Monthly Archives: August 2017

Don’t Get Sued: 5 Tips To Protect Your Small Business

Some lawsuits can’t be avoided. Others, though, simply require a bit of work to stop in their tracks. If you are a business owner, it’s a good idea to take certain preparations to avoid lawsuits. Below are a few tips that should help to keep you out of court when possible.

Follow the Rules

The rules apply to your business, just as they apply to everyone else. If you think you see a shortcut that no one else is taking, try to figure out why they aren’t doing so. When it comes to local ordinances and federal rules, make sure you follow them precisely. The last thing you want to do is to find yourself on the wrong side of a suit from the city, the state, or from the IRS. While following the rules and regulations might stop you from making a profit, doing so will also help you to avoid serious financial penalties.

Know Your Vulnerabilities

Stop and look at your potential liabilities every time you make a change in your business. Before you fire an employee, find out if you are leaving yourself vulnerable to a lawsuit. Before you expand, make sure your business is in compliance with all the local codes. Every move should be followed by some sort of basic legal analysis. While this might slow down your ability to make changes on the fly, it will also help to prevent you from overlooking important flaws in your plans.

Pay Attention

Pay attention to everything that happens on your premises and that is related to your business. Be aware of how your employees are representing your company, how the physical grounds of your properties look, and with whom you are working. Some lawsuits occur long after they were preventable simply because the business owner was too busy worrying about things that didn’t matter. The more time you are willing to spend observing your business, the more you will be able to catch. Don’t get sued because you overlooked something that was truly important.

Follow Your Own Policies

One of the most common reasons that employee sue employers is because they don’t follow their own policies. If you have rules for your employees, follow them – even if you have a personal issue with one of the employees. If you have a disciplinary process, make sure that it is either followed to the letter or that it provides some sort of alternate path in the case of extraordinary circumstances. While following your own labor policies won’t make you immune from a lawsuit, it takes a great deal of the wind out of an employee’s sails when he or she attempts to sue you for wrongful termination or for discriminatory practices.

Educate Your Employees

Smart workers make better decisions. If you can provide your employees with continuing education and training, you can help them to avoid the problems that might lead to a lawsuit. This can include training on workplace conflict, the use of certain equipment, and even on discrimination laws. The more your employees know, the better they’ll be able to represent your business. Continual training can also help to reduce your liability in the case of some workplace accidents, so the cost of training can truly pay off in the long run. Don’t let the avoidance of this expense cost you money in the future.

Don’t Ignore Problems

“A surprising number of lawsuits come from incidents that could have prevented if someone would have been more attentive,” said lawyer Robert Hamparyan. If you know that there are potential problems at your workplace, take care of them sooner rather than later. This includes everything from repairs that might need to be done in the future to the relationships between your employees. While it might be unpleasant or even expensive to deal with problems before they become real issues, doing so can help you to avoid being sued.

Sometimes, it just takes a bit of extra work to avoid potential lawsuits. Pay attention, follow all the rules, and take care of problems as soon as they present themselves. While not all lawsuits can be avoided, you can protect yourself against those that are preventable. The extra work is more than worth the peace of mind you’ll get from knowing that you won’t be taken to court.

Common Workplace Injuries and How to Deal with them

It is impossible to overstate the importance of workplace safety. OSHA estimates that workplace injuries cost employers approximately $1 billion a week in workers’ compensation related costs, and the best way to cut down on the huge cost of workplace injuries is by placing a strong focus on employee health and safety. Nonetheless, injuries are bound to occur no matter how diligent a company and its employees are about workplace safety. For this reason, we’ll now take a look at some of the most common workplace injuries and how to deal with them.

Muscle Strains and Overexertion Injuries
Overexertion injuries such as strains are one of the most common types of workplace injuries. In particular, neck and back strains are incredibly common—especially among people who regularly lift heavy objects—and the vast majority of these injuries are caused by using improper lifting techniques. The good news is that these strains and other overexertion injuries are also one of the easiest types of injuries to avoid.

Making sure that employees always use the proper safety equipment is obviously key to avoiding many different injuries, but it is also important that employers take the time to teach their employees the proper techniques to help them avoid these injuries. In this sense, education and training can be key to lowering the risk of these all-too-common workplace injuries, and should any employees suffer a strain or overexertion, it is essential that they are allowed time off to rest and recover from their injury in order to avoid potentially worsening the condition.

Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Slips, trips and falls are another one of the most common causes of workplace injuries, and statistics show that falls are the most common cause of workplace fatalities. Slipping on wet surfaces or tripping over items lying on the floor often lead to workplace injuries, and falling from heights is also far too common. Wearing fall-protection equipment is obviously the biggest keys to preventing injuries and potential fatalities from falls from heights. At the same time, employers and employees need to be diligent about preventing or mitigating against any other hazards that could cause slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injuries. Using safety signs to warn employees of potential hazards is an excellent place to start, but employers also need to create a culture of workplace safety to ensure employees understand the risks and work to prevent them.

Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and vision problems are also incredibly common. These injuries are obviously caused by repetitive or forceful activity, and poor posture can also be a contributing factor in many cases. For instance, wearing the wrong type of footwear or standing improperly are some of the common causes of foot pain and injuries.

Luckily, most of these repetitive motion injuries are usually fairly easy to prevent, and there is now a wide range of ergonomically designed chairs, keyboards, computer mice and other products that are designed to lower the risk of these repetitive injuries. Using this ergonomic equipment and training employees in the proper techniques is an easy way to help lower the risk of repetitive injuries and thus cut down on the extensive costs that come along with them.

Collisions and Crashes
Vehicle collisions, crashes and accidents are another primary cause of workplace injuries. Although these injuries often involve cars, trucks and semis, they can also be caused by smaller vehicles and equipment such as forklifts. In some cases, the accidents can potentially be fatal or leave the employee permanently disabled. For this reason, it is highly recommended that companies provide their employees with safe-driver training to lower the risk of an accident. In addition, developing a comprehensive safe-driver policy and punishing employees who violate this policy can also help to reduce the risk of accidents and should ensure that employees take safe driving more seriously.

At the end of the day, there is nothing that either employers or employees can do to fully eliminate the risk of workplace injuries. No matter how diligent you are, there is always the chance that accidents and injuries will occur. That being said, it is still essential that you do everything you can to lower the risk of injury. Creating comprehensive safety policies and providing employees with proper safety training and education can provide numerous benefits for a company and its employees by helping to lower the costs related to workplace injuries and ensuring that employees stay safe and healthy.

Educating Yourself Before Buying A New Phone for Work Travel

Android, Apple or Windows, we all need a phone that offers value for our money. Be it cheap or premium; we need tips to help us buy the best mobile phones. A good phone will take the place of your camera and also allow a full working day of browsing the web and making calls without the need to recharge. A good phone means the latest mobile apps will run smoothly, the pictures taken will appear great and text messages are clear. Below are some of the phone reviews to look for when buying a new phone.

1. The Size of the Phone.

Most phones now are getting bigger and bigger, with the latest like Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL measuring 5.5 inches and more. The advantages of phones with larger screens are that they are ideal for watching movies and browsing the web. However, they won’t suit everyone. You might find them too large to hold, and you would rather go for a model that you can comfortably use with one hand. If you want something that will easily slide into your pocket or bag, consider a 4-5 inch phone.

2. Build Quality.

The durability of a phone is essential. The phones are made in two categories – metal and plastic. There are also some that have glass-coated panels, but their availability is insufficient. Before buying a phone, review the build material, especially if you are one of those prone to dropping your phone, it’s advisable that you go for a metal or a plastic built handset.

3. Processor.

The processing power of the phone differs from one phone to another depending on several factors like OS version, bloatware and more. Check the processing speed of the phone before buying it especially if you are a heavy user who needs to play heavy games, use apps and carry out other activities using the phone.

4. Battery.

The battery life of a phone is vital to any user depending on the usage of the phone. If you are a heavy user and work on many apps, then it’s advisable to go for a phone with at least 3500mAh battery or even higher. Check the battery size before deciding on the phone to buy.

5. Storage.

The storage size of the phone is important especially if you have large documents to store. Review the size of the storage before purchasing it.

6. 4G Phones.

Most if not all smartphones use mobile broadband networks to keep you connected to the internet. The fastest mobile network that is available in parts of the UK is called 4G. Most phones these days come with 4G as a standard, but some cheap smartphones don’t. Before buying a phone, it’s important to check whether its 4G enabled especially if you want to use your new phone on heavy internet use. Also, check whether you can get 4G coverage in your area before choosing the phone.

EE vs. 02: Which Should You Choose For Work Overseas?

4G Coverage.

