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Small Businesses

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Navigating Unemployment Claims Due to Office Closures Related to the Coronavirus

Per the Virginia Employment Commission: "If you are a worker who has been totally or partially separated from your job due to Coronavirus, please note that no claim for unemployment insurance may be filed or processed until an actual lay off from employment has occurred, or until there has been an actual reduction in hours. When filing your claim for unemployment benefits, please be sure to check the reason for separation as Lack of Work/Lay off.  If you will be filing because of a reduction in hours, you will not receive benefits unless your gross earnings are less than your weekly...

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Please be advised: SIMA Response to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19 we will be transitioning our team to a remote working policy for the foreseeable future. At this time a limited staff will remain at our office to provide essential operations. Our service to you as well as the health and safety of our team is our primary concern throughout this time. Our team has the technology and resources required to effectively work remotely and will continue to provide you the service you need. Our Accounting team plans to remain at the office until further guidance is provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the possible extension...

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It’s Time! Tax Deadlines Looming!

2019 Tax Return Due Dates for Business Types Sole proprietorship and single-member LLC tax returns on Schedule C (with the owner's personal tax return): April 15, 2020. Partnership returns file a partnership tax return on Form 1065 with Schedule K-1 for each partner: March 16, 2020. Multiple-member LLC returns filing as partnerships file on Form 1065 for the partnership and give Schedule K-1 to each member: March 15, 2020. S corporation returns must be filed on Form 1120 S with Schedule K-1 for each member: March 15, 2020. For corporations (not S corporations) with a fiscal year endings other than...

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SAMPLE Pandemic Flu Leave Policy

In the event of a pandemic flu outbreak, as declared by management, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following Pandemic Flu Leave policy applies to all employees, including temporary and non-benefit eligible. This leave policy is above and beyond what is provided under the company’s Paid Time Off (PTO) and sick leave policies. Employees who qualify for Pandemic Flu Leave will not be required to use PTO or sick leave. Confirmed Infection Employees who are absent due to a confirmed pandemic flu infection will receive full pay for their normally scheduled work hours until a medical...

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HR Insights: Coronaviruses and the Workplace

Coronaviruses are fairly common and don’t typically affect humans. When they do, their effects are usually mild, as in the case of the common cold. However, deadlier variations of these coronaviruses have cropped up in recent years. Two examples of these evolved strains are the SARS virus of 2003 and the novel coronavirus, which was first seen in 2019. In both instances, the viruses ravaged the populations they infected, illustrating why employers must stay alert to developing outbreaks. It’s the responsibility of every employer to protect employees from these and other illnesses in the workplace. Taking even small precautions could save an...

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Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19. To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use only the guidance described below to determine risk of COVID-19. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin, and be sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed COVID-19. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features of COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing. Updates are available on CDC’s web...

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DOL Updates Regular Rate of Pay Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), announced a new final rule that clarifies how to calculate an employee’s regular wage rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule became effective on Jan. 15, 2020. Calculating the regular rate is an essential first step when determining an employee’s overtime compensation. Under the FLSA, an employee’s regular rate includes all forms of compensation paid to that employee in a workweek. The final rule clarifies what qualifies as compensation. The DOL’s stated objective with this rule is to provide more certainty for employers that offer additional perks to their employees, but aren’t sure...

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Workplace Wellness: Healthy Food Options

Most full-time employees eat at least one or two meals at work each workday. Not only are a significant number of meals eaten in the workplace, but work is also where employees are most susceptible to distracted or stress-related eating. As an employer, you can help your employees make healthy meal and snack choices. Good nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and healthier employees can mean increased productivity, fewer sick days and fewer on-the-job accidents. Health care costs associated with poor diets account for roughly $200 billion each year in lost productivity and medical expenses. Serving unhealthy food...

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Workplace Wellness: Stress Management

Initiatives for Stress Management Stress is a leading contributor to many health problems, and the workplace can often be a major source of stress. Lowering stress can lower the risk of medical conditions and can help employees feel better on a day-to-day basis. You can implement various activities to help reduce employee stress, which can improve health and morale—and productivity. Managing Workplace Stress As an employer, you can take several steps to ensure that the workplace is not contributing unduly to employees’ stress levels. Make sure that workloads are appropriate. Have managers meet regularly with employees to facilitate communication. Address negative and illegal...

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HHS Increases Civil Penalties for HIPAA Violations

Privacy and Security Rule Violations Impacted by Rule On Jan. 17, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule increasing the civil monetary penalties for violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. HHS is required to adjust these penalties for inflation each year. Effective Jan. 17, 2020, the following civil penalty amounts apply to violations of HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules: For each violation where the covered entity does not know about the violation (and by exercising reasonable diligence, would not have known about the violation) the penalty amount is between $119 and $59,522. If the...

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