Benefits news you may have missed: July 20-24

Walmart giving employees third COVID-related bonus: Walmart on Tuesday said it will pay out another cash bonus to frontline employees working in stores, clubs and its distribution and fulfillment centers for their work during the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer will pay a bonus of $300 for full-time hourly associates and $150 for part-time hourly and temporary associates. Drivers, managers, assistant managers and its health and wellness workers will reap rewards as well–amounting to approximately $428 million in all. Read more here.

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HR leaders plan to embrace remote work post-pandemic: After coronavirus pushed a massive experiment in remote work, now there’s more evidence it will continue post-pandemic. New data finds that 82% of company leaders surveyed by research firm Gartner say their organizations plan to permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time even after the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Amazon opening health clinics for employees: Amazon is opening neighborhood health clinics for its employees and their families, the retail giant announced this week. The first health center will be in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, home to more than 20,000 Amazon employees, including 11,000 working in operations. Overall, the company plans to open 20 health centers in five cities across the U.S.–Phoenix, Louisville, Detroit and San Bernardino, California, in addition to Dallas-Fort Worth–to provide care for roughly 115,000 employees and their families. Read more here.

HBLC speaker proposals deadline extended: The Health and Benefits Leadership Conference request for proposal deadline is being extended. Speakers now have until Aug. 3 to submit a proposal to present at the annual benefits conference, which is scheduled for April 7-9, 2021, in Las Vegas. Read more here.

Work, life and why I feel balanced even during COVID: Prosek Partners CHRO Karen Niovitch Davis shares her journey toward bringing her whole self to work. Read more here.

Employees waste time on HR tasks: Employees not only hate tasks like reading benefits information or submitting expense reports–they waste money and time doing it. Read more here.

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Coronavirus resource spotlight: Mental health and wellness guide: Here’s a look at a guide from the SHRM Foundation, One Mind at Work and Psych Hub that aims to help HR professionals address employees’ mental health issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Workers not comfortable with office return: Although employers are more widely thinking about their reopening plans after closing down workplaces due to COVID-19, a variety of factors is making those plans complicated and risky. The majority of workers do not feel safe returning to the workplace, according to new data from Qualtrics. Read more here.

Employees want fitness benefits: Although 16% of companies say they’re considering cutting benefits as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many employees still see value in benefits, particularly fitness-oriented benefits, according to a Gympass survey. Read more here.

New Avalara CHRO putting employee health and safety first: In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, Kathleen Weslock stepped into her new position as CHRO of Avalara, a leading provider of cloud-based tax solutions designed to help businesses maintain compliance. Bringing with her 20 years of leadership experience and an extensive background in HR–including as CHRO of Cisco Systems, SunGard Data Systems and Livent–Weslock has made it her goal to focus on employee wellbeing and safety throughout the pandemic. Read more here.

How to avoid remote bias in a post-COVID world: Here are 4 steps to address common biases that impact remote workers in organizations of all sizes, says Broadridge Solutions CHRO. Read more here.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.