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JAN
14

OSHA Postings are due the First day of February

Employers have to post OSHA Form 300A for 2018 by the first day of February and leave it up through April 30. This form displays illnesses and injuries that occurred during the previous year and serves as a log of work-related injuries and illnesses recorded. The form must be posted in an area where it is visible to all employees. Records must be kept at the worksite for a minimum of five years and available to not only current employees, but to former employees (or their representatives if need be) as well.

The United States Department of Labor requires employers with 10 or more employees to keep records of work-related illnesses and injuries that are considered serious (if an injury only required first-aid, it need not be recorded). Severe injuries regarding loss of an eye, amputation or hospitalization must be reported within 24 hours; any fatality must be reported within 8 hours. Businesses that employ 10 or less employees who work in low-hazard conditions are considered exempt from the above requirements.

Note: OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) is the only form needed for electronic submission for establishments in excess of 250 employees as of July 30, 2018 due to issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). In addition to form 300A, OSHA also requires the employers submit their (EIN) Employer Identification Number.

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  1851 Hits
1851 Hits
JAN
04

2019—It’s Time to Purge Those Records—Or is it?

 A new year always brings about change, and when it comes to which records you keep or toss at the office can sometimes be a challenge. 

Federal records and The Uniform Preservation of Private Business Records Act (UPPBRA) states that records should generally be kept for a period of three years. But sometimes you cannot find a clear-cut answer for how long you should keep certain records. 

Things can get a bit opaque if you don't have any information available to you and you don't want to purge your old records without being certain; you also don't want to keep records longer than needed "just because," so what do you do?

If you can't find an answer it could mean that the records in question should be kept permanently, but to be safe, do your research. Document all resources used during your research whether you fall back on permanently keeping the records or you lean more toward the three-year time period for records purging. This will ensure you will likely avoid any penalties should an audit or court case crop up. 

You can also check with your attorney or CPA because laws differ from state-to-state. Another great resource would be reaching out to a local Human Resource company such as Stellaris Group in Marietta, Georgia and have them review (or help you create) a Records Retention Schedule and time frame for record keeping or purging since they are always current on new and changing federal and state laws.
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  914 Hits
914 Hits
DEC
10

Holidays and Religion in the Workplace

Religious holidays are celebrated throughout the year by all ethnicities, and as an employer, you want to make sure everyone can comfortably enjoy the festivities. The Holiday Season brings with it many diverse options and opportunities to ensure everyone in the workplace will enjoy whatever they choose (or not choose) in order to celebrate without incident.

Your first line of defense against the possibility of a misunderstanding or discrimination in the workplace is to have a company handbook that clearly outlines company policy regarding religious holidays and reasonable accommodations that may be available, but this can get tricky because it is usually something that will happen on a per-person basis and each situation will be unique. Second, you must learn what your obligations are to employees regarding religious accommodations as outlined in "Title VII" of the Civil Rights Act.

Additionally, how do you pay employees during the holidays that may have a religious conflict with them, and are you legally responsible to pay them for religious holidays? What if an employee wants to work on Christmas and wants you to provide reasonable accommodation, yet it is not your policy to pay anyone to work on Christmas? Example: The Federal Government requires employees to take time off during a Federal holiday and the employee may or may not be paid for the required time o

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  960 Hits
960 Hits
NOV
16

Have a Thankful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a fun time for most; it's a good time to stop and reflect upon what's going on in your life, in general. It's a given that you will enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends, but many will also set aside a day to celebrate Thanksgiving in the workplace. Whether your feast at work consists of each employee bringing a covered dish or having it catered in by a swanky restaurant or even going out to a popular restaurant, one thing should remain foremost in your mind: remember to thank your employees for a job well done.

A little praise goes a long way and acknowledging your employees who go that extra mile all the time by helping out others' in the workplace is very reassuring to them. They don't know how much they are appreciated unless you tell them. Take this time to let each person know how valuable he or she is to you and to your company. In turn, this makes happier, more content employees who are going to be happier at work and in the long run, will do a better job for you.

Being thankful does not only apply to your family and friends. It applies to those who run your business and keep things running smoothly for you. On average, you spend eight hours or more a day with your employees and some of those days can present challenges that can sometimes become stressful. Encouragement and thanks can erase stress and will work toward positive attitudes, growth and success. Being thankful can be a catalyst for motivation and positive attitudes all around and it should also motivate you to show your valued employees the support that they need year-round.

