Essential HR Checklist for Small Businesses – ADP

Essential HR Checklist for Small Businesses – ADP

Essential HR Checklist for Small Businesses – ADP

Essential HR Checklist for Small Businesses

Managing HR responsibilities can be a daunting responsibility when you are running a small business. To help, we created this checklist that you can use to help audit your HR policies and practices:

Hiring:

Develop policies and practices that result in quality hiring decisions and comply with federal, state, and local laws. For example:

  • Does your company use multiple recruiting sources to reach a diverse pool of applicants?
  • Do job ads and recruiting methods comply with federal, state, and local nondiscrimination laws?
  • Does your company have candidates complete an application form? Does your application form avoid asking for information that is protected under the law?
  • Does your company have up-to-date and accurate job descriptions for each position?
  • Do your screening and selection procedures, such as background checks, pre-employment tests, and drug tests, comply with federal, state, and local laws?
  • Are supervisors trained to conduct effective interviews and to avoid questions not permitted by law?
  • During the hiring process, does your company do an effective job communicating what makes your company a great place to work?
  • Does your company keep applicants informed of their status throughout the hiring process?
  • Does your company put job offers in writing?
  • Are decision-makers trained to avoid basing decisions on explicit and implicit biases? Do you have more than one individual involved when making hiring decisions?
  • Do you have an effective onboarding process to get employees started on the right foot?

Policies:

Develop an employee handbook to communicate important company information to employees and help demonstrate compliance with various employment laws. For example:

  • Do your policies comply with federal, state and local laws governing benefits, leave, pay, nondiscrimination, and other terms and conditions of employment?
  • Are your policies consistent with current HR best practices and company procedures?
  • Does your handbook avoid these policies and include these “”must-have” policies?
  • Do you review and update your handbook at least annually and whenever laws change?
  • Do you have employees sign a handbook acknowledgment at the time of hire and whenever changes are made?
  • Have you trained supervisors on your company's policies and procedures?
  • Do supervisors consistently enforce workplace policies?

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO):

Ensure employment practices are free from discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics, such as age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, and genetic information. Promote an equitable and inclusive work environment. For example:

  • Do you have a clear policy that expressly prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and addresses all characteristics protected under the laws (federal, state and local) that apply to your business?
  • Does your policy clearly outline your company's complaint process and provide employees with multiple avenues for filing complaints?
  • Does your company conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation following a complaint?
  • Are all employment decisions job-related and made without regard to protected characteristics?
  • Do your policies and practices promote an equitable and inclusive work environment?
  • Does your company demonstrate that it values each employee?
  • Does your company take steps to prevent retaliation against individuals who exercise their rights under the law?
  • Do you provide training to employees and supervisors on your discrimination and harassment policies? Have you considered bystander intervention training?

Compensation:

Align your company's compensation program with strategic goals and use total compensation (salary, health insurance, paid time off, and other benefits) to attract, motivate, and retain talent. Ensure pay practices comply with all applicable laws. For example:

  • Is your company's total compensation competitive with similar employers?
  • Are employees' wages equitable when compared with other employees in your company?
  • Does your compensation program avoid unlawful pay disparities based on sex, race, or other protected characteristics?
  • If applicable, does your company comply with state and local laws that prohibit employers from basing compensation decisions on an individual's pay history?
  • Does your compensation program have transparent, job-related metrics to assess and equitably reward top performers?
  • Does your compensation program align with your company's strategic goals and values?
  • Do you provide employees with information about your company's compensation program and how employees' salaries and wages are determined?
  • Do you allow employees to discuss their pay with coworkers in accordance with federal and state law?
  • Does your company pay non-exempt employees at least the applicable minimum wage for all hours worked and properly calculate overtime when due?
  • Do your company's pay practices for rest breaks, meal periods, and travel and training time comply with federal and state law?
  • Do you have effective timekeeping practices in place and controls to prevent off-the-clock work?
  • Do all of your “exempt” employees meet applicable federal and state salary and duties tests and does your company avoid making prohibited deductions from their salaries?

