What are wellness hotels, and why are they becoming so popular?

As I set foot in Sanctuary NYC during a recent trip — after schlepping my luggage on a crowded, muggy subway — I was more than a little disoriented. The Lower East Side hotel had warm hardwood floors, muted earth tones and Indian folk art on the walls, and a nature documentary playing the lobby. I could take yoga classes and sound bath workshops in the studio downstairs. What had I walked into, exactly? Sure, it was a hotel, but it didn’t have the same staid vibe as, say, an Embassy Suites or Marriott. Sanctuary and other spots like it are marketed as “wellness hotels,” but this one felt a little like an ashram, or even a commune.

Our stay at Sanctuary NYC was serendipitous; my partner stumbled on it while searching for affordable hotels in the area. After some digging, I learned it was one of a growing number of “wellness hotels.” These differ from destination spas and wellness retreats, which have existed for years and consist of intensive programming geared toward specific health goals, according to LODGING, the official publication of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Also — let’s be real — most wellness retreats reflect the elitism of the wellness industry overall; they’re generally expensive and not very inclusive, for primarily that reason.

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Luxury Spas Equipment Market Share, Key Players, Growth Forecast- Global Industry Outlook

Luxury Spas Equipment Market report provides an insightful overview of product specification, type and production investigation by considering most significant factors. This report comprises a brief on the trends that assist the industry to understand the market along with strategizing for their business expansion. Furthermore, the report presents an estimation of the forecast from 2019 to 2025 and market history from 2013 to 2018.

Significant Aspects Included in Luxury Spas Equipment Market Research Report:

  • Manufacturing process and technology used in Luxury Spas Equipment market, key developments and trends changing in the development
  • A complete investigation, including an evaluation of the parent market
  • A comprehensive account of market, volume, and forecast based on leading players, product type and end users/applications
  • Environmental spread, pieces of the overall industry, key methodologies, development designs, and different financials systems of Luxury Spas Equipment market
  • Engineering analysis based on upstream raw materials, downstream industry, current market dynamics, and ensuring consumer’s analysis

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Tips for managing and improving your online reputation

Not too long ago, potential patients relied on word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and relatives when selecting a physician, home healthcare agency, medical spa, hospital, and other healthcare providers.

Are medical professionals knowledgeable? Do they show compassion for patients? Is the staff courteous? All valid concerns.

It was and remains an effective way to make these important decisions. Today, however, decisions can be made with a click of a mouse to read reviews or find information about a physician or medical facility. A DUI, a malpractice law suit, or simply a bad review from an angry patient can destroy a practice. It seems as though the same criteria used for selecting a restaurant or a shoe store is being used to choose healthcare providers. And while there are similarities, there are certainly differences, as per this opinion from the American Medical Association:

“Online opinions of physicians should be taken with a grain of salt, and should certainly not be a patient’s sole source of information when looking for a new physician,” the American Medical Association said in a statement. “Choosing a physician is more complicated than choosing a good restaurant, and patients owe it to themselves to use the best available resources when making this important decision.”

Nevertheless, physicians must take their online reputations seriously and acknowledge that this method of selection is critical to managing a healthy, growing practice.

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Time To Debate: Natural or Chemical Treatment For Acne?

Bumps on your face or back are no fun. Whether you’re 15 or 30, it’s a recipe for discomfort. So, what are you to do when the bumps come and you’re stressing out? You find a solution. Lucky for you, you came to the right place to get just that. Today we review chemical treatments, natural treatments, and let you know which is the right one to implement.  

What Are Chemical Treatments?

While the image of Dr. Jekyll holding a bubbling flask in hand may pop into mind when you read “chemical treatments”, that’s simply not the case. While these are man-made substances, they aren’t inherently bad for you. To help you get acquainted with what they are, let’s take a quick trip to the lab:

Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most widely used substances in treating acne with chemicals. It’s antimicrobial, which means that it wipes away the bad bacteria on the skin that plays a role in producing acne. It’s also anti-inflammatory and comedolytic. In less fancy terminology, this means it works to open pores while it eases up inflammation. Basically a 3-in-1 punch to your bumps. It should be noted that it ranges in concentration from 2.5-10%. Start slow and work up. 

Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid, similarly to benzoyl peroxide, can flush out the dirt and grime that accumulates in the skin. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to shed dead cells from the top layer of the skin reducing the number of pimples that form. 

Great, What About Natural Treatments? 

Au natural, anyone? Just like there are key ingredients in chemical treatments, there are also ones in natural treatments. To help cut through the confusion, let’s give you a rundown of them:

Tea Tree Oil: Tea Tree Oil is a major player in the natural treatment of acne. Sourced from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, this substance has been used for thousands of years for skin ailments thanks to its antibacterial properties. Aside from fighting against bacterial and fungal infection, it’s known for its ability to reduce inflammation while encompassing antioxidant properties. 

Manuka Honey: Honey has slowly become known for its antibacterial and powerful healing properties, specifically, manuka honey. It has a low pH so it can help clear up existing acne marks, and it can help slow the growth of bacteria in the pores. It’s a sweet option for natural treatment lovers — pun intended. 

Which Should You Use, You Wonder?

The answer to this isn’t cut-and-dry. For those that are living a more holistic life, you should carry on with the natural treatments approach, They are effective in their own way, and will match your values. For everyone else, we recommend using both types symbiotically for the best results. 

The reason for this is simple; there are benefits that the chemical treatments can provide that the natural treatments simply cannot. Namely, the fact that items like Benzoyl peroxide can dig deep, power-washing your skin of icky bacteria to attack the source of the problem. 