Stellaris Group in Marietta, Georgia wants to take this time to say "Thank You," to all of our employees who work hard for us each day and to our customers who depend on our professional Human Resource Management team who assist with recruiting and hiring, employee and labor relations; handbooks, policies and procedures, retirement services and ERISA; OSHA safety programs, government compliance and internal investigations. We are thankful for each and every one of you. Have a Happy Turkey Day!​

  947 Hits
947 Hits
SEP
24

Are Your Conversations Being Recorded?

Secretly recording conversations in the workplace is on the rise, and in some states, it is perfectly legal, but in the end, it all comes down to the subject matter being recorded. This trend has prompted employers to add human resource departments to their companies or to reach out to human resource management companies to implement employee training and to help to create employee handbooks outlining appropriate workplace behavior stating what is or is not allowed in the workplace; this should include tape recordings or taking photos at work.

Discrimination, sexual harassment, the "Me Too" movement, and whistle blowers have caused lawsuits to accelerate at record speed due to employees' taping conversations at work or at a company function outside the office without their employer's or co-worker's knowledge, but is this legal? Yes … and no.

Federal and state laws vary across the nation from the following: One Party Consent, All Parties Consent, Mixed Consent and Unestablished Consent. Georgia is a One-Party Consent State, as are most states. Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-66, clearly states that it is okay to record a conversation where one person gives consent to the recording. This means that the person making the recording has knowledge of the recording and is consensual, even though the person he/she is recording has no knowledge of the recording. It is allowed either in a public or a private place.

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  1311 Hits
1311 Hits
SEP
18

Commonsense Halloween Protocol for the Workplace

Halloween is a great time for many people to release their alter egos, but when it comes to the workplace, you might want to play by the rules. The following are some basic guidelines to ensure that your Halloween costume won't wind up getting you fired. 

If in Doubt—Ask
If you aren't sure about how to dress for Halloween or what is appropriate to wear, ask a colleague, your supervisor, or check with your Human Resources Department. The information may also be in your employee handbook. The last thing you want is to show up wearing an inappropriate costume, or even worse, show up as the only one dressed in a costume.

Consider Your Environment
If your company policy allows for Halloween costumes but is somewhat vague, use common sense. What type company do you work for? Is it a highly conservative atmosphere or is it relaxed and informal? Are you in the medical field, on staff at a hospital, a social worker, or a paramedic where dressing in costume could be offensive or confusing to some people. In other words, it might not be a very good idea to dress as the Grim Reaper at a funeral home, etc. You get the idea.
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  1039 Hits
1039 Hits
JUN
04

Why it’s Important to Create a Cohesive Customer Service Culture in the Workplace

It seems as if every company has at least one person, when asked to help out with someone else's duties, they will whine, "But that's not my job! Why should I have to help them?" This person is only one of many who represent your company and what would you like to bet that they do not represent you in the way you would like to be represented? Odds are pretty good that they don't.  

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  1377 Hits
1377 Hits
MAY
25

Wage and Hour Division Misclassifications

Nobody wants to tussle with the IRS and for the most part, wage and hour division misclassifications are generally caused by mistakes made during the hiring process. They are due to not knowing exactly how to classify an employee as a worker, as management, an independent contractor, etc. The IRS, Department of Labor, and Fair Labor Standards Act all have information on their websites that are invaluable to a business owner or manager when it comes to figuring things out.  

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  1306 Hits
1306 Hits
MAY
03

Creating a Service Culture: Every Employee is a Customer Service Rep

Creating a service culture

What Should be the Biggest Investment in Your Business or Company?

Before you answer that, think about the last time you called a customer service representative—was the person courteous or was the person rude? How did the call affect the way you would approach doing business with them in the future; did it aid with your decision to either cut ties or continue using the service the company provides?

The answer is obvious: your biggest investment should be your employees. Providing proper guidance and training for your employees, followed up by recognition for their efforts through praise, awards or a promotion is going to ensure you remain in good standing with your customers. After all, employees are your direct link to your customers and unless your business is a total monopoly, good customer service can make or break good business relations.
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  1905 Hits
1905 Hits
MAR
23

When it’s time for the pink slip

It's Friday afternoon, and you are ready for your last meeting of the day. The office is clearing out, and you call in… Janet. Janet hasn't been performing up to standards, and it's time to let her go. You've prepared as much as you can for this moment. There's a fresh box of tissues in your office. Janet enters and sees the termination paperwork on your desk and… throws your potted plant on the floor.

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  1196 Hits
1196 Hits

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