June 2022 TogetHR Times

Do you need to do a QuickBooks Cleanup?  

The following signs could indicate that it’s time for a cleanup: 

  • Bank & Credit Card Reconciliations Not Current
  • Balance in Opening Balance Equity
  • Undeposited Funds Over 30 Days
  • Outstanding Bank Transactions Over 30 Days
  • Retained Earnings Does Not Match Tax Return
  • Uncategorized Fixed Assets, Income or Expenses
  • Payroll & Sales Tax Liabilities Do Not Match Returns
  • Accounts Payable & Receivables over 90 days

Your TogetHR Consulting QuickBooks Online Specialists are prepared to diagnose, present recommendations, and customize a solution tailored to fit your needs.  We are equipped to assist your business with Cleanups, Catchups, Training, Perform Periodic Reviews and Outsourced Bookkeeping/Payroll & Benefits.

Violence in the Workplace

The topic of workplace violence tends to dominate the news in the days following a major incident, but not every instance of workplace violence generates national headlines. Each year, an average of nearly 2 million U.S. workers report having been a victim of violence at work, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). And the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the number of annual workplace homicides at about 400.

While no prevention plan is an absolute protection against violence at work, understanding how to prepare for and react to violent conduct is imperative. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as the act or threat of violence, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults, directed toward people at work or on duty. Workplace violence also may include acts that result in damage to an organization’s resources or capabilities. Many employers consider workplace harassment and bullying to be forms of workplace violence. Also included in this context is domestic violence that spills over into the workplace in the form of assaults, threats or other actions by outside parties with whom employees have relationships and that occur at the workplace.

Are you prepared? There are circumstances in every workplace that increase the risk of a violent incident, including terminating volatile employees and dealing with workers and/or customers/clients who show signs of potential violence due to a mental illness. Preparing for any type of workplace violence is key. Larger companies with robust security departments have the advantages of resources and trained personnel who manage the security effort. But for smaller companies with little or no security measures in place, the responsibility often falls on the leadership team or  human resources.

Every employer will need a plan that is tailored to its particular circumstances and that considers company culture, physical layout, resources, management styles and other factors. 

What can employers do to protect their workers from becoming victims of workplace violence? The ultimate goal is to deter disgruntled employees or former employees or outsiders from violence by making your company a hard target. A secondary goal is to make sure your company and workforce are prepared for violence so you can minimize casualties and respond quickly in the event of a violent incident. If you can save a life—or many—the return on investment will be well worth it.

Let your HR representative know of your concerns and needs and we’ll assist in putting together a plan or policy to help. A great resources is: SHRM Workplace Violence Resource Page.

Unemployment News

States reported that 210,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending May 21. The number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits—1.3 million—is the lowest level since Jan. 17, 1970. 

Jobless claims have remained at or below pre-pandemic levels for months, though some tech companies have begun announcing layoffs and rising inflation could curb the creation of new jobs.

COVID Corner

COVID is again on the upswing.  COVID numbers are falling. The CDC recommends wearing a face mask in all settings. The CDC recommends face masks only in indoor groups settings. What do you believe? How do you handle this?  How do you manage COVID in your workplace?

Employers may be tempted to lift their pandemic-related safety requirements as federal and state authorities ease masking and other COVID-19 rules. Employers should note that they have ongoing obligations to protect the health and safety of their workers.

Employers should prepare a transition plan that allows adequate time to communicate changes with employees and implement new policies. Employers should create fallback rules and guidelines in case heightened safety precautions must be reinstated.

Some states dropped their masking and social-distancing rules after COVID-19 vaccinations became widely accessible in 2021. Other states introduced stringent safety requirements during spikes in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta and omicron variants. But even states with strict mandates are starting to roll back their directives.

Additionally, the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allows many communities to ease their indoor masking requirements.

What does this mean for employers and their workplace masking rules? Some employees may feel safer with a masking requirement even if their state does not require it. Other employees might resist workplace requirements that are more stringent than the applicable rules. 

An employer’s requirements may depend on the nature of the worksite and the likelihood of COVID-19 exposure. For example, lifting mask requirements may be less risky if the worksite is in an area where COVID-19 cases are dropping and employees primarily work in offices and cubicles that are spaced at least 6 feet apart. However, if COVID-19 cases are rising in the area and employees are in a manufacturing setting where physical distancing is not possible, it would be prudent to continue to require masks.

When making decisions regarding mask requirements, employers should also review applicable guidance from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or their state OSHA plan, which may have heightened safety rules.

Although OSHA rescinded its vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers, the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s general duty clause still requires workplaces to be free from known hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. Employers are ultimately responsible for the safety of their workers on the job, and OSHA has comprehensive COVID-19 guidance to assist with that responsibility.

Employers should continue to provide updates. Communicate frequently with employees about changes. Ensure that workplace safety rules are evolving based on state, local and federal requirements. Your HR consultant can provide you up to date information and recommendations on how to handle COVID in the workplace.

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