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Easy ways to promote employee wellness

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Easy ways to promote employee wellness

11775457 - group of colleagues descending stairsNearly three-quarters of companies in the most recent Society for Human Resource Management’s employee benefits survey said they offer some type of wellness program or plan. It’s easy to see why: Research shows a strong link between wellness initiatives and lower health care costs, greater productivity and employee satisfaction. Employees participating in wellness programs, for example, are less likely to experience health issues caused by work-related stress and more likely to fit healthy food choices and exercise into busy schedules.

Companies don’t have to invest in costly wellness programs to see benefits, however. Here are some low-cost and high-impact investments in wellness for your office:

  1. Plan daily or weekly walks. Get your employees out and moving, especially if you have an office where the majority of people are at their desks all day. Set aside 15-30 minutes every day or every other day and encourage your team members to walk around the block, travel to a nearby park, or maybe even walk to lunch. Ever tried a walking meeting? Provide employees with information about the benefits of walking.
  2. 3 o’clock drop. Fight the 3 o’clock productivity drop by hosting some kind of physical activity. You don’t have to go all out, but an afternoon stretch or yoga session can get the blood flowing and help energize your team for the rest of the day.
  3. Sign up for a company 5K. Find a good cause to support or make it a fun run. You can train as a company and build relationships in the process. Not into running? Biking or walking are great ways to stay healthy, too.
  4. Stock the fridge with water and healthy snacks. Most company fridges are filled with soda and sugary snacks. Encourage your employees to eat healthier by providing them with options like fruit, veggies and water.
  5. Invest in an employee gym. If you have the space in your building, consider installing a company workout room. If you don’t have the space, think about paying for employee gym memberships, or bring someone in to teach a workout class.

Do you have tenants with hoarding tendencies?

70990327_SAre you a landlord who has just discovered one or more of your tenants is a hoarder? This can be a very stressful situation to handle.

While you have your property to protect, your tenants also have rights. Hoarding has been deemed a mental health disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, which means the Fair Housing Act and its protections come into play. Where exactly does this leave you as the landlord?

While hoarding itself is not enough for eviction, there may also be a breach of contract — specifically the rental agreement. Such a breach may allow you to begin eviction proceedings, and may be based on property damage, possession of materials or animals in excess of what is allowed by law or the lease, or materials that block exits or fire alarms.

What should you watch for? Are you suddenly having problems with bugs or rodents? Can your repair technicians not access specific areas? Is your tenant denying you entry into the property?

Once you notice the hoarding issue, you can ask your tenants to clean the areas in question and then reinspect. Just be sure to provide notices and written time frames. You will also want to document the situation through written descriptions, timelines, communications, pictures and videos if possible.

Still stuck? We want to help you legally resolve these hoarding situations at your rental property. Contact us today at 248-613-0007 to see how we can help.

Divorce, wills and estate planning

10783408 - torn piece of paper with divorce text and paper couple figuresIf you have gone through a divorce, you may think that once it’s final, you are done working with attorneys and legal paperwork. But there is one more set of documents that need your attention after a divorce — your estate plan, including a will, living will and other documents.

You may dread this task if you’re emotionally and possibly financially fatigued, but bear with us! There could be long-lasting effects if you fail to update your estate plan. A divorce typically changes what you want to happen in your future and with your assets, and that needs to be reflected in

This includes updating your will with any changes to guardians if you have minor children, changes to property and asset distribution and even changes to the executor. Additionally, consider any changes to powers of attorneys for medical or financial decisions on your behalf. The divorce also could have tax implications for your estate plan.

You also will want to make sure you update beneficiaries on the following: retirement accounts, life insurance, and even bank accounts that are listed as pay-on-death. Don’t assume that a divorce will automatically change these things or revoke the way they were established before the divorce occurred.

You may think these are not urgent changes, but we disagree. It is important to update these as soon as possible after a divorce, and we invite you to contact our offices at 248-613-0007 to get started.

Even if all your employees work in an office, you need a safety plan

36168174 - brainstorming of multiethnic business people at officeThink businesses that have primarily office workers don’t have to worry about workplace safety? Think again! This list of workplace injuries demonstrates that accidents happen in all kinds of U.S. companies. Notice that a number of them apply to workers who spend much of their time behind a desk — not at a construction site or in a manufacturing facility.

As a business grows, so does its risk of costly accidents. Nationwide, occupational injuries cost companies nearly $170 billion each year. Injuries can hurt and even cripple a growing company. That’s why preventing them should be a priority for even the smallest of companies. Plus, providing your employees with a safe working environment is the right thing to do.

Where to start? At the office, slips, trips and falls are the most common hazards. Look around for uneven surfaces, torn carpet or anything else that could cause someone to trip and fall. Clean up any spills immediately and address any surfaces that become slippery, especially during the winter months. Consider having an ergonomics expert make sure your workstations are designed so that they meet basic rules for preventing repetitive injuries.

If your employees drive for business, make sure you have a safe-driving policy and consider banning cell phone use by employees who drive on the job. Another important thing you can do? Create a culture where employees know they can take breaks to stretch and rest their muscles and their eyes.

New Changes to the Tax Laws Coming in January

With the election now over, the President and the Congress will have to wrestle with the fiscal cliff and looming tax hikes. Are you and your business ready for the coming changes? Here are some of the changes that will soon take effect if the two parties cannot reach a deal.


Valuable Estate Planning Lessons out of California

One thing people often forget about estate planning is that it is not simply protection for what happens after you die. Much of what we do when we put together an estate plan is geared to protecting your interests as you grow old, but are still living. This point is illustrated by a situation developing in California with the estate of Zsa Zsa Gabor. Ms. Gabor is still alive, but unable to communicate her wishes or manage her own financial affairs. Her estate planning documents are under fire, and her daughter and Gabor’s husband are fighting over visitation rights and medical care, not to mention how her millions should be managed.


The Results of the Michigan Supreme Court Election

The results of the election are now in. One of the contests that received less attention this year was the race for the three open Michigan Supreme Court seats. The Detroit News has posted a short article on who won those seats.


How the New Health Care Law Affects Small Businesses

The new health care law is creeping increasingly closer to taking effect. It is important for small businesses to be prepared. There will be new mandates, tax implications, and penalties, and with them, a host of new headaches.


Rochester Law Center’s New Listing on Yelp! is Live

Great news! Our new “Yelp!” page is up and running together with an informational video about Rochester Law Center. We talk a little about what we do, and what makes us different from other law firms. It’s definitely worth a watch.


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