Articles

How does working from home affect homeowners’ insurance?

Businesses across the country have moved many of their professionals into work-from-home arrangements. That has led to some confusion as to who’s liable and whose insurance will pay out in the case of injury or property damage. Generally speaking, if your business has full-time employees who now work from home, your workplace coverage should extend to them at home. Your insurance would also cover any company property they use at home. It should include workers’ compensation

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Supervisor’s remark leads to age bias claim

A recent Michigan case shows that even when an employee may have been fired for legitimate performance-based reasons, a lone stray remark suggesting improper motives could land you in court. In that case, Kenneth Lowe, a 60-year-old manager at a molding plant, was fired after 40 years with his company, supposedly for performance and behavior reasons and because his position was no longer necessary. According to the employer, a new general manager at the plant quickly

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Employer that fired worker for using CBD didn’t violate ADA

A municipal employee who used cannabidiol (CBD) for anxiety could not bring a disability bias claim against her employer for firing her after she failed a drug test, a federal trial judge recently decided. The employee, Mae Hamric, worked as a cultural arts program specialist for the Murfreesboro, Tenn., parks and rec department. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011 but did not disclose that to the city when it hired her. However she later

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Federal court ruling on ‘joint employers’ creates uncertainty

A recent ruling by a federal court judge in New York expanding the definition of a “joint employer” may put employers who use staffing agencies at greater risk of wage-and-hour liability. The Department of Labor’s recent “final rule” had changed the standard for joint employment under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act for the first time in 60 years. Previously, in determining if a business was a “joint employer” of another company’s workers and therefore jointly

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Walmart settles claim over ‘physical ability tests’

A recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission action against Walmart illustrates the dangers of hiring assessments that could be seen as discriminatory, particularly when they impact men and women differently. In this case, Walmart imposed a “physical ability test” on people seeking jobs at its 44 regional grocery distribution centers. Employees at the center take cases of grocery items from shelves and stack them onto pallets, which are then wrapped and loaded on to trucks to be

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Discrimination claims in Covid-19 era: a potential trap for employers?

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a lot of thorny issues for employers, such as navigating wage-and-hour laws with employees working from home, workplace safety regulations for those still at the office and the overall complexity of operating as normally as possible in an abnormal world. Additionally, there’s the reality that many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. While nobody likes to let employees go who haven’t done anything wrong, staying in business in many cases may

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Ideas to Identify and Manage Problem Accounts

As a small business, once you decide to extend credit to a customer, you now have a financial stake in continuing that relationship even if you suspect there might be trouble brewing. While you don’t want to crack down on a good customer too hard, too soon, you also don’t want to be taken advantage of by a customer who has become unable or unwilling to pay. Here are some ideas to help you manage this

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The Hidden Tax Consequences of Cryptocurrency

You may recognize the name Bitcoin and maybe even Ethereum, but what about Litecoin, Dogecoin or Ripple? These are just some of the more than 4,500 cryptocurrencies available today. There are hidden tax complications, however, associated with every cryptocurrency transaction. Here’s what you need to know. Every transaction has a tax consequence. The IRS treats cryptocurrency as investment property, like stock, and taxes every transaction as a capital gain or loss. When you pay for something

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How to Roll with a Continuous 12-Month Forecast

Tax and financial planning is a year-round proposition. In fact, you can benefit personally from a continuous, 12-month rolling forecast, much like a business does. What is a rolling forecast? Rolling forecasts let you continuously plan with a constant number of periods 12 months into the future. For example, on January 1, you would plan what your financial picture looks like each month through January 1 of the following year. When February 1 rolls around, you

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Hire Your Kids for Tax Savings

Summer’s almost here, and soon most children will be on their long-awaited summer vacation. If you own or manage a business, have you thought of hiring your children, nieces, or nephews for a summer job? If you do it right, it can be a win-win situation for everyone. The kids will earn some money and gain valuable real-life experience in the workplace while your business will have some extra help during summer months when other staff

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