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Author: Lindsay Sommers

7 Ways to Transition Back to Work

Two people at work.

As different states begin exploring reopening plans, business owners must start thinking about the logistics of the “new normal.” There will undoubtedly be stipulations depending on where you live, and how severely the COVID-19 pandemic affected your area. Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity to come back with a re-energized focus on your business.

With a renewed motivation, you’ll put your best foot forward as a business owner. Whether you are reopening after a few months off, learning how to start a business or implementing new health and safety standards, or balancing the expectations of customers with the emotional well-being of your employees, there are plenty of considerations before the much anticipated “open” sign flips from “closed.”

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Can You Require Employees to Use PTO?

Word writing text Paid Time Off. Business concept for vacation with full payment take vacation Resting Healing written by Man plain background holding Marker Pencils next to it.

Paid time off (PTO) is a fantastic benefit that employers provide for their employees. In fact, recent studies show that 65% of business owners provide PTO benefits for their employees. Employees with time off benefits have higher morale and better work-life balances, which increases employee retention. So, it’s no wonder why employers choose to give their employees time off throughout the year.

Many employees enjoy the freedoms they get with time off benefits, but there are times when employers must manage time off consumption. For instance, it’s especially common for employers to restrict PTO during busy seasons or require employees to use their time off during slow periods. Although this might cause the employee inconveniences, an employer has the authority to dictate how and when PTO is used.

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Federal and State Meal Break Law Compliance

Breaks have always been a bit tricky for business owners to tackle. With so many rules in place, it’s hard to decipher what to do to stay compliant with federal and state law. As of May 2020, twenty-one states and two U.S. territories have meal break requirements in place. Generally, employees must take their breaks by a certain time within their workdays and the breaks are paid. Whether you’re curious as to what your state’s rules are, or if you’re thinking about implementing a break policy at your workplace, this article will help you understand federal and state meal break requirements. 

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Business Math: How and When to Calculate PTO Payouts

A paid time off (PTO) payout is compensation for earned time off that an employer must pay employees when they leave their jobs. Although the FLSA doesn’t require business owners to give their employees time off, some employers who give time off benefits to their employees must pay out their employees when they leave the company under law. Why is that? Some states require employers to handle an employee’s accrued vacation hours in a certain way. According to state law, former employers must give their employees the cash value of their accrued time off balances upon leaving.

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Can PPP Loans Affect Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

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This article was published on May 19, 2020. New information may be available regarding PPP loans and UI benefit packages. Visit the Small Business Administration for more information.

The PPP loan is a valuable resource for many business owners, especially for employers who have employees with unemployment insurance. With the new loan, employers will have the ability to pay their employees as they would normally and can avoid paying unemployment taxes. This all sounds great, but PPP loans are confusing to employees, and many wonder whether their employer’s PPP loan will alter their unemployment insurance statuses. Do PPP loans affect employees’ unemployment benefits? Let’s find out.

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How to Manage Isolation and Loneliness When Working From Home

A man standing in front of the window. He's lonely and isolated.
Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Working remotely is a trend that has grown tremendously over the past ten years. In fact, as of 2020, about 4.7 million people in the United States work from a home office and find remote work normal. Recently, countless more have joined the remote workforce as a response to the coronavirus. With lockdown orders in place, many people who’ve never worked virtually before are transitioning to an online setting.

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5 Work-From-Home Habits You Should Follow as a Remote Employee

An employee working from home and working remotely

You may have recently joined over 8 million Americans as a part of the remote workforce. Like many others, you may have a little trouble getting into the swing of things and finding your rhythm, especially when it comes to organization and discipline. Although you may be new to the remote workforce and it may seem overwhelming, you’ll find that you can actually improve your productivity. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your workday:

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Employee Guide

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Many businesses are facing economic hardships now that the coronavirus has considerably slowed consumer spending. Without an influx of income, many business owners made tough decisions to cut employee hours and pay throughout the past few weeks. As a result of this change, anxious employees try to figure out how to balance their new financial situations. In response to coronavirus’ economic effect on businesses, the federal government took action to provide relief.

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Is it legal to Cut an Employee’s Pay and Hours Because of COVID-19?

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Throughout the past few weeks the coronavirus has left the world empty and desolate. With lockdown measures and social distancing orders in place, people refrain from going to restaurants, communicating in-person, and going to work. As the nation adjusts to this austere new lifestyle, consumerism has slowed down immensely. Consumers are only buying the essentials, which means they aren’t spending like they used to. Of course, when people aren’t spending money, businesses don’t make money. Therefore, many business owners have had to make tough decisions to stay afloat.

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How to Protect and Prepare Your Business From the Coronavirus

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Now spread outside of China, the coronavirus takes its toll worldwide. Along with South Korea, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, France, and Germany, the United States has now confirmed signs of this deadly disease in its own home. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As of March 2nd, there are 6 confirmed deaths in the US; however, in its current state, experts say that there will be a huge outbreak soon. This relentless virus brings a lot of chaos and bewilderment to many US citizens, and leaves many wondering what they can do to protect themselves. Citizens everywhere are stocking up on bleach, face masks, gloves, and disinfectant products. People worldwide are doing what they can to prevent the virus from entering their own homes and businesses.

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