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Preventing Another Supply Chain Crisis

 

We have learned a lot from the COVID-19 outbreak. Supply chains specifically have taken some major blows due to the public’s panic and resulting behavior. Though an increase in demand would normally be embraced, these extreme jumps simply are not manageable and have given supply chain business owners much to consider in preparation for the future. Manufacturers of essential products such as toilet paper now know that they need a plan in place for the possibility that something like this or worse could happen again. In March, toilet paper machines ran at 99.7% capacity up from their normal 92%, according to Fastmarkets RISI. Amazon is months behind on orders and now has even temporarily stopped stocking some goods altogether because they can’t keep up. How can the supply chain prevent another crisis such as this? Keep reading for insight and solutions that will help you prepare.

PLANNING FOR SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION

In order to adequately plan for supply chain disruption you first need to assess possible risks. COVID-19 would be considered an ‘extraordinary risk’ for commercial products, as it is in the category of epidemic or pandemic outbreaks. Though the risks in this category are mostly deemed unpredictable and uncontrollable, we can still learn from this experience. Strategies can be formed based on areas that struggled, processes that can be optimized, and recovery solutions. Some examples are:

  • Flexible orientation and staffing.
  • Quicker communication techniques for the sharing of information.
  • Solutions for employee support.
  • Increase in supply chain collaboration.
  • Updated technology.
  • Buying more machinery.
  • Backup and alternative suppliers.
  • Compensation policies for customer inconvenience.

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

A deeper factor to note as well when considering our resources and the possibility of running out is where these things really come from. Toilet paper comes from trees, and though we can ramp up production based on need, the forests that continue to be cut down to accommodate these needs are not unlimited. Additionally, the toilet paper that consumers buy from grocery stores is not as sustainable as what’s being purchased for businesses. Because more people are now working from home, the demand for home-brands (which are not as sustainable) has increased. Why are home brands not as sustainable? The toilet paper that is made for restaurants and bigger businesses is constructed to last longer and use less resources due to the large amounts they usually go through. This is accomplished by:

  • Making larger rolls that are often single-ply.
  • Using recycled materials.
  • Having a lower standard for texture or thickness.

In order to make resources last longer, tissue makers will need to start constructing at-home toilet paper with the same sustainable ideals in mind. Furthermore, manufacturers need to be ready and willing to assess facts like these in reaction to pandemics and the like, so they can adjust accordingly and prevent further damage from occurring.

ADJUST ACCORDINGLY

The most effective way to plan for the future is to be ready for the worst case scenario and to prepare as needed. Too often managers and business owners will wait for the catastrophe to occur. How has your supply chain taken a hit and how can you make sure that the impact isn’t so great next time? Make sure you’re adequately staffed, and that your options are flexible. Many supply chains are now adhering to temporary staffing solutions to increase this flexibility. Partnering with a staffing agency makes staffing malleable to your needs because:

  • You have a dependable resource for finding you strong temporary workers.
  • Temporary employees are not depending on you for continued work if sales drop off.
  • If you have a large increase in demand, you can hire more people quickly.

 

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What Can We Expect from a Biden Administration?

By: Eric E. Kinder;spilman thomas & Battle; Mr. Kinder’s primary area of practice is labor and employment law with an emphasis on wage and hour, employee benefits, ERISA litigation, and USERRA.
As President-elect Joe Biden begins to transition into the Oval Office, employers cannot help but look ahead to what the next four years may hold. Although a Biden administration may be limited in what it wants to do because of a possible Republican majority in the Senate, the campaign indicated on which it is likely to focus. Also, as happens any time the Presidency transitions from one party to another, presidential appointments to the administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) could play huge roles.

Paid Leave (including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act)

If it does not occur before he takes office, expect the Biden administration to push hard to extend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (which requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19) as that law is set to expire on December 31, 2020. A Biden administration is expected to push for mandatory paid leave policies, similar to what some states recently have enacted. President-elect Biden has said he supports converting the FMLA’s mandatory leave provisions from unpaid to paid.

