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Short on Funds? When Furloughs Make Sense

Posted on July 29th, 2020

Furloughs — mandatory, temporary suspensions from work without pay — have allowed many employers to hold on to their businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Download Our Furloughs, Layoffs and More: HR’s guide to employee issues during COVID-19 (and beyond)

If you were lucky enough to avoid having to furlough your employees, congratulations! But should you find yourself needing to furlough employees in the future, it’s important to understand when furloughs are the optimum choice over other options and how to implement a furlough that’s in compliance with the law.

When Furloughs Make Sense

If you lack the resources to pay your employees because of a business slowdown or an economic downturn, you may want to furlough them; that is, place them on leave without pay.

Furloughs are ordinarily for a certain number of unpaid days or hours. For example, nonexempt employees might be paid to work only 32 hours instead of their normal 40 hours each week. Or employees might be furloughed until a certain event has passed, such as a pandemic. Other options would be to rotate workers or furlough only those workers in non-essential functions

How a Furlough Differs from a Layoff

The biggest difference between a furlough and a layoff is that a furlough is intended to be temporary, but a layoff is permanent. A layoff allows a company to cut expenditures quickly and save salary and benefit costs. However, a layoff can be a more costly option if an employer intends or later discovers the need to hire staff again since recruiting and training costs must be incurred.

Compliance Rules

If you decide that furloughing your employees is the best option for your business, there are certain rules you must follow:

    Employees must perform no work: It is not legal for you to require a furloughed employee to do any work at all. That includes making phone calls or answering mail. If a salaried employee does any work at all you must pay them the equivalent of their salary for the entire day.

    You must allow employees to seek employment: Although furloughed employees stay on the organization’s books during the furlough, they may look for a new job during that time. One of the downsides to a furlough is that you could lose some of your top talent.

    Furloughed employees can take unemployment benefits for the time they aren’t paid: However, if you pay them back pay for their time away from work, they will probably have to pay back any unemployment benefits they collected. Whether they can collect unemployment at all depends on each state’s rules for unemployment payments. Some states require unemployment applicants to show that they are actively searching for a job. This type of requirement disqualifies a furloughed employee.

    Companies of a certain size must give advanced notice: The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires companies that employ more than 100 full-time workers (or part-time workers who work more than 4,000 hours a week in aggregate) to provide 60 days written notice before a layoff, plant closure or furlough that would affect 50 or more employees and one-third of the worksite’s total workforce at a single site or 500 or more employees at a single site. This would apply when there is a layoff or discharge of more than 6 months or a 50 percent reduction in hours in each of the 6 preceding months. The Act makes exceptions for faltering companies, unforeseen business circumstances and natural disasters. In those cases, the Act requires as much notice to the employees as possible.

    Exempt employees might become non-exempt: If you decide to reduce your salaried workers’ pay, keep in mind doing so might trigger the loss of exempt status, which could make those employees eligible for overtime pay. 

Wellbeing Resources – Week of July 27th

Posted on July 27th, 2020

Whether in grand gestures or subtle actions, there are so many ways our leaders are supporting the mental health of employees during this time.  One theme that continues to surface is the importance of being vulnerable and modeling healthy behaviors.  In a piece about mental health and the pandemic, Mind Share Partners shares the importance of managers and leaders visibly making mentally healthy choices so employees will do the same.  In being open and honest about your own personal challenges and sharing how you’re managing your own mental health during this time, you build connection and relatability and pave the pathway for better communication. 

For a lighthearted example of being vulnerable, Slack’s CEO, Stewart Butterfield, hosted an All-Hands staff meeting right from the comfort of his laundry room during the pandemic.  It was the only room in his house with good reception due to some ongoing construction!

Have a safe and healthy week!    

Career Wellbeing

How Women Can Build Powerful Mentoring Relationships – Women must be intentional with the relationships they create.  Savvy women invest in building those relationship with key people both inside and outside the organization.  Learn 4 steps to successful developmental relationships. 

