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Halloween   

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Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses" and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century. Halloween is celebrated in several parts of the Western world, most commonly in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and occasionally in parts of Australia and New Zealand.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

2019-2020 Flu Season Could Cost Employers $13B   

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The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts 22 million people of all ages nationwide have tested positive for one of the known types of influenza viruses in the 2019-2020 season. High instances of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) occurred in 45 states and Puerto Rico. While it is difficult for the CDC to predict flu severity, Challenger estimates absences due to illness could cost employers over $13 billion in lost productivity this season.

“The Coronavirus has not had widespread infection rates in the US. However, it is impacting business in other ways. Trade and overseas demand, particularly with China, has slowed as the country is dealing with a nationwide epidemic and a global outbreak,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Shipping is taking a hard hit as China battles the virus, as cargo-carrying vessels bringing supplies to China are now earning 93% below what they made during its peak in 2019, and 95% below peak for crude-carrying vessels, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, The Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell will be talking to Congress this week, which will likely include discussions of how the Coronavirus will impact not only China’s economy but also the US economy.

“While the Coronavirus has yet to sicken many Americans, and hopefully, spread of that disease remains contained, the flu season in the US has begun. After the severe flu season in 2017-2018 affected people across the country, the nation’s employers would be wise to start discussing prevention measures with their workforces if they haven’t already. Encourage workers to wash their hands often and stock soap at all shared sinks, and hand sanitizer in other shared spaces. Remind workers to get vaccinated for the circulating flu types, and tell sick workers to stay home,” said Challenger.

Last year’s flu season sickened over 35.5 million people, down significantly from the 45 million people sickened in 2017-2018 season. Roughly 22 million of last season’s flu patients were working age, between the ages of 18 and 75, according to data from the CDC.

This year’s flu season is similar to the 2012-2013 season, according to the CDC, which saw 33.7 million people sickened.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FluView Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report for Week 5, February 1, 2020

Challenger predicts 23.4 million people between 18 and 75 could become ill with the flu this season, using age data from the 2012-2013 flu season. With the current employment-to-population ratio of 61.2% and average hourly wage of $28.44, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees taking four eight-hour days away from work due to the flu could cost employers $13,056,764,338.

“To limit this cost, workplaces nationwide must start preparing for the possibility of flu-related absences and take precautions to stymie infections,” said Challenger.

“Even if this season is more severe or if the Coronavirus does begin to factor into American workplaces, the impact of losing any workers during the flu season is considerable, especially to small and mid-size firms that may not have the people to cover absences without disrupting day-to-day business,” added Challenger.

The CDC recently implemented surveillance programs to monitor cases of flu due to the severity of the 2017-18 season. Due to the high number of flu cases and deaths during the flu season, it is important to protect yourself by getting the flu shot.

In addition to recommending workers get their flu shots, employers should consider expanding telecommuting and remote work opportunities if they begin to see the virus spread.

“In the current tight labor market, many employers have already expanded work-from-home opportunities to attract and retain talent. Flu season is a good time to promote the use of those options, as it will help keep any infection from spreading,” said Challenger.

The CDC recommends staying home from work four to five days after the onset of symptoms. People are most contagious the three days after symptoms begin.

Challenger offered some other tips employers might consider to help prevent the spread of illness, as the current flu season is now in full swing:

  • Encourage getting a vaccineearly and provide the information on where to get one nearby. It is never too late to protect yourself, but the earlier you receive the shot, the better.
  • Increase the number of shifts. This will reduce the amount of people working in the office at one time.
  • Limit meetings. If there is no need to gather large groups of workers in a confined space, then do not do it. Conduct meetings via conference calls or video conferencing.
  • Expand telecommuting. Determine who can work from home or another location. This will keep people off of public transportation and out of the office.
  • Allow sick workers to stay home without fear of losing their jobs.
  • Institute flexible leave policies to allow parents to care for a sick child or loved one.
  • Provide no-touch trash cans, hand-washing stations, soap, and hand sanitizer.
  • Encourage employees to wash their hands frequently, avoid handshakes, and take other hygienic precautions, such as disinfecting workplace surfaces, like phones and computers.