Minimum Wage and Overtime

Expect a heavy push to increase the federal minimum wage. Biden campaigned to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. While a bump of that size is unlikely to pass the Senate, expect a push for some increase. Biden also supports indexing the minimum wage to the median hourly wage so that the minimum wage could potentially increase on a more regular schedule as wages increase. The Biden administration also may try to eliminate the “tip credit” (the ability to pay a reduced minimum wage to tipped employees) and may seek an increase in the minimum salary to qualify as an exempt employee under the FLSA. You may remember the Obama administration promulgated an overtime rule that set a threshold of $47,476 annual pay (or $913 per week) in order to qualify for an exemption. The rule was enjoined and the Trump administration substituted a smaller increase (minimum salary of $35,568 a year or $684 a week). In any event, expect more stringent enforcement of overtime requirements by the Department of Labor (“DOL”).

Arbitration and Non-Competes

President-elect Biden supports passage of legislation that would prohibit employers from requiring employees to sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. Again, if Republicans maintain their Senate majority, this may never reach President Biden’s desk, but he is almost certain to sign such a bill if it did. Relatedly, the Biden for President website promised to “eliminate all non-compete agreements, except the very few that are absolutely necessary to protect a narrowly defined category of trade secrets, and outright ban all no-poaching agreements.”

Independent Contractors

Also, look for a closer examination of the definition of independent contractor. The Biden for President website praised states such as California that “have already paved the way by adopting a clearer, simpler, and stronger three-prong ‘ABC test’ to distinguish employees from independent contractors.” Under the ABC test, a worker is considered an employee and not an independent contractor, unless all three of the following conditions are met:

  • The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
  • The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

What that means is that the DOL under President Biden would almost certainly withdraw the DOL’s proposed independent contractor rule, or if the rule is finalized before the end of the Trump administration, immediately would begin new rulemaking to rescind it.

Prevailing Wage

While campaigning, Biden said he would apply a broader standard for who needs to be paid a “prevailing wage” and would strictly enforce their payment. This largely can be done by Executive Order, so expect to see a prevailing wage requirement apply to an even larger segment of government contracts, and perhaps more importantly, expect to see increased enforcement by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) that contractors pay prevailing wage under the Davis-Bacon Act and Service Contract Act. He also will be very likely to revoke President Trump’s “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping” that restricts the federal government, federal contractors, and certain federal grant recipients from conducting specific types of diversity and unconscious bias training.

Labor Law

President-elect Biden ran on a platform of strengthening worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions. He has expressed strong support for the Protecting the Right to Organize (“PRO”) Act, which would significantly change the union/employer dynamic (in favor of unions) by:

  • Banning employer mandatory “captive audience” group meetings;
  • Requiring immediate collective bargaining shortly after a successful union election and, if no agreement is reached, requiring binding interest arbitration of contract terms;
  • Preempting states’ “right-to-work” laws;
  • Allowing “unfair labor practice” claims to be brought as civil actions in court;
  • Adding fines and liquidated damages (possibly six figures) as remedies for unfair labor practices; and
  • Adding personal liability (even criminal liability) for unfair labor practices for corporate directors and officers.

Biden also pledged to reinstate and codify into law the Obama administration’s “persuader rule” requiring employers to report not only information communicated to employees, but also the activities of third-party consultants who work behind the scenes to manage employers’ anti-union campaigns and the Obama era’s NLRB rules allowing for shortened timelines of union election campaigns. As a senator, Biden co-sponsored the original Employee Free Choice Act, which allowed workers to form a union if a majority signs authorization cards empowering a union to represent them.

