I hate to be a Debbie downer here, but the annual ranking of states by U.S. News & World Report places California last for its quality of life and 32nd overall when all categories are rated. The categories of the “Best States” report and California’s ranking among the 50 states is as follows:
- Healthcare, 11th;
- Education, 26th;
- Economy, 4th;
- Opportunity, 46th;
- Infrastructure, 38th;
- Crime and corrections, 28th;
- Fiscal stability, 43rd;
- Quality of life, 50th.
The latter was based on two elements: natural environment and social environment. Iowa is first in the overall rankings, followed by Minnesota, Utah, North Dakota and New Hampshire. To view the full report and state-by-state rankings, click here.
If the weather were a category, there’s no question that California would take the gold medal.
Roughly 14 million Americans are expected to call in sick on Monday — making the day after the 52nd Super Bowl Sunday one of the biggest sick days of the year, according to a survey by the Workforce Institute at Kronos and Mucinex. Post-Super Bowl Monday is “notoriously known as a day where people call out of work,” with 1 in 5 Americans saying they’ve called in sick over the years. This year is expected to be down from the 16.5 million who had said they planned to call in sick last year after Super Bowl Sunday.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced last week that 84,254 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the federal agency nationwide during 2017.
The agency handled over 540,000 calls and more than 155,000 inquiries in field offices.
The FY 2017 data show that retaliation was the most frequently filed charge filed with the agency, followed by race and disability. The agency also received 6,696 sexual harassment charges and obtained $46.3 million in monetary benefits for victims of sexual harassment.
Specifically, the charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged, in descending order:
- Retaliation: 41,097 (48.8 percent of all charges filed)
- Race: 28,528 (33.9 percent)
- Disability: 26,838 (31.9 percent)
- Sex: 25,605 (30.4 percent)
- Age: 18,376 (21.8 percent)
- National Origin: 8,299 (9.8 percent)
- Religion: 3,436 (4.1 percent)
- Color: 3,240 (3.8 percent)
- Equal Pay Act: 996 (1.2 percent)
- Genetic Information: 206 (.2 percent)
These percentages add up to more than 100 because some charges allege multiple bases.
EEOC legal staff filed 184 merits lawsuits alleging discrimination in fiscal year 2017. The lawsuits filed by the EEOC included 124 individual suits and 30 suits involving multiple victims or discriminatory policies and 30 systemic discrimination cases. At the end of the fiscal year, the EEOC had 242 cases on its active docket. The EEOC achieved a successful outcome in 90.8 percent of all suit resolutions.
My question to you, do you have Employment Practices Liability Insurance for your business?
Do you have fire sprinklers in your commercial building, either as a tenant or building owner? How confident are you that you have the proper coverage on your property insurance policy to protect from an accidental fire sprinkler discharge like this one?
Think about physical loss or damage to your business’ equipment, stock, furniture, fixtures, and/or improvements caused by the water damage. If you are unsure, make sure to talk to your agent/broker for verification. Don’t just assume.
Remarkable (watch with audio):
It’s that time of year when employers are required to tally the number of entries on their “Log of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses” (OSHA Form 300), and post the “Summary of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses” (OSHA Form 300A) in a prominent location.
The OSHA Summary Form 300A is required to be posted in the workplace beginning Feb. 1, 2018, and must remain posted for the entire three months of February, March, and April. It should be in an easily visible location so that employees are aware of the injuries and illnesses occurring in their workplace.
Employers that had 11 or more employees the previous year — except those in certain low-hazard establishments in the retail, professional services, finance and real estate sectors — are required to maintain records of all work-related injuries and illnesses, and post the summary of their records for the 2017 calendar year.
Many employers under Federal OSHA are required to electronically submit the summary of injuries and illnesses to OSHA. To ensure your entire management team is aware of these changes, I suggest making OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule one of your first training sessions of the new year.
California health officials said last week that the state’s flu season could turn out to be one of the nastiest the state has seen in the last ten years. “I was flat on my back and in bed for 10 days,” said one So Cal resident. “This has been hands down the worst flu I’ve ever dealt with.”
When someone in your household comes down with the flu, there’s a good chance others in the house will catch it too based on their exposure and close proximity. The same applies to the office or workplace.
An outbreak at the office can also seriously affect your business operations. All it takes is one infected to put others at risk and spread the virus. Fewer hands on deck could potentially impact productivity and operations.
Here are Five Tips for Business Owners to Help Reduce the Potential Spread of the Flu:
Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional suggestions on preventing the flu and maintaining good health habits. The more proactive you are, the greater likelihood you’ll have in decreasing the flu exposure and maintaining your company productivity and operations.