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Supporting Employees’ Caregiving Responsibilities Amidst a Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, day cares and schools shut their doors. Months later, child care centers remain closed in many parts of the country, which means that parents are tasked with juggling caregiving and work responsibilities. In fact, according to a survey from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 60% of U.S. parents report that they’ve had no outside help with child care during the pandemic. Balancing work and caregiving responsibilities can be difficult and can contribute to decreased productivity, poor mental health and increased stress among employees. As a potential second wave of COVID-19 cases looms in the future, schools...

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2021 Minimum Wage Rate for Federal Contractors

On Aug. 31, 2020, the DOL announced that the minimum wage rate for federal contractor employees will increase to $10.95 per hour on Jan. 1, 2021. This Legal Update video explains further while full text appears below. [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4=""][/video]   On Aug. 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the minimum wage rate for federal contractor employees will increase from $10.80 to $10.95 per hour on Jan. 1, 2021. The minimum wage rate for  federal contractor employees is subject to annual adjustments as required by Executive Order 13658 (the Order). Tipped Employees Tipped employees covered by the Order will also...

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The New Normal: How COVID-19 Has Reshaped the Workplace

This video series explores the lasting effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on workplaces across the country. This video can help employers identify ways to keep operations running smoothly after reopening their businesses. [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4=""][/video]...

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The Link Between Employee Productivity, Health, and Financial Stress

If you think financial wellness programs are a fad, think again. The industry consensus is that financial wellness not only produces results for employees, but it positively influences company bottom lines. That’s good news for a number of reasons, especially for the juggernaut of financial stress in the workplace during these uncertain and unprecedented times. A recent study found that nearly 60% of respondents listed financial matters as the top cause of stress. Additionally, they found that 35% of employees report that issues with personal finances have been a distraction at work.[1] Causes of financial stress vary by generation but include not having...

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Latest News on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program is an SBA loan designed to enable businesses to keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The SBA routinely updates their site with important information regarding the program and loan forgiveness.  SIMA encourages clients to consult the SBA website for the latest. Notice: Paycheck Protection Program closed August 8, 2020 Paycheck Protection Program Loan Information Loan Details and Forgiveness Who Can Apply Lender Forms and Guidance Additional Program Information Other Assistance  ...

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Be Alert About Email Phishing Scams – Bad Actors Seeking to Take Advantage through “SBA Loan Application”

In the wake of emergency assistance available to help small businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the SBA is urging disaster loan applicants seeking federal aid to be alert to phishing campaigns and scams. These malicious actors are impersonating the SBA and its Office of Disaster Assistance to collect personally identifiable information (PII) for fraudulent purposes. The SBA is particularly concerned about scam emails that are targeting applicants of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program asking them to verify their accounts using a third-party online platform to collect personally identifiable information. Watch Out for Phony Emails Asking for Your...

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DOL Launches Employee Tool for Assessing FFCRA Leave Eligibility

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created an online tool to help workers determine whether they qualify for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The tool works by posing a series of questions that help employees assess whether the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to their employer. Once employees learn the provisions do apply, the tool then assists them in determining whether they qualify for FFCRA paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. The DOL is also developing a similar tool for employers. Employee Leave Under the...

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Application Deadline for Small Business Loans Extended

Congress has passed legislation to extend the application deadline for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through Aug. 8, 2020. Prior to the extension, the deadline to apply for these funds was June 30, 2020. The extension enables eligible small businesses to apply for funding for five more weeks. The legislation has been sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign the measure into law. What is THE PPP? In response to the debilitating effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on small businesses across the country, the federal government funded a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act...

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Post-coronavirus Return-to-Work Plans and EAPs

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed employees’ daily lives and routines, and even as businesses reopen, many employees are feeling the effects of the pandemic. As businesses reopen, employers must consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected employees, which in turn will affect their post-coronavirus return to work. As employees return to work, many are experiencing financial hardship, balancing new caregiving responsibilities, managing concerns over their physical well-being, and maintaining their mental well-being and health. During these uncertain times, employees are understandably experiencing significant stress, which can lead to lower productivity and morale, and increase their risk for health conditions, absenteeism...

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