Obese Workers Face Discrimination
Nearly one-half (47 percent) of American workers believe plus-size employees are being discriminated against by their co-workers and supervisors, according to the latest American At Work public opinion survey conducted by the Employment Law Alliance (ELA). Howard Cole, a member of the ELA and a shareholder with Nevada’s Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Las Vegas, said the survey of 603 American workers is among the first to focus on the perception and predicament of America’s working overweight.
Significant findings of the national telephone survey conducted in October 2003 include:
47 percent believe obese workers suffer discrimination in the workplace.
32 percent think these workers are less likely to be respected and taken seriously in the workplace.
31 percent say the workers deserve special government protection against weight-based discrimination.
30 percent feel overweight workers are less likely to be hired or promoted.
11 percent who describe themselves as overweight or obese say they have been the victim of weight-related discrimination in either their current or former workplace.
Cole warned, “Employers have to realize – and for many this poll will serve as a wake-up call – that they are looking at a problem that could rival or surpass that of gender and race discrimination in the workplace. Now is the time for education and communication, or increased regulation and litigation won’t be far off.”
Tips for New Road Warriors
Though the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a prolonged economic downturn ground business travel to a screeching halt, many companies are once again telling employees to get on the road. “We need face-to-face contact with people to bolster sales and accelerate projects,” says Cathy Filgas, co-founder of Anthro Corp., a manufacturer of modular furniture for technology. “So, we’ve gone back to basics, but we’ve developed ways to ensure that travel isn’t so costly, time-consuming, or exhausting.” Here are 11 simple tips, tricks, and tools for first-time business travelers:
1. Pre-planning is key. Organize your itinerary, and let folks in the office and at home know where you will be and how to reach you. Confirm all reservations and appointments before leaving. Be sure you take: photocopies of important documents (leave copies at home); plenty of dollar bills for tipping; and essentials, such as medication, in your carry-on.
2. Get good directions and “reality-check” them with someone live at the scene. Consider joining an auto club such as AAA for help with trip planning.
3. Sign-up for loyalty programs. It doesn’t cost anything to enroll in most frequent-flyer-type plans. You’ll earn miles or points for free travel and may also benefit from perks or special treatment.
4. Take along technology. Bring your laptop, PDA, cell phone or pager. Be sure you have extra batteries, battery chargers and cords. Carry all the relevant phone numbers you’ll need on a hardcopy and pre-programmed in your cell phone. Then check your cell phone or pager regularly for messages, and return calls promptly.
5. Pack right, pack light. You’ll save time and hassle by keeping luggage to a minimum. Ship as much as possible to your hotel beforehand. Along the road, take advantage of mailing outlets for shipping valuables – or space hogs, such as dirty laundry – back to your office.
6. Be a smart shopper. Fly discount airlines and fly out of less-costly, alternate airports. Check out online travel sites for bargains. For lodging, you’ll find better hotel and motel rates away from the center of the city. Call the hotel directly rather than using a chain’s 800 number – you’re more likely to get a low rate.
7. Before heading out the door, audit your clothing and the contents of your carry-on luggage so they’re security-point friendly. And since you’ll have to show identification or travel documents often, keep them handy.
8. Hold onto receipts. Keep an envelope for each day or city, and toss in your receipts as you collect them.
9. Don’t sacrifice your health or personal life. Eat nutritious foods in small portions, limit alcoholic beverages and get plenty of sleep. Make a special effort to fit in exercise.
A CPA’s Guide to Smart Recordkeeping
In the event of a personal or financial emergency, having organized records will save time, money and frustration. According to the Nevada Society of CPAs, the key is knowing what to keep, where to keep it, and for how long. Here’s some guidance to help you get and stay organized in 2004.
Documents that are difficult to replace, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, records of military service, citizenship papers and adoption records, should be kept in a safe deposit box at a bank. For added protection, you should retain a list and photocopies of the items that are stored there. Wills and insurance documents should be kept in your safe deposit box, but be sure to keep copies available and let your executor or next of kin know where your will is.
The nature of the document determines how long it should be kept. For example, old utility, credit card and other bills can be discarded once you have verified they are correct. There’s no need to keep car titles or most other property documents once you’ve disposed of the item. Retain indefinitely records documenting retirement plans and individual retirement accounts.
Tax records, such as federal and state income tax returns and supporting documentation, should be kept at least six years. Canceled checks that support income tax deductions should be held as long as the returns themselves. It’s a good idea to keep pay stubs until year-end to compare with the amounts shown on the W-2 form from your employer. Keep canceled checks for as long as you might need proof that payment was made.
Finally, CPAs suggest that you keep a list of all items and where they are stored. Maintain a copy of the list at home as well and give one to a friend or relative who can locate the items in an emergency.
The Real Golf Score
You know that business is done on the golf course, but you may not realize the impact the golf industry has on the Las Vegas economy. According to a Restrepo Consulting Group study, the industry generates $891 million a year. “This report clearly indicates the golf industry’s importance to the Southern Nevada economy,” said John Restrepo, the firm’s principal. “The industry contributes over $400 million in direct financial contributions and creates nearly 4,500 jobs. This is clearly a sizable contribution by any one industry.”
Additional findings from the study of figures from 2002 include:
- Average number of rounds of golf played per Southern Nevada course: 38,000
- Rounds of golf played by visitors to Las Vegas: 1,402,860
- Rounds of golf played by residents of Las Vegas: 665,570
- Visitors who came to Las Vegas specifically to golf: 1,823,718
- Economic impact by tourist golfers: $614.8 million
- Economic impact by resident golfers: $276.2 million