When a CEO realized many of his employees were on food stamps, he made a change to their paychecks.

He didn't do it purely out of the goodness of his heart, but it's still a big deal.

Let's be real. Health insurance companies are notoriously stingy.


"What do you mean you'll only pay for $2.79 of my $473,000 gum surgery?!"

But at least one big health insurer is fighting that reputation, at least where its employees are concerned.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini was shocked to learn that many workers in the company's call centers made so little money they rely on food stamps and Medicaid to get by, according to an NPR report.

Rather than let them continue to struggle, he decided to do something about it.

The Aetna CEO raised the salaries of all of his lowest-paid employees to $16/hr.

Bertolini didn't just do this out of the goodness of his heart.

He did it because it made good economic sense.

The cost of raising the wages for Aetna's lowest-paid workers is significant, even for a massive corporation:

"[Aetna CEO Mark] Bertolini ... discovered the cost of boosting compensation for his low-paid workers would be significant — about $27 million a year."

But, when you look at the company's long-term financial future, it turns out paying that $27 million a year is totally worth it.

"But he also found that research shows there are costs associated with paying low wages. Low-paid workers quit more often, and the turnover is expensive. There's also evidence higher-paid employees provide better customer service. Bertolini thought the potential benefits could offset the $27 million cost and improve his company's profits in the long run." — John Ydste, NPR

At a time when worker productivity is rising faster than wages, and workers across America are walking off the job to call for a $15/hr minimum wage, a move like this is a pretty big deal.

Paying employees a living wage is also part of a larger trend.

Not sure I need that giant bag of tilapia, but it's only $3.99!

Just a few weeks ago, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price announced that he was taking a pay cut and raising starting salary at the company to $70,000/year.

And thriving companies like Costco and The Container Store already pay their retail workers far higher average salaries than the industry standard on the theory that higher wages lead to greater productivity and better employee retention.

We shouldn't wait for more companies to do this voluntarily.

It's important to keep pushing for higher, fairer wages for employees across all industries. A $15/hr minimum wage should be the absolute baseline.

In the meantime, it's great that more and more corporations are realizing that treating your employees with dignity and respect — and paying them accordingly — is not just more ethical.

It's also good for business.

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Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

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Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

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via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

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Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

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