Importantly, as President, Biden will be able to appoint a majority of NLRB members, likely resulting in the overruling of many of the precedents issued during the past few years. After he has appointed a majority, it is likely that a Biden NLRB would reinstate the rulings from:

  • Specialty Healthcare, which permitted the organization of so-called “micro-units” and allowed unions to target a smaller group of employees to organize at first;
  • Purple Communications, which held that employees had a protected right to use their work email accounts for organizing purposes even if they were not allowed to use the email for other personal purposes; and
  • Browning-Ferris Industries, which held entities could be joint-employer based on a reserved right to control employees or indirect control over employees as opposed to actually exercise direct control over the employees at issue.

Pay Equity Mandates

While campaigning, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said she wanted to make the U.S. a worldwide leader in the fight for pay equity. Even if unable to enact legislation on this point, do not be surprised to see pay parity standards applied to federal contractors. For instance, the Obama-era requirement that pay data be disclosed by employers on EEO-1 reports is likely to reappear.

In all, expect a rollback of many of the Trump administration’s more employer-friendly policies and more stringent enforcement from all federal agencies (DOL, EEOC, OSHA, OFCCP, etc.), not the least of which is a heavy emphasis on OSHA to conduct more investigations and issue greater penalties for COVID-19-related violations.

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When Should I Hire Additional Employees?

 

Knowing when to bring on additional employees is a battle all business owners face. Getting busy is great, especially because that means more profit for you. However, it also means that your staff is having to work extra hard. This can result in them being overworked, which can ultimately affect the quality of service you provide.

At that point, it’s time to face the fact that you have to spend more to make more. That means bringing on a few extra hands so you’re still providing your customers with the service that got you to this point of success. How do you know you have reached that point? Keep reading to learn more about when you should hire additional employees.

KEEP YOUR STAFF & CUSTOMERS HAPPY

At the end of the day, the happiness of your staff and clientele is the lifeblood of your company’s success. That is why it’s so important to continue to change and evolve with your business as it grows. Failing to do so will only set you back. Some surefire signs that it’s time to hire on more hands are:

You’re Getting More Customer Complaints. It’s true, you will always have unhappy customers. Unfortunately, that is just part of the way business works. However, it will become pretty obvious when you’re getting more bad reviews than good. The moment that starts happening it is time to find out what the problem is. You don’t want to lose your loyal customers or potential ones when the fix could be a simple one.

Your Employees Are Working Overtime. Even if you have a strong team, once the demand becomes too great, they will need to stay longer to make sure you aren’t falling behind. Overtime means extra unnecessary expenses you could avoid if you had the adequate amount of staff. The occasional hour or two here and there is ok, but if it’s happening all of the time you absolutely need more people.

You’re Turning Down Opportunities. So far your team has been able to keep up with your rise in business. But, if they are just at their limit, and there is no room to take on anything more, you’re going to have to start turning people away. If you have already reached that point, you need more hands. Once the demand of work is too much for your current staff to withstand, the quality of work they put out will suffer. Not only that, turning people away leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Bring in more people so you can continue to expand and keep people smiling!

You Don’t Have Time For Your Main Responsibilities. The business owners and managers have enough paperwork, bookkeeping, and financials to worry about. They shouldn’t have to be out on the floor at all times helping the staff with tasks that should be accounted for. Not just because of how things should be running organizationally, but also because that means the paperwork will not get done. If there isn’t enough time for office work, that is a big red flag. Don’t take on that unnecessary stress when you should be enjoying your success.

The Staff Has Started Cutting Corners. Make sure your management team is keeping a close eye on the quality of your products and services. Don’t depend on the fact that customers will leave bad reviews when something makes them unhappy, it’s best to catch these issues before it goes that far. Once your team is overworked, they will start cutting corners and looking for ways to cheat the system so they can keep up. So, make sure to have quality control procedures in place, and once that quality starts to go down, it’s time to readdress your staffing needs.

Your Business Isn’t Growing. Your company is busy as all get out every day, your employees are working to the bone, but the numbers just keep staying the same. If that’s the case you are missing a huge opportunity to expand and make more profit. As mentioned earlier, you need to spend more to make more. Bring in those extra people so you can set some more things in motion that will allow your business to really set sail.

