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Washington state organization exemplifies protecting whistle blowers

Washington state’s Hanford Concerns Council was organized to help facilitate processes for and protect whistle blowers. The membership consists of advocacy group members, private company representatives and independent 3rd parties. The organization was created 20 years ago to help field and resolve whistle blower complaints that included lawsuits and alleged corporate retaliation. One of the primary goals during the formation of the organization was to address the complaints stemming from the Hanford Site nuclear facility in southeastern Washington state. The facility consisted of several nuclear plant operations designed to produce weapons grade plutonium for the military. The facility ran from 1943 through 1987. Presently, the location is the subject of a large environmental cleanup effort. The Hanford Concerns Council was designed based on the state’s mediation laws. Originally called the Hanford Joint Council for Resolving Employee Concerns, the organization fields concerns from employees ...

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Disappointing Friday Jobs Report Expected

133,000 private jobs were added in May according to ADP. This is below the group expectations from industry experts, who expected the number to reach 150,000. This give an indication that Friday’s federal jobs report will probably fall below expectations, too. Friday’s reports will follow two disappointing jobs reports in a row. The Labor Department said the economy added 154,000 jobs in March and 115,000 in April. These figures were down, following three months of +200,000 jobs created. ADP indicated that manufacturing and construction will among the hardest hit sectors. These figures may be being influenced by the low GDP growth rate that went from 2.2 percent down to 1.9 percent in a recent re-forecasting. Government spending was a key contributor to slow growth in the first quarter, and there is still plenty of room for Washington to be an economic drag, writes James Marple, senior economist at TD Economics, in a commentary on this morning's numbers. "The decline in government spending is ...

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Gov. signs bills he calls business-friendly, including new workers’ compensation rules

On May 14, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said several bills he signed Monday could help the state’s business climate. Critics claim the changes will drain revenue from state government and hurt workers. Gov. Bryant was flanked by lawmakers and lobbyists at the Woolfolk state office building, where he signed four bills that will become law July 1. They are: Senate Bill 2576, which makes several changes that manufacturers and other business groups sought in the workers’ compensation system. Senate Bill 2934, which provides larger corporate income-tax credits for businesses that pay the inventory tax. House Bill 1537, which provides tax incentives for companies that create new jobs in health care fields such as medical research or distribution of medical supplies. Senate Bill 2792, which allows high school students to enroll in job-training programs at community colleges while they finish working on their high school diploma. The new law is aimed at helping students who have dr ...

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Half of all health plans have $0 in-network deductibles.

According to a recent report by HighRoads and Corporate Executive Board, almost half of all health benefits plans have $0 in-network deductibles, all while many companies are looking to limit their expenses through the use of full-replacement high-deductible plan offerings. “While the prevalence of HDHP plans has roughly tripled in the last five years, companies are still offering traditional PPO plans, many of which do not charge for in network visits,” said Ania Krasniewska, senior director, CEB. “The absence of the right incentives and communications from organizations about the benefits of HDHP plans to individuals is driving employees to use these offerings that ultimately end up being significantly more expensive for organizations.” The report also states that out-of-network primary care physician con-payments are 53% higher than in-network. “While there has been a lot of discussion in the marketplace about employers encouraging enrollment in high deductible plans, we h ...

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Creating a competitive compensation system for your company

As we go about trying to recruit the best talent for our companies, we’re often faced trying to create a compensation package that is competitive. But, a compensation program needs be designed to both attract the best talent, and to retain them down the road. Having a plan in place for your compensation strategy is important to aligning your recruitment and retention efforts. Many business owners are surprised that a compensation strategy is much more than merely assigning a new employee salary for each position in the company. The compensation strategy should include: Statements about how employees are viewed as parts of the company. This is more of a philosophical construction that new employees can read to understand how employees are seen by leaderships. It should definitely be influenced by the company culture. Real market analysis about average starting salaries for critical and most frequently hired positions in your company. Include guidance for the mixes of base salary and incentive pay, ...

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