Social & Family Wellbeing

Social: Fighting Loneliness and Strengthening Human Connection – Former US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, discusses why loneliness has grown (even pre pandemic), what the mental and physical effects of loneliness are and how we can strengthen human connection even in a time of isolation.  There are many great podcast interviews with him on the internet as well.  

Family: Wellness for Kids in the age of COVID-19 – This article by Namaste Wellness shares some great ideas for focusing on wellness with your kids (in the areas of movement, stillness, connection, and nutrition) during this uncertain time.

 

Financial Wellbeing

How to Prioritize Debt and Eliminate It – This quick video by Voya Financial talks about the types of debt and how to prioritize paying it off. 

 

Physical Wellbeing

Got 8 Minutes?  How to Build a Fat-Burning Burst Training Workout – Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Specialist, JJ Virgin, tells you how to put together an 8-Minute workout to boost metabolism, burn fat, and manage stress. 

Building Non-Negotiables into Daily Eating Habits – Being crystal clear around how you build pleasure into your eating and building play can help you create long lasting, realistic, sustainable changes over the long-term so you can stay on track.  Learn more in this quick video from RD Esther Blum. 

Emotional Wellbeing

Why and How You Can Start Meditating Now (Especially if You Think You Can’t) – Claiming your mind is too busy to meditate, is like saying you are too dirty to take a shower.  Learn this quick 4-step process to make meditation possible for you.

How to Stop Obsessive Thought Loops – Ruminating over these uncertain times can put us at war with our thoughts to the point that they become intrusive.  Learn how to break the cycle.

Community Wellbeing  

Four Teens Create COVID-19 Coloring Book for Children and Raise Money for Charity – What started as an economics class project for high school ended up ended up as a real business that has already generated $4,000 in charitable donations.  Get your COVID-19 coloring book here

Employer Focused Resources

The “E” (Equity) in DE&I: Why Diversity and Inclusion Can’t Happen Without It – Diversity and inclusion , or  D & I, is a hot topic right now but without the E – "Equity" – at the center, even the best D & I strategies will fail to build truly inclusive workplaces and employee experiences. Dr. Aletha Maybank, The American Medical Association's (AMA) first ever Chief Health Equity Officer, describes equity as "having the conditions, resources, opportunities and power to achieve optimal health" and is core to an employee's health and wellbeing. Join her for a conversation on how your organization can embed equity in your workplace. Tuesday, July 28th at 1PM ET.  RSVP HERE.   

Supporting Employee Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic – This guide by Mind Share Partners outlines action-oriented tips and company examples to help managers and leaders support employee mental health during this time. 

3 Challenges for Benefit Managers During the Pandemic

Posted on July 23rd, 2020

Providing benefit portability, helping employees manage their work/life balance and maintain financial stability can help employees during this difficult time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most turbulent times for employers and their employee benefit programs. A huge portion of the workforce has been let go or had to adapt to working from home; at the same time, many people have found jobs in sectors where demand for employees has been stimulated by the crisis.

Employee benefit managers face at least three specific challenges. The first one is probably the easiest to manage, though the fact that it may apply to so many people at one time may be the greater challenge:

Providing benefit portability and a smooth plan conversion process. Make sure employees know their portability rights. COBRA allows most employees to continue health coverage for a period of time after losing a job. Portability is also an important factor with IRAs. Retirement account owners can instruct their former employer to transfer their account balance to their new employer’s administrator. They can also elect to get the funds themselves, whereupon they have 60 days to reinvest the funds in another tax-deferred account or pay the taxes on the amount received.

Helping employees manage their work-life balance. This is more challenging. For example, how can parents cope with working remotely while the kids are home all day? How can they adapt to getting work done and fulfill their home-schooling responsibilities? This is where Employee Assistance Programs can be a valuable resource, addressing not just health concerns (as we discuss in another article in this edition), but offering counseling, crisis-support, referral services, 24-hour crisis telephone support and more. Many EAPs now provide services via Zoom and other face-to-face technology.

Additional ways to help employees manage stress and relieve anxiety include providing online tools for meditation, yoga and relaxation techniques as well as exercise classes.