NEED HELP HIRING?

Yes, hiring is time-consuming and you don’t have that time, but we do! We specialize in finding the employees you are looking for. Once we get to know your business and learn about your specific needs, we will find the people for you!

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1. MORE TIME TO THINK BIG ABOUT PRODUCTION

Working with a temporary staffing agency will free up a significant amount of your day. Instead of spending time on recruiting and hiring, you can spend more time thinking bigger about how to grow the capabilities of your company or division.

You don’t have time to scan resumes or call references. You need more time to dive into production reports, find opportunities to achieve efficiencies, and strategize plans that will ensure growth.

2. LESS SAFETY RISK THROUGH VETTED WORKERS

As a supervisor or manager, you know the importance of safety in the workplace. If you are concerned about safety in your company or division, consider working with a temporary staffing agency to place vetted, trained workers in your workspace.

The onboarding process includes a safety training system to ensure that we place qualified talent into their assigned workplace with safety as their top priority.

3. MORE THAN COSTS SAVED; REVENUE MAXIMIZED

Working with a staffing agency automatically creates cost savings for your company…

– Scenario 1 (internal hiring): Hiring part-time or full-time employees, putting them on payroll, and potentially having to release them to the market if there are changes in your production cycle creates unnecessary costs.

– Scenario 2 (staffing agency): Working with a staffing agency creates flexibility. As your production cycle increases or decreases, you can turn up or down the volume of workers filling critical roles without incurring excessive hiring or turnover costs.

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The secret to effective management is finding the best in each of your employees and using it to everyone’s advantage. This involves leading a myriad of personality types and individuals. The old cliché rings true: It takes all kinds to make a world – or in this case, a workplace.

With this in mind, how do you best manage over and underachievers? Often, employees on the extreme ends of the achievement spectrum simply need a little extra guidance in order to maximize their potential.

Overachievers.

  • Take on extra tasks without being asked, go beyond the boundaries of their job description and may become overly concerned with accomplishing tasks on or ahead of deadline.
  • Often avoid working in teams or don’t take the time to follow basic processes or job functions.
  • May forget to communicate information, take short cuts or leave job details to others.
  • May take unnecessary risks and don’t stay in one place – or one position – for very long.

Underachievers.

  • May not truly understand the requirements and expectations of their jobs. And this may not be their fault. Perhaps they didn’t get the orientation or training they needed, or they simply need a refresher on what they need to accomplish.
  • May not have the resources they need to do their best work.
  • May have distractions that keep them from performing at peak level.

Help Them Succeed.
Chances are, you can identify both the over and underachievers on your team. Once this is done, your job as manager is to help them achieve their personal best.

Managing Overachievers.

  • Learn what motivates them. Completing tasks above and beyond expectations gives them a “high.” But, this sensation can be harder to come by as time goes on, so they may not be comfortable in one position for more than a few years. Be aware of this and keep them constantly challenged.
  • Give them a flexible environment. This includes involving them in planning and decision making whenever possible.
  • Provide emotional coaching. They may not seem to need a pat on the back, but they’ll respect you more if you acknowledge them. They may get bogged down in details, so they appreciate a manager who motivates, sets goals and provides solid direction.

Maximize Results With Underachievers.

  • Ask them to list their job duties. This will clear up any misunderstandings about expectations and give you an opportunity to take corrective measures.
  • Inquire about personal distractions that may hinder performance. When you ask, be supportive, but don’t pry. Asking specific questions about personal matters can lead to employment discrimination claims. But you need to understand the situation – and provide reasonable time off to deal with it, if necessary.
  • Monitor their achievement. Meet with underachievers frequently and keep communication lines open. Reward progress and provide constructive suggestions.

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Safeguard Your Supply Chain with a Staffing Agency

Adjusting to the effects of COVID-19, it is more than necessary to safeguard your supply chain. Disasters happen all of the time, whether they be natural or man-made, and the supply chain is a pillar in the manufacturing industry. We are currently seeing a lot of lessons being learned during this pandemic.

