Hostile Environment

The business owner was very clear.  Frank (name changed) wanted the very best health insurance package I could find for his company.  This was about twenty years ago.   This growing business was a tech company located in greater Cleveland.  He already had over 50 employees, mostly office and warehouse workers.  What he needed was computer talent and he had to convince these high-skilled tech workers to relocate from California to Cleveland.  He had tried to offer competitive salaries, but it wasn’t enough.  He hoped that by offering great benefits, too, they might ignore Ohio’s social climate and come to Cleveland.  Domestic partners, including same sex, needed to be covered.  His goal was to create an oasis here in Cleveland.  He was pitching life-style.

Can a business hide the ugliness outside its doors?  How hard is it to attract and retain good employees when a business is located in an unwelcoming city or state?  How many tax breaks does it take to get a business to locate / relocate to a hostile environment?  We are about to find out.

Due to COVID, we now know that lots of employees, especially tech, can productively work from home.  And home can be anywhere.  Is that a long-term solution?  The taxes may be cheaper in ________, but do you want to live there?

As states rush to change laws that effect any number of personal issues, we are about to see if an employer can create a private oasis within a hostile environment.


Picture – Future Home Office – David L Cunix