Performance management:

Ensure your company clearly communicates performance goals to all employees, delivers regular feedback, and provides employees with the resources they need to meet objectives. For example:

  • Does your company evaluate employees' performance on an ongoing basis and at least annually? Are supervisors trained to conduct performance reviews?
  • Does your company give poor performers an opportunity to improve?
  • Do all employees have specific and measurable goals? Do individual goals align with overall company values and goals?
  • Do employees receive all the training that is required by law and/or training needed to effectively perform their job?
  • Does your company engage employees on a regular basis to determine their training needs and career development interests?

Recordkeeping and documentation:

Comply with federal, state, and local laws that dictate which records employers must retain, for how long, and who may have access to those records. Use effective recordkeeping practices to help drive and support employment decisions. For example:

  • Does your company complete all required new hire paperwork?
  • Are personnel files complete for each employee?
  • Is sensitive information, such as medical records, stored separate from employees' personnel files?
  • Does your company document all performance issues, including verbal warnings?
  • Does your company retain records for at least the minimum period required by law?
  • Do you keep records secure? Is sensitive employee information protected?
  • Does your company restrict access to records to those who have a legitimate need to know?
  • Does your company grant employees access to their own personnel files in accordance with state law (if applicable)?
  • Does your company dispose of records properly?

Conclusion:

To make the most of your HR responsibilities, implement effective policies and practices that comply with the law and align with your company's strategic goals.

This story originally published on HR Tip of the Week – a blog providing practical information on hiring, benefits, pay, and more – by ADP®.

Learn more about how ADP’s small business expertise and easy-to-use tools can simplify payroll & HR at adp.com.

Resource: Essential HR Checklist for Small Businesses

5 Must-Haves for Employee Retention in 2022 – ADP

5 Must-Haves for Employee Retention in 2022 – ADP

5 Must-Haves for Employee Retention in 2022 – ADP

Employee retention is a top consideration, but employees and job hunters are currently looking for different things than in previous years. Discover how to update your 2022 employee retention toolkit.

Employee retention has become a critical consideration for businesses facing labor shortages and a reshaped workforce. The global health crisis changed the working world in innumerable ways, and its effects are still being felt. One significant change is that employees may be coming into the office less and facing different challenges in a hybrid landscape.

Traditional benefits, perks and incentives that previously helped deliver a winning employee experience may be less relevant in the current setting. If you're considering new solutions to help improve employee retention, here are five must-haves in 2022:

  1. Flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements used to mean the ability to work from home or shift hours occasionally to meet needs such as childcare schedules. Today, in the context of a largely hybrid workforce, employees may be working in the office, from home or a mix of both. Fast-changing health landscapes can also mean work arrangements vary from week to week.

A culture that embraces truly flexible work arrangements needs the right systems in place to ensure those arrangements are successful. So, how can managers keep employees engaged in a hybrid or mixed environment?

“Frequency really is the new currency,” says Amy Leschke-Kahle, VP of Performance Acceleration at Marcus Buckingham Company, an ADP organization. Leschke-Kahle recommends briefly checking in with employees one-on-one every week to foster a sense of connection, and utilizing technology programs to help reinforce that connection. Platforms such as StandOut® powered by ADP® offer a unified activation solution designed to help team leaders turn their people's natural talent into extraordinary performance, with features like personalized coaching, strengths assessment and ongoing development opportunities.

  1. Flexibility in compensation

Compensation remains critical to employee retention. However, it's not just how much you pay — it's also how you deliver payment. Increasingly, employees want a variety of flexible payment options. During a crisis it may be hard to cash or deposit a paper check if an employee has to be away from home, is not scheduled to be in the office to receive a check or banks are closed.

Research from ADP found that many millennials and Gen Z workers want the flexibility of a paycard. Diversifying the way you compensate employees and offering alternatives to traditional paper checks is an important update to consider. There may have been shifts in the ways your employees manage their money, and it's critical that employees are able to access their pay easily in a digital-first world.

  1. Clearly communicated compliance needs

The work-from-home trend has introduced a variety of new compliance challenges for organizations, many of which employees may not necessarily be aware of. Businesses often struggle to note which regulations apply and what types of events (such as an employee working remotely in a new state) could trigger critical operational or compliance needs.

Different states may have vastly different requirements or policies on Wage & Hour and other Labor laws, paid leave or other benefits, taxation, and worker classification, among others . Employees need to understand what constitutes a change and when to communicate that information to employers. At the same time, employers need systems that quickly ensure they're complying with what states require. Slow responses or a lack of action can lead to employee complaints.