One of the primary focus of EE is its 4G service. It covers 81% of the UK with its 4G coverage as compared to 66% covered by 02.

Data Speeds.

EE manage an average speed of 18.6Mbps while 02 has a speed of 13.9Mbps. However, for 3G tablets, EE has 4Mbps for 3G download while 02 has 6.6Mbps speed.

Data Allowances.

Data allowances of up to 20GB are offered by both 02 and EE. None of them offers an unlimited data plan. The difference comes in O2 where a data plan of 100 MB is provided as compared to 250MB as the minimum offered data plan.


EE covers around 200 towns and cities in the UK with its 4G while 02 covers 191 towns.


Buying a new phone from EE, you will need to commit to a 24-month contract. 02 also offers 24-month contracts for those wanting new phones, but it allows user to upgrade early by dividing the tariff into an Airtime and a Phone Plan.

Customer Service.

EE achieved an overall score of 69% as compared to 02 which managed a score of 78% according to Ofcom’s Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Final Verdict.

EE scored higher on its 4G coverage regarding speed and coverage, 02 offers more budget-friendly deals.

Ways to Manage the Risk of Equipment Failures

According to engineers, technicians, and business leaders within the manufacturing industry, the biggest challenge vis-à-vis the maintenance of operations is device and equipment failure. The equipment that keeps the business running is its most vulnerable part. If the infrastructure or the equipment that supports a business breaks down or the building’s electrical system or power grid fails, it’s not business as usual for the organization. Trading stops or slows down, profits reduce, and clients start to look for services or products elsewhere. It’s a disaster!

Any event where a certain piece of equipment cannot accomplish the task or purpose, it’s intended to achieve qualifies as equipment failure. Some of the most common cases of equipment failure in the modern world could range from a simple blackout or a brownout to defects in circuits or electronic devices, suspension of operations due to environmental conditions such as excessive heat, et cetera. The good news is that there are measures businesses can take to minimize the effects of equipment failure. Take a look.

Regular Inspection

Conducting inspections on a regular basis is the most basic, not to mention an inexpensive way of preventing equipment failure. Whether it’s a multimillion dollar crane or a tool as simple as a chainsaw, the best way to ensure that it won’t fail during operation is to thoroughly inspect it before application. Ensure that pre-use inspection is done accordingly and documented by adopting an easy to use checklist system within your business.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance of operational equipment involves the use of both the ongoing measurement of equipment when in use (you can test its load bearing capability, for instance) and historical data such as inspection results or maintenance records to predict its performance. The predictive maintenance exercise should be able to tell you whether the said equipment falls below operational standards or when it’s going to fail. With that information, you will be able to take the appropriate remedial action and avert an impending disaster.

Preventative Maintenance

The financial impact of equipment failure in an organization can be massive, and not in a good way. Companies that know and appreciate this fact will do whatever it takes to ensure that it does not happen, they will not wait until equipment failure occurs to take action. These businesses have formalized preventive maintenance plans and will make sure that parts are replaced according to schedule by staying on top their routine care.

One of the most effective approaches to preventative maintenance is through the adoption of a computerized maintenance management system or a CMMS. CMMS is a software designed to help businesses and their maintenance teams maintain a list of the equipment they are in charge of, track and schedule maintenance operations and maintain historical records of the maintenance tasks they perform on the equipment.

Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance of equipment occurs when the team inspecting a certain piece of equipment comes across a defect that needs to be corrected before in-use failure, or when the equipment does actually fail. A lot of managers on the floor are always under pressure and will tolerate or encourage their juniors to get the equipment to work without wasting much time. This kind of mind set can lead to major problems.

Other than encouraging or tolerating such a mindset, you can insist on proper fixes in your reactive maintenance and minimize the risk of equipment failure. If executed correctly, reactive maintenance will work just fine. However, the best way to avoid losses resulting from equipment failure is adopting a proactive approach. Conducting regular and thorough inspection, predictive maintenance, and preventative maintenance exercises is a good place to start.

How To Cope With Traffic Jams

Anyone who lives or works in Ohio knows some roads are empty and peaceful all the time, and other roads are a mess of traffic jams and slow downs. While you’d much rather use the literal road less traveled to avoid the mess of traffic in some of Ohio’s biggest cities, you probably can’t if your work, home, or school lies along the route everyone else takes. Since Ohio traffic patterns aren’t changing just for you, it’s time you learn how to cope with traffic jams so you can maintain your sanity.

