Blog & News

This is a premium post...

If you are not an AIM member - Consider joining. AIM Members receive access to all our premium content online.

If you're an AIM member please login to your AIM account to view this post:

Back to Posts

June Brings Celebration of LGBTQIA, Juneteenth

Posted on May 31, 2022

June includes the astrological beginning of the summer when the solstice occurs at 5:14 am EDT on Tuesday, June 21. The solstice is the longest day of the year as measured by daylight.

June is LGBTQIA Pride Month

Many communities and workplaces across the country hold activities recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual pride month. Pre-pandemic there were many public activities celebrating the month, and many may resume in full this year. Bill Clinton was the first U.S. President to officially recognize Pride Month in 1999.

Employers can create a welcoming environment for employees who celebrate this month by ensuring that their diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts encompass employees who identify as LGBTQIA. There are many websites offering different strategies for employers to establish and maintain a supportive environment. A few examples of strategies include:

  • Communicate to all your employees, from senior management to frontline staff, through education and diversity training, about your inclusion policies and strategies for supporting LGBTQIA employees.
  • Establish a strong anti-discrimination policy in your recruitment and promotion practices and be sure all employees know that homophobic harassment or bullying will not be tolerated and that the company will promptly recognize the problem and take action.
  • Ensure that your benefit offerings are inclusive for all employees regardless of their sexual orientation.
  • Create a gender-neutral environment, including wording in company publications such as handbooks and other policies. Encourage employees to include their pronouns in their email signatures.

Research will help you to identify other strategies and activities to promote LGBTQIA inclusion that may be more appropriate or relevant to your particular workplace.

National Forklift Safety Day (June 14)

The second Tuesday in June marks National Forklift Safety Day.

In 2014, the Industrial Truck Association founded the day to highlight the safe use of forklifts. The observance serves as an annual reminder of the value of training and equipment checks in every industry that relies on forklifts. The day also provides opportunities for manufacturing, warehouses, logistics, and other industries that rely on forklifts to reassess their forklift training and safety guidelines.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), forklift-related injuries have increased since 2011. The data below highlights why paying attention to forklift safety should be a 365-day year initiative, not just one day.

  • Approximately 75 to 100 workers are killed annually in forklift accidents, with an average of 87 deaths per year.
  • OSHA’s most recent estimates indicate that between 35,000 and 62,000 injuries occur every year involving forklifts.
  • Forklift accidents that result in serious injury total 34,900 annually.
  • Non-serious injuries related to forklift accidents reach 61,800 each year.
  • A forklift overturning is the most common incident, accounting for 25% of all forklift accidents.
  • If companies implemented stringent training policies, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about 70% of forklift accidents in the US could be prevented.
  • On average 95 people are seriously injured in a forklift accident every day and one person is killed in a forklift accident every four days in the United States alone.
  • Thirty-six percent of forklift-related deaths are pedestrians.
  • Approximately 11% of forklifts in the United States will be involved in an accident each year, meaning that the more forklifts a company has the greater the likelihood of an accident occurring.

Training is an important factor in reducing the number of injuries and deaths. The type of forklift, the material being moved, and the facility where they work also impacts the type of training an operator needs.

There are several ways to act in support of forklift safety:

  • Review your training schedules and protocols for forklift drivers.
  • Ensure all operators are current in their training.
  • Review and update equipment safety check guidelines.
  • Trainers, maintain your training, too. Operators should be learning from trainers who have the most current knowledge and understanding of a company’s protocols.
  • Attend webinars that share the latest in safety equipment and standards.

Employers looking for more information about how to improve safety in the workplace can reach out to their workers compensation carrier and the Massachusetts workplace safety and health program. The state program offers Massachusetts employers a free consultation service designed to help recognize and control possible safety and health hazards at their worksites and assist in training employees. More information is available here.

Juneteenth (June 19th)

Juneteenth is the newest state and federal holiday. The holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States in the 1865 following the Civil War. In the U.S., the federal government and 49 states, including Massachusetts, officially recognize the day.

Legislation creating the Juneteenth law in Massachusetts was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2020. Juneteenth is one of the premium-pay holidays, which means that if a retail employer opens on Juneteenth, it must provide its employees premium pay (currently 1.1 times the employee’s hourly wage) for every hour worked that day. Premium pay for all holidays ceases in 2023 and an employee will only need to be paid their regular hourly wage for that day.

Juneteenth falls on a Sunday in 2022 meaning that under Massachusetts law the holiday is celebrated on the following Monday, June 20. State offices, schools and other public institutions are closed that day. Private employers may elect to close or open that day. Please see the AIM holiday calendar on the website for more detailed discussion about compliance with this holiday.

National Take Your Dog to Work Day

The Friday after Father’s Day is National Take Your Dog to Work Day. This year the date is June 24.

Are there benefits to having a dog by your side all day? Below are some of the pros and cons for companies considering adopting this policy.

Pros of Pet-Friendly Policies

  1. Studies have shown pets in the workplace not only reduce stress but also increase productivity.
  2. Employees who take breaks to care for their dog often return to their work refreshed and energized.
  3. Employees are healthier as they are getting more physical activity.
  4. Pet-friendly businesses appear to help with employee retention. They retain their employees longer and are more attractive to future employees.
Cons of Pet-Friendly Policies
  1. Not everyone likes dogs especially underfoot in the workplace.
  2. Not every workplace is appropriate for dogs.
  3. Employees with allergies or phobias may be negatively affected.
  4. Some dogs may present a risk of injury to employees.
  5. Dogs that are not well-trained lead to distractions in the office.

The celebration originated in the United Kingdom in 1996. Then in 1999, Pet Sitters International founded the first Take Your Dog to Work Day in the United States.

See you in July.