What is the Workflex in the 21st Century Act?

first_imgWe all know that workplace flexibility, family-friendly policies, and paid leave are at the forefront of many company and legislative discussions. Numerous articles condemn the lack of family-friendly policies in the US, see here and here. As a reaction, many states have, or are in the process of, passing local legislation requiring various levels of leave. Many cities, such as San Francisco, are also passing legislation on leave. This is putting many US companies in the situation of having to possibly respond to a patchwork of laws resulting that may result in compliance problems or at least inconsistent policies.The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), has helped develop, and is promoting, the Workflex in the 21st Century Act. In this post, and in several subsequent posts over the coming weeks, I will try to explain the act for you and let you decide if it’s something you want to support.Federal legislationCurrently, in the US there is only one piece of Federal level legislation that covers leave, that is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and it applies to employers who have 50 or more employees. An Obama era Executive Order requires federal contractors to provide paid sick leave. The Workflex Act would be on the federal level, but it does NOT require compliance. It is an OPT-IN program that provides benefits to the employers and employees who do opt-in.SummaryHere is a summary of the legislation. In ensuing blog posts over the next month, I will provide more detail on the various components.It is a voluntary, opt-in program. Employers could offer an ERISA-qualified plan that includes a federal standard of paid time off and options for flexible work arrangements.This plan would pre-empt state and local paid sick leave laws.Employees of employers participating in the program would receive more paid leave than is currently required by either state or local mandates.Workers are guaranteed flexible workplace options them may not have current access to, the first such arrangement.Employers have a model to follow, providing more predictability in use of the program.It is complementary to current unpaid programs.It reduces compliance issues by eliminating the patchwork of state and local laws that many employers much currently comply with.Not yet passedThis is legislation that SHRM is trying to usher through the legislative process. The bill’s key sponsor in the House of Representatives is Rep. Mimi Walters, [R-CA-45]. Additionally, it has an additional four sponsors from New York, Washington, Michigan, and Alabama. SHRM is helping find a Senate sponsor to introduce this legislation in the Senate.SHRM’s leadership is heavily behind this bill, so you will hear a lot about it at SHRM18 in Chicago. Stay tuned for next week when I cover a component of the bill.I wish to thank Lisa Horn, SHRM’s Director of Congressional Affairs and Leader of SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility Initiative, for providing this information and answering my questions.Originally posted on Omega HR Solutions blog.last_img read more

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What’s in the Mind of a Retail Shoplifter? How Do We Scientifically Change It?

first_imgRecently, I attended the launch of the Loss Prevention Research Council’s latest initiative—LPRC Innovate program at the University of Florida. This new working group was stood up to provide cutting-edge people, places, and processes to support major retailers and solutions partners as they ideate, simulate, and test new digital, people, and design options.The Loss Prevention Research Council is made up of over 70 retailers with approximately 200,000 stores with $2 trillion in sales and 75 solutions partners collaborating to develop effective loss and crime control solutions through science-backed extensive research. To date the group has conducted over 300 real-world loss prevention research projects for retailers and partners.As an industry influencer, it is my pleasure to be joining LPRC Innovate as we continue to scientifically redefine and digitally transform the future of retail. To highlight the great LPRC work to date, this article presents a couple of never before published examples of what’s in the mind of a shoplifter.- Sponsor – Self-Checkout Theft Offender Interview Study The LPRC collected data from 24 shoplifting offenders after the installations of small PVMs (public-view monitors) at the self-checkout kiosks, large PVMs above the self-checkout area, in-aisle PVMs in the seafood, liquor, health and beauty areas, and the pushout prevention cart containment system. This research focused on determining the noticeability of the LP measures, offender perceptions, and how these measures affect offenders’ decisions of whether to steal from the store.Initially, offenders were asked to provide feedback on their perception of theft using self-checkout services (see pie chart above).All offenders reported they shoplifted from self-checkout by scanning some but not other items.More importantly are the proportion of shoplifters that noticed the security measures.As I highlighted in a previous article, the self-checkout market is expected to exceed $5 billion USD by 2024 at a CAGR of 10.3% in the forecast period. About 40% of transactions and 20% of sales volume now takes place on self-checkout stations. Check out in that same article why shoplifters prefer self-checkout to commit theft.Organized Retail Crime (ORC) and the Opioid Crisis A total of 18 in-depth surveys were conducted with offenders who reported having an opioid-abuse issue. Here are a few of the findings from this study.• Less than half (44%) of the offenders interviewed said they could not have been deterred the first time. • 44% of the offenders interviewed said that if an employee paid attention to them while they were committing theft, it would deter them. • 44% of the offenders interviewed said that they had engaged in violence during a theft attempt. • While 72% of respondents encountered anti-theft technology, none said it really deterred them. • 33% had sold stolen merchandise credit or gift cards to a dealer for drugs, while 58% had sold stolen merchandise credit or gift cards to pawn shops. All respondents reported that the people they sold to knew they were buying stolen merchandise.Opioid-addicted offenders differ considerably from traditional ORC offenders.1. They are “time discounters,” meaning they forego future gains for immediate gratification. For example, they will sell gift cards for lesser amounts as long as they can be sold quickly. 2. There is significant overlap between opioid-related ORC and other types of crimes, including robbery, fraud, and prostitution. 3. Opioid-related offenders were less likely to be deterred by technology solutions geared toward ORC and were instead more likely to be deterred by employees or law enforcement in stores. 4. There is an “ecosystem of offense” where pawn shops and drug dealers both take advantage of opioid-addicted offenders, by knowingly buying stolen merchandise.How Do We Scientifically Change It? The LPRC conducts research to develop crime and loss prevention solutions that improves the performance of its members and the retail industry. Through innovation and collaboration, scientific driven deterrence is increased by ensuring offenders see it, get it, and fear it.More details on the above two studies and other loss prevention research are available to retailers and solution partner members. To join LPRC, visit their website.Personally, I am looking forward to increased retailer and solutions partner engagement with the new LPRC Innovate ideation program. Fully expect that additional digital transformation possibilities will emerge in the continuous improvement and growth of the global retail industry. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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Facebook’s New Timeline, Beacon & the Uncanny Valley

