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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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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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News Alert: Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay

News Alert!!

The Colorado Department of Labor has issued a temporary leave rule to assist workers in specific industries within the state of Colorado to assist in the containment of Covid-19. 

 

The Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay is a temporary rule that requires employers in the below industries to pay four days of wages to employees with flu-like symptoms who are in the process of Covid-19 testing.

Impacted Industries:

  • Leisure and hospitality
  • Food services
  • Child care
  • Education, including transportation, food service, and related work with educational establishments
  • Home health, if working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals
  • Nursing homes
  • Community living facilities

Is My Business Impacted?

If your business operates in on the of the above industries, then, yes.  This rule covers ANY employer engaged in the above service offerings... even if it is only a small portion of what your business does.  For example, if you own a...

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Are You Ready for Big Wage Changes in 2020?

On January 1, 2020, we are going to wake up to two significant wage changes that will impact most Colorado small businesses. Are you prepared for these changes?

 

What’s Changing?

 

  • Hourly Employees: Colorado Minimum Wage- Colorado minimum wage has been on an increased schedule of $.90 per year for the past 2 years. In January 2020, you will see the third and final $.90 minimum wage increase. Effective January 1, 2020, Colorado Minimum Wage will be:

 

Colorado Minimum Wage- $12.00/ hr

 

Colorado Tipped Employees- $8.98/ hr

 

*Denver increased its local minimum wage to $12.85 per hour effective Jan. 1, becoming the first local government in Colorado to set its minimum higher than the statewide level per a new statute passed by the legislature in 2019.

 

  • Salaried Employees: Minimum Salary Rate (Federal Overtime Rule)- The minimum annual salary for exempt (salaried) employees is going to increase in 2020. Effective January 1, 2020, the Federal...
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Recruiting Tips & Tricks: Colorado SCORE Presentation

 

*Presented at Colorado Springs, CO SCORE meeting on July 12, 2019

 

I'm obsessed with Richard Branson. Anything that comes out of that man's mouth is like gospel to me. I aspire to be a Richard Branson, well a female/ American, Richard Branson one day. I believe that his people philosophy is really where it's at. And I think that this quote right here says it all: “A company is people... employees want to know... am I being listened to or am I a cog in the wheel? People really need to feel wanted". -Richard Branson

To start off on the right path of having sound employee practices, let's look at some recruiting tips and tricks. This blog is going to look at how to prepare and attract the right candidates and to evaluate those candidates. But first, let's look at the mistakes small businesses often make when it comes to recruiting. I'm sure all of you guys have seen these mistakes.

Small Business Recruiting Mistakes
1: Lack of Planning
First and foremost, small businesses...

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Small Business and Employee Ethics- Avoid Disaster!

Small Business and Employee Ethics- Avoid Disaster!

 

Have you taken the appropriate measures to makes sure that you are protected from the dishonest actions of your employees?  Employees ethics is a HUGE risk for all small businesses.  Make sure that you are protecting yourself and your business.   

 

For most small businesses, employees can be the businesses most significant risk.  According to The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that companies lose 5% of their annual revenue to employee fraud and abuse.  Unethical employee actions hit small businesses the hardest.  Most small businesses do not have the financial ability to sustain the hit of significant employee fraud or theft occurrence.  Unfortunately, the cost of employee theft isn’t only the cost of the theft.  Employers also need to factor in the additional expense of legal fees, employer time spent on legal action, loss of employee...

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How is Overtime Paid? A Small Business' Guide to Overtime Laws

How is Overtime Paid? A Small Business Guide to Overtime Laws

Are you at a loss wondering, "How is overtime paid?" Find out everything you need to know in our comprehensive guide.

UPDATE:  Effective January 1, 2020, salaried employees should earn $684 per week (or $35,568 per year).  Please click HERE for updated information.


Of course, you already know to pay your employees at least the minimum wage. But the laws surrounding overtime are complex and quickly become confusing.

Employees who work longer than normal hours are dedicating extra time to help you continue building success, so you want to make sure you do right by them. Plus, it's important to know the overtime laws to prevent legal trouble for yourself and your business.

If you're wondering how is overtime paid, you've come to the right place! In this guide, we'll tell you everything you need to know about federal overtime laws and how they pertain to your state.

Overtime Laws and Regulations

Although...

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Your Guide to Creating an Employee Handbook

Your Guide to Creating an Employee Handbook

Creating an employee handbook is a great way to set out your expectations as well as your company aims and ethos. We look at how to create one right here.

 

Are you wasting paper and printer toner making handbooks that no one reads? Or, are you spending valuable time sending it via email to your staff?

Here's the truth: if your employees don't feel motivated to read it, they won't.

There are a ton of ways to write an employee handbook that actually gets read. You can still include important rules and guidelines. But, the way you put this important book together must change.

Creating an employee handbook can be easy. These steps will take it from paper waste to the important file; keep reading to find out how.

1. Don't Be Dull

One reason your employees don't care about the handbook is that it's boring. Employee handbooks are often written like legal contracts full of threats.

Consider how you talk to your staff. Do you encourage open...

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7 Ways In Which HR Solutions For Small Business Can Save Your Company

7 Ways In Which HR Solutions For Small Business Can Save Your Company

When running a small business, it's as difficult to stick to your budget as it is essential. HR solutions for small business can help you pinch those pennies. Here are 7 ways in which HR experts can save you money.

 

 

A small business is only as good as its management and budgeting when it is first getting started. No matter what kind of industry you operate in or how good of a product you have, these are the things that keep you on track. You can easily find yourself in some serious trouble without such leadership to guide the business and the resources to fund everything.

These skills develop as time goes on, leading you to more opportunities to make your business increasingly efficient and profitable. A great opportunity to look into is how you manage your small business human resources. Rethinking how you approach HR can save you a significant amount of time and money, in more ways than you might...

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