Making Diversity, Equity, Inclusion a Priority in a COVID-19 World

Article contributed by Ellen McKitterick It’s no secret that many companies have had to make difficult decisions over the past year. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations to cut back through furloughs and layoffs, reduced salaries and benefits, and cuts to ancillary employee engagement programs, to name a few cost-saving measures. …

Unemployment Fraud Headaches Continue!

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently issued tax form 1099-G for individuals who received unemployment benefits in the Calendar Year 2020. Unfortunately, many were sent to individuals who were victims of UI fraud and never filed nor personally received UI benefits. This has caused obvious angst and stress. Many victims are having a difficult time navigating or receiving …

COVID-19 and Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave

It is Not a One Size Fits All Outcome Now that 2021 is here, we are in the next phase of implementation of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.  Effective January 1st, claims can be submitted by covered employees for: a serious health condition that incapacitates them from work (up to 20 weeks). …

Foundations of an Organizational COVID Vaccine Communication Plan

Your employees are talking about the vaccine. They’re talking about who wants it and who doesn’t, they’re sharing stories they’ve heard on the news and through the grapevine. They’re sharing information and making decisions with the data that they’ve got access to. Employers who are committed to maintaining safe workplaces, have an obligation to be …

Understanding Round 2 of Payroll Protection Program

Article contributed by Mark Adams In response to the COVID relief legislation, the Small Business Administration in conjunction with the US Treasury has issued new guidance on the next round Paycheck Protection Program loans. Unlike the first round of PPP loans that were available to those with fewer than 500 employees, this round is only …

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Parting Ways In A New Era

Article contributed by Barbara Piucci Hiring, onboarding, performance management, open enrollment, resignations, terminations, and exit interviews during a pandemic. The question: How do I do this remotely now? The answer, with a few exceptions, is: With the same planning and care that you have used in the past face-to-face.    Decentralized organizations with large workforces …

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Virtual Meeting Madness | Why The Same Game Doesn’t Work

Article contributed by Lenore Abarre What is it about the virtual space that causes people to say, “It’s just not as effective.” Is that true? What if we used a sneaker in place of a hammer. Considering the soft rubber sole and the pointed tip of the nail, we could essentially call the sneaker ‘ineffective’. …

Can We Talk? Creating A Dialogue With Your Employees Around COVID Vaccines

Article contributed by Allison Ebner Spotlight | Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield MA Lions and tigers and bears…OH MY! The past ten months have been a whirlwind for HR professionals. Battling our way through the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic, managing our workforces with absences, illnesses and remote learning, we are now daring …

Indications of a Pro-Union Agenda

Peter Robb’s Termination is the Latest Domino to Fall towards a Pro-Union Agenda for the Next Four Years When I think of labor and employment law or policy, I tend to think of the pendulum of a Grandfather Clock….as the pendulum swings in one direction, it eventually will swing the other way – usually in …

Respect | Creating Workplace Harmony in 2021

During this time in history, people are being pushed to the brink with lockdowns, restrictions and extra pressures. Your employees have a LOT they can disagree on. Political polarization, mask wars, stressed work teams and many more issues are adding to the pressure cooker atmosphere in your workplace ecosystem. Like many of the environments in …