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Employers say they could dock the pay of employees who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine
via Pixabay

Employers have tried to get their employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine by giving them benefits including time off to get the shot, extra vacation days, and bonuses. Walmart, the country's largest private employer, has announced its employees that work in stores and warehouses are eligible for a $150 bonus as an incentive to be vaccinated.

McDonald's offers workers at its corporate headquarters up to four hours of time off to get vaccinated.

Kroger, the nation's largest supermarket chain, announced it will give a $100 bonus to employees who show proof of vaccination.

But instead of just incentivizing workers with positive rewards, a number of employees may start leveling financial penalties against those who refuse to get vaccinated.


As people return to their workplaces during the Delta variant spike, unvaccinated employees are increasingly becoming a liability. They open up workplaces to outbreaks and drive up healthcare costs for the company, insurers, and employees.

"Getting hospitalized with Covid-19 in the United States typically generates huge bills," Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal and Stanford University's Glenn Kramon wrote in The New York Times. Kramon said that a 14-day hospitalization for an uninsured person in the Miami area can result in a $104,000 bill.

Now, companies are considering more drastic measures to combat the costs of the unvaccinated by docking their pay.

"Employers have tried encouraging employees to get vaccinated through offering incentives like paid time off and cash, but with the Delta variant driving up infections and hospitalizations throughout the country – at the same time that vaccination rates have stalled – we have received inquiries from at least 20 employers over the past few weeks who are giving consideration to adding health coverage surcharges for the unvaccinated as a way to drive up vaccination rates in their workforce," said Wade Symons, Mercer's regulatory resources group leader.

Mercer is one of the world's largest employee benefits consultants.

Mercer hasn't disclosed which companies are considering docking workers' pay but said that the average surcharge will be somewhere between $20 to $50 a month. The hope is that the surcharge will help offset the costs associated with unvaccinated workers and will encourage them to get the shot to avoid the penalty.

Docking an employee's pay stops short of the more drastic tactics being used at Walmart, Google, Tyson Foods, and United Airlines. They have all imposed vaccine mandates on some or all of their employees. Those who still refuse inoculation can be terminated.

Health insurance companies are also considering a financial penalty for those who refuse to get vaccinated. Given the fact that 97% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations are now unvaccinated people, insurers want to encourage people to get the jab to avoid unnecessary six-figure payouts. Such a policy would also benefit the vaccinated who won't have to pay for rising premiums caused by the unvaccinated.

Even though there has been a recent uptick in people getting vaccinated due to the spread of the Delta variant, the U.S. is still far from reaching herd immunity. Employers have exhausted most of the carrots to get people to get the shot and now's the time for the sticks. Things are only going to get more difficult for those who refuse the shot.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

“Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome."

'Dee' the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video it received over 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a Silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Phil Collins and George Harrison

This article originally appeared on 12.01.21


Beatle George Harrison was pigeon-holed as the "Quiet Beatle," but the youngest member of the Fab Four had an acerbic, dry sense of humor that was as sharp as the rest of his bandmates.

He gave great performances in the musical comedy classics, "A Hard Days Night" and "Help!" while holding his own during The Beatles' notoriously anarchic press conferences. After he left the band in 1970, in addition to his musical career, he would produce the 1979 Monty Python classic, "The Life of Brian."

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
woman holding a cup of tea, writing in a notebook

It's no secret that everyone could use a little kindness in their lives and it can come in many forms. Sometimes it's the neighbor cutting your grass when your husband's away and you're too busy to get to it yourself. Other times it's sending a card to the elderly widow down the street.

One woman in Arkansas has taken to spreading kindness through writing letters to strangers. Allison Bond, 25, started writing letters over a year ago during COVID-19 when she couldn't attend school due to her medical condition. Bond has cerebral palsy and is at greater risk for serious illness should she contract the virus. Writing letters was an act of kindness that didn't require a trip out of the house.

Bond began by writing to soldiers and inmates. In fact, the first letter she received back was from a soldier. Bond told 5News, "I have one framed from a soldier. He had all his battle buddies sign it. So I framed it so I could put it up." She's kept every letter she's received.

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