Buy the Right Car

No one is suggesting you go out and purchase a brand-new car just because you spend a little time in traffic, but do consider that the next time you’re shopping for a new car. If you spend too much time sitting in Columbus (OH) traffic, you want comfortable seats and modern amenities. Working heat and air are always a plus, but it might be helpful to also purchase a car with satellite radio, Bluetooth, and other features that make your time in the car a little more enjoyable.

With satellite radio and/or Bluetooth, you can listen to your favorite stations or podcasts for personal development purposes or just enjoyment. You can check the weather station, the traffic station, or listen to your favorite morning talk show hosts. It’s not mandatory, but a car with comfortable seats and all the amenities does make dealing with your morning commute that much more enjoyable.

Use This Time Wisely

If you know you’re stuck in traffic for a specific amount of time every morning and afternoon, use this time wisely. Appreciate the fact the kids aren’t in the backseat screaming at one another. Appreciate this quiet time before you get home to the chaos that is most every family. Use this time for personal development by listening to uplifting podcasts. You can use this time to do anything you want, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it to enhance your mind and find a little peace.

Change Your Schedule

Can you go to work a little earlier or later? Even adjusting your schedule by 10 minutes one way or the other might help your commute seem less lengthy and more enjoyable. It might make it a little longer too, so you might need to give it a try a few days to see how it affects the commute. If your boss is okay with this, ask if it’s possible to change your work time a bit so you spend less time in traffic and more time actually doing useful things like working and spending time with your family.

Understand You Can’t Change the Situation

Sitting in traffic is no fun for anyone, but it’s made less fun when it affects your attitude and outlook. If you know traffic is awful at certain times of the day, make it a point to remind yourself you can’t change it. It’s completely out of your control, and allowing your mood to change because of it doesn’t do anyone any good. Accept that traffic is a nightmare and find another way to focus your idle energy. When there’s nothing you can do about it, there’s no reason to allow it to affect your mood negatively.


Do you have friends who work with you or near you at the same times each day? If you do, why not consider a carpool? This can make a long morning commute due to poor traffic conditions that much more enjoyable. You have someone to talk to, someone to commiserate with, and you have companionship. That can go a long way toward making traffic issues seem easier to handle on any given day.

Nothing is more frustrating than being stuck in traffic, but there’s little you can do about it. You can check the traffic before you leave so you know in advance if there are accidents or construction slowing down traffic and take a different route. You can learn to accept it and let it go, and you can learn how to make that time more productive if you have no other options. There’s always a way to cope with traffic you don’t love.

Things to Consider Before Buying Business Software

Are you looking for business software that will help you run your business or company comfortably and smoothly? If yes; there are many factors to consider before you buy the software so that it can maximally help you achieve your objectives in the business. The right software can increase speed, accuracy, proper management, reliability and more so ease of customization. Software Escrows, the price of the software, customization ability, scalable in design, support, and maintenance, proven track record, among other things are mainly what you should consider before buying business software. The following are details of these factors that will help you get good software that will serve you right.

Is the software scalable in Design?

Good software should easily grow as the business grows at a minimum cost. This is very important for small businesses as they are very dynamic in growth. This means that the software must be highly customizable to fit user needs and it should cope with the change. Getting software that is integrated thus brings together tasks like accounting, purchasing, resourcing, reporting, and scheduling tasks are perfect for the business.

Software Escrows

After licensing the software, you will need to plan ahead to make sure you can continue to use the mission critical software in the future. Thus if you have doubts such as the software vendor could go out of business, they are not financially stable, they might discontinue support and maintenance of the software, you’ll need a software escrow. This is a service that helps in protecting all parties involved in software license agreement. An escrow agent is a third party who holds the source code, data, and documentation until the agreed event occurs. This ensures the vendor will offer maintenance and support for the software until the agreed time ends.

Managing a software escrow is easy as there are software escrow companies that you just submit your material, update account information, check account documents and pay the company online. This makes sure that the software will serve you well if you are very certain it is the software your business needs.

Is the software customizable to meet your business needs?

Software should come to help you run many tasks smoothly in the firm. Highlycustomizable software is preferred, but it is complex and difficult to adopt. However, less customizable software is harder to modify to suit companies needs but easy to adopt. To get the best software about customizable, consider the team that will be using the software for easy adoption and use.

