Joggers, leggings, sweats? What to wear, what not to wear as you return to the office

No suit. No tie. No problem these days.

The casualization of office attire started before the pandemic, but COVID took it to a new level as many employees worked remotely.

Now as employees return to the workplace, business casual seems to be the predominant theme, but companies would be well-advised to remind employees of dress code expectations to avoid problems later on, experts say.

'Be proactive'

"My advice to employers is to be proactive," says Domenique Camacho Moran, a partner at Farrell Fritz in Uniondale. "Tell employees on a regular basis what you expect."

During the summer, it’s okay to remind staff ‘we don’t want beachwear,’ she says. Many employers, including her own law firm, she says, have moved to business casual.

But even that could be open to interpretation if employers are not clear, says Moran, noting, "business casual has been redefined industry by industry."

For example, business casual at a law firm isn’t ripped jeans and graphic T-shirts but could be dockers and golf shirt with a belt, she says.

Relaxed policy may continue

Kahler says dress codes were relaxed before the pandemic and will likely be more relaxed as employees return to work.

But she doesn’t think it will go to the degree where employees will be wearing home attire like sweats.

"A lot of people do a mix of working from home and working from the office and dress codes will reflect that," Kahler says.

Dressing down for charity

The firm also allows jeans on Casual Fridays, which is tied to a fundraiser element. Every Friday each employee contributes $5 to dress down. Contributions are matched by the firm and donated to a charity each quarter, Wyetzner says.

To be sure, business casual is here to stay and is being considered a perk by many employers, says Jeff Agranoff, human resources consulting principal at Jericho-based Grassi Advisors & Accountants.

It’s a perk at Grassi too,, he says, noting, "we’ve always had flexibility in our dress code."

Four years ago the firm adopted business casual. Then two years later jeans were allowed when appropriate with a professional top. The firm’s now transitioning to a "Dress for your day" policy that came out of the pandemic as half of their employees are still on a hybrid work schedule.

Agranoff stresses that even if you’re on a Zoom call with a client you’re expected to dress appropriately.

Uniform enforcement

Employers have the right to adopt dress code policies and enforce those policies, Moran says, adding, enforcement is typically in the form of counseling, warning or, if necessary, the termination of employment.

Any dress code policy, Hyland says, should also be uniformly enforced. Make sure it’s not gender-biased, meaning don’t put stricter dress code requirements on women than men or vice versa, she says.

Adds Moran, employers also should provide reasonable accommodations for a disability or religious reasons.

And be mindful of who’s having the conversation if there’s a violation. Ideally it should be Human Resources.

"You want to avoid a sexual harassment issue, Moran says.

source :newsday.com

Is it possible to return the car you just bought?

With car prices at record highs and inventory getting thinner, shoppers might be tempted to rush through a deal this summer without giving it much thought. But what happens if you later have buyer’s remorse, whether it be from too high of a car payment or realizing your new car isn’t actually what you wanted? Is it possible to return your car?

In most cases, the answer is "no," with an occasional "maybe." If you signed the sales contract, you own the car. And the law is on the side of the seller.

For new cars, your legal rights can be summed up in the one sentence that’s posted on the wall of many dealership sales offices: "There is no cooling-off period." This refers to the Federal Trade Commission’s cooling-off rule for some purchases. However, this rule is primarily meant to protect consumers from high-pressure door-to-door sales tactics. It explicitly does not apply to vehicle purchases.

Essentially, the dealer has to decide whether to unwind the deal or not. While business owners clearly want customers to be satisfied, undoing a car purchase is a costly headache for a car dealer. That vehicle can no longer be sold as new, and it lost some of its value once it was driven off the car lot.

You might have better luck returning a used car, but it all depends on the state where you live and the individual dealership’s policies. Some used car dealerships offer limited-day return policies, but read the fine print carefully to see what situations are covered.

Considering all this, Edmunds experts detail three common car-return scenarios people might have and offer tips for each.

BUYER’S REMORSE

If you have buyer’s remorse, you can call the salesperson first as a courtesy, but be prepared to contact someone higher up the chain, such as the sales manager, general manager or owner. Make your call on a business day as opposed to a weekend.

The majority of car dealers have no written policies that allow you to rescind the purchase agreement you’ve signed. This means your only recourse is to plead your case. You can say that you have discovered you don’t like the car or that it will stretch your budget and put you in dire financial straits.

The dealer might be willing to rework the deal to place you in a vehicle with a lower purchase price. But know that the dealer is under no legal obligation to do so.

I WAS RIPPED OFF

If the car salesperson you worked with didn’t keep promises, or you suspect fraud, you might have a case. The best way to reach a resolution is to simply return to the dealership and ask to speak to the manager in a calm tone. Yelling and cursing won’t get you anywhere.

Be prepared to prove your case with any documentation you can find, such as emails or text messages. The goal is to show that you were promised one price but charged another.

Consumers who cry foul on price are at least partially to blame. Buying a car can be an emotional purchase and can cause some people to lose sight of the details. If you’re on the brink of a deal in the showroom and think you don’t have enough information to proceed, don’t. It is better to walk away from a deal than to argue after the fact that you paid too much. Your best bet is to do your pricing research online and work out a deal you feel comfortable with.

THE CAR’S A LEMON

Sometimes a buyer quickly decides the car is defective and wants to exchange it for a different one or cancel the deal. But it takes time out of service and repeated visits to the repair shop — for the same issue — to legally establish that a car is a lemon and have a vehicle considered under the lemon law. Make sure you brush up on the lemon law in your state to help determine if this is the proper course of action.