FIVE STEPS YOU SHOULD TAKE TO PROTECT YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN

Do you need some help with this? We’re here for you! Here are five steps to safeguarding your supply chain for a disaster.

1. Plan for Every Possible Thing

The best way to be prepared for a disaster is to prepare for the worst. Doing so will ensure that no matter what comes your way, you are not surprised and you have a plan. In fact, come up with several plans just in case something unforeseen falls through. Consider the situation we are in now with the coronavirus. You can prepare to have to shut down for a week, maybe two. But what about when you don’t know when the problem will end? Or if things will just keep getting worse? Be ready with a plan for multiple stages, and know what exactly determines when you need to move into the next phase.

2. Regularly Update Your Contingency Plan

A lot of companies have a ‘plan’ for when disaster hits, but it’s usually written down somewhere and kept ‘just in case’. Contingency plans need to be updated a few times a year and tested for functionality. Doing so will reveal any possible challenges that you may need to face so you can come up with solutions for when a disaster actually occurs. There is nothing worse than being under pressure to find that the tools you need to carry out your plan no longer apply to the way your company functions.

3. Upgrade Your Communication Tools

The tools you have provided for your team to communicate during regular operations should be advanced enough so information can be shared easily. Start by researching advanced technologies for the services you provide. These may be a little on the pricey side, but it’s worth the investment if it’s going to protect your supply chain in the long run. In addition to updated technology, go to extra lengths to make sure your team is properly trained. There is no point in having these tools if your people can’t use them efficiently.

4. Get Ahead in Any Way You Can

It’s hard to predict how your demand will be affected during a crisis. The best thing you can do is to watch your current trends closely and get to know your customer’s behavior so you can determine what is most needed in a pinch. You may think you know what’s going to happen, but people don’t always behave as expected when a crisis hits. Be prepared for demand to skyrocket or for it to plummet.

5. Team Up with Alternative Staffing

If the crisis you face does indeed mean you have to shut down for some time, that means you may lose some of your team. Even if you don’t have to shut down, people may quit to be closer to family or deal with personal matters based on the severity of the situation. It could also happen that you need to hire more people to make up for the high demand for your products. No matter which direction things take you in, it will help you a great deal if you have a reliable staffing agency to turn to. They can help you bulk up on people or restaff after a temporary shut down.

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Panic is mounting across the U.S. in response to COVID-19. Here are some tips for small business owners looking to manage coronavirus fears among employees.

Many people are concerned about the long-term implications of the novel coronavirus, including your employees.

For small business owners looking to prioritize the safety and well-being of their employees, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put together this toolkit as a helpful resource, consolidating the recommendations of the CDC.

In addition to those recommendations, following are five ways small business owners can address and calm coronavirus fears among employees.

1. Communicate frequently with your employees

During stressful situations, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you’ll communicate with your employees. You need to have a way to update your employees on any coronavirus updates that affect the business and their work schedules.

Try to err on the side of communicating more frequently than you need to, even if nothing new is happening. Frequent communication will put most employees at ease and show them that you’re aware of what’s going on.

On the other hand, radio silence could make employees feel like you’re either uninformed about the coronavirus, are ill prepared or are not taking it seriously.

2. Take steps to keep your employees safe

As a business owner, the most important thing you can do is to ensure that your employees are safe. The best way to do this is by practicing good hygiene and avoiding physical contact, like shaking hands with others.

Have cleaning procedures in place and regularly wipe down all surface areas with antiseptic. Disinfect commonly used surfaces, like doorknobs, tables, desks and handrails, and encourage your employees to wash their hands immediately upon entering the room.

All of this will lower your employees’ risk of exposure to the virus. And if one of your employees starts feeling under the weather, you should let them stay home with no questions asked.

3. Establish flexible workplace policies

Try to be as accommodating as possible when it comes to working arrangements. Schools across the country are closing and some of your employees may need to stay home with their children.

