March 09, 2012

working for companies you love (plus a book & recipe recommendation)

i just got back from a roundtable meeting at my office where we sat down - with the president & ceo of the company! - to discuss the unfair financial burden placed on gay employees whose husbands or wives are on our healthcare plan. (it's an interesting issue - this article summarizes it concisely - but basically, under current federal tax law, the cost of a gay employee's partner's healthcare is considered taxable income. meaning for an annual healthcare plan valued at, say, $6000, a gay, married employee would be subject to an additional ~$1500 in out of pocket taxes which straight, married employees would not have to pay.)

nothing was immediately resolved - it was just an initial discussion to highlight the issue - but i am just so damn proud & pleased to be working for an organization where this is openly & positively discussed; where both the president & ceo attend such a discussion; and where the general employee body is supportive of rectifying inequalities like this even when the inequality is due to federal law & not our company's policies.

UPDATE!! in the time it took me to write this post, our management team already made the decision to go ahead with the gross-up policy from the article above. love.


i was reading through book reviews on princess nebraska's blog recently and came across her take on a book called prep:
I am not sure that I have ever found another book as profoundly effecting or as incredibly super depressing. DAMN does she get into the psyche of the terrified 13 year old girl. This is the third time I have read this and I am still amazed by it.
intriguing, no? it's the story of a girl who chooses to attend an east coast boarding school for highschool... you know, sort of like the one i went to.

you guys. i had NIGHTMARES reading this book. because like princess nebraska says: DAMN does she get into the psyche of the terrified 13 year old girl. i woke up one morning and told chris i'd slept poorly all night because of the nightmares from the book, and he was like "oh, is it scary?" and i said "oh, no, not at all; i was having these awful dreams where i was super worried about what everyone thought about me all the time, and i was nervous to talk to your friends because i thought they'd take everything i said wrong, so instead i kept making these jokes and they totally DID take EVERYTHING wrong and actually none of your friends like me and don't know why you're dating me and... basically, i'm having nightmares that I AM a teenaged girl."

i actually really recommend the book, if you can handle a few days of feeling like an insecure teenager again.


i've had this recipe for the best tomato sauce in the world from one of my favorite food blogs, framed cooks, pinned for AGES.. and just finally made it last night.

HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. she is not kidding. make this IMMEDIATELY. there are only 3 ingredients (!!) but one of them is butter, so. i actually made some meatballs to go along with this yesterday, but forgot to serve them (!!!) and even chris, who does not believe in eating meals without meat, ate just pasta + sauce happily with no "but there's no meat" comments. this sauce is goooood.


Titania said...

I'd be really proud to work for your company too :-)

Elizabeth said...

That's really fantastic that your company can talk about and address issues like that.

As an additional note, I'm pretty sure benefits are also taxable if you're in a domestic partnership. Basically, if you're anything but married you pay more. (At least in my experience.)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

It's so rare when a company proactively listens to its employees and actually institutes change that benefits them. You're so lucky. Just the other day, Sweets was telling me about a vendor he went to visit. They had a hallway lined with photos of their employees. And, under every photo was an idea the employee had submitted that they had acted on. I'm not so sure companies really need to pat themselves on the backs like that, but the act of change itself is definitely impressive.

Jess said...

Wait, what exactly is the new policy? That the company will pay for a bigger share of domestic partner benefits because they are taxable? I am just curious how they are getting around this legal issue.

Swistle said...

Oh, man, Prep was SO RIVETING to me. I had stressful boy-liking dreams afterward. I still think of that book often.

Carrie said...

Well, I got all excited seeing your tomato sauce picture, thinking "Hooray! A great meat sauce recipe that I can make!" OR NOT! It does look tasty though. p.s. Do your meatballs have wheat in them? If not, would you please send me the recipe?

Mouse said...

Your post has started the wheels turning in this human resources benefits marm head of mine. I've got some things to check out when I get to the office on Monday. Thank you.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

With enough butter, you wouldn't notice the absence of meat.
With enough compassion, change can happen.
With enough courage, I could read that book, but lately I've been a teenager so I'll probably have to wait to read it.

Shalini said...

I adore Prep. I even loved Man of My Dreams. She kind of lost me with that Laura Bush book, though. Who am I kidding? I will totally be first in line at the library for her next one.

d e v a n said...

GO your company! That's great.

The pasta looks delish too, I'll have to try it!

Serial Monogamist said...

So, so jealous of your company.

I'm still in shock about the fact that my insurance plan doesn't cover birth control. In Oregon, that's illegal. Here in south carolina, it's de rigueur.

Also: That sauce is THE BEST, especially if you use those particular San Marzano tomatoes - these ones:

There really is a difference.

Raven said...

Knowing nothing else about your company but that? IT IS AWESOME. WELL DONE THEM!

Also, I am still mostly that girl, so NO CAN DO.

Hillary said...

It makes me really happy that companies like yours exist because mine is pretty much the absolute opposite.

Sizzle said...

That is awesome that your company addressed that unfairness like that.

I have heard about this butter tomato sauce. I am slightly afraid to make it because there is no turning back!

Maggie said...

Prep is the book that ruined my hopes of ever writing one. She said it all! Already! And a million times better than I could ever hope!

I am now longing to read an entire blog about real-life boarding school stories. Help me out here!

Nicole said...

You should be proud of a company like that. That's awesome! Good for you and your place of employment! The place where I work would never allow something like that. They don't even cover birth control. Fascists. :-(

brandy said...

The dish looks delicious, I want to try some of that one of these days. and also have attractive recipes that you’ll surely love!