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Halloween, celebrated each year on October 31 (this year on a Wednesday), is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today with trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching
horror movies.. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity and life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition.

With autumn beginning recently, so also begins the flu season. Although last year’s flu season was on the quiet side getting off to a very late start with the warmer than normal autumn and winter temperatures, influenza typically begins to show up in late October, peaks in January and begins to subside by February.

With the 2012 Presidential elections approaching in early November, employers need to remember that most states have laws requiring employers to allow employees to take time off to vote, sometimes with pay, subject to the employee’s hours of work and the times when the voting polls are open. In a few states, employers are required to post notices in advance of an election, advising employees of their rights. The following is a listing of several state law requirements.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills Sept. 28 that lay the groundwork for a first-ever state-sponsored program that would require private employers to offer a retirement savings option to workers.

Beginning January 1, 2013, a new law will require employers that have any employees who will receive commissions for providing services in California to have written commission agreements that meet specific requirements.

Happy Columbus Day which is celebrated today, October 8, 2012!  As you read this, there’s a high chance that you’re at work today. It’s a holiday for most of the U.S. federal government, several U.S. states as well as banks and post offices. However, for most of us in the private business world, it’s a regular work day. According to survey data, approximately 16% of U.S. businesses observe Columbus Day as a paid holiday. Thus, most of us observe it as a light traffic day to and from work along with the fact that the bank is closed and no mail that day.

At this point, most of us know or should know it’s dangerous to use a cell phone while driving. However, how many of us think that it’s also dangerous to text or talk on your cell phone while you’re walking?

In a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision (Costco Wholesale Corporation and United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 371, Case 34-CA-012421), the NLRB invalidated certain COSTCO personnel policies protecting the dissemination of employee health information and personal identifiers.

In late August 2012, the San Francisco Public Health Department announced that rates will rise 9 to 13 cents an hour per employee for San Francisco’s pay-or-play health coverage option.

The autumnal equinox arrived on Saturday, September 22, 2012, marking the official arrival of fall when the sun is positioned directly over the equator of our tilted Earth. The autumnal equinox, or fall/autumn equinox, is one of two times during the year when the length of day and the length of night are just about equal. From this point forward through the start of winter
in later December, each day will get shorter in the northern hemisphere.

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