Benefits news you may have missed: June 15-19

Companies embracing Juneteenth as paid holiday: A handful of employers are adding Juneteenth as an official paid company holiday as racial injustice protests take place across the nation. JCPenney, Levi Strauss & Co., Namely, Nike, Postmates and Twitter are among the growing number of employers that are giving employees the day off on June 19–the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Company leaders say noting the day as a holiday–most for the first time–is important recognition for systemic racism and a chance for employees to reflect. Read more here.

What’s your 2021 benefits strategy? Calling it unprecedented barely does justice to our new environment. I think we all can agree the world, healthcare, our work–and, of course, employee benefits and wellbeing–are completely changed by the coronavirus pandemic. And I want to know how you’re handling it for your employees–and what lessons you think will last beyond the crisis. Read more here.

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Employees worried about being exposed to COVID-19 at work: According to a Gallup poll of employees conducted May 25-31, nearly half of workers say they are concerned–either very (13%) or moderately (33%)–about being exposed to the coronavirus at work. At the same time, 29% are not too concerned and 25% not at all concerned. With employees worried about returning to the workplace in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, employers, and HR leaders in particular, should take extra precautions to avoid spreading the virus as they bring more workers to the office. Read more here.

Employers embracing mid-year health plan changes after IRS guidance: Here’s how many employers are allowing employees to switch plans after new IRS guidance–and what it means for HR leaders. Read more here.

How many employers are making Juneteenth a paid company holiday: A growing number of companies are giving are workers the day off in recognition of the end of slavery–most for the first time. A look at how many employers are making Juneteenth a paid company holiday–and what it means for HR leaders. 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.