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When to Use an Outside Investigator & Choosing an Outside Investigator

When to Use an Outside Investigator & Choosing an Outside Investigator

By Gene R. Thornton, Esq.  *

 

Whenever an employer receives a complaint of sexual harassment or other workplace misconduct, a prompt, thorough, and fair investigation should be conducted.  Following the investigation, appropriate remedial measures should be implemented.  That much is basic employment law and human resource management.  But who should perform the investigation?  Should it be done by the employer’s HR manager, office manager or safety officer, if any?  Should it be done by the accused employee’s supervisor?  Or should an outside investigator be retained and, if so, what qualifications should be sought in the outside investigator.

Simple Investigations—Outside Investigator Probably Not Needed

If the allegations concern performance issues, employee relations, then the employer can probably do without an outside investigator.  It will...

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Masks & Your Business: Colorado Mask Order

On Thursday, July 16, 2020, Governor Jared Polis implemented a 30-day statewide mask order in the state of Colorado (there is a possibility of extension).  This order impacts every way we conduct business, work with our employees and serve your customers. There are a number of considerations that you need to apply when staying compliant.  Read on to learn how to apply this order to your business operations.

There is significant debate about the mask order and deep-rooted feelings for and against this order.  As you maneuver through implementing and staying compliant with this order, you will encounter these perspectives.  No matter what your personal thoughts are, it is important to know what is expected of you as a business owner.  Without further ado, let's dive right in.  

Your Working Environment:

Within the Colorado mask order, you do have to be mindful of when your staff must wear a mask.  You and your team are...

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Colorado Mandates Employee Paid Sick Leave for All

 

 

We knew this was going to continue to be a big year for legislation and it just keeps on coming. Be sure to follow our HR Branches Facebook as we will be going live to discuss these legislative changes now as well as in the future. Feel free to submit your questions in advance by emailing [email protected] or giving us a call at 719-244-9640.

Without further adieu, lets dive in shall we?

The federal mandate FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act) we reported on a few months ago was just the shallow end of the pool. Get your life vest- this isn't a kiddie pool folks, the "Healthy Families and Workplaces Act" is white water rapids for the small business community.  Carefully navigating these treacherous waters to keep your business afloat is going to be crucial.

On July 14, 2020 Colorado Govenor, Jared Polis signed the "Healthy Families and Workplaces Act" into law.  In the state of Colorado, only 60% of employees have paid...

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Small Business Hiring Amid a Pandemic

 

 Let's face it, even if we don't have the intention to hire in our small businesses, we may be left with no choice. Employees laid off during the stay-at-home orders may not want to come back. They might have found work elsewhere, they may have decided to stay home with the kids, or they may just not want to work for you anymore. This pandemic has caused most of us to take a deep look into what we want and planning for the future.

You are potentially left with positions you need to replace, new skillsets that have come to light since business has changed, or maybe your industry is one of the ones that is growing and thriving right now. No matter what it is, you are being lead to the market to meet a demand in your business. Whether you are experienced or need some guidance and organization in this area, this information will help you be more effective in finding the right fit, not just a warm body.

There are three components to a successful recruiting...

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Fighting Evils with Crisis Management

How HR Superheroes Save the Day!  

Have you ever heard of the term “superheroes?” I bet you have, and they are all around us. Our favorite superhero is the HR superhero.  HR superheroes may not have a cheesy costume suffocated in tights, profoundly hidden talents to ward off bad guys, or amazingly untouched hair after a long battle, but what they do have are their fair share of small business issues that they take on head first.

One issue that has been heavy on the minds of many small business owners is crisis management, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has hindered millions of employers and their employees around the world, carving its path and making its mark as it goes down in history. However, HR advisors combat many crisis situations, such as this one, making them a vital resource for all companies big and small. Crisis management is often associated with risk and safety, but HR is also the hub for managing uncertainty. They understand the...