“That's what sparks audits from the Labor Department or the tax department,” says Pete Isberg, VP of Government Relations for ADP. “Employees working in different states become aware of new benefit programs to which they are now entitled and register concerns with the Labor Department. All those things need to be considered. Not to be negative about this, but there are compliance issues that deserve a close look with hybrid work and people working across state lines.” Develop a plan for when employees need to communicate with you and what you'll need to communicate back.

  1. Professional development opportunities

2022 holds the potential for significant innovation, from new tools and industry opportunities to emerging trends. Businesses that offer their employees growth paths and professional development opportunities — including upskilling when required — can increase employee retention and satisfaction.

If you're identifying data gaps or skills gaps as you plan for the future, focusing on professional development opportunities can help you take your current talent bench into the next phase of your business. In the year ahead, businesses will embrace upskilling, reverse mentoring programs and digital learning as tactics to help employees continue growing and foster a development-oriented culture.

  1. A culture that focuses on DE&I

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are cornerstones of the culture today's employees want to be part of. Your corporate take on DE&I can impact whether job candidates will take a job with you. The Washington Post reports that 76% of job searchers evaluate diversity when they're considering organizations and job offers. Today's top talent want to work with organizations that value diversity and make it a priority in the workplace daily.

Investing in a culture of diversity can also help to improve the individual employee experience, which has a positive impact on employee retention. Research from the ADP Research Institute found that DE&I initiatives that focus on fostering a sense of connection have a direct impact on employee engagement: “Those who are Strongly Connected are 75x more likely to be Fully Engaged at work compared to Not Connected.” As you develop your employee retention toolkit for 2022, consider whether your DE&I initiatives gather real-time data and support all employees feeling visible and connected.

It's time to update your employee retention strategy

Understanding what top job candidates seeking new opportunities want, and what will keep star employees happy with your offerings, can help you win over the talent you need. What employees need and want in terms of incentives, and what you need to offer to drive employee retention, have changed. Updating your approach and investing in supporting systems can give you a key advantage in retaining and attracting key talent.

 

This story originally published on SPARK, a blog designed for you and your people by ADP®

Learn more about how ADP’s small business expertise and easy-to-use tools can simplify payroll & HR at adp.com.

Resource: 5 Must-Haves for Employee Retention in 2022

Warning Signs an Employee Plans to Quit and What to Do – ADP

Warning Signs an Employee Plans to Quit and What to Do – ADP

Warning Signs an Employee Plans to Quit and What to Do – ADP

4 Warning Signs an Employee Plans to Quit—and What to Do About It

The costs associated with recruiting and training a new employee can be significant, especially for roles that require more experience. This is even more true now because of the difficulty many employers are experiencing when trying to fill open positions. That's why retaining your employees is so important right now. To help you manage costly turnover, here are some warning signs that an employee is about to leave—and what you can do about it.

Warning signs:

  • Decline in work quality and/or quantity. Your employee's track record has always been to show up early, stay late, and crank out stellar work. While there may have been small dips in their performance here and there, this is different. Now you're seeing that while their work isn't exactly subpar, it's not up to their usual standards. You're concerned because you've noticed their work effort has declined recently.
  • Lack of interest in high-profile work. Many top performers like to be part of high-profile projects and teams. If an employee shows a lack of interest, after wanting to get involved in projects in the past, it could be a sign that they don't see themselves working for you long-term.
  • Dip in engagement. At staff meetings, they may have less input than before, or perhaps their contributions have been more superficial lately. They may also seem less interested in going out to lunch with colleagues or attending company functions than in the past.
  • More friction. An employee who typically gets along with colleagues is suddenly becoming difficult to work with. The employee may be complaining a lot more than usual, perhaps about minor things that have always been a part of their job.