Support and Maintenance

For every software, advice and guidance on the product operation is very necessary. Therefore, the software vendor should provide a helpdesk or a customer support service that will assist the software users in case of any query or queries. In the event of an upgrade, the newest software version should be made available by the owner as part of maintenance. Support and maintenance are purchasable at the time of the license and can be payable annually. The key thing when it comes to software is reliability; thus the customer support system should be very reliable.

Proven track record

Before you purchase business software, you should speak freely to other businesses about their experience with the software you are considering to buy. How is the software, is it easy to use, installation, training, customization, cost, reliability and any other relevant information that is necessary for the software. When you get more than two customer references, then you can make a sound decision to buy the software if it has a positive track record.

Cost of the software

Cost of the software is very critical and the cost that comes with it. Buy software that your business needs and the cost of the license and other charges that come with it like support and maintenance costs can be met by the business comfortably. Some software is costly, but their value to the business is not felt.

From the above, it is evident that for software to serve you right, it must be well thought off. Therefore, consider the above things, and you will buy the software that your business needs and will help make your work easier and more efficient.

Find the Right Car in 10 Steps

Making a decision to buy or lease a car is the easy part. The hard part is choosing the most suitable model in the market for you. You have several factors to consider including the authenticity of the seller, initial cost, maintenance costs, and taxes among factors. Narrowing down all the models and brands in the market to one is a daunting task. You can simplify the process by following the steps outlined below.

  1. Start with a budget

Whether you are leasing or buying a car, you need to set a budget and stick to it. You may be tempted to go for the latest sleek models if you start shopping without a budget. Consider all the costs involved to buy and maintain a car. The costs include the initial buying or leasing price, registration fees, taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.

  1. Determine your needs

The next step after setting your budget is to define your needs. Why do you need a car and how often will you use it? How many passengers will use the car? If you are shopping for a family car, some models like a used ford focus may meet your needs. A station wagon or a minivan may be your best pick if you travel often with your family.

  1. Choose between leasing and buying

The leasing and buying options have their pros and cons. If you like driving a new car model every year, leasing may be the best option for you. Leasing is also advisable if you do not need a car throughout the year. Buying, on the other hand, is in most cases cheaper. You gain ownership of the vehicle and do not have to worry about exceeding the required mileage.

  1. Consider your safety

The right car should be safe to drive throughout the seasons in a year. Check the safety ratings of the vehicle before buying. Consider the availability and positions of airbags depending on the number of passengers you intend to carry. Check the quality of tires and their safety especially during the winter season. If you will need to use winter tires, consider the extra cost when drawing your budget.

  1. Consider the fuel consumption

The cost of fuel is among the important considerations when buying car. A fuel-efficient model is advisable if you want to minimize the costs. However, you also have to consider the type of power that you need. If you drive on highways at high speeds several days a week, a diesel-fuel car is preferable.

  1. Think about your comfort

Do not ignore the small details about the car such as the legroom, headroom, air conditioning, and seats. Check if the seats are adjustable and ergonomic. Inspect the pedals and steering wheels as well for maximum comfort when driving the car. Check if all seats have comfortable and adjustable safety belts.

  1. Consider your lifestyle

Your lifestyle can help you pick the right car. After all, the car should improve the quality of your life. Do you travel for long distances or need a car to get to work every day? A good sound system and cargo space are necessary if you go for long trips often. Consider a smaller body type if you need parking slots in the city every day.

  1. Explore different models and prices in the market

The previous steps will help you prepare a list of all the features that your ideal car should have. With this list, start comparing the models in the market and their prices. Shopping online gives a wider variety and an easy time when comparing prices. You can call the sellers and ask for more details about the cars on sale.

  1. Inspect and test drive before purchasing

Sellers will point all the best features of vehicles on sale and leave out any mechanical issues. You need to inspect all the parts thoroughly to ensure that the car is in good condition. Ask the seller for maintenance records. Move on to the next model in the market if the seller has no records. Tests drive the car for a reasonable distance. It is advisable to bring a mechanic along for the inspection and test drive.

  1. Close the deal

You have narrowed down all the models in the market to one car. The last step is to negotiate for the best price and sign the paperwork. Check the prevailing market price for similar models. Negotiate for the average market price or lower where possible. Most sellers will quote a higher price and sell their car at that price to uninformed buyers. Ensure that the seller provides authentic documents especially the title.

You can now purchase or lease the right car with these easy steps. Here is an additional tip to help you get the right model. Allocate enough time to identify the car and negotiate for the best price. You may settle for the wrong car if you make the purchase decision in a hurry.