first_imgTags:#Data Services#Facebook#NYT#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts At Facebook’s developer conference F8 today, a number of trends that Web watchers predicted would be defining characteristics of the future suddenly became parts of mainstream discourse. The Facebook megalith learns fast from its R&D department, what the rest of us call the rest of the Web.Specifically: data as platform, the real-time/synchronous Web and pre-cognitive discovery. Those are things that Web nerds have said would be big and in one fell swoop today, Facebook made its move on them all. Below, some thoughts on data as a platform, and the new Timeline feature in particular. It’s like a grown-up version of the much-criticized Facebook Beacon, which the company had to remove after a backlash several years ago. It will be interesting to see how people react to this – I suspect that this time it may be less a question of privacy and more a question of creepy.Data as PlatformFacebook’s forthcoming Timeline is a half-automatic, half manually-curated visual display of a user’s past activities and app data. Inspired by Nick Felton’s annual report for an individual person, this feature is something you can sign up for now and get it as it rolls out over the next few weeks.Data about your online activities is now displayed in a beautiful interface that “tells the story of who you are.” It looks great, in theory.This is like Flipboard for your life or the lives of friends, it’s like Memolane inside Facebook, it’s like the startup Intersect. But now it’s huge.I expect that you’ll see many more projects like this from many other companies. Value added interfaces on top of aggregated data are going to be a key area of competition.But for now, the “data exhaust” that we all publish passively as a result of using the Web will now be turned into a timeline automatically on Facebook. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Will the day come when people feel comfortable allowing apps like run tracker, music player, food photo poster to automatically grab and publish their activity data? I think that day may be here now. Facebook’s Beacon did this with off-site shopping data and there was a huge backlash. But that was four years ago and it wasn’t implemented nearly as well as this is. Beacon didn’t add nearly as much value for the user as Timeline will. Shopping data or data that can inform indirect advertising could be added to Timeline later, but for now it adds a lot of emotional value to the Facebook user experience built on top of wide ranging data. Much but not all of it is opt-in. It’s really smart.Facebook founder Zuckerberg believes that this experience of value built on top of shared data will compel people to share far more data than they do today. It will be the next step in the continuing growth of social sharing. I think he might be right. Uncanny ValleyThe most likely worst-case scenario though is that people will be creeped out by all this. I think there’s a risk that the new Facebook Timelines are going to look a lot like our real lives – almost exactly like them, but not quite. Far enough off to be frustrating but close enough to be creepy.We’ll see if it feels empowering, like a new way to articulate the epic meaning of all our individual social lives, or if it feels like a too-nearly-human Panopticon, full of more memories than our own brains are capable of retaining. And thus somehow wrong.In the world of human look-alike robots, there’s a theory called the Uncanny Valley. Per Wikipedia: The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotics and 3D computer animation, which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers.We’ll see. I think there’s a real risk that people will find the Facebook reflection of themselves repulsive, horrifying on an existential level. It’s not about privacy or clear exploitation of activity data, as it was with Beacon, it’s more about concern with how accurately one company is able to stitch together a picture of our whole lives.The Timeline feature will roll out in the coming weeks and then we’ll see if it feels empowering, like a new way to articulate the epic meaning of all our individual social lives, or if it feels like a too-nearly-human panopticon’s picture-book of more memories than our own brains are capable of retaining.last_img read more

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