Helping employees maintain financial wellness. Stress about money can have a significant impact on anyone, but especially in times of greater uncertainty like now. This may be a good time to reach out to employees and invite them to enroll in a financial wellness program, which often exists as a benefits tool but are under-utilized. Regardless of employment status, understanding and practicing the basics of financial well-being can relieve stress. Living in isolation may even help people understand how to cut spending and practice contentment. Some wellness programs include a financial education component, offering online education and personal counseling.

For help navigating any of these challenges, please contact us. 

3 Challenges for Benefit Managers During the Pandemic

Posted on July 23rd, 2020

Providing benefit portability, helping employees manage their work/life balance and maintain financial stability can help employees during this difficult time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most turbulent times for employers and their employee benefit programs. A huge portion of the workforce has been let go or had to adapt to working from home; at the same time, many people have found jobs in sectors where demand for employees has been stimulated by the crisis.

Employee benefit managers face at least three specific challenges. The first one is probably the easiest to manage, though the fact that it may apply to so many people at one time may be the greater challenge:

Providing benefit portability and a smooth plan conversion process. Make sure employees know their portability rights. COBRA allows most employees to continue health coverage for a period of time after losing a job. Portability is also an important factor with IRAs. Retirement account owners can instruct their former employer to transfer their account balance to their new employer’s administrator. They can also elect to get the funds themselves, whereupon they have 60 days to reinvest the funds in another tax-deferred account or pay the taxes on the amount received.

Helping employees manage their work-life balance. This is more challenging. For example, how can parents cope with working remotely while the kids are home all day? How can they adapt to getting work done and fulfill their home-schooling responsibilities? This is where Employee Assistance Programs can be a valuable resource, addressing not just health concerns (as we discuss in another article in this edition), but offering counseling, crisis-support, referral services, 24-hour crisis telephone support and more. Many EAPs now provide services via Zoom and other face-to-face technology.

Additional ways to help employees manage stress and relieve anxiety include providing online tools for meditation, yoga and relaxation techniques as well as exercise classes.

Helping employees maintain financial wellness. Stress about money can have a significant impact on anyone, but especially in times of greater uncertainty like now. This may be a good time to reach out to employees and invite them to enroll in a financial wellness program, which often exists as a benefits tool but are under-utilized. Regardless of employment status, understanding and practicing the basics of financial well-being can relieve stress. Living in isolation may even help people understand how to cut spending and practice contentment. Some wellness programs include a financial education component, offering online education and personal counseling.

For help navigating any of these challenges, please contact us. 

Wellbeing Resources – Week of July 20

Posted on July 20th, 2020

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Below you'll find this week’s curated list of wellbeing resources.  Please feel free to share these resources, as appropriate, with your team.   

 

Career Wellbeing 

  • The Real Reason You Procrastinate – You procrastinate because you're lazy, right? Wrong. The truth is more complex — and far more interesting. Learn how to stop putting off important tasks … with a little help from master procrastinator Margaret Atwood. TED WorkLife with Adam Grant Podcast. 

 

Social & Family Wellbeing 

 

Financial Wellbeing 

 

Physical Wellbeing 

  • Shifting the Focus From Sleep to True Circadian Health – A major shift is predicted in wellness: less focus on sleep solutions and a new focus on circadian health optimization. Learn how to optimize your circadian health by joining this webinar on Thursday, July 2rd at 2 PM ET.  RSVP HERE
  • 8 Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes You Should Make at Home – Skip the expense and added ingredients of store-bought dressings and try these healthy options instead!  

 

Emotional Wellbeing 

  • How Much is Anxiety Plaguing You? The National Mental Alliance on Mental Illness and Google have launched a new feature on Google Search that allows searchers to take a clinically validated questionnaire to assess their anxiety levels and find resources to support them.  See #6 for more details.   
  • Vinyasa Yoga – Join Namaste wellness for a free 30-minute Vinyasa yoga class on Thursday, July 23rd from 7:30-8 AM.  RSVP HERE.   