If possible, try to find a way for your employees to get their work done remotely. Many workplaces are doing this by utilizing video conferencing software.

If working remotely isn’t possible for your small business, there are still ways to accommodate your employees at work. Consider staggering shifts so that all your employees aren’t in the same place at one time.

4. Limit travel as much as possible

Your employees want to know that you’re making their health and safety a priority, so don’t require employees to attend meetings, even if it’s only with a limited number of people. At this point, it’s probably a good idea to cancel in-person meetings or work events.

Also, allow employees to cancel business travel, even if it’s usually a part of their job. Even if they travel and don’t get sick, this could lead to low workplace morale.

5. Coordinate with state and local health officials

Finally, the intensity of the coronavirus outbreak will vary depending on the state and community you live in. State and local guidance will likely be changing frequently, and these changes could have an impact on your small business.

Stay informed about any new information that comes out from the CDC, your local government and local health department. Communicate with your employees regularly and share with them what you’re learning and how you’re responding to it.

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COVID-19: Best Practices in the Workplace
March 17, 2020

Answer the pressing questions of many employers during this growing pandemic. Employers should consider implementing strategies and policy changes to reduce the risk of infection in the workplace while still complying with their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is a developing topic, with many states imposing quarantines and Congress taking up the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. We will stay on top of these developments.

In addition to good hygiene requirements that many employers already have implemented, the EEOC has provided guidance on what employers can do during an influenza-like pandemic.

Responses Employers Can Take to Respond to COVID-19 Issues that Comply with the EEOC’s Guidance Regarding Pandemics and the ADA

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  Reported cases have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness. Employers may send employees with these types of symptoms home.
  • As a general rule, employers should not take employees’ temperatures to determine whether they have a fever. But, it is permitted if local health authorities or the CDC declare the virus widespread in your community.
  • Employers may ask employees who report feeling ill at work or who call in sick if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and respond accordingly. Employers must maintain strict confidentiality over this information about an employee illness.
  • If an employee is returning from travel, an employer may ask whether the employee is returning from countries that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (currently China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, and a growing number of countries in Europe), even if the travel was personal. The CDC recommends individuals stay home for a period of 14 days after leaving an area that has a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, and employers may require those employees to adhere to this guidance.
  • Employers may request that employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 notify their employer so the employer can inform fellow employees of their possible exposure. Employers should maintain confidentiality as required by the ADA.
  • Employers may request that employees who have a family member at home with COVID-19 notify their employer so a risk assessment can be conducted.
  • Treat requests from employees with disabilities that put them at high risk for complications of COVID-19 to work from home in order to reduce their chances of infection as you would any other request for a reasonable accommodation.
  • Employers may ask an employee why he or she has been absent from work.  Employers are always entitled to know why an employee has not reported for work.
  • Employers may require employees who have been away from the workplace during a pandemic to provide a doctor’s note certifying fitness to return to work, though the CDC and Department of Labor are advising against these types of requirements at this time because healthcare providers are overwhelmed and may not be able to timely provide such documentation.

Reducing the Risk of Workplace Exposure to COVID-19

Most employers have taken these steps already, but these infection prevention strategies should be implemented as soon as possible if they are not already in place:

  • Promote frequent and thorough handwashing. If washing stations are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Encourage employees to stay home if they are sick.
  • Encourage employees to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue to cough or sneeze or, if tissues are unavailable, to cough or sneeze into an upper sleeve.
  • Provide customers and the public with tissues and trash receptacles.
  • Discourage workers from using others’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched workplace surfaces and provide disposable wipes for employees to wipe down commonly used surfaces before each use.
  • Cancel or postpone in-person events with 50 or more attendees that were scheduled to be held within the next eight weeks, or arrange for these events to be held virtually.

