Monthly Archives: June 2012

Employers Still Unsure Of Health Care Costs.

The Supreme Court’s landmark 5-4 ruling yesterday upholding the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health-care law eliminated at least one level of uncertainty hanging over America’s businesses since the law was enacted in 2010.

Still, there are plenty of other issues that are unresolved as the work to put key provisions of the law in place remains ongoing.

“For us, there is still tremendous uncertainty,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president of government and shareholder relations for White Castle. “It will be a cost burden for employers and negatively impact job creation.”

Some aspects of the law already have been implemented, including provisions allowing young adults to remain on a parent’s policy and providing preventative care at no cost to employees.

Next will be a requirement that employers with at least 50 full-time workers provide birth-control coverage. In 2014, companies are facing penalties if they don’t offer coverage or if they offer plans deemed unaffordable to employees or skimpy when it comes to coverage.  Read more by Mark Williams for the Columbus Dispatch here.

The Dark Side Of Apple’s Retail Empire. ~BEST OF THE WEB:

Apple’s retail chain has been one of the biggest industry success stories over the past decade. When Steve Jobs originally pitched the idea to the board back in 2000, they thought he was crazy. Now, it has hundreds of stores worldwide and is one of the most profitable companies per square footage.

When new products are released, hundreds – even thousands – of people line up for hours to get a glimpse. The stores are always full and employees are run off their feet.

And as it turns out, they’re not too happy about the situation either.

This piece in The New York Times has taken some time to speak with some of the company’s 30,000 retail employees, and they’re not too happy. For one thing, they claim they’re not being paid enough.

“I was earning $11.25 an hour,” he said. “Part of me was thinking, ‘This is great. I’m an Apple fan, the store is doing really well.’ But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it’s kind of tough,” former employee Jordan Golson told the publication.

Part of the problem is that there’s a never-ending stream of employees lining up to join the company’s ranks. And unlike other companies, these employees actually believe they’re helping make people’s lives easier. They work there because they’re fans of the Apple product range in the first place.

“When you’re working for Apple you feel like you’re working for this greater good,” says a former salesman. “That’s why they don’t have a revolution on their hands.”

That’s also why they’re able to pick from hundreds of resumes, and why they’re able to turn away candidates from group interviews if they are no more than three minutes late, according to the story.

But on the flipside, having Apple on your resume can be a huge boost. The team receives excellent training, and they can help develop interpersonal skills used at any job.

“And we told trainees that the first thing they needed to do was acknowledge the problem, though don’t promise you can fix the problem,” former manager Shane Garcia said. “If you can, let them know that you have felt some of the emotions they are feeling. But you have to be careful because you don’t want to lie about that.”

But at the end of the day, some Apple employees just aren’t happy and can’t wait to get out. According to a survey distributed among employees, and referenced by the publication, staff were asked to say whether they’d recommend Apple as place of work to friends and family – a “1” was marked as a “not likely”, with a “10” interpreted as a “promoter” of the company.

The results, taken from two cities, came back with fives and sixes. But as one employee points out, it’s not necessarily a problem.

“There was never a shortage of resumes,” he said. “People will always want to work for Apple.” Source/Credit: Patrick Stafford for smartcompany.com.

Battle Brews Over CEO-to-Worker Pay.

Want to know how much your CEO makes compared to, say, what you make?

A new rule may soon require all public firms to disclose the pay gap between a company’s chief executive and its median worker. Businesses aren’t thrilled about it, according to The Wall Street Journal.

No company wants to “be out there first with a number that might make them look bad,” says Aaron Boyd, head of research for Equilar, an executive compensation data provider.

The so-called internal pay equity provision, passed as part of the July 2010 Dodd-Frank package of financial reforms, is intended to expose the income disparity within public companies and help investors better evaluate firms.

If the Securities and Exchange Commission meets its deadline, guidelines for the rule could be issued by the end of June, though experts predict the timetable will be postponed as regulators work through the complexities of how to calculate the statistic. (It wouldn’t be the first postponement: The rules were originally slated to be released by end of 2011.)

While most U.S. companies say they have a sense of their internal pay ratio, seven in 10 haven’t begun considering how to comply with the rule, according to a poll conducted for The Wall Street Journal by executive search firm Korn/Ferry International. Read the rest by Leslie Kwoh for the WSJ.com

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