OPERATIONS

Target to end health coverage for part-time workers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target Corp. is the latest major retailer to announce it will stop offering health insurance to its part-time employees. In a company blog post on Jan. 21, Target said it will no longer provide health insurance coverage to part time workers after April 1, 2014.

The blog post said Target is stopping the coverage, which fewer than 10% of Target’s 361,000-person workforce currently uses, due to the availability of public healthcare exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Target said employees could be disqualified from receiving government-subsidized health care if they are offered a company plan.

"Healthcare reform is transforming the benefits landscape and affecting how all employers, including Target, administer health benefits coverage," Jodee Kozlack, Target’s executive VP of human resources, said in a corporate blog post Tuesday. "Our decision to discontinue this benefit comes after careful consideration of the impact of our stores’ part-time team members and to Target, the new options available for our part-time team, and the historically low number of team members who elected to enroll in the part-time plan."

Other retailers that have also announced intentions to stop offering health insurance to part-time employees due to the availability of public insurance exchanges include The Home Depot and Trader Joe’s.

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OPERATIONS

Sears to hire 6,500 vets and spouses

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Holdings Corporation anticipates hiring 6,500 veterans and military spouses in 2014. The hiring goal builds on the more than 6,000 veterans and spouses hired in 2013, and nearly doubles the 3,500 hired in 2012.

The company currently employs more than 30,000 veteran associates, many of whom are still serving in the National Guard and the Reserve forces.

"Sears Holdings has long been recognized as one of the country’s leading military employers," said Dean Carter, chief human resources officer, Sears Holdings. "We look forward welcoming another 6,500 veterans and military spouses to the company as they start a rewarding career with us."

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OPERATIONS

J.C. Penney pursues sustainability in fiscal year 2012

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plano, Texas – J.C. Penney Co. released its 2013 Sustainability Report, outlining sustainability initiatives pursued during fiscal year 2012 ended Feb. 2013. Highlights of the report included:

• Stores and Operations: Through the company’s energy conservation efforts, J.C. Penney has received Energy Star certification in more than 500 locations and earned the Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award for five consecutive years.

• Supplier Social and Environmental Standards: The company contracted Bureau Veritas (BV) to perform independent social compliance audits. BV began independently auditing in February 2012, and completed 826 audits within 12 months.

• Product Safety: J.C. Penney partnered with BV’s Consumer Products Services group to analyze product performance test results and spot potential issues and concerns and encourages national brand partners to meet the same high production standards.

• Ethics: The company publishes a statement of business ethics in 10 languages to be accessible to associates in the countries where JCPenney does business.

• Employment: J.C. Penney has activated business resource teams and offers continuing education to its workforce.

• Community: J.C. Penney offers grants and sponsorships, disaster relief, in-kind donations and community engagement through employee giving and volunteerism. Customers joined efforts by rounding up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donating more $10 million to non-profit organizations from July to December 2012.

"J.C. Penney has recently experienced a time of transition and change, but we’ve never lost our focus on the importance of being socially and environmentally responsible," said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, CEO of J.C. Penney. "Supporting the communities we serve goes well beyond philanthropic efforts – it’s also about making mindful decisions in all of our operations, whether in stores, supply chain, customer service centers or international offices."

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