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Rebuild Your Business: Rehire Your Employees

 

Well, here we are!  It is time to start reopening your business.  We have been flooded with questions on rehiring employees and what you need to do to get started on the right foot.  So, your HR Branches team took a few minutes to address your most common questions about rehiring your employees during this truly unique time in our history.  

 

Now that I have the PPP loans do I need to rehire that poor performing employee with nothing to do?

Of course, all of us should be looking at bringing back employees... the right employees at the right time.  Moving forward, it will be imperative that we maneuver through the reopening of our businesses with strategy and a well thought out plan.  This starts with rehiring the right employees.  Make sure that you are only inviting employees back into your business who add value and have been a great contributor in the past.  In addition, make sure that you have value-added tasks lined up for...

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Relief Fund Options for Colorado Small Businesses

Updated 4/22/20
 
As the CARES Act funding came and went, Colorado organizations collaborated and stepped up to the plate to take care of our small business community. Below is a list we will keep updated with new opportunities and new information as we come across it.
 
 
Relief Fund Options for Colorado Small Businesses
 
Apply for emergency relief funding of up to $25,000. Offering mentoring as well.
Grants of $2,500 to $25,000 to certain types of storefront small businesses located within the boundaries of the DDA. Deadline to apply is April 22nd.
Eligible community-based organizations across Colorado may receive a general operating grant of up to $25,000. The first deadline awards were announced April 16,
2020. Funds are currently only being distributed in the Prevention and Impact priority areas. Recovery will be opened...
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Disaster Planning... Now? Yep, now is better than never!

Download Disaster Plan Template

 

The past three weeks have been tough for all of us, to say the least. As all of us have banded together, put on our seat belts and have screamed: "let me off of this roller coaster", there have been a ton of realizations. So here's my realization and true confession- we didn't have a disaster plan in place. We have been in operation for two years, and I could come up with a slew of excuses: we are just getting started, too busy, it won't happen to us, etc. But, the fact of the matter is that we needed one and we didn't have one.


Now that that embarrassing confession is over, here's the other side of my confession. I am a little bit glad that I didn't have one in place. Why? Because not having gone through a true disaster, I would have put together a pretty bland disaster plan. Now that we have a disaster under our belt and we have had the luxury of consulting with some of the best experts in the business, we have a good idea of what needs to be...

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LAW UPDATE: The Senate CARES Bill

 

The Senate CARES Bill (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act)

 

Source: Estimates for third relief bill based on bill text, committee and administration numbers.
Credit: Audrey Carlsen/NPR

The Senate developed $2 Trillion dollar, multi-faceted legislation attacking this disaster from multiple sides: tax and debt relief, small business loans, unemployment expansion, and individual stimulus payments. They see we’re hurting and they aren’t playing around.

Incentive and assistance for small businesses to keep employees working

The bill creates a “paycheck protection program” for

  • Self-employed individuals
  • Small businesses
  • “Gig economy” workers

Hey solopreneurs and giggers, you finally aren’t being excluded from the group and chastised for being your own boss! Congratulations!

Let’s take a big bite and jump in.

INDIVIDUAL TAXES

They will need your individual 2019 taxes (and valid social security numbers) in order to cut...

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Know Your Options: SBA Disaster Relief Loan

SBA Disaster Relief Loan

As small business owners and as a community, all of us are sailing in uncharted waters. All of us are in the same boat, filled with uncertainty and fear.  What does the future hold?  Is my business going to survive this?  How am I going to pay my bills?  There are so many concerns that all of us have and most of it is deeply rooted in our financial situation and future.  There are a number of economic stimulus packages that are being discussed locally and federally.  As of today, March 21st, there are not many options available.  However, our representative and community leaders are working diligently to provide us with a little relief.  The first financial option to become available to small business is the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan program.  This is the fist time in the history of the SBA that this loan has been made available for a pandemic (these loans are generally leveraged...

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