 

Community Wellbeing 

  • ‘Wine Fairies’ Anonymously Gifting Wine and Treats to Neighbors Who Could Use a Boost – As a means of cheering up American communities during the COVID-19 outbreaks, mysterious groups of do-gooders known as “Wine Fairies” have cropped up across the country!  Read on to learn more about the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wine.  

 

EMPLOYER FOCUSED RESOURCES 

  • If Your Employees Aren’t Thriving, Your Business Is Struggling – Jim Harter, the Chief Scientist of Workplace Management & Well-Being for Gallup, discusses how ‘engaged workers who are not thriving in their lives are much more vulnerable and add risk to your organization’.  Learn more about the current state of the workplace and where we need to focus to foster ‘thriving’.  

 

About the Author

Andrea Davis, Director of Wellbeing
Andrea joined Alera Group Northeast (formerly CBP) in July 2013, bringing over 15 years of experience in management consulting and strategic solutions. As the Director of Wellbeing, she is responsible for assisting with the development, implementation and evaluation of comprehensive wellness strategies for existing and prospective Alera Group clients. She provides assistance and support to Alera Group clients by developing personalized programs that fit clients’ unique health management needs, wellness program implementation, committee development, promotion and marketing of their programs to encourage participation. In addition, Andrea conducts program analysis and generates reports related to program participation, health assessment and client utilization. 

Mustering Employer Resources to Combat Mental Health Issues

Posted on July 15th, 2020

Unfortunately, as a consequence of the work-from-home, shelter-in-place and quarantine initiatives put in place to keep us safe from COVID-19, there has been a rise in emotional distress.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that 56 percent of Americans reported that worry or stress has led to at least one negative mental health effect. These effects include trouble with:

 

•    Eating

•    Sleeping

•    Drinking more alcohol

•    Frequent headaches or stomachaches

•    Shorter tempers

•    Other health problems

 

In addition, the Well Being Trust, a national foundation dedicated to advancing the mental, social and spiritual health of the nation, believes the pandemic could lead to 75,000 additional “deaths of despair” from drug and alcohol misuse and suicide due to unemployment, social isolation and fears about the virus.

Employers who offer health plans and have access to workplace wellness programs may be in a good position to address many of these problems. They already have communication structures in place and usually a team that could coordinate the programs. They can also offer incentives to reinforce healthy behaviors.

Plus, addressing mental health issues in the workplace pays employers dividends by having happier, more productive employees, and reducing health care costs for themselves and their employees.

Here are few things health experts say can exert a positive effect on employees’ mental health.

Health Plan

First, employers should reinforce the value of the benefits they already provide. Highlight the company’s employer-sponsored health plan by distributing informative material such as pamphlets about specific services, sending emails and holding workshops.

For instance, if your plan has access to telehealth or remote nurse line counseling, remind employees how to register. Explain that telehealth is not just for medical questions, but for mental health counseling, too.

Discuss whether your plan covers the costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Also explain coverage for seeking routine care, chronic illness and urgent care.

If you have employees who are not on your plan, share with them information about accessing public COVID-19 testing and treatment or mental health counseling.

Seminars or workshops that address depression and stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, breathing exercises and meditation can help employees reduce anxiety and stress and improve focus and motivation. If you have mental health self-assessment tools, make them available to all employees.

Supervisors

Supervisors are often the ones employees come to when they do not know how to cope. They can usually tell when employees are stressed anyway. Therefore, provide these people with training to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of stress.

Supervisors should understand what Human Resources can provide so they can direct employees to the proper resources. They also need the authority and flexibility to give employees permission to take mental health breaks, take walks and practice other acts of self-care.

Supervisors should be encouraged to be good listeners and stay alert to the challenges employees are facing.

Employee Assistance Programs

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees with personal or work-related problems. These problems can include substance abuse, emotional distress, or occupational distress. Assistance is free.

If you don’t have an EAP for your employees, please contact us. We will help you work with providers and determine which services best serve your needs. 

Wellbeing Resources – Week of July 17

Posted on July 13th, 2020

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Below please find this week’s curated list of wellbeing resources.  Please feel free to share these resources, as appropriate, with your team. Have a safe and healthy week!