Your action plan:

  • Be proactive. While a certain amount of turnover is inevitable, there are steps you can take to help improve retention before these warning signs appear. Administering employee surveys and conducting exit interviews with departing employees can help you assess employee satisfaction and engagement over your entire workforce. This will allow you to course-correct if needed. A growing number of employers are also conducting “stay interviews,” During such interviews, you ask current employees questions that address both why they're loyal to the company (an indication of what you should keep doing) and why they may consider leaving (an indication of what changes may need to be made). These interviews typically include questions about what the employee likes most and least about their job, what the employer/supervisor can do to support them in the challenging aspects of their job, whether they believe their talents are being fully utilized, and what would make them consider leaving.
  • Don't make assumptions. If you notice any changes to an employee's work performance or attitude, don't assume you know the cause. While the above warning signs could reflect that the employee plans to leave, it could also mean there's something else going on. For instance, if an employee is being subjected to sexual harassment, it's possible they would exhibit some of the same behaviors, such as not wanting to show up to meetings or disengaging from company activities. Or, perhaps the employee is taking measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 or is experiencing burnout related to the pandemic.
  • Meet with the employee. Schedule a meeting with the employee in private. Start the meeting by expressing your appreciation for their contributions and be straightforward. Let them know that you've noticed changes in their performance and/or attitude and give examples. Ask if there's anything you can do to help and then give them an opportunity to speak. If they don't have an explanation at this point, try being more direct. For instance, you could tell them that experience tells you that these are often the warning signs that an employee wants to leave their job, and you want to know whether this or anything else is the cause of their change in behavior.
  • Listen to the employee. If the employee reveals that they are in fact considering a job elsewhere or are otherwise planning to quit, ask them if there's anything you could do to keep them onboard. Regardless of how much you want to keep the employee, avoid making any promises during the meeting.

Note: Keep in mind that the information the employee shares may trigger additional obligations. For instance, if the employee reveals that a disability is the reason their performance has declined, you may be required to provide the employee with a reasonable accommodation. Or, if the employee tells you that workplace misconduct has impacted their performance and attitude, you ‘d need to launch a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation.

  • Consider your options. Assess your options for addressing what the employee needs in order to stay with your company. Think about the whole picture, including the employee's value and potential cost to your company.
  • Follow up. Schedule a follow-up meeting with the employee and talk about options to help improve engagement. Document each step of the process and keep a record of your conversation and action plan.

Conclusion:

Develop policies, practices, and benefits that reflect your company's values and effectively motivate and retain employees.

This story originally published on HR Tip of the Week – a blog providing practical information on hiring, benefits, pay, and more – by ADP®.

Learn more about how ADP’s small business expertise and easy-to-use tools can simplify payroll & HR at adp.com.

 

Resource: 4 Warning Signs an Employee Plans to Quit—and What to Do About It

1099 Tax Compliance Considerations – ADP

1099 Tax Compliance Considerations – ADP

Small Business and Gig Workers: 1099 Tax Compliance Considerations

By Ellen Feeney

The burden of handling tax compliance for independent contractors can be lessened by understanding the rules and planning early enough to meet the deadlines. Independent contractors can be a flexible and cost-effective addition to your small business workforce, but hiring these workers means handling a different type of tax compliance. Here's what you need to know, including how to prepare a 1099 for an independent contractor

When is a worker an independent contractor?

When you hire a worker, you need to determine whether they count as an employee or an independent contractor. Hiring an independent contractor can be less expensive than hiring an employee because you don't provide benefits for them or cover the employer's share of payroll taxes for Social Security, Medicare and unemployment.

As a result, businesses have an incentive to classify workers as contractors. That's why the government has strict rules about when you can do so and will fine businesses that misclassify workers. The IRS has a few general guidelines to help you figure this out, but this is a very complex decision and it makes sense to get some expert advice.

So, how do you determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor? You need to determine the legal test that applies. First, you want to identify the jurisdiction. Second, the purpose. Once you determine what test applies, you need to apply the test to the worker's situation. These determinations are extremely fact-sensitive, and often are based on the totality of very particular (and sometimes unique) circumstances.

Typically, if workers have more control over how they do their work — such as the ability to set their own hours or work off-site and serve other clients at the same time — they are more likely to be considered contractors. If they don't meet these conditions, then they are more likely to be considered employees. IRS Form SS-8 can help you figure out how to classify different workers.

ABC tests

To add to an already complex area on the federal level, many states have their own tests. For example, California has adopted an ABC test for purposes of determining who is an employee. California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Jersey are among those states that apply a version of an ABC test in at least one context.

In New Jersey, there are three different tests: the traditional “ABC” test for wage-hour and unemployment insurance, a 12-factor balancing test for workers' comp and EEO issues, and a 14-factor balancing test for taxes.

