Showing posts from March, 2013

Balancing Caregiving and Work

People are living long and working longer; as a society we are seeing possibly the largest portion of the workforce in our nation's history who are both still at work during their later years and caring for a parent, sibling, or other older relative. Our family lost one of our dear neighbors this week after a long health struggle related to his age; and we see family members reaching that age where they need more from us.  In HR we see more and more of these types of situations showing up at work every year. Aging isn't the only issue driving care giving among the workforce.  Medical science has saved many lives, but those are often lives lived thereafter with a disability of some sort.  From combat to car wrecks, more people who would have died a generation ago survive but require care.  Coincide that with the two-job couples that didn't exist in our grandparents time and the result is that no matter who in the household ends up as the caregiver, they will usually have

Employee Benefits and Same-Sex Couples

The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments over California's Proposition 8 banning Same-Sex Marriage, and then will immediately turn its attention to a challenge to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  That law prohibits same-sex couples from receiving the same federal tax and other benefit considerations as traditionally married couples. For benefits administrators this is severely needed.  I have in my region states where same-sex marriage is legal.  In those states those employees with same-sex partners must be allowed to elect benefits for them under a group health plan.  However DOMA, prohibiting any favorable tax consideration to such couples, denies the employee the pre-tax benefits status of the heterosexual married couples.  The result of this inconsistency between state and federal law is that the benefits administrators and payroll processors must process deductions and remit payments under the same plan two different ways. Regardless of how you feel