As the benzoyl peroxide deep cleans, the manuka honey will hydrate and heal the skin simultaneously.  We suggest using a cleanser that uses benzoyl peroxide, such-as one from the Image skincare clear cell line, and following up with a mild, soothing moisturizer made from manuka honey.

Hope this helps you get to the bottom of the ongoing debate. Which will you do, natural or a mix of both?

Equal Pay: What Employers Need to Know

Two women analyzing documents while sitting on a table in office. Woman executives at work in office discussing some paperwork.

Studies have shown that women, African Americans, and other people of color tend to be paid less than their counterparts for the same or substantially similar work. Federal, state, and local legislatures have enacted equal pay legislation to address this issue. Below we provide an overview of these laws and some best practices for ensuring pay equity.

Federal Law:

The Equal Pay Act (EPA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are all federal laws that prohibit employers from engaging in pay discrimination (among other types of discrimination).

EPA:

The EPA applies to all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (virtually all employers). Under the EPA, employers are required to pay male and female employees at the same establishment equal wages for work on jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions. Each of these factors is summarized below.

Skill. The experience, ability, education, and training required to perform the job.

Effort. The amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job.

Responsibility. The degree of accountability required in performing the job.

Working conditions. This includes: (1) physical surroundings like temperature, fumes, and ventilation; and (2) hazards.

Keep in mind that the jobs that are compared need to be only substantially equal, not identical.

Permitted Wage Differentials:

Under the EPA, pay differentials between employees of the opposite sex who are performing substantially equal work in the same workplace may be justified only if the difference is based on:

A seniority system that rewards employees based on length of employment;

A merit system that rewards employees for exceptional job performance;

An incentive system that pays employees based on the quality or quantity of their work; or

A factor other than sex that is related to job performance or business operations, such as paying a shift differential to workers on less desirable shifts.

Correcting Pay Differentials:

When correcting a pay differential, you can’t reduce the employee’s pay. Instead, employers must increase the pay of the lower paid employee.

Pay Equity Best Practices:

Here are some best practices for ensuring pay equity:

Conduct internal audits. Consider working with legal counsel to conduct an internal audit of your pay practices to confirm that employees working in similar positions are paid equitably based on skill, merit, and other nondiscriminatory factors.

Examine policies and procedures. Review pay-related policies and procedures to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. Develop a clear written equal employment opportunity policy and include a complaint process for employees to raise concerns.

Train supervisors. Provide training on the company’s compensation-related policies and procedures and commitment to equal pay.

Consider pay transparency. Clearly communicate how the company determines employees’ compensation.

Don’t prohibit pay discussions. Under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employees have, among other things, the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions and to discuss wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment, with or without a union. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which enforces the NLRA, and many courts have found that pay secrecy or pay confidentiality rules violate Section 7 rights. Additionally, some states and local jurisdictions prohibit pay secrecy policies.

Promptly respond to all complaints. Take all complaints seriously and conduct a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation.

Document. Confirm employment decisions are made for legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons and properly document all pay and performance-related decisions.

Conclusion:

The expansion of equal pay laws has been one of the most prominent employment law trends in recent years. Be sure that your pay practices comply with applicable laws and do not intentionally or unintentionally discriminate against employees on the basis of sex or other protected characteristics. We can assist in making sure your employees are fairly compensated and that the correct documentation is available. Please reach out to see how we can help!

Kelvin Waterman

District Manager, FPC

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TREND: PRESCRIBING NATURE

Nature Smart

More and more companies are promoting the outdoor lifestyle. “Nature Smart” brands are educating consumers on the benefits of nature. It used to be that the person who served as the poster child for this idea was more of a modern-day hippie than a corporate CEO. They would literally shout from the mountaintops. All of that continues to change.

REI (Recreational Equipment, Incorporated) is one of those brands that literally walks the talk. Founded in 1938, REI is an American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation. It is organized as a consumers’ cooperative. REI sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment and clothing.

REI has worked to awaken a lifelong love for the outdoors in their members. Today, nearly 80 years later, the co-op has grown from 23 climbing friends to a community of more than 17 million members.

Each year, they close on Black Friday to ensure that their employees spend time outdoors, all part of their #OptOutside campaign. Even bigger, REI is partnering with the University of Washington to the tune of a $1 million donation to a new academic initiative called “Nature for Health.” The idea is to build a mountain of data surrounding the health benefits of living a life outside.

Green Exercise

There are more exercise classes and indoor programming than ever before, but the big box gyms are not the only game in town. Indoor classes are often costly. Outdoor movement has a new term that is spreading globally: “green exercise.” Green exercise is a term that describes working out in the outdoors. Many find that green exercise lowers blood pressure, increases creativity, decreases depression, and increases blood flow.

Biofit, an organic fitness company based in London, has invested in biophilic design and also teaches many classes outdoors. Most importantly, they educate others on why our bodies are meant to move outdoors.

Some people practice yoga outdoors. The mindful practice of walking or hiking in nature is “yoga for the brain.” Look for more traditional fitness outlets turning their attention outdoors.

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ADP: HR Tip of the Week

Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum salary requirement for the administrative, professional, and executive overtime exemptions will increase from $455 per week to $684 per week (or from $23,660 per year to $35,568 per year).

If your exempt employees’ salaries fall below this new threshold, you will generally either have to:

  • Raise their salaries to the new requirement; or
  • Reclassify the affected employees as non-exempt and pay them overtime whenever they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

It can be hard to keep up on these new law changes as a small business owner, but the fines from the IRS can be damaging to any business. We at ADP can help make sure you stay up to date on these new laws and keep you in compliance. If you have any questions on which employees this will effect or any questions on how to make  or implement this change, please reach out.

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