February 6, 2013

News Roundup: Study-Palooza, FMLA birthday, Out-of-This-World Workplace, Terminations & More

Study-Palooza - Joe Paduda offers his analysis of work comp hospital costs as reported in WCRI's recently released 20-state study on outpatient hospital costs. And Joe is really letting his nerd side show with a report on two other workcomp-related research studies, one dealing with back surgery outcomes and the other, the use and cost of compound medications.

Health data - While on the topic of research, you may want to bookmark the Pew Research Center's Health research page. It offers excellent insight as to how people are using the Internet to access health-related information. A recent study shows that seven in ten (69%) U.S. adults track a health indicator for themselves or a loved one and many say this activity has changed their overall approach to health.

20 Years Today - Today is the 20th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Occupational Health & Safety features a story on a survey conducted by the Department of Labor to learn how the law has affected employees and employers. The survey showed 16 percent of workers took FMLA leave within the last year, 56% of whom were women. More than half took leave for their own illness (57%), for new child-related reasons (22%) or to care for a family member with a serious health condition (19%). While the law is praised as "the first step in creating a more family-friendly American workplace" by many and hailed as a boon to families, there are some employees who would not agree. Plus, many employers would cite abuse, problems and confusion in implementing and complying with the law. Noncompliance can be costly - see Failing to Train Supervisors in FMLA: $1.2 Million Loss to Employer. One of the best resources we have found for keeping up with FMLA emerging issues, case law and changes is employment law attorney Jeff Nowak's FMLA Insights. Jeff has comments about the FMLA anniversary and the DOL survey results, which he calls "curious."

Terminations - Sharon Lauby hosts a blog delightfully name blog, HR Bartender, well worth keeping on your radar. She recently posted about How to fire an employee. This week, she followed up with Terminating Employees: How To Fire Right, which includes a valuable guide from employment law attorney Mark Neuberger, which you can download at no cost, and with no registration required. The first line in this guide gives a reason why you should go there and download it now: "Every termination decision should be based on the assumption that it will be challenged before an administrative agency, a court or both."

Out-of-This-World Twitter posts - Some people's work environments are a little more interesting than yours and mine. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield stunning images taken from the international space station. You can follow his Twitter feed for more: @Cmdr_Hadfield.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on February 6, 2013 10:31 AM.

Cavalcade of Risk #176 now posted was the previous entry in this blog.

Policy Wonks, Lend Me Your Ears! is the next entry in this blog.

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