A 2021 survey of 150 employers from various industries sheds light on what employers are currently offering for employee benefits, specifically with respect to challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Using this as a benchmark, how does your company compare?

Benchmarking Employee Benefits: Paid Time Off (PTO)

Nearly all employers that participated in this survey (99%) indicated they offer PTO in some capacity. Of course, few would have survived 2020 without it.

With the pandemic nearly in hindsight, many employers are now evaluating changes to their PTO programs. …


Miss the white knuckle driving with jerks cutting you off on your commute to/from work? Or perhaps the crowds of people pushing and cramming into your choice of mass transportation? The lack of rush-and-wait during the morning and evening commute may be one of the greatest benefits of remote working.

But there are advantages to commuting that improve your mental health, and those may be missing with a remote work assignment. What can be done to compensate that loss?

Create a Fake Commute to Establish a Boundary Between Work and Home

If you drive, ride, or walk to work, that…


High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are growing more and more popular each year. Considering they have lower premiums and provide the ability to use pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket costs, what’s not to love?

Well, there’s a flipside of HDHPs and HSAs that includes a higher deductible and added out-of-pocket costs. So how do you know if this is the right plan for you?

Consider the below information in your decision-making.

HSA Bank Fees

Most banks that offer HSAs charge a one-time set-up fee, along with annual bank fees. …


With the CDC relaxing its stance of mask-wearing for COVID-19 vaccinated individuals, you might be wondering if it’s within your employer rights to request vaccine status. While the answer is yes, here’s what you need to know to avoid legal issues.

Isn’t asking for proof of COVID-19 vaccination a little too personal?

Before diving into best practices, it’s important to note that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is a separate entity from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The CDC does not oversee employer risks and workplace protections; OSHA does. …


As a manager, you have a lot of responsibilities that spread your time thin and make ordinary, mundane tasks feel like low priorities. But when it comes to documenting an employee termination, should that really be considered a high priority?

Let’s say you recently hired a new employee named George on the production line, but he’s already been late twice after only three weeks on the job. While this left your team scrambling both times, things escalated when George never showed up to work during the fourth week.

According to your company policy, this was grounds for termination. You called…


On April 21, 2021, President Biden re-emphasized the paid leave tax credit for businesses with fewer than 500 employees to encourage employees to get their COVID-19 vaccination. This tax credit (originally made available through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA) will allow employers to fully offset the cost of paid leave for employees to get vaccinated and recover from any after-effects.

Is my company eligible for the paid leave tax credit?

Businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees are considered eligible for the paid leave tax credit. …


When we talk about sexual harassment prevention training, we typically envision a room full of less-than-enthusiastic adults being reminded (once again) that locker-room banter isn’t acceptable at work. But what about teenage workers? Should they be included in sexual harassment prevention training?

Unfortunately, the answer is: yes, absolutely, more than ever.

Why Teens Need Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

The majority of teens enter the workforce in lower-wage industries such as accommodation, food services, and retail. Unfortunately, these same industries account for more than 17% of all sexual harassment claims.

What’s more haunting is adults are more likely to report sexual…


With complaints of “employer overreach” and the fear of creating morale issues, many employers are looking for COVID vaccine incentives to encourage employees to become vaccinated instead of implementing a mandatory vaccination policy.

But there’s a catch. Because the EEOC has not provided guidance otherwise, a vaccination policy may be viewed as a wellness policy. And, unfortunately, offering incentives for a wellness policy can be… complicated. Why? Because not everyone is medically or religiously eligible to get vaccinated, and that creates a disparity between those who can and cannot be inoculated to receive a reward.

As a result, employers must…


Have you ever used a 360-degree review for a performance evaluation? While they may be valuable for you to obtain more holistic information about an employee, 360-degree reviews can damage morale or end a career if not well executed.

What is a 360-Degree Review?

If you’re new to performance evaluation tools, a 360-degree review is where you gather input about an employee from their manager and several people that work directly with the employee, such as coworkers, subordinates, customers, and even vendors. The employee also provides a self-assessment to complete the full-circle (360-degree) evaluation.

How are 360-Degree Reviews Executed Poorly?


A few years ago, my then 16-yr-old niece received a Form 1099 from a dentist office where she had been a nighttime cleaner. Knowing what I do about HR, I asked the accountant who had sent her the 1099 about the questionable practice of “hiring” teenagers and then paying them as independent contractors.

These are actual responses from that conversation.

“This is common practice throughout the industry.”

My motherly instinct wanted to say, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

The IRS has established three categories of common law rules that define whether a worker is an independent contractor or an…

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