Challenger Past Flu Season Productivity Loss Estimates
2019-2020 Productivity Loss Estimate
14,346,832 estimated workers sickened
$28.44 - average hourly wage
Estimated Losses: $13.1B

2018-2019 Productivity Loss Estimate
20,000,000 estimated workers sickened
$27.48 - average hourly wage
Estimated Losses: $17.6B

2017-2018 Productivity Loss Estimate
25,000,000 estimated workers sickened
$26.74 – average hourly wage (preliminary data for January 2018 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
$855.68 – average wages lost due to missing four eight-hour shifts
Estimated Losses: $21.39B

2015-2016 Productivity Loss Estimate
11,049,083 estimated workers sickened
$26.63 – average hourly wage
$852.16 – average wages lost due to missing four eight-hour shifts
Estimated Losses: $9.4B

2014-2015 Productivity Loss Estimate
18,100,827 estimated workers sickened
$25.26 – average hourly wage
$808.32 – average wages lost due to missing four eight-hour shifts
Estimated Losses: $14.6B

2013-2014 Productivity Loss Estimate
17,166,702 estimated workers sickened
$24.19 – average hourly wage
$774.08 – average wages lost due to missing four eight-hour shifts
Estimated Losses: $13.3B
Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. ©


          

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Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Acadia Healthcare Experts in Opioid Addiction Treatment   

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Acadia Healthcare is a leading provider of addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare services in the USA, the UK, and Puerto Rico. Worldwide, they operate a network of 593 facilities with 18,100 beds in 40 U.S. States. Of these locations, Acadia … Continue reading

          

► NY Times – 04/14/13 – Private Jets, Country Clubs Soften Blow of Meager Pay    

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NY Times – 04/14/13 – Private Jets and Country Clubs Soften Blow of Meager Pay 

 
By EMILY RAMSHAW

 

Many Texas lawmakers are quick to name the sacrifices they make to serve: the meager state pay, the grueling hours, the time spent away from their families and their day jobs.
But in other ways, life in the Legislature has its advantages. The perks associated with the job — travel, hotel upgrades and campaign cash spent on luxury gifts — can augment lawmakers’ lifestyles considerably.
Take Senator Troy Fraser, Republican of Horseshoe Bay, a 16-year veteran of the upper chamber who previously served in the House. Over the last three years, Mr. Fraser, the Senate Natural Resources Committee chairman, spent more than $300,000 from his campaign account maintaining his personal airplane, at least $33,000 on country club expenses and more than $4,000 on suits, on top of thousands of dollars on upscale hotels for conferences and events from Hawaii to Buenos Aires, according to his campaign finance reports.
Between 2008 and 2010, he claimed more travel per diem payments — 361, valued at more than $58,000 — than any other member of the Senate. And in the last several years, taxpayers paid for him to attend at least nine policy conferences in destinations like Puerto Rico and Santa Fe, N.M. In some instances, Mr. Fraser flew his own plane, receiving mileage reimbursements at up to triple the price of a commercial ticket.
Mr. Fraser said all his campaign expenses and Senate reimbursements were related to his role as a legislator and, in particular, his expanded duties as the chairman of a major committee.
The airplane costs, which he said he incurred flying across the state for official business, “do not cover 100 percent” of his bill. He justified the country club membership by saying he made a weekly golf outing “available to all members of the Legislature and all lobbyists.” And the clothing he bought was purely for use during the legislative session, he said. In 2011, he reimbursed his campaign for the suits after an ethics watchdog filed a complaint against him. Mr. Fraser said he still disagreed with the decision.
Mr. Fraser said that in recent years he had moved away from requesting state reimbursement for out-of-state travel, choosing to finance it through his campaign instead. He said the per diems were a reflection of his retirement from the private sector; the Legislature is now his day job.
“I’m one of the few who almost overreports,” Mr. Fraser said, adding that every state expense is approved by the Senate and every campaign expenditure meticulously itemized. “My constituents and my supporters understand very clearly what I’m doing with money.”
Mr. Fraser is hardly the only lawmaker to reap on-the-job benefits. His colleagues use campaign cash to drive BMWs, and trade thousand-dollar gifts from Neiman Marcus, Tiffany, Montblanc and Four Seasons spas. Some rent costly condos in Austin and buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of tickets to sports events.
Critics say such spending — which is allowed under the state’s campaign finance rules as long as it is directly tied to state or legislative business — blurs the line between the permissible and the ethical. At best, they argue, it takes advantage of campaign donors;  at worst, Texas taxpayers.
“They’re enriching themselves by having their living expenses paid for ad infinitum,” said David Palmer, a California-based campaign-finance watchdog who filed so many complaints with the Texas Ethics Commission on legislators’ use of their campaign cash that lawmakers passed legislation limiting such complaints to Texans.
Rita Kirk, director of the Southern Methodist University Maguire Ethics Center, said the root of this behavior was Texas’ part-time Legislature, where “the only people who really can get there are people who are wealthy enough to self-finance or have wealthy people invest in them.” She said it established an “elitist government style” in which proper stewardship of taxpayer or donor dollars could at times be compromised.
Lawmakers justify charging the state or their campaign contributors for conferences in exotic locales if it qualifies as official business;  they are out, they say, doing the state’s bidding.
Between 2007 and 2011, legislative travel records show, former Senator Jeff Wentworth, Republican of San Antonio, charged the state for 17 conference trips, including one to El Conquistador, a resort in Puerto Rico. Senator Rodney Ellis, Democrat of Houston, had at least 9, including one stay at the Golden Nugget hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Former Representative Warren Chisum, Republican of Pampa, billed the state nearly $4,000 for an energy meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and more than $2,700 for a meeting at the Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs.
For some lawmakers, conference trips turn into de facto vacations. They pay out of their own pockets to tack on extra days, bring along their families and enjoy spa treatments, bars, casinos and rounds of golf.
Senator John Carona, Republican of Dallas, who was first elected to the Legislature in 1990, said that as a “matter of personal policy,” he had never attended conferences on legislative business, largely because he thinks taxpayers should not be footing the bill. Nor does Mr. Carona, a wealthy businessman who travels frequently for work, generally accept travel per diems when the Legislature is not in session, to “avoid any appearance of impropriety.”
But he has sought thousands of dollars’ worth of mileage reimbursements from the state for traveling on his company plane, which he says he does for convenience and efficiency. He has also used his campaign account to buy gifts for his colleagues from the luxury retailers Bachendorf’s and Salvatore Ferragamo, and to buy a longtime employee a $6,000 retirement present from Eiseman Jewels.
Such gifts are common; lawmakers routinely give one another presents to celebrate a new baby or a wedding, congratulate a legislator for carrying a hefty bill or honor one for leading a key committee. In 2009, Senator Bob Deuell, Republican of Greenville, and other members of the Senate State Affairs Committee bought Chairman Robert Duncan, Republican of Lubbock, a $1,380 guitar.
The most notorious of such gifts dates to the 1990s, when Kevin Bailey, then a Democratic representative from Houston, was arrested and accused of threatening his girlfriend with a gun. He was cleared of any charges, but the gun, a .22-caliber Derringer, lived on in infamy: it had been given to him by the chairman of the House Public Safety Committee as a thank you for Mr. Bailey’s help passing the state’s concealed-handgun law.
Mr. Carona said legislators had “no business” complaining about their state stipends or working conditions.
“Each and every one of us made the choice to run for the office, and few are eager to give up the post,” he said. “The compensation and perks are more than sufficient for most citizen legislators here in Texas.”
eramshaw@texastribune.org