Sometimes employers will concede a worker is an employee for some purposes, but not concede employee status or waive arguments under other laws.

Workers generally are assumed to be employees – there is a presumption of being an employee – unless all three of these factors can be proven:

  1. The worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work;
  2. The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business; AND
  3. The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

This second factor – factor B – is the challenge for most employers. Here's a common example to illustrate the meaning of the “usual course of business.” If a retail store hires an outside plumber to repair a leak in a bathroom or hires an outside electrician to install a new electrical line, the services of the plumber or electrician are not part of the store's usual course of business and the store would not be reasonably seen as being the employer of the plumber or electrician. This example is rather black and white. The challenge, of course, is more nuanced situations which is why consulting legal counsel is advised.

How do you report taxes?

When you hire independent contractors, you don't manage tax withholding on their behalf — you pay them their earnings pre-tax, and then they handle their own tax withholding. Still, the IRS wants to know what independent contractors earn.

Starting with tax year 2020, the IRS has implemented a new form called the 1099-NEC, which covers roughly the same information for contractors that the Form 1099-MISC covered in terms of nonemployee compensation.

Each contractor you pay $600 or more in earnings should receive a 1099-NEC form. There are some exceptions; for instance, if the contractor is doing business as a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation, you usually do not need to send them a 1099. But for most independent contractors, you will need to prepare this form.

How to prepare a 1099 for an independent contractor

There are several steps to take into account here, but they're all necessary to ensure full compliance. Working with a trusted tax or payroll specialist can help relieve the burden of filing the right forms for the right people, sorting through regulations and accurately classifying employees.

  1. Ask new contractors for a W-9. Each time you hire a new independent contractor, ask them to give your payroll department a completed W-9 Form. On this form, they will list their name, address, filing status and tax identification number (SSN or EIN depending on their filing status.)
  2. Collect 1099 forms. You can order copies of the 1099 forms directly from the IRS, from an online tax/payroll service, at an office supply store or from your accountant. You can't just print the sample forms off the internet, though, as the IRS will not accept them.
  3. Complete a 1099 for each contractor. For each contractor, fill in their name, address, tax identification number and how much you paid them in compensation.
  4. Provide a 1099 for each contractor. They need this information to complete their own tax returns. You should also keep a copy for your own records.
  5. Send the IRS a copy of each 1099. You can mail the IRS the paper 1099s, or you can submit them digitally through their website. If you have more than 250 forms to submit, you must file electronically.
  6. Submit IRS Form 1096, if necessaryIf you send the IRS paper copies of the 1099s, you must also complete IRS Form 1096, which summarizes all your 1099s. You don't need to send in this form if you file the 1099s electronically.

When is the deadline?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 moved the 1099 deadline earlier for independent contractors. Your small business must submit these forms to the contractors and the IRS by Jan. 31 of the following tax year. For example, the 1099s for 2020 were due on Jan. 31, 2021.

If your business is late on the submission deadline, the IRS will charge a penalty. For small businesses, they charge $50 for each form that's late 30 days or fewer, $110 for each form that's more than 30 days late but sent in before Aug. 1, and $280 for each form that's sent in after Aug. 1 (or not at all). If you intentionally disregard sending in 1099s, the IRS charges $570 per missed form.

The burden of handling tax compliance for independent contractors can be lessened by understanding the rules and planning early enough to meet the deadlines. Enlisting the help of a partner that can automate this process and enable you to drive your business forward is well worth your consideration.

This story originally published on SPARK, a blog designed for you and your people by ADP®.

Learn more about how ADP’s small business expertise and easy-to-use tools can simplify payroll & HR at adp.com.

 

Resource: Small Business and Gig Workers 1099 Tax Compliance Considerations

10 Must-Have Policies for 2022 – ADP

10 Must-Have Policies for 2022 – ADP

Some laws require employers to provide information to employees via a written policy. Policies are also important for communicating company expectations and requirements. Here are 10 policies that are considered must-have for 2022:

 

#1: COVID-19

By now, many employers have written policies that address masks, vaccination, social distancing, and other safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers should keep in mind that federal, state, and local governments have been rapidly adopting laws, regulations, and executive orders that may impact employer policies in these areas. Here are some examples:

  • A few states require employers to have a written policy/program on preventing the spread of COVID-19 and specify the elements the program must include.
  • Several states and local jurisdictions require masks for unvaccinated employees. Some require masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
  • Federal, state, and/or local rules require certain employees to be vaccinated.
  • Several states have rules that prohibit employers from enforcing vaccine mandates, unless they provide certain exemptions.