 

 Career Wellbeing

  • 7 Practical Ways to Use Your Strengths at Work – In this FREE webinar, Gallup Certified Strengths Facilitator and Career Coach, La Tondra Murray will talk about leveraging your talents more intentionally in the workplace. July 15th at 12 PM ET. RSVP HERE

 

  Social & Family Wellbeing

 Social

Family

  • Video Game and Social Media Battles – Family Therapist, Jennifer Kolari, helps parents learn effective ways to limit and regulate their kid’s screen time, social media, and gaming in this 15-minute podcast. 
  • See the Financial Wellbeing section below for ‘Teaching Kids Money Basics’.

 

  Financial Wellbeing

  • Teaching Kids Money Basics – From teaching young kids the differences between wants and needs, to showing teens the value of earning, saving, and consequences of debt, join this webinar from Principal and learn how you can be a positive influence on the children in your life and their financial future. Wednesday, July 15th at 12 PM ET. RSVP HERE.

 

  Physical Wellbeing

  • The Real Story About “Good” and “Bad” Cholesterol – Triple-board certified health expert and 4-time New York Times best-selling author, JJ Virgin, clears up the confusion on cholesterol For part 2 of this blog by JJ, which discusses how to improve your cholesterol levels with diet, click here
  • Pilates Mat – Join Namaste Wellness for this FREE classic 30-minute Pilates mat class to strengthen and tone your core. July 15th at 7:30 AM. RSVP HERE.

   

  Emotional Wellbeing

  • The Science of Well-Being: How to Stay Happy Even in Tough Times – Laurie Santos is a professor of psychology at Yale and her course on happiness at Yale became the most popular course in Yale history. In this reply with Dr. Santos, you’ll learn 7 insights on the science of happiness and how happiness and gratitude can help you build resilience during times of crisis. 
  • How to Stop Doomscrolling Every Time You Go Online – When our digital life has fundamentally become a stressful extension of our offline lives, it can feel like we can’t catch a break. Here are 9 tips to help you build boundaries with intention that doesn’t involve the common advice of “just log off”. 

 

  Community Wellbeing

  • Gratitude Gifts for Delivery Drivers – Our delivery drivers have been working extra hard to ensure that we have been getting all the products we need during this difficult time. Let’s show them our gratitude! Click here for some inspiration

 

  EMPLOYER FOCUSED RESOURCES

  •  Google’s Head of Wellness Explains Their Current Approach to Wellness – In this article, Google’s Wellness and Resilience Lead, Lauren Whitt, discusses what they are doing to help employees remain healthy, both mentally and physically, during these uncertain times. 
  • Ideas to Improve Employee Health & Culture – The Cleveland Clinic and Bravo are hosting a webinar on July 16th at 12 PM ET to discuss their occupational health strategy for onsite works, their employee assistance initiatives to improve employees’ physical, emotional, social, and financial well-being, and ways to nurture the organizational culture during this time. RSVP HERE.

 

About the Author

Andrea Davis, Director of Wellbeing
Andrea joined Alera Group Northeast (formerly CBP) in July 2013, bringing over 15 years of experience in management consulting and strategic solutions. As the Director of Wellbeing, she is responsible for assisting with the development, implementation and evaluation of comprehensive wellness strategies for existing and prospective Alera Group clients. She provides assistance and support to Alera Group clients by developing personalized programs that fit clients’ unique health management needs, wellness program implementation, committee development, promotion and marketing of their programs to encourage participation. In addition, Andrea conducts program analysis and generates reports related to program participation, health assessment and client utilization. 

Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court Ruling – Time to Review Your Employee Benefit Plans

Posted on July 6th, 2020

Background:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is an important law that is both a civil rights and labor law and on its basic level outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. More specifically under Title VII, which governs equal employment opportunity, it is unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment for any of the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The heart of the most recent Supreme Court ruling on Title VII in Bostock v. Clayton County was an employee’s “sex” included an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity, therefore, protecting an employee from termination (or being hired) because they were gay or transgender.

