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Benefits news you may have missed: May 18-22

From Cisco’s new mental health offering to Levi’s enhanced paid sick leave policy, here are some of this week’s top stories.
By: | May 22, 2020 • 2 min read

Cisco looking to alleviate COVID stress with unique perk: The tech company is encouraging all of its workers to take a collective day off to rest on May 22 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

How COVID-19 taught HR ‘a valuable lesson’ on mental health: Limeade’s Reetu Sandhu sounds off on how coronavirus is changing employers’ approach to emotional wellbeing. Read more here.

Coronavirus resource spotlight: Headspace’s mental health tools: A look at Headspace’s mental health resources—now available free of charge for employers during the pandemic. Read more here.

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Walmart hands out another round of employee bonuses: Walmart is handing out another round of cash bonuses to thank its employees for working during the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer says it will pay a bonus of $300 to full-time hourly associates and $150 to part-time hourly and temporary associates—totaling more than $390 million. It’s the company’s second cash bonus in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

Workers optimistic about remote work: A majority of employees say their industry can succeed when people work from home, according to the latest LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index. The report is the latest to indicate workers’ confidence in working remotely. Read more here.

Levi’s to offer paid sick leave to part-time workers: Levi Strauss & Co. is extending its sick leave policy to give all part-time employees access to those benefits. The apparel company says part-time employees will now accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 80 hours of paid sick time annually—the same policy that its full-time retail employees have. The move, says Scott White, the company’s vice president of people operations and total rewards, will help the company more safely open up for business after COVID-19 forced the company to close its brick-and-mortar locations. Read more here.

Employees worry mental health issues impact job security: Although the vast majority (96%) of employees say that mental health is just as important as physical health, 64% say that if someone at their company reached out about a mental health issue, it could put that worker’s job at risk, according to Businessolver. Read more here.

‘Touch benefits as a last resort’: HSA Bank’s Kevin Robertson suggests that employers should avoid making any big coronavirus-related benefits changes for as long as possible. Read more here.

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s 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. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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