In some cases, federal, state, and local rules may even conflict. Employers should consult legal counsel to discuss the impact of recent federal, state, and local rules on their COVID-19 policies and practices.

 

#2: At-will employment

This statement reiterates that, absent certain exceptions such as an implied contract or public policy, either you or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, as long as the reason is a lawful one. It's a best practice to prominently display this statement in the beginning of your employee handbook (except in Montana, where at-will employment isn’t recognized). Reinforce at-will status in your handbook acknowledgment form as well.

 

#3: Anti-harassment

A growing number of jurisdictions are requiring employers to maintain a written policy on preventing harassment in the workplace, including:

  • California (all employers)
  • Connecticut (employers with three or more employees)
  • District of Columbia (employers of tipped employees)
  • Illinois (bars, restaurants, hotels, and casinos)
  • Maine (all employers)
  • Massachusetts (employers with six or more employees)
  • New York (all employers)
  • Oregon (all employers)
  • Rhode Island (employers with 50 or more employees)
  • Vermont (all employers)
  • Washington (hotel, motel, retail, and security guard entities, as well as property service contractors)

Note: Maine and Massachusetts also require annual distribution of the policy.

Keep in mind that your state or local law may require specific information to be included in the policy, such as how employees may file complaints with the state or local agency.

Even if your jurisdiction doesn't require a written policy, it's a best practice to have one. In several additional jurisdictions, state and local agencies and/or case law recommends employers adopt a written anti-harassment policy.

 

#4: Nondiscrimination

Federal, state, and local laws prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of certain protected characteristics, such as age, race, sex, and religion, among others. The list of protected characteristics and the list of covered individuals continues to grow as states and local jurisdictions enact new laws and government agencies and courts take new positions on existing laws. Some jurisdictions require a policy addressing discrimination. Even in the absence of a requirement, it's a best practice to have a policy that:

  • Includes all characteristics protected under federal, state, and/or local laws.
  • Addresses who is covered by the policy, such as applicants, employees, interns, and contractors (if applicable).
  • Prohibits retaliation against employees for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.
  • Stresses that all employment decisions are based upon one's qualifications and capabilities to perform the essential functions of a particular job, without regard to protected characteristics.
  • Governs all aspects of employment, including but not limited to hiring, selection, training, benefits, promotions, compensation, discipline, and termination.
  • Urges employees to report all instances of discrimination and offers multiple avenues for them to do so.
  • States that appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination, will be taken against any employee who violates the policy.

 

#5: Employment classifications

It's a best practice to clearly define employment classifications, such as full-time, part-time, exempt or non-exempt since an employee's classification can dictate eligibility for benefits and overtime pay.

 

#6: Leave and time off benefits

These policies address company rules and procedures related to holidays, vacation, or leave required by law (such as sick leave, voting leave, family leave, and domestic violence leave). Several state and local jurisdictions recently enacted laws requiring leave for COVID-related reasons. Some leave laws may require a written policy. In general, these policies should cover who is eligible, what reasons qualify for leave, how much leave will be granted, how the leave will accrue and carryover (if applicable), whether the leave is paid or unpaid, how much notice employees must give before taking leave, continuation of benefits during leave, the procedures for requesting leave, recordkeeping and employer notice requirements, and reinstatement at the end of the leave. Check your state and local law to ensure all leave requirements are included in your employee handbook.

 

#7: Meal and break periods

A policy on meal and break periods informs employees of the frequency and duration as well as any rules or restrictions related to break periods. Rest periods, lactation breaks, and meal periods must be provided in accordance with federal, state and local laws. Check back next week for our Tip of the Week on break periods.

 

#8: Timekeeping and pay

A timekeeping policy informs employees of the method for recording time worked and the importance of accurately recording their time. With many employees working remotely and/or on flexible schedules, employers should ensure the policy meets their needs. Among other the things, the policy should direct non-exempt employees to record all of the time they work and expressly prohibit off-the clock work (however, if they do perform off-the clock work, you must pay them for this time). Require non-exempt employees to confirm their work hours at the end of each pay period and inform them that they should report any errors in their time record immediately. A policy on paydays should let employees know the frequency of paydays, the methods available for receiving pay, and any special procedures for when a payday falls on a holiday or when an employee is absent from work.