In situations in which there’s a clear problem with a new car, the dealer will often fix it under warranty. If no warranty exists, as with many used cars, you can still lobby to have the car fixed.

EDMUNDS SAYS: When the typical response to unwind a deal is likely to be "no," it’s best to never put yourself in the position of asking. Head off any issues by being a prepared car buyer who knows a car’s pricing, reads the sales contract carefully, and fully inspects the car before taking ownership.

source : newsday.com

U.S. life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII

U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years.

The drop spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, which health officials said is responsible for close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline. More than 3.3 million Americans died last year, far more than any other year in U.S. history, with COVID-19 accounting for about 11% of those deaths.

Black life expectancy has not fallen so much in one year since the mid-1930s, during the Great Depression. Health officials have not tracked Hispanic life expectancy for nearly as long, but the 2020 decline was the largest recorded one-year drop.

The abrupt fall is "basically catastrophic," said Mark Hayward, a University of Texas sociology professor who studies changes in U.S. mortality.

Killers other than COVID-19 played a role. Drug overdoses pushed life expectancy down, particularly for whites. And rising homicides were a small but significant reason for the decline for Black Americans, said Elizabeth Arias, the report's lead author.

Other problems affected Black and Hispanic people, including lack of access to quality health care, more crowded living conditions, and a greater share of the population in lower-paying jobs that required them to keep working when the pandemic was at its worst, experts said.

Life expectancy is an estimate of the average number of years a baby born in a given year might expect to live. It’s an important statistical snapshot of a country’s health that can be influenced both by sustained trends such as obesity as well as more temporary threats like pandemics or war that might not endanger those newborns in their lifetimes.

For decades, U.S. life expectancy was on the upswing. But that trend stalled in 2015, for several years, before hitting 78 years, 10 months in 2019. Last year, the CDC said, it dropped to about 77 years, 4 months.

Other findings in the new CDC report:

—Hispanic Americans have longer life expectancy than white or Black Americans, but had the largest decline in 2020. The three-year drop was the largest since the CDC started tracking Hispanic life expectancy 15 years ago.

—Black life expectancy dropped nearly three years, to 71 years, 10 months. It has not been that low since 2000.

—White life expectancy fell by roughly 14 months to about 77 years, 7 months. That was the lowest the lowest life expectancy for that population since 2002.

—COVID-19's role varied by race and ethnicity. The coronavirus was responsible for 90% of the decline in life expectancy among Hispanics, 68% among white people and 59% among Black Americans.

—Life expectancy fell nearly two years for men, but about one year for women, widening a longstanding gap. The CDC estimated life expectancy of 74 years, 6 months for boys vs. 80 years, 2 months for girls.

More than 80% of last year's COVID deaths were people 65 and older, CDC data shows. That actually diminished the pandemic's toll on life expectancy at birth, which is swayed more by deaths of younger adults and children than those among seniors.

That's why last year's decline was just half as much as the three-year drop between 1942 and 1943, when young soldiers were dying in World War II. And it was just a fraction of the drop between 1917 and 1918, when World War I and a Spanish flu pandemic devastated younger generations.

Life expectancy bounced back after those drops, and experts believe it will this time, too. But some said it could take years.

Too many people have already died from COVID-19 this year, while variants of the coronavirus are spreading among unvaccinated Americans — many of them younger adults, some experts said.

"We can't. In 2021, we can't get back to pre-pandemic" life expectancy, said Noreen Goldman, a Princeton University researcher.

source : newsday.com

China: Plug-In Electric Car Sales Reach New Record In June 2021

About 235,000 plug-ins were sold, which translated to 15% market share.

Plug-in electric car sales surge in China to new record levels as multiple models are selling better than ever.

In June, some 235,000 passenger plug-in cars were registered (new all-time record), which is probably close to 160% more than a year ago. Moreover, the market share increased to 15% and 12% are BEVs. Plug-in hybrids are not that popular in China.

So far this year, about 1.1 million passenger plug-in cars were sold, which is 11% of the total market. BEV share stands at 9%.

It's obvious that this year sales will exceed 2 million - possibly even 2.5 million.

Model rank

Let's now take a look at the best selling models for the month, which is a mix of very small, entry-level EVs (like Wuling, Great Wall Ora Black Cat and Changan Benni EV) and hot market leaders (Tesla, BYD and others):

  1. Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV - 29,143
  2. Tesla Model 3 - 16,514
  3. Tesla Model Y - 11,623
  4. BYD Qin Plus PHEV - 9,269
  5. Li Xiang One EREV - 7,713
  6. Great Wall Ora Black Cat - 6,508
  7. Changan Benni EV - 6,358
  8. GAC Aion S - 5,916
  9. BYD Han (BEV) - 5,802
  10. BYD Song Pro PHEV - 5,450

In the year-to-date comparison, aside from Wuling's massive advantage, two locally produced Tesla models are the most popular electric cars in China:

  1. Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV - 181,810
  2. Tesla Model 3 - 84,844
  3. Tesla Model Y - 46,180
  4. BYD Han (BEV) - 38,665
  5. Great Wall Ora Black Cat - 31,994
  6. GAC Aion S - 30,452
  7. Li Xiang One EREV - 30,154
  8. Changan Benni EV - 29,147
  9. Chery eQ - 27,136
  10. BYD Qin Plus PHEV - 21,376

source : https://insideevs.com/