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Employee Benefits

We offer employees competitive wages and benefits, including medical, critical illness, dental and prescription drug coverage; short- and long-term disability coverage; life insurance and accidental death benefits; retirement plans; and a stock purchase plan. The Waste Management Health and Welfare Benefits Plan allows employees to choose from different levels and types of coverage. This allows each employee to put together a mix of benefits to meet their needs while receiving significant tax advantages by paying for benefits on a pre-tax basis (as allowed by law). About 90 percent of our employees choose to participate in a Waste Management health and welfare plan.

Waste Management pays the full cost to provide employees with short-term disability benefits, long-term disability benefits, basic life insurance for the employee and their dependents, legal services, and employee and family assistance benefits. The costs for medical and dental coverage are shared with employees, with Waste Management picking up a majority of the premium expense. The company offers other important benefits such as legal services (e.g., wills, powers of attorney), flexible spending accounts, adoption assistance, paid vacation and holidays, employee discounts, education savings accounts, student loan refinancing services and scholarship programs. As the age distribution of our employees changes, we have more employees caring for children and aging parents. The company offers subsidized back-up childcare and elder care to help employees smoothly handle their responsibilities.

We also provide plans to help employees save for their future. The Waste Management Retirement Savings Plan provides employees with diversified fund options to invest in for retirement. Employees can choose to make pre-tax and/or after-tax (Roth) contributions, with the company providing a market-competitive match with immediate vesting. Employees receive free investment advice through a call center staffed with licensed advisors, as well as through a suite of online tools. About 84 percent of employees participate in our savings plan.

Participating In Our Savings Plan

84% of employees are participating in our savings plan
  • 84% of employees are participating in our savings plan
  • 16% of employees are not participating in our savings plan

Another valuable program is our Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which provides employees an opportunity to buy shares of Waste Management common stock at a discount of 15 percent or more.

Wellness Programs

We are particularly proud of our wellness programs. Our team of “Get Well Guides”— nurses, coaches, dietitians, clinicians and financial counselors — help employees and their families access the help they may need for a variety of life challenges. Employees can dial a toll-free number for confidential support and assistance from reliable, compassionate professionals. Employees and their families also have access to 2nd.MD, a virtual service that provides real-time consultation with doctors specializing in a variety of practices.

Through the Waste Management Wellness Champ initiative, representatives at more than 860 sites spearhead activities such as Couch-to-5K, Move the Chains, fruit and vegetable challenges, tobacco cessation programs and “Biggest Loser”-style challenges at their sites. The Well Worksite Program complements this program by recognizing Waste Management sites for their wellness-focused efforts. More than 747 sites participate in the Well Worksite Program, and 409 sites received a Well Worksite Award in 2019. The award is separated into three categories:

  • Gold recognizes a site’s comprehensive involvement and dedication to employee wellness.
    98 sites earned a Gold award in 2019.
  • Silver recognizes a site’s expanding involvement and dedication to employee wellness.
    109 sites earned a Silver award in 2019.
  • Bronze recognizes a site that is providing programs to support employee wellness.
    202 sites earned a Bronze award in 2019.

Our wellness programs also include some on-site flu vaccination clinics and health fairs where we provide blood pressure tests, blood lipid tests and other screenings that aid in the early detection of health risks. A health coach also meets individually with all participants to review their results and suggest action items to improve their health.

A Transition to Recovery program helps injured or ill employees return to work sooner in temporary assignments that are consistent with their medically documented capabilities. These assignments help employees remain productive while speeding up their medical recovery. Benefits for Canadian employees, as well as for certain collectively bargained U.S. employees, may differ in some respects from those described above. For example, in Canada, the broader reach of standard health coverage makes the Get Well Guides program less useful, and their Return to Work program is not identical to Transition to Recovery.

Transition Assistance

Reorganization is a fact of life in a rapidly changing, dynamic business sector. Waste Management provides transition assistance, including severance benefits and outplacement services, to eligible employees whose employment is terminated in connection with a reorganization event.