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More News From the World of HR

Compiled by SHRM Online Staff  10/30/2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out: ‘I’m Proud to Be Gay’
Apple CEO Tim Cook came out Thursday, acknowledging publicly for the first time that he is gay. “Let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” he wrote in a column in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Retirees Sue GE Over Health Coverage
Two retirees have sued General Electric in federal court alleging that the company violated federal law by dropping its supplemental health coverage and placing retirees in a health care exchange. In a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the pair allege that GE breached its promise to keep the benefits indefinitely.

Obamacare Faces New Threat as Supreme Court Weighs Appeal
The fate of President Barack Obama’s health-care law is again in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. Two years after upholding the law by a single vote, the justices are weighing whether to hear a Republican-backed appeal that would block people in 36 states from getting tax subsidies to buy insurance.
Bloomberg News

Fewer Americans Filed for Jobless Benefits in Past Month
Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits over the past month than at any time in more than 14 years, a sign the strengthening U.S. economy is buoying the labor market. The four-week average of jobless claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 281,000 in the period ended Oct. 25, the lowest since May 2000.
Bloomberg News

Healthier Workforce Is Goal of Employers
A white stretch limousine traveled Route 4 Wednesday from Evergreen Commons nursing home to WalMart Plaza and back, shuttling groups of women in work clothes, pink feather boas and plastic tiaras to get mammograms.
Albany Times Union

Restaurant Tech Use Sky Rockets
Technology has zoomed to the very top of the restaurant industry menu. That according to a new restaurant innovation report out Wednesday from the National Restaurant Association, the industry trade group. More than one-third of consumers say they are more likely to use technology-related options in restaurants now than they did just two years ago.

U.S. Economy Chugging Along at 3.5 Percent Growth
The economy had a smooth summer. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, increased 3.5 percent between July and September over the same period last year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. It exceeded analysts’ expectations and offered more proof of an economy gaining momentum.

Why Are America’s Biggest Businesses Struggling?
America loves a good comeback story. Especially when the stock market is the protagonist. Investors were having panic attacks mid-month. Nearly all the gains for the year were wiped out. Now the Nasdaq and S&P 500 are both positive for October and way up for the year.

L.A.’s Manufacturing Industry Still Supported By Garment Workers
Los Angeles has the highest number of manufacturing jobs in the country. While much of American manufacturing is high end, folks here still hold up the low end, with low-wage, non-union jobs held by immigrants.
National Public Radio

The Dangers of Relying Too Much on Data
If the business best-seller lists tells us anything, it’s that entrepreneurs always seem to be in the market for advice. I’ll admit that I’ve read my fair share of these books, mostly because building a company feels a little less scary when you have a framework or system to follow.
New York Times

The Long Odds of Reforming an Employee Who Is a ‘Destructive Hero’
The results are always blindingly good. That is why so many business owners are slow to recognize the dangers posed by employees sometimes known as destructive heroes. At the building products company Dave Sullivan headed more than a decade ago, it was a top salesman who caused the havoc.
New York Times

Record Those Work Hours, Get Some Beer
Minneapolis ad agency Colle + McVoy is using beer to get its workers to fill out their time sheets. Fill out your time sheet, swipe your card, and you get a free beer.
National Public Radio

Moving Past the Password, But at What Cost?
Everyone hates passwords almost as much as they hate being hacked. The problem the traditional password is twofold. In order to be useful, they have to be complex and difficult to guess. Also, passwords become less secure the more often you use them.
National Public Radio

Cure for Office Burnout: Mini Sabbaticals
Companies want workers to get out of the office. As they try to stand out in the hiring market and show they care about employee burnout, some employers are trying out new sabbatical programs.
Wall Street Journal

India Is Changing, and Faster Than We Think
Two months after leaving India as Canada’s High Commissioner, I returned two weeks ago as part of British Columbia Premier Christy Clark’s official delegation to the country. Stepping out into the hot and humid Delhi night, everything looked the same but there was certainly a sense of change in the air.
Toronto Globe & Mail

U.K.’s Pensions Regulator Levies First Fines Over Auto-Enrollment Compliance
The Pensions Regulator, the U.K.’s pension watchdog, issued its first fines to employers for not meeting their automatic enrollment duties and issued 163 compliance notices. According to its latest update on the use of its statutory powers, which a TPR spokeswoman said covers the period July 1 to Sept. 30, TPR issued three fixed-penalty notices, which carry a fine of £400 ($646) each.
Pensions & Investments

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