Monday, June 9, 2008

Gas prices dictate new types of employment policies

Yesterday's Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an article on new types of perks that companies are making available to their employee to offset the rising gas prices. The options discussed:

  • Helping potential car poolers connect.
  • Adjusting workweeks so some employees can put in four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days, or offering flex time options.
  • Handing out maps of bike routes and riding tips.
  • Accommodating, and even subsidizing, mass-transit use.
  • Offering work-from-home options.
  • Making available forgivable, low-interest loans to help employees buy dwellings near work.
  • Providing gas gift cards as rewards.
  • Raising mileage reimbursements.
  • Catering in-house breakfasts and lunches

I have some concerns about some of these perks. For example, gas cards might be a great idea, but it may have a negative impact on those who do not own cars. Thus, consider combining a gas card program with a bus pass program to make sure that all employees are equally covered by the benefit. In other words, my standard disclaimer with any employment policy applies - make sure that it applies on a non-discriminatory basis.