ON THE JOB

Dogging It at Work<@VM>Don't Zone Out on 401(k)<@VM>Feds Launch Accessibility Course Online

The high-tech industry boasts the most dog-friendly employers, according to DogFriendly.com, a Placerville, Calif., Web site that lists 260 canine-compatible employers in 40 states. DogFriendly.com also features Fido-friendly hotels and retail establishments.

Other dog-friendly workplaces include pet care, health care, retail, manufacturing and construction, home repair and movie companies. The companies listed usually allow employees to bring dogs to work every day.

"Most companies find this to be an attractive benefit for their employees," said Tara Kain, who founded DogFriendly.com in 1998.

The most dog-friendly state is California, with at least 80 employers allowing dogs. They include Dell Computer Corp. in San Jose and Netscape Communications Corp. in Mountain View.

"Having dogs around certainly decreases the stress level," wrote an employee of Ninth House Network, a San Francisco e-learning company. "Just make sure you don't leave your lunch on your desk unattended."Automatic enrollment in company 401(k) plans can put employees at a disadvantage for long-term security, according to research from Hewitt Associates LLC, a Lincolnshire, Ill., human resources consulting firm.

Automatic enrollment can increase employee participation, but it can work against some employees' asset accumulation ? decreasing their ultimate retirement income ? because automatically enrolled employees tend to remain at a company's default contributions, usually between 2 percent and 3 percent invested in conservative and low-returning funds.

Employers need to ensure that auto enrollment doesn't replace efforts to promote sound savings and investment behaviors, said Hewitt analyst Lori Lucas. "Plan sponsors need to take steps to see to it that participants aren't lulled into a false sense of security just because they are enrolled in the plan," she said.The General Services Administration launched a free, self-paced course on the Web to teach Web site developers how to make sites accessible to people with disabilities, in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The course, "Designing Accessible Web Sites," is available at www.section508.gov. Future modules will offer training for procurement officers, human resources personnel and agency coordinators for Section 508.

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