Opportunities to improve the lives of employees are taking hold in Naples, thanks to Southwest Florida’s involvement in the Blue Zones Project. The NCH Healthcare System-sponsored program is seen as reimagining how both employers and employees view the workplace, according to a recent Naples Daily News report.
The Blue Zones Project is a highly publicized strategy for healthier living. The City of Naples recently committed to improving their employees’ lives both in and out of the workplace, implementing several policies for healthy living, according to the Daily News report.
But promoting wellness in the workplace isn’t the only way companies should show they value you. Here are some common and uncommon ways employers can show not only that they care about your productivity, but about you.
Food, Standing Desks, and More
There are a few notable initiatives that have come out of the Blue Zones Project.
One of the initiatives the Daily News mentioned as unique to the City of Naples offices is Food Cart Friday. The city’s risk manager, Lori McCullers, told the Daily News that the mayor took it upon himself to “revamp a push cart, stock it with healthy foods and move it from one different department to another every Friday.” Small changes like fresh fruit are a relatively inexpensive way to improve wellness throughout the week. A food cart offers the office a healthy snack and the opportunity to feel good about paying the generosity forward.
The City of Naples also gave its employees some latitude at work, offering standing desks, installing water refill stations, and running wellness clinics. Opportunities like the Blue Zones Project provide both you and your employer with perspective, and afford a unique opportunity to help transform your workspace into a healthier and more exciting community.
Playing By The Rules
Another component of creating a positive work environment is the creation of a space free of discrimination, harassment, and other forms of adverse work scenarios. It’s not only good business for your employer to do this for you; it’s also the law.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 features a section called Title VII, that protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. For the most part, it applies to private employers and governmental bodies with 15 or more employees.
Another law that employers should abide by in order to ensure a healthy work environment is the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law, passed originally in 1990, requires an employer to adhere to standards of reasonable accommodation and accessibility in the workplace.
Additionally, other entities like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration monitor workplace safety, preserving your right to work environment free of safety hazards.
But raising these concerns could result in retaliation, another prohibited practice under the laws mentioned above. Retaliation can come in the form of being unfairly passed over for promotion, getting demoted, or in some cases the worker getting fired. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the government agency in charge of enforcing many federal labor laws, reports that retaliation is the most frequently alleged bias in the workplace.
There are other laws that employers should follow in order to foster a healthy work environment, which the EEOC lists in a helpful guide. All in all, knowing your legal protections is crucial to your wellbeing.
Paying You Properly
One of the greatest sources of frustration is feeling your work is undervalued — especially if you’re not being paid in full for all of the work you’re doing. Work can be a place you feel great going to every day, but it should always be a place where you feel valued. Often, this isn’t the case.
A wide range of industries, from banking to service, are said to be more interested in their profit than your health. The Fair Labor Standards Act sets benchmarks for several worker protections, like overtime and minimum wage. For example, if your salary and job qualifications pass a certain legal test, you are entitled to overtime compensation for those long hours you’re working beyond forty.
Naples is home to many industries, such as tourism and food service, that are vulnerable to the mistreatment of employees. Discrimination and wage theft are common issues experienced by employees around the country, and might affect you.
If you’ve found yourself involved in a difficult dispute with your employer over things like overtime pay or minimum wage, our labor and employment attorneys in Naples could help you get to the bottom of things. Fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today if you’re ready to file your claim.