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Remote Work: Setting Your Team Up For Success In A Hurry

Remote Work: Setting Your Team Up for Success in a Hurry

The COVID-19 health crisis has drastically changed the way we work. With Hawaii’s stay at home, work from home order in effect, many employers suddenly find themselves leading a remote workforce. People are being thrown into the deep end to juggle work and caregiving while dealing with high levels of emotional stress. Essential businesses and employees are scrambling to figure out how to keep things running. When it comes to remote work arrangements, we like many Hawaii businesses are learning as we go—flying the plane while building it. Here are a few tips we’ve used to make this transition as we work towards the new normal of successfully managing a remote workforce. Ramp up the technology Make sure your employees have the right equipment, can access relevant emails, files, and software, and know how to participate in virtual meetings from…

IRS Releases Clarification On The Payroll Tax Credit

IRS Releases Clarification on the Payroll Tax Credit

by Barron Guss, President and CEO, simplicityHR The President of the United States, along with the bi-partisan Congress, needs to be commended on the drafting, negotiation and the fast turnaround of HR 6201 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This important legislation expands the coverage of FMLA to those affected, either directly or indirectly, by COVID-19 and ensures that income and benefits remain in place for qualifying Americans. There has been an abundance of information and interpretation on the expansion and benefits of the law, yet very little has been provided as to how the mechanics of the law will actually work. Of utmost concern is the requirement for employers to continue to pay wages to the covered employees for a period up to 12 weeks. The law does provide for employers to recover these monies through the Tax Credit.…

Required FFCRA Posters And Guidance Released By DOL

Required FFCRA Posters and Guidance Released by DOL

A first round of guidance for employers from the U.S. Department of Labor requires most employers to post or electronically distribute informational posters to employees about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which takes effect on April 1, 2020. Employers are advised to review the guidance immediately. There are strict penalties for employers in violation of the first two weeks’ paid sick time or unlawful termination provisions of the FFCRA. Guidance to assist with FFCRA compliance includes: FFCRA Fact Sheet for Employees (Poster PDF) (web). FFCRA Fact Sheet for Employers Employer FAQ Each covered employer must display the workplace poster in a conspicuous place on its premises. An employer may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to current employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website. The FFCRA’s paid leave…

Unemployment Insurance Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic

Unemployment Insurance Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world overnight. Statewide lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders have forced countless businesses to implement wide-spread layoffs. This has led to skyrocketing unemployment insurance claims by tens of thousands of Hawaii residents who have suddenly found themselves without a job. But federal aid is on the way. The CARES Act, the single largest relief bill in U.S. history, will provide nearly $260 billion in unemployment insurance (UI) and expand benefits to individuals who become unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's unclear how this influx of COVID-19 related unemployment claims will affect an employer's unemployment tax liability. “While the state has not issued any formal confirmation, it is possible claims related to COVID-19 will not impact business’ future State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) tax rate,” says Lori Rego, Director of Benefits Services at simplicityHR by ALTRES.   Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance To simplify the often confusing unemployment claims process,…

Paid Employee Leave And The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Paid Employee Leave and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), also referred to as H.R. 6201 and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 18, 2020, has sent the business community scrambling to figure out what this means for them as they grapple with the workplace implications of COVID-19. For small and medium-sized employers in Hawaii, the biggest, immediate impact of the Act—which takes effect on April 1, 2020—is the expansion of FMLA and mandatory paid sick leave provisions. “FFCRA will provide much-needed relief to the thousands of workers affected by this global pandemic that has been devastating for businesses, their employees, and employees’ families,” says Michele Kauinui, Director of HR Services at simplicityHR by ALTRES. “At the same time, employers are left with unanswered questions on various provisions of the Act, and it’s halted their ability to take full advantage…

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