More Firms Urge Workers to Get Seasonal Flu Shots

As the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities have recommended that everyone get a flu shot this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are wondering if they can require seasonal flu vaccinations for their staff. The CDC and the medical community recommend it in order to minimize the chances of double-infection of both the seasonal flu and COVID-19. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission more than a decade ago issued guidance asserting that employers can require their workers to get influenza shots. But, employment law specialists recommend that the need for vaccinations be job-related (think nurses, doctors…

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Telecommuting Workers Have Poor Ergonomics: Study

Most companies are serious about workplace safety and that goes even for office workers, whom they provide with proper chairs and ergonomically appropriate workstations. But with so many people suddenly having been thrust into working from home, workers have converted guest bedrooms, kitchen tables and living rooms into workspaces and ergonomics has mostly gone out the window in the process. Most telecommuters are working at makeshift spots in their homes, often on laptops in positions that are far from ergonomically correct. Additionally, few employers have actually gone to their workers' homes to check on their setups to make sure they…

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Employees Choose Perks, Benefits over Salary Hikes

Great perks and incentives packages can help attract top-notch talent, maintain employee morale and improve overall engagement and satisfaction with a company. The coronavirus pandemic has made perks and benefits even more important, particularly in light of so many workers feeling burned out, stressed from working at home or feeling isolated due to closures and shelter-at-home orders. Recently, retailer Staples surveyed 1,549 employees across the U.S. about their preferences for work perks, asking them to rate how various benefits affected their motivation and if they preferred perks over higher salaries ― and which benefits were most important to them when…

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The Risks Behind Conducting Background Checks

Employers are increasingly facing lawsuits over how they handle background checks while screening job applicants. For a lesson in what can happen, take the recent class-action lawsuit filed against a Whole Foods Market Inc. store in Fresno, California. The suit alleges that the store's online form asking for job applicants' approval for criminal background checks violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The lawsuit seeks damages of up to $1,000 for each individual from whom Whole Foods obtained a consumer report without valid authorization, plus punitive damages and costs. Whole Foods has used the application form in question since January 2009,…

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Study: New Tech Helps Stop Trucks from Rear-Ending Vehicles

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that driver assistance technologies, such as automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning systems, have been shown to reduce accident rates among large trucks. Increased use of these systems in these vehicles should prevent countless deaths and injuries and save millions of dollars. The U.S. relies on large trucks for shipping goods, but they have always presented a serious threat to other vehicles. Often, the consequences have been fatal for drivers of passenger vehicles and costly for the trucks' owners. For example, the singer Harry Chapin died in…

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Five Steps for Protecting the Data of Your Firm, Customers and Employees

In this era of connectedness, increased telecommuting, smartphones that keep staff connected to the office and cyber criminals constantly waging attacks on businesses, you need to do all you can to protect your firm's, employees' and customers' data. It's a heavy lift to try to set up protocols for the various areas where hackers and bots can infiltrate your company's database, and for a small company the task could be overwhelming. But if you approach your cyber security by focusing on the main pinch points - your greatest vulnerabilities - you can put together a coherent and effect cyber defense.…

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Commercial Property Insurance Rates Rise as Risks Grow

Commercial property insurance rates are on the rise across the country as insurers continue wrestling with the toll of increasing natural disasters, rising social unrest around the world (including the U.S.) and the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, insurance companies have become more stringent in their underwriting by restricting some coverages and excluding risks that may have been covered in the past. The rate increases and stricter underwriting are not a function of the COVID-19 pandemic, as rates have been on the rise over the last two years as other risks and claims payouts have grown, but the outbreak has added more…

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Dealing with Violent Customers Who Refuse to Wear Masks

As many states and municipalities have issued mandatory mask orders for businesses that are open to the public, operators like retailers and restaurants have been thrust into the front lines of reducing the spread of the virus by requiring customers to wear masks when on their premises. This has led to confrontations that sometimes result in violence - and even in the deaths of some workers. Due to the volatility of some of these confrontations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a guide for limiting workplace violence associated with COVID-19. The guidance recommends: Offering customers options to…

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