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6 Hurricane Preparation Tips for Small Business Owners

by Tony LongNovember 16, 2018 9:42 AM

As a small business owner, it’s important to try to prepare for anything—even Mother Nature. In Florida, that means doing what you can to make sure your business and your employees are as ready as possible for hurricanes, named storms, and other events that can cause serious problems. 

Hurricane season is a stressful time that requires plenty of preparation and employee management to help weather any issues. Here are some tips that you can use to help you and your employees navigate any potential problems before, during, and after a storm.

A hurricane approaching Florida, causing small business owners to prepare for the storm. 

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Risk Management

5 Summer Safety Tips to Protect Your Employees from the Heat

by Tim AustinJuly 19, 2018 8:00 AM

You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can take steps to protect your company. Summer heat is a serious threat for any business that operates outdoors, as thousands of workers suffer from heat illnesses each year.  

While you can’t control the heat, you can take measures to protect your employees from heat stroke and other serious health issues. Follow these heat safety tips to help protect both your employees and your business this summer.

An employee practicing summer heat safety.

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Risk Management

Minimizing Worksite Risks with GMS, Construction Angels, and Rezod

by Matthew LisiJune 26, 2018 8:00 AM

A handful of GMS employees were honored to sponsor and participate in the 3rd Annual Rezod Construction Golf Outing, raising funds for Constructions Angels. It was heartbreaking to hear some stories from Construction Angels, but there was a sense of comfort in knowing an organization exists to help families on the back end of a work-site fatality and that there are ways that businesses can reduce workplace risks.

Constructions workers working in a safe worksite of a businesses investing in risk management services.

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Risk Management

Handbook Updates You May Need to Make in 2018

by Tim AustinFebruary 14, 2018 8:00 AM

A new year brings new opportunities. Unfortunately, it also ushers in big changes that can leave businesses scrambling. Recent changes to legislature or ongoing trends can leave your company open to legal problems if you don’t take appropriate action. A good employee handbook can be a key tool to make sure that your business is  prepared for 2018. 

An outdated handbook is a serious problem for any business. It’s important to make sure that your handbook evolves as new laws go into effect. Here are five parts of your handbook that you should update in 2018.

Image of a small business owner making handbook updates in 2018.

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Risk Management

Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

by Stacey LarotondaSeptember 12, 2017 8:00 AM

Are you confident in your company’s policy on sexual harassment? What if I told you in 2016 nearly 13,000 sexual harassment charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), costing companies over $40 million in claims payout, not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation. That email circulating around the office with the most recent celebrity nudes could cost you millions once Bill prints a copy and tapes it to Martha’s computer!

Image of sexual harassment in the workplace. Learn how a clear, enforced harassment policy can prevent sexual harassment.

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Risk Management

What is a VSSR (Violation of a Specific Safety Requirement)?

by Tim AustinAugust 1, 2017 8:00 AM

Workplace safety oversights can be expensive mistakes for employers. When an injury occurs and a claim is made, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will come down hard on an offending business if they determine it is at fault. Depending on the situation, employers may also find themselves dealing with a VSSR, another violation that can lead to additional penalties.

Image of saftey equipment. Learn what a VSSR is and how it can cost your business.

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Risk Management

How Marijuana Legalization in Nevada Affects Business Owners

by Melissa ScaglioneJuly 18, 2017 8:00 AM

Have you ever heard the expression “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?” Unfortunately, that might not always be true. 

In the past year, recreational marijuana became legalized in the great state of Nevada. If you smoke weed and then get drug tested at work the next day, what happened in Vegas may come back to haunt you.

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Risk Management

Importance of Proper Employee Classification

by Tim AustinJune 13, 2017 8:00 AM

There are several employee work classifications covering everyone from full-time workers to special classes such as interns. Each person needs to be sorted into their appropriate groups to help determine their benefit eligibility.

However, there are occasions where employees can be incorrectly classified. The government takes this issue very seriously. The Society for Human Resource Management writes that proper employee classification “make[s] sure that all legal requirements are maintained so that there is no discrimination in terms of benefit plan eligibility and payment of compensation in accordance with federal and state laws.” It’s important to know how misclassification works and just how much it can hurt your business.

Image of warehouse workers. Learn about the dangers of employee misclassification.

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Risk Management

How Extra Mutualized Rate Impact Ohio Business’ Unemployment Taxes

by JP KraftMay 16, 2017 8:00 AM

Every few years, Ohio business owners may notice unexpected increases in their unemployment insurance rates. At first, they may think that this is an error, but it’s actually part of regularly-scheduled increases called mutualized rates that apply to businesses across the state.

If you’re one of those Ohio business owners, you probably have a few questions, such as “what is a mutualized rate” and “why is Ohio charging me extra every few years?” Those are both very valid questions, so here’s a quick rundown on extra mutualized rates in the Buckeye State.

Image of an Ohio business owner dealing with extra mutualized rates for unemployment taxes.

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Risk Management

The Dangers of an Outdated Handbook

by Tim AustinMay 2, 2017 8:00 AM

Employees handbooks are more than just a stack of papers you hand to new hires. An employee handbook can be key part of informing your workers about several items, including:

  • Company philosophy
  • Conditions of employment
  • Company policies and procedures
  • Compensation and benefits

Handbooks are great at introducing a new hire to your business, but it’s not the only role it plays. A handbook also serves as an important compliance document that shares the rights and obligations for both employees and their employers. Including certain criteria about these legal obligations and having your employees sign off that they received a copy of the handbook, can help protect your business in case there’s ever a labor dispute.

Of course, things change. Your company can grow, opening you up to new legal requirements. Legislative changes can affect several of your policies. Over time, you’ll need to update your handbook to address these changes if you want to avoid any potential issues. 

Image of an update employee handbook.

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Risk Management

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