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Florida Bans Vaping in the Workplace: What it Means for Business Owners

by Tim AustinSeptember 30, 2019 8:00 AM

Back in 2018, Florida voted to ban vaping in enclosed workplaces. The new law went into effect in July of 2019, but Florida isn’t alone in its ban on vaping in the workplace. Several other states, including California, New Jersey, and New York, all prohibit the practice in any place where smoking is not permitted, while other states have bans for specific settings, such as in enclosed workspaces or schools.

As more states take action to prevent vaping in workplaces, it’s a good time for business owners both in Florida and outside the state to figure out what they need to do to prepare their company from past and future legislation.

An employee vaping in the office before Florida’s ban on vaping in the workplace. 

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Risk Management

How Much PTO Should Employees Receive?

by Tim AustinSeptember 23, 2019 5:07 PM

Paid time off (PTO), while an attractive employee benefit, can present some challenges for small business owners. From determining the number of PTO days to creating an employee leave policy to tracking time off, there’s a lot that must be taken into consideration. Use this guide to determine how much PTO your employees should receive.

 Woman travelling on PTO.

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Human Resources

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Association Retirement Plans: What it Means for Small Business Owners

by Tim AustinSeptember 16, 2019 2:04 PM

Retirement plans are one of the most valuable employee benefits offered by organizations today. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the vast majority of workers say having a retirement plan is critical to their overall job satisfaction. Perhaps that’s why this benefit is such a deal breaker for job hunters and one of the main reasons why so many workers stay with their current employers. 

It can be challenging for small businesses, however, to manage the administrative costs and compliance requirements associated with offering retirement savings plans. Only 53 percent of small-to-mid-sized businesses offer a retirement plan, with approximately 38 million private-sector employees without access to one through their employers.

The good news is that may be about to change. In July 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) clarified the definition of “employer” within the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in sponsoring a multiple employer contribution pension plan. In establishing the ‘final rule', which goes into effect Sept. 30, 2019, the DOL has made it easier and more cost-effective for small businesses to offer retirement plans to employees through Association Retirement Plans (ARPs).

 Retirement savings.

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Benefits

Promoting Safe Behaviors in the Workplace

by Jason FreudenbergSeptember 5, 2019 8:00 AM

It’s essential to avoid incidents in the workplace that put your employees at risk. Unsafe behaviors or decisions are usually contributing factors in incidents. If employees are not aware of the hazards or are not motivated to follow safe procedures, their behavior will expose them to hazards.

While employers must put engineering, administrative, and PPE controls into place to protect employees from hazards, it is also essential to promote safe behaviors and a safe environment. 

Small business employees going through a workplace safety assessment to promote safe behaviors at their jobsite. 

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Risk Management

Managing Different Personalities in the Workplace

by Tim AustinSeptember 3, 2019 7:39 PM

Personality tests can be an effective tool in employee recruitment, training, and development. As your business grows and becomes more diverse, a one-size-fits-all approach to employee management won’t work well on a team made up of different personality types. Company leaders will need to have a better understanding of what makes employees tick and how to encourage everyone to play nice in the workplace.

Managing different personality types in the workplace can present its challenges. As a result, you’ll need to be flexible with your employee management style. Using Deloitte’s Business Chemistry, here’s how to manage employees with these four different personalities.

 Managing different personalities in the workplace.

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Human Resources

The Legal Requirements for Starting a Business

by Tim AustinAugust 29, 2019 2:54 PM

Starting a new business is an exciting endeavor, but it also requires a lot of preparation. Part of this process includes taking measures to make sure the business is set up properly so that you can legally conduct business. Here’s what you need to do to make sure that your new business is ready for success according to federal, state, and local regulations.

An owner starting a new business that follows state and federal regulations. 

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Human Resources

Take Your Kids to Work Day: A New Perspective

by Alicia SzczesniakAugust 22, 2019 8:00 AM

Entering through the glass doors of a corporate building, I expected nothing less than a dull monotony. However, I discovered upon closer inspection that instead of a boring office building, I had entered a comfortable, healthy, work environment. Rather than simply shadowing my dad on “take your kid to work day,” I took this as an opportunity to interview the employees of GMS on their thoughts about their work environment.

The response I received was overwhelmingly positive. One might expect Mike Kahoe, president of GMS, to speak highly of the company, calling it a “friendly, cheerful environment.” But what one might not always expect is for the rest of GMS to speak of it just as highly.

A group of employees eating with one employee's daughter during Take Your Kids to Work Day.

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Grab Bag

Dos and Don’ts for OSHA Inspections

by Tim AustinAugust 12, 2019 8:00 AM

Are you prepared for an OSHA inspector to arrive at your door? OSHA performed roughly 72,000 federal and state plan inspections in 2018 alone and all it takes to earn an unexpected visit from an inspector is a complaint from an employee or operating in a high-hazard industry.

Nobody plans to have an OSHA inspection occur at their place of business, but it’s important to act accordingly if it does. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do before, during, and after an OSHA inspection to protect your business.

An OSHA inspector reviewing the worksite of a small business. 

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Risk Management

Fundamentals of Workplace Safety and Compliance

by Aaron GroverAugust 9, 2019 8:00 AM

Safety is one area business owners shouldn’t overlook. According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. It’s essential to make sure your employees are given the tools to succeed, while also ensuring you have created a culture of safety to minimize any risks their daily activities may carry. 

Workplace safety programs are designed to give you the tools necessary to develop and manage an effective safety culture that will not only help reduce work-related injuries and workers’ compensation costs but assist in helping you meet federal regulatory requirements as well. Here's what you need to know about implementing a successful workplace safety program. 

 Manager checking fire safety system.

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Risk Management

Summer Intern Series: Started from the Bottom, Now We’re Here

by Emily BrockAugust 6, 2019 8:00 AM

I spent this summer working at Group Management Services as their marketing intern, and I can surely say this experience has exceeded all my expectations. As I wrap up my 11-week program at GMS, the feelings have grown from scared and nervous to bittersweet and confident. Even though this is my last week at GMS, I know I am going back to school with more knowledge and new relationships because of the people and resources at GMS. 

I say “started from the bottom now we’re here” because coming in as a 19-year-old intern, I was anxious about how I would adapt to the professional world. I questioned if my manager would be able to trust me to get my work done – and I even thought I may not fit in – but I learned quickly that I am not alone in this process and GMS wants to do everything to make you successful in your career. 

I could write a whole book on everything I did this summer, but I will leave you with the biggest takeaways I have learned in my time at GMS.

Emily Brock with her fellow GMS interns.

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