Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Workforce diversity, and a fascinating spend management angle...

Google Raises Eyebrows With New Gay-Only Employee Benefit -- The company said in its blog Thursday, that it will be "grossing-up imputed taxes on health insurance benefits for all same-sex domestic partners in the United States." In other words, the company will be paying homosexual employees who include domestic partners on their health insurance plans more money to make up for the federal taxes they pay on that benefit. (Married couples don't have to pay taxes on spousal health benefits.) But under Google's new policy, the company isn't offering any extra pay to heterosexual domestic partners, because it says heterosexual employees have the option of avoiding the tax by getting married.

They made the cuts...now what?

CEOs Fight To Prevent Discretionary Spending From Creeping Back Up -- Executives say they learned during the recession that their companies could function perfectly well with lower levels of spending on travel, supplies and office space. With the economic recovery still slow, executives are eager to keep costs low where they can, partly so they can allocate scarce dollars to higher- priority areas, such as compensation for recession-weary staff or research and development.

The SEC gets to work.

SEC Enters Overdrive to Prepare for Overhaul -- On your mark, get set...The Securities and Exchange Commission is already bracing for a sharp increase to its workload, even before the president signs the financial-regulatory bill into law. As part of the regulatory revamp, Congress has mandated that the nation's regulatory agencies craft a passel of new rules and ponder several new studies. The SEC has the bulk of these duties, and is on a tight deadline to write more than 90 new rules and complete nearly 20 studies.

The real implications of Facebook.

I'm really beginning to question the idea of Facebook as becoming less of a "social network" and more of a viable community, with actual infrastructure. Is anybody else interested in the future of "social networks" and how far we'll take them? Send me any news you have...and here's some about a new form of policing. Facebook unveils child safety 'panic button' -- The button, aimed at children and teenagers, will report abuse to the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) and Facebook. Once installed, the application appears on their homepage to say that "they are in control online."

Sheena Moore

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