 


          

Shipped One To Puerto Rico   

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Halloween   

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Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses" and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century. Halloween is celebrated in several parts of the Western world, most commonly in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and occasionally in parts of Australia and New Zealand.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

Election Day   

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Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. It is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay.

          

#AuditoríaYa: Intensificación mediática en lucha por fiscalizar la deuda   

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  En estos momentos, en Puerto Rico, el Gobierno parece ir por un lado mientras el pueblo va por otro. Al menos, así luce la cosa cuando de la auditoría de la deuda pública se trata. Por un lado, el gobernador Ricardo Roselló Nevares sostiene que no es necesario auditar la deuda y que de…

          

Entre el béisbol y “una deuda que hay que auditar”   

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Bendito, es que es tan obvio. Es tan claro que, aunque el Gobierno de Puerto Rico y la Junta de Control Fiscal le pichean, medio mundo anda bateando. Es más, que lo diga el dirigente de la selección nacional de béisbol, Edwin Rodríguez. “Chico, pues claro. Eso es algo que hay que auditarlo. Tiene que…

          

JCF: Incertidumbre ecológica, esqueletos sin transparencia y poemas de conspiración (1ra. parte)   

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  “Yo no sé pooorquéééééééé…”, De: Loíza, Tego Calderón, 2003   El limbo no sale en la Biblia. Búsquelo, no sale. Sin embargo, en los evangelios, salmos y lecturas de la nueva biblia socioeconómica que el colono norteño ha impuesto en Borinquen – el Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (Promesa) – el…

          

Maratón en Miramar: Rosselló depone ante JCF; se defiende García   

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La maratónica reunión de la Junta de Control Fiscal de hoy en el Centro de Convenciones de Miramar tuvo varios protagonistas. Entre ellos, cabe destacar al gobernador de Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, y a la comisionada residente en Washington, Jennifer González. Pero, más que nada, Carlos ‘Caco’ García, miembro de la Junta que finalmente compareció…

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2020-08-13 15:17:45