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Bedbugs Could be in your Work Cubicles!

There has been a lot of recent concern over bedbugs—and not just in beds at home! In New York, the bloodsuckers have been found in office buildings, retail stores and movie theaters. Companies should know what to be on the look-out for because these little pests can be costly and scary. Legal experts even say bedbugs could eventually translate into workers’ comp issues. Bedbugs reportedly showed up recently at the offices of the Wall Street Journal and its parent company, News Corp. in New York. It was reported that an employee at Barron’s (a weekly financial newspaper) had bedbugs in his apartment. Many areas of the newsroom were tested as a cautionary measure. Though bedbug-sniffing dogs didn’t find any bedbugs, the area was steam cleaned as a precaution. Bedbugs used to be a home or hospitality problem. However, since they can be transported in bags, purses, suitcases and even on clothes—they are showing up in many places and impacting more than just where we sleep. They ca ...

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Alaskan Tour Companies Receive Major Worker’s Comp Penalty

The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board recently imposed a $1.5 million civil penalty to Ultimate Tours, LLC and Godwin Glacier Tours, LLC. The fines were assessed for failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance, violating stop work orders and misclassifying workers as independent contractors. “Ultimate Tours/Godwin Glacier Tours operates seasonally in the Seward area,” said Mike Monagle, director of the Workers’ Compensation Division. “Division of Workers’ Compensation staff repeatedly attempted to resolve the situation and bring the employer into compliance with state law, but for six seasons had failed to reach an agreement with this employer.” The tour companies sell glacier hikes, helicopter sightseeing and glacier dog sled tours on the Kenai Peninsula. The company violated stop work orders for failure to provide insurance to its employees for almost a year (from November 7, 2005 to August 30, 2010). During that time, five injuries were reported to th ...

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Company to Launch Payroll Debit Card for Employers

In the ongoing quest to make getting money to workers as easy as possible, Global Payout, Inc. will soon launch a major effort to provide payroll debit cards to companies in the United States. The company says the goals of the effort are to reduce costs for businesses and to improve efficiencies in payroll processing for employees. The company will soon begin a nationwide telemarketing campaign that will include phone calls to more than 12,000 companies in hospitality, construction, waste management, janitorial and employment services. In a press release distributed by the company, Global Payout, Inc. Chief Executive Officer said, “Payroll debit cards have gone mainstream by catering to people who are underserved or un-banked. Nearly one in five Americans are un-banked and the number is growing. Our company is positioning itself for rapid growth based upon the estimated amount of money loaded onto prepaid cards that will reach $552 billion in 2012 from $330 billion three years earlier.” The new ...

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Labor Department Looking at Data Tool to Stop Pay Discrimination

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is looking at developing a data tool to collect information on wages, salaries and other benefits that are paid to both federal contractors and subcontractors. It is hoped that the tool will allow for data that could help prevent discrimination (such as disparities that female and minority workers encounter) to be gathered and analyzed. The Department of Labor recently published a notice in the Federal Register to allow the public to provide feedback to the idea. The OFCCP is responsible for enforcing the Executive Order that prohibits companies that do business with the federal government to discriminate in employment practices (including pay) on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion. In the fall of 2010, the agency announced plans to create this data tool. The tool would help companies when it comes to assessing their own pay practices. It would also give the OFCCP a heads up in the event a co ...

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Research Firm Says “Freedom” Better Term than Retirement

According to retirement and savings research firm Hearts & Wallets, when it comes to quitting a job they don’t find fulfilling, workers should have a goal of achieving financial freedom. The firm says that instead of focusing on the traditional goal of saving money for retirement, asset management firms that serve investors (between the ages of 40 and 60 with a minimum of $100,000 to invest), need to know most of those workers do not plan on leaving the workforce.  According to a press release distributed by Hearts & Wallets, “The financial services industry needs to start executing on the reality that many investors don’t plan to retire,” said Laura Varas, a principal with the company. “Affluent accumulators told us they are saving for ‘freedom money.’ This is a polite version of the term they used to describe the pot of money that will let them walk off the job if someone treats them unreasonably, or if they simply get sick of that job and want to do s ...

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