The EPA's Clean Power Plan creates winners and losers, with anticipated advantages for the environment but higher electricity costs and lower GDP relative to baseline forecasts. Two dozen states have already filed lawsuits over the plan and the House passed two joint resolutions to kill it.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a significant decision interpreting the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The court decided on an issue of first impression that job applicants may bring disparate impact claims of age discrimination under the ADEA against prospective employers whose policies and procedures lack a discriminatory intent and are purportedly neutral on their face, but nevertheless have a discriminatory effect.
Governments and employers (including Google) are experimenting with nudging people into better decisions, including those shaping productivity, health, safety, and personal finances. In some cases, employers can see benefits from actions as simple as stocking smaller plates in company cafeterias and rephrasing reminders for employee flu shot clinics.
Americans are surrounded by manufactured goods at home and work— so how can the manufacturing sector represent only 11% of GDP? The explanation is that it doesn’t. MAPI Foundation research examining the full value chain reveals that manufacturing accounts for 32% of GDP. We also find that the manufacturing multiplier is almost three times as high as official data suggest.
In a decision that adopts the minority position of two courts of appeals out of a total of eight that have ruled on the issue, the Supreme Court held that ERISA health benefit plans may not seek reimbursement from third-party settlements plan participants receive when the participant has spent the funds on nontraceable items. While the case in question concerned a health benefit plan, the implications for other types of ERISA plans, including pension and disability plans, is unclear.
Virtual reality has many applications beyond video games, particularly for manufacturing. Companies are leveraging this technology for product development, prototypes, training, and factory floor layout. Ford and BAE Systems already have reputations for using virtual reality to shorten product design cycles and save costs.
Evidence shows that good physical condition, good mental health, and an absence of chronic illness correlate to low injury rates. Programs aimed at prevention, early detection, and managing conditions also improve safety. However, a growing body of research has found that companies that integrate health, wellness, safety, and benefits in a holistic approach can improve health, decrease injuries, and improve productivity by building a culture of workforce resilience.
Last year the world waited to see if the hype surrounding COP21 in Paris would produce a global commitment between heads of state to help stem the tide of rising temperatures. Since that historic week in Paris, 86 of the 197 countries who are party to the newly produced Paris Agreement have achieved ratification.
While the events most often planned for are site- or natural disaster–related, businesses should also include workplace violence, terrorism, and cyberattacks in their business preparedness efforts. This is especially true given the nature of black swan events as those that (1) take place outside of regular expectations, (2) carry an extreme impact, and (3) seem obvious, explainable, and predictable in hindsight.
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