Women Owned Businesses: On the Rise and Here to Stay

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According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, between 1997 and 2013 the number of businesses in the United States increased by 41% and the number of women-owned firms increased by 59%.

We spoke with employees at Staffing Solutions, one of ERC’s preferred partners, about women-owned businesses as a whole; from how to get more involved to gaining a better perspective from a young professional and a working mother.
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What's Making News in Women's Health These Days?

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What's Making News in Women's Health These Days?

There has been some reassuring news about Hormone Therapy (HT) in symptomatic healthy menopausal women. 

Many women have stayed away from HT and lived with the unpleasant side effects of menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, increased urinary tract infections and pain with intercourse.

Two studies released in the fall of 2012 started to shed some light on the subject.
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Trends in Parental Leave: Looking Abroad, Looking Ahead

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pto benchmarking data fmla for men maternity leave Trends in Parental Leave: Looking Abroad, Looking Ahead

Ever since the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993, the 12 weeks of protected leave offered immediately following childbirth have become nearly synonymous with the concept of parental, typically maternity, leave itself.

Parental leave takes a on wide variety of forms depending on the employee and the employer involved. Exceptions can include:

  • the size of the employer (must have 50 or more employees)
  • the length of service for the employee (1 year or more is the federal standard)
  • a general lack of full time pay over this time period
  • a number of other situational complications

Protected vs. Paid Parental Leave

Approximately 76% of Northeast Ohio organizations provide benefits under the FMLA and 18% of these FMLA claims involve maternity/pregnancy leave according to the ERC FMLA Policies & Practices Survey. However, here in the United States, these 12 weeks typically go unpaid.
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Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Women in the Workplace

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This article is the first in a series of articles spotlighting women in the workplace, commemorating National Women's History Month 2014.

According to the Department of Labor, roughly 70% of all women in the U.S. work. But what are some of the challenges that women face today in the workplace? And how can organizations help the ever evolving working mother? We spoke with Susan Pyles about women in the workplace.
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The Perks of a Being a Flexible Workplace

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Across the country, as well as right here in Northeast Ohio, flexible work arrangements are continuing to grow in popularity. According to a national survey administered in 2013, nearly one-third of employees indicated that they “do most of their work from a remote location.”

The Perks of Being a Flexible Workplace

Locally, the 2013-2014 ERC Policies & Benefits Survey reports an almost identical percentage for exempt employees that are telecommuting as part of their regular work schedule. Both studies indicate double digit growth in the percentage of remote workers over the past several years and with ever evolving technologies that will help keep remote workers connected to their colleagues at the office, this isn’t a trend that is likely to reverse itself any time soon.
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When EAPs and Small Businesses Come Together

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We recently had the opportunity to talk with Patrick Gaul, manager of account services at ease@work, about how EAPs can be beneficial to small businesses.

When EAPs and small businesses come together

Small businesses are impacted more by types of employee performance and behavior issues addressed by an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) than larger businesses because one employee affected by a personal concern makes up a larger percentage of the total workforce. Gaul says having a free, confidential resource to address mental health concerns and work/life balance issues is essential in maintaining a productive workforce.
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Workplace Wellness: Tobacco Cessation and the CVS Caremark Tobacco Sales Ban

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Workplace Wellness: Tobacco Cessation and the CVS Caremark Tobacco Sales Ban

CVS Caremark’s recent announcement that they will eliminating all tobacco products from their retail stores as of October 2014 has prompted much discussion in the news over the roles that a growing pool of employers are playing as they systematically leverage their place in the business world to eliminate tobacco from their organizations.

From bans on hiring to financial penalties on health insurance rates to offering tobacco cessation programs to controversies over e-cigarettes, employers are playing an increasingly prevalent role in regulating tobacco use both inside and outside of the workplace.

State Law

From bans on hiring to financial penalties on health insurance rates to offering tobacco cessation programs to controversies over e-cigarettes, employers are playing an increasingly prevalent role in regulating tobacco use both inside and outside of the workplace. Here in Ohio, state law dictates tobacco prohibits smoking in all public places and places of work, with some specific exceptions.

The American Lung Association gives this Ohio statute an “A” grade for encouraging “smoke free air,” but in terms of the other measures graded, i.e. “Tobacco Prevention,” “Cigarette Tax,” and “Cessation Coverage,” Ohio doesn’t fare so well in the rankings. This leaves tobacco use prevention efforts largely in the hands of private employers.
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Evaluating Workplace Wellness Programs for the Future

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Evaluating Workplace Wellness Programs for the Future

With Northeast Ohio well-known nationally as a hub for the healthcare industry, it comes as no surprise that local employers are largely keeping up with or exceeding many of the national trends involving workplace wellness programs.

Using a recently released study published by RAND Health and ERC’s own Wellness Practices Survey, we explore the current state of workplace wellness programs in order to gain a better understanding of what this research has identified as the likely next steps to move these programs forward into the future across the country or right in our own backyard.
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Resolutions & Regulations: Incentivizing Your Wellness Program

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Resolutions & Regulations: Incentivizing Your Wellness Program

The start of a New Year guarantees two things in the workplace: (1) lots of new regulations to learn about and comply with in HR and (2) lots of New Year’s resolutions to get healthy among your employees.

In 2014 these two certainties are closely intertwined as new rules for employer wellness programs are among several ACA related regulations now on the books as of January 1, 2014. So with many of your employees undoubtedly working hard on their New Year’s resolutions, and HR working hard to keep up with the regulations, now is a great time to take a look at what types of wellness related benefits organizations are offering in the region and how these programs need to be structured moving forward.
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