takes special ‘messaging’ for employees to buy in. I found this interesting because from the employer side, I often hear about the excellence of health…