The Supreme Court’s ruling answered that question by definitively stating “[a]n employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.” The Supreme Court made clear that under the Civil Rights Act “sex” includes gender identity and sexual orientation.

What Does This Mean for Employee Benefit Plans?

Although Bostock v. Clayton County was specifically focused on the hiring and termination of LGBTQ individuals it may have implications for employee benefits. Employee benefits are a fringe benefit program and receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs also are protected from discriminatory practices and decisions under Title VII.

In light of this Supreme Court decision, employers sponsoring group health plans may want to review their benefit plans to assess whether coverage discriminates on the basis of sex, for instance:

  • Eligibility terms:
    • If the plan covers spouses, does it allow same sex-spouses?
    • If the plan permits coverage of domestic partners, does it allow for same-sex domestic partners?
  • Benefits:
    • Does the plan cover gender dysphoria and related services? 
    • Do the family-planning benefits need to be expanded?
      • What are the infertility services & how does one qualify?
    • Is gender-affirmation surgery considered a temporary disability under the disability plan?

If an employer discovers their plans may be viewed as discriminatory or they prefer not to implement coverage changes impacting LGBTQ participants (i.e. cover gender dysphoria and related services), or have a self-funded plan currently with a blanket exclusion, they should seek legal advice. These exclusions are likely to now be challenged under this new Supreme Court precedent. The Supreme Court has unequivocally stated that under Title VII, sex does include sexual orientation or gender identity and discrimination on the basis of sex under employment law is not permissible. That includes benefits because they are a term & condition of employment.  

 

This article was last reviewed and up to date as of 7/5/2020.

Disclaimer: This blog was written by Michelle Turner, MBA, Compliance Consultant, Alera Group Central Region. This blog post intends to provide general information regarding the status of, and/or potential concerns related to, current employer HR & benefits issues. This blog should not be construed as, nor is it intended to provide, legal advice. The opinions expressed herein are based upon the author’s experience as a Compliance Consultant and may not reflect the opinions of your counsel. 

The information contained herein should be understood to be general insurance brokerage information only and does not constitute advice for any particular situation or fact pattern and cannot be relied upon as such.  Statements concerning financial, regulatory or legal matters are based on general observations as an insurance broker and may not be relied upon as financial, regulatory or legal advice.  This document is owned by Alera Group, Inc., and its contents may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the written permission of Alera Group, Inc.

Weekly Wrap-up: Wellbeing Resources

Posted on July 6th, 2020

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!  So….when is the last time you took a vacation day?  If you said ‘pre-COVID', you’re not alone.  With nowhere to go, many employees have cancelled vacations and have no plans in sight for time off.  Without an official ‘vacation’ planned, do we still need time off?  Resoundingly, the answer is yes.  The Harvard Business Review recently discussed how employee work hours have soared since the start of the pandemic but people’s capacity to focus and be productive has crashed.   The article shares some sound advice they received from a survey to employers on how to encourage time off but I like the simple survey feedback they received from Limeade’s CEO Henry Albrecht, “Share the rules, show care, model the behaviors, and trust people to do the right thing”. 

Have a safe and healthy week.    

 

  Career Wellbeing

  • How the Cult of Sleep-Deprivation Affects Work – Many high-powered jobs require you to work long hours and give up sleep. But can that harm your career? Tune into this 30-minute episode of the Anxious Overachiever to find out. 

  

  Social & Family Wellbeing

Social

Family

  • Managing Summer Disruptions (and Beyond) for our Kids due to COVID – In this quick video, Dr. Tina Payne Bryson talks about the disappointment our kids might feel as their summer activities are being cancelled due to the pandemic. There may be highs and lows as they deal with anger, sadness, and frustration. But as parents, we can prepare by anticipating that our kids might need a little more support from us, not just when we tell them but throughout the summer. Watch the full video to learn more.

