Blog Archives

Video Conference DOs and DON’Ts

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COVID-19 has made video conferencing a part of our everyday lives, and that is not likely to change any time soon. While they may feel more relaxed, video conferences should be treated with the same level of professionalism and attention that one would give to an in-person meeting. Knowing what to do and how to act can be challenging. Here are five things for successfully navigating a video conference. 1. Do prepare ahead of time and rehearse. Don’t test new features during a meeting. Whether you are attending or facilitating a meeting it is important to come prepared. For video…

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Zoom into this Holiday Season

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Each year the holiday season brings potlucks, gift exchanges, and holiday parties among others. This year it has become more important than ever that we feel connected, but COVID-19 has forced us to forgo many of our usual festivities in the name of safety. While things may look different this year, it is still important to provide a space for celebration and cultivating community. With this in mind, many organizations are taking their annual holiday celebrations to a virtual sphere. Virtual parties may not spark joy in your employees right off the bat. “Zoom fatigue” and a feeling of disconnection…

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Non-Compete Agreements: Are They the Best Way to Go?

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Non-compete agreements have become more common for American workers. Once reserved for high-level executive positions, non-compete agreements are now making their way through the workforce, reaching an estimated one in five American workers. While non-compete agreements have seen a large uptick in employees making under $40,000 a year, experts do not always agree on their applicability. Noncompete agreements can be beneficial in preventing your competitors from poaching your best employees, but they can also keep the best employees from even approaching your company. Moving between workplaces to pursue professional development has become a normal part of the modern professional world….

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COVID-19 and Contact Tracing

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As organizations across the U.S. return to the office, employers find themselves in need of new policies and procedures to protect the wellbeing of their employees and the success of their organization. Implementation of social distancing measures, sanitation, wellness checks, and flexible scheduling can help to stop the spread of COVID-19 but are no guarantee an employee will not contract the disease. In the face of this possibility, employers are finding themselves in need of a plan to address the potential danger of COVID-19 in the workplace. This plan include detailed strategies for contact tracing. The first step in effective…

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The Impact of COVID on the Gender Pay Gap

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The gender pay gap is something that organizations across the nation are working to eliminate, and while the battle continues to rage for equality, the gap does not seem to be shrinking as much as we would like. Women consistently hold fewer executive and board positions and on average still make less than their male counterparts. COVID-19 has drawn attention to the gender pay gap in a new way and highlighted the reasons that it continues to persist. The first issue is that women hold more positions in low-paying sectors, such as restaurant and retail workers than men. These sectors…

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Getting the Most out of Your EAP During these Most Challenging times

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In the United States, job-related stress is the leading workplace health problem. And, Covid-19 has only exacerbated the problem. Employers across the country have attempted to mitigate costs and decrease burnout for their employees by implementing Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). EAPs can help employees manage stress, find resources for financial struggles, or gain access to tools that can improve self-care or help with mental illness treatment. Studies show that effective use of an EAP can improve an employee’s productivity and decrease medical costs, saving organizations well over $1,000 per employee but employees do not seem to be using them. According…

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Gig Workers and the FLSA

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The American workforce has more freelance and “gig-workers” than ever. In fact, experts believe that they will make up almost 40% of the workforce in the next five years. Organizations are consistently finding themselves working with freelance employees and unsure whether they should be covered as a worker under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or if they are an independent contractor. On September 22nd, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that, if passed, would clarify the difference and how freelance workers should be treated. Here are a few things you need to know about that…

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Expense Reimbursement During COVID-19

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COVID-19 forced many American workers to go remote.  With offices closed, this created unanticipated business-related costs in order for employees to do their jobs effectively. Research shows that 56% of American workers were not able to bring items from work home and 37% were not reimbursed for purchases they made in order to work from home. While federal law has minimal requirements in this area, many states are addressing the issue with additional legislation, and employers across the country are asking themselves if they should be reimbursing remote workers for expenses, especially if they’re choosing to continue remote work. Experts…

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Should You Provide Hazard Pay During COVID-19?

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COVID-19 has shown our nation who the most essential workers are across the board. With that, hazard pay has come to the forefront of employee and employer minds. Essential workers are unable to quarantine and many continue to be public-facing during high-risk times. The question many are asking is whether or not these employees should in-fact be given hazard pay for that risk. While the Department of Labor (DOL) doesn’t require employers to pay hazard pay, it may be something you want to consider for those employees who remain public-facing. In some states, legislation has been introduced outside the Fair…

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Supporting our Black Employees

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In the United States, people of color, particularly black communities, have been more seriously impacted by COVID-19; both with higher levels of illness and by the economic downturn. Discrimination has been laid bare as unequal access to healthcare, increased pre-existing conditions, and a higher level of “essential workers” who have been exposed. While the unemployment rate across the country was 10.2% in July, it was 14.6% among black American workers. As these communities have struggled through the pandemic, the social upheaval surrounding long-standing racial discrimination and injustice has come to light. Across the country, employers are asking themselves what they…

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