 

#9: Employee conduct, attendance, and punctuality

Attendance policies make it clear that employees must be ready to work at their scheduled start time each day and provide procedures for informing the company of an unscheduled absence or late arrival. It's also a best practice to have policies on standards of conduct, drug and alcohol abuse, disciplinary action, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and workplace violence.

Pay particular attention to your drug and alcohol policy in light of the evolving landscape regarding marijuana. Many states currently permit medical marijuana, and several states also permit recreational marijuana use. While none of these laws require employers to allow employees to use, possess, or be impaired by marijuana during work hours or in the workplace, some states have employment protections for employees who use marijuana outside of work. With this in mind, check your state and local law and work closely with legal counsel to review your policy and determine your rights and responsibilities.

 

#10: Reasonable accommodations

Under certain laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with a disability, or with sincerely held religious beliefs and practices, unless doing so would cause undue hardship. Some states have similar requirements that apply to smaller employers, and some states and local jurisdictions have laws that require accommodations in additional circumstances, such as when an employee has a pregnancy-related condition. Additionally, some of these laws require employers to have a written policy on reasonable accommodations, and it's a best practice to have a policy even if it isn't required.

 

Conclusion:

When drafting and reviewing your employee handbook, make sure your policies comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and are consistent with current best practices.

This story originally published on HR Tip of the Week – a blog providing practical information on hiring, benefits, pay, and more – by ADP®.

Learn more about how ADP’s small business expertise and easy-to-use tools can simplify payroll & HR at adp.com.

 

 

Resource: 10 Must-Have Policies for 2022

3 Alternatives to GoogleAds

3 Alternatives to GoogleAds

3 Alternatives to GoogleAds to Help Customers Find You

Author: Nissa Fowler

AAA Plumbing & HVAC Might be First in the Phone Book, so How Do You Compete?

You can quickly spend over $10,000 on paid advertising whether through Google or Facebook.  If you have considered this marketing approach, you already know that it isn’t cheap and it adds up quickly.  So we want to know if it will it pay off?  The answer is that it might.  Pay per clicks or pay per call services on Google can certainly work to develop customer leads, but there are more affordable alternatives that produce even better results! 

1)  Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing – these are the Google listings that are not labeled as “Paid Ad”!  When a potential customer is looking for your services, they are searching Google for something that lets them know that you are a trusted professional.  Evidence shows that customers look for someone local with some good reviews and photos of actual jobs completed nearby.  Your potential customers are looking at the map image that pops up in their Google search and seeing the “check ins” with a pin drop.  It is this community chatter that makes the biggest difference in directing customers to your business over your competitors.  If you’ve ever had a satisfied customer who wants to rave about you, all you have to do is direct them to your Google+Local listing – which some businesses don’t even realize they have!

          Google+Local is the largest functioning marketing system online; developed from Google Places, is a service provided by Google that allows companies to be present in a Google Maps search. Company entries are usually automatically created by  Google or can be created and managed by companies themselves via the Google Places Business Center.

2)  Web Design – do you know your conversion rates?  If you are going to spring for those spendy ads, then it really pays to have a seamless process to bring the potential customer from first click to contacting you.  Identifying what desired action you’d like to see these customers take is the first step; do you want them to schedule a consult, simply schedule a service right away or  call to discuss their needs immediately?  Whatever process is working for you should be fed to the customer straight from the ad you paid for!  Web design is what we call it when we match the customer experience to the process of landing their business that you prefer.  Your website should contain the great information that your customer needs about your services, but it should also guide them straight to booking you!

3)  Branded signals – this is basically the digital version of what used to be “word of mouth”.  Branded signals help search engines to authenticate your website and give it authority.  If you’ve ever had the experience of calling the number on a listing for a land surveyor but reaching an auto detailer instead, you realize that Google doesn’t always get it right!  Having strong branded signals is an effective way to be higher in the search engine ranking and to provide potential customers the assurance that they are reaching an authentic business.  Search engines favor a strong brand!

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