  

  Financial Wellbeing

  

  Physical Wellbeing

  • Overcoming Sugar Addiction – This podcast interview with Dr. Mark Hyman discusses why quitting sugar is so difficult (hint: because it’s an actual physical addiction). The discussion dives into how we can reset our biochemistry and take back our health.
  • Make the Most of Your SPF – This article explains the difference between chemical and mineral SPF’s and tells you when to apply them for the best results. 

 

  Emotional Wellbeing

  • Mastering Resiliency – Award-winning Author and Resiliency Expert, Jenny Evans, teaches you how to conquer stress and unlock your peak performance. 
  • 30-Minute Vinyasa Yoga – Join Namaste Wellness for a 30-minute class to release stress and deepen the mind-body connection. Thursday, July 9th at 7:30 AM. RSVP HERE.

  

  Community Wellbeing

  • New Ways to Support Mental Health, Addiction, and Community wellbeing – The organization, Mindful Philanthropy, launched to expand informed giving to mental health and addiction initiatives. This is an amazing resource to find out how you can support these incredibly important causes. 

  

  EMPLOYER FOCUSED RESOURCES

  • The Real Causes of Employee Burnout – According to a recent Gallup report, 76% of employees experience burnout at least sometimes. Will reducing hours solve the problem? Learn the real causes of burnout and what you can do about it. 
  • Managers, Encourage Your Team to Take Time Off – This great piece by the Harvard Business Review discusses the reluctancy of employees to take time off right now some strategies to approach this. 

 

For more resources and updates, check out our Coronavirus Resource Center at aleragroup.com/coronavirus/.

 

About the Author

Andrea Davis, Director of Wellbeing
Andrea joined Alera Group Northeast (formerly CBP) in July 2013, bringing over 15 years of experience in management consulting and strategic solutions. As the Director of Wellbeing, she is responsible for assisting with the development, implementation and evaluation of comprehensive wellness strategies for existing and prospective Alera Group clients. She provides assistance and support to Alera Group clients by developing personalized programs that fit clients’ unique health management needs, wellness program implementation, committee development, promotion and marketing of their programs to encourage participation. In addition, Andrea conducts program analysis and generates reports related to program participation, health assessment and client utilization. 

 

The information contained herein should be understood to be general insurance brokerage information only and does not constitute advice for any particular situation or fact pattern and cannot be relied upon as such.  Statements concerning financial, regulatory or legal matters are based on general observations as an insurance broker and may not be relied upon as financial, regulatory or legal advice.  This document is owned by Alera Group, Inc., and its contents may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the written permission of Alera Group, Inc.

Alera Group Appoints Jim Wochele as Vice President, Sales Development

Posted on July 1st, 2020

Alera Group is excited to announce that Jim Wochele has recently been appointed as its national Vice President of Sales Development, effective June 29, 2020. Wochele will oversee sales training & development, strategy and execution across the United States.

Wochele is an accomplished consultant, sales manager and keynote speaker who has provided proven activity-based and process-driven selling strategies to agencies and brokers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Prior to joining Alera Group, Wochele spent nine years at MarshBerry, moving from Sales Management Consultant to Vice President of Consulting.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Jim Wochele to the Alera Group team, and we look forward to all the great work he will be doing leading our sales team,” said Jim Blue, President of Alera Group. “Jim’s leadership skills and sales expertise will make a powerful impact on Alera Group firms across the country.”

“As Vice President of Sales Development at Alera Group, I look forward to strengthening our organic growth efforts throughout the country,” said Jim Wochele. “Alera Group has an amazing brand already, and I will work collaboratively with our sales teams to get that message out to future clients so we can help more businesses and individuals manage their risks in employee benefits, property & casualty, wealth management and retirement services.”

Wochele will be based out of Cleveland, Ohio. He joins Alera Group as the latest member of an industry-leading team of professionals across the United States. For more information about Alera Group, visit www.aleragroup.com

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About Alera Group

With over 80 locations across the country and nearly 2,000 teammates, Alera Group works together to deliver solutions in employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement services and wealth management. Built on a unique model of collaboration, Alera Group is now the 17th largest independent insurance agency in the United States. For more information, visit aleragroup.com.

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