Up & Coming Business Hubs In Europe

Setting up or expanding your business in Europe isn’t quite as daunting as it sounds. You need to ensure you have the correct EU health coverage before you go. Enquire about your EHIC card, or complete the EHIC application form online today. Despite the debate between Brexit, there are still plenty of opportunities close to home for your business to thrive. Some of the most popular up and coming business hubs in Europe now include:


Berlin has now become one of Europe’s most popular start-up locations. Not only is it is now common ground for thousands of businesses who have relocated to the city, it has attracted companies such as Dubsmash; a video-messaging app used on android and iPhone. Now with over 100 million monthly using, and named the leading brand in the App store back in 2016, the company continues to flourish. Investment is continuing to grow with the help of a continuous stream of people visiting a number of museums from a historical aspect.


As well as being known for its unique architecture, the past few years has allowed Barcelona to establish its desire for international investment. Home to Wallapop – a free trading and selling app used by more than 30 million users to sell (and buy) new and second hand items – and now Amazon, the buzz is set to only increase and put business into full bloom. Barcelona has a long history as a business centre and continues to attract new entrepreneurs from around the world with multiple links to new technologies, providing unmissable business opportunities.


Due to Brexit in the UK, Paris is set to score London’s technology hub title in no time. Having scored more venture capital firms (VC) than Germany back in 2016, business will only get better. Situated in a beautiful city, Paris guarantees steady long-term growth. Home to one of the world’s best transport networks, business has never been easier.


Located in North-West Europe located between Germany and Belgium, Amsterdam has some tough close-by competition. If you work in a large business and needed to send a large file, you’re likely to have used WeTransfer – a free platform primarily used to send your documents where you need them to be. You’ve guessed it – WeTransfer is now based in Amsterdam as well as Los Angeles.


Looking to pursue business in the creative industry? Manchester is now the home to MediaCityUK – Europe’s first waterfront venue committed to developing digital creativity and teaching. Having lead the focus of innovation for over 200 years, the creative industry is now growing faster than ever, making Manchester a prime location to pursue expansion to take business to the next level. Brands such as UK fashion brand, Miss Guided, began their business journey in Manchester and are now opening stores across the UK including Westfield’s, Stratford and Selfridges.

10 Compliance Issues for Employers

Employers need to be aware as local, state and federal laws are constantly in flux. All workplace procedures, policies and practices must be reviewed in order to ensure a legally compliant workplace and to lower any liability risks.

Here are the top 10 compliance issues to pay attention to.

1. Employee Leave Protections

Employers must contend with new laws relating to military leave, paid sick leave and family leave. It’s important to ensure employers and HR staff members all understand how the leave laws relate to their industry, managing the ways the complex ways these issues intersect and how to incorporate them all into company practices, policies and procedures. These laws occur on federal, state and local levels.

2. Cyber Breach Threats

The big presence of the web, mobile phones and social media has a considerable effect on communication, productivity, mobility, interaction, and effectiveness inside the workplace. This means it’s imperative to minimize any cyber breach threats and make sure company, employee and customer information is secure.

It’s the responsibility of employers to keep this information encrypted and secure. They must protect this information through company agreements and policies and correctly train supervisors and employees on how to keep such information safe and how to respond in the case of any breach.

3. Employee and ACA Benefits

How healthcare laws will change under the Trump administration remains in doubt. However, employers must deal with the variety of deadlines, penalties and obligations brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additional challenges arise as employers work to ensure that wellness programs remain compliant legally.

As attorney Nick Oberheiden says, “The government’s aggression toward medical providers has been increasing in recent years, especially with the onset of the opioid epidemic.” Just last year, in June of 2016, they charged 301 medical professionals for similar crimes, and they have been allocating enormous funds to these enforcement actions. That’s why, if you’ve been charged with health care fraud, you need to find a qualified team of lawyers immediately to take up your case. The government is already building theirs, and they feel confident enough to bring these charges, meaning the defendants are already fighting an uphill battle. Without urgent legal assistance, there’s little chance you will be able to overcome – or mitigate – their charges against you.

4. Redefining the Workplace

The compliance picture gets complicated when considering that more employees work from home. Issues arise when telecommuters work in a different state. Employers must know the labor laws in those different states. Part of staying compliant is paying taxes properly, according to each state’s tax law.