Consider Appropriate Changes to Workplace Policy

Best practice responses to the pandemic will vary by industry, employer size, location, and other factors, but may include:

  • Minimizing contact among employees, clients, and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing telework where feasible.
  • Discontinuing nonessential travel.
  • Developing emergency communication plans, including a method for responding to employees’ concerns.
  • Training employees who need to use protective equipment or clothing regarding when to use it, how to put it on, use it, and take it off correctly.
  • Updating sick leave policies in accordance with any changes to national, state, or local laws and ensuring employees are aware of these policies.
  • Designating a local manager at each business location with the authority to take appropriate actions based on the condition in each locality.

As employers make changes in the workplace, they must continue to be aware of applicable anti-discrimination laws, paying particular attention to ensuring that employees are not treated differently on the basis of race, country of national origin, or disability (actual or perceived). If an employer anticipates it may close facilities for a period of approximately six months or more, it should be cognizant of its obligations under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

Employers are also encouraged to consult guidance published by the CDCDepartment of Labor, and EEOC as they prepare any pandemic response plan.

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The coronavirus, also referred to as Covid-19, is causing concerns all over the world. Human Resource departments are gearing up on how to respond to such a health epidemic, if it comes down such a thing. Questions such as; How to handle sick employees? How to handle scared employee who don’t want to risk infection? How to handle making the work environment safe? How to keep productions levels where they need to be?

Information from government resources will be key in understanding the effect of the virus on the workspace and how to respond to the changing environment. To help with organizing the information needed, Staffing Industry Analysts launched this week its Coronavirus Resource Center, which includes an organized, curated list of relevant links for up-to-date information relating to the coronavirus.

The Resource Center features live statistics and general information including links to live trackers, up-to-date information on the number of cases across the globe, World Health Organisation guidance on the outbreak and statistics.

It also includes corporate policy announcements and actions. Users can stay up to date on coronavirus-related cancellations and travel bans, find out the latest precautionary measures employed by companies around the world and it also features an article focused on what employers should ask about the coronavirus outbreak.

The Resource Center also has a section for “Legal and Human Resources” which covers tips for staffing firms in the wake of the outbreak and a comprehensive FAQ.

Additionally, the Resource Center includes articles that cover the economic impact of the coronavirus.

SIA will be monitoring and updating links to the data sources. Click here for SIA’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

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Many people think that it will cost them money to work with a staffing agency to find a job. In actuality it is usually the employer who pays the fees. There is no cost to the employee who is searching for a job.

If you’re currently on the hunt for a job and don’t know about the benefits of working with a staffing agency, it is time to find out! Keep reading to learn more about the services that a staffing agency will provide you free of charge.

WHAT A STAFFING AGENCY DOES

Staffing agencies like Alternative Staffing are hired by the employer to match workers like you with temporary, temporary-to-permanent, and permanent positions. Those that fill temporary positions will continue to provide you with new opportunities as the current one is ending.

Some benefits of working in temporary positions include:

  • Being able to earn quick money while looking for a permanent job.
  • Gaining experience, developing skills, and networking in the field that you wish to grow within.
  • Flexible hours and working conditions that could possibly accommodate your existing personal situation.
  • The opportunity to get your foot in the door at a business you like, show them what you’ve got, so they end up deciding to hire you on full-time.
  • The opportunity for you to test out the company or industry yourself and see if it is the kind of environment you would like to continue in.

More services that staffing agencies provide:

Not only do staffing agencies work to place you in the type of work that will most benefit you and the employer that hired them, they will also often help you to put your best foot forward by:

  • Helping you build and optimize your resume to fit the qualifications for the job.
  • Coach you on your interviewing skills.
  • Providing you with the support of health benefits if you work with them on a continuous basis.
  • Continue to work with you on your work environment preferences.

TIPS FOR WORKING WITH A STAFFING AGENCY

Do your research on the staffing agency you are considering and make sure you are clear on what to expect from them and what’s expected of you. If you are engaging in a short term position, ask about the pay rate, benefits, and the length of assignments. Be transparent about your availability, if you are willing to work overtime, and what your transportation and money needs are.