5. Classifying Employees

Employers need to know the difference between employees and independent contractors. Each classification comes with different compliance standards.

6. Marriage Equality

All 50 states recognize same-sex marriages after the Obergefell v. Hodges case. This means employers need to know, for instance, that all spouses must be offered insurance benefits.

7. Hours and Wages

Each state varies in terms of what it considers “work time”. Employers need to remain compliant on which hours are considered “working hours”, break time periods, etc. Some states may count time an employee uses to travel to the airport as work time, while others may not.

8. Wellness

All wellness programs for employees should be looked at with an eye toward the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC rules include issues centering around restrictions for completing biomedical screenings and/or health risk assessments.

9. Gender

Even though laws protecting against gender discrimination have been in place for years, these regulations have significantly expanded recently. Employers need to stay knowledgeable about discrimination revolving around gender identification and sexual identity.

10. Stay Aware of New Laws

As laws continue to change, it’s imperative for employers to remain vigilant in staying up to date. This is a difficult task to be sure, but compliance law isn’t an area to relax about.

While staying compliant seems like an impossible job sometimes, it’s a matter of doing business and staying out of legal trouble is imperative. Employers need to realize it’s their responsibility to get the help they need to know for sure they are doing business properly according to all local, state and federal laws.

8 Tips For Effective Workforce Management

Effectively managing your workforce will ensure that your company stays successful. Veteran employees will understand what is expected from them and new employees will quickly learn the culture of your company. Here’s eight top tips that your company can follow to secure a productive workforce:

Keep Communication Open

When your company is hiring new employees and training them, you’ll want to make sure that the training is sufficient enough to cover all aspects of of the jobs that they will be performing. Be sure to add additional training if new skill sets are required by any of your workers. It also helps to perform an inventory of the supplies that are needed to handle each job. Make sure that these supplies are readily available to each employee.

Positive Atmosphere

It has been proven that having a positive work culture will create higher productivity in a business. If any employees are disgruntled with their jobs or the atmosphere in which they work, that negativity has a tendency to spread and spoil the performance of other workers. Having a good atmosphere in a business also includes paying workers to take time off and also offering flex time incentives.

Utilize Software

Utilizing workforce management software for your business will maximize your overall operational efficiency. The software provides your business with the ability to track time and attendance, absence management, your mobile workforce and plan out complex schedules. When you have the ability to centralize data and easily access the records of any employee, it speeds up productivity and allows your business to keep tabs of the company’s workflow.

Strive For More

Your business will morph and change as your industry goes through different cycles. While this change may seem hectic at times, it’s a good opportunity to set goals for your employees and encourage professional as well as personal growth. The same philosophy should be used for your company — it must keep up with current changes in trends or technology. A management style that tackles changes head-on and sets attainable goals, will result in keeping employees focused and an increase in sales.

Research Is Key

Having a strong plan and ideology for your business will help define the specific jobs that need to be completed by your employees. To strengthen this, you can periodically tackle any weaknesses that you observe in your company and work at turning those weaknesses into strengths. Some employees may have a passion for certain aspects of their job. It’s the responsibility of management to recognize these situations and help employees excel even further. This can be done by breaking down and segmenting different parts of your business so that you can evaluate each detail.

Provide Support

The support that you show your employees is an important area that must be evaluated by management. Ongoing support is an obvious necessity that should always be monitored. If it becomes outdated, that needs to be remedied by purchasing new equipment or instituting transparent guidelines that are reasonable and flexible when they need to be. Employees will remember when a company offers that little extra effort of support during times when there are challenges.

Employee Respect

Employs enjoy working for management members who are respectful, easy to communicate with and quick to give praise when jobs are completed in a professional manner. Your workforce will quickly become demoralized if senior members of your leadership team offer little respect or positive reinforcement. When the upper management in your company is providing outstanding leadership, your employees will take notice and appreciate the effort.

Be Flexible

Flexibility is also appreciated by your employees and will result in higher productivity and a happier environment. Be willing to ask for input from your staff when creating the shifts for your work schedule. This communication is crucial as it can sometimes close gaps that may be open. Consider breaking up lunch breaks into shorter time frames that don’t have to be used all at once. This can also be done by allowing unusual shifts during evenings or weekends. It gives your workers the opportunity to balance their life with work in a positive manner.

By utilizing these tips when managing your workforce, it will help keep your operations running smooth and should boost your overall productivity.