September 1, 2017

The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey for Employers and Their Employees  |  Social Media Trends for 2018  | Form EEO-1 Revisited  | Video of Houston Businessman’s Response to a Need

 

eESI Week’s Best: This week, we’re sharing tips for helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey and managing employee compensation and leave after a disaster. Social media trends and matters of government paperwork compliance also made our list. And finally, a look at one of the many Houston businesses stepping up to help the community.

 

Hope for Houston:

Harvey drew the attention of a nation as we watched and waited to see just how bad the damage would be. Now, as the clean-up begins, we turn our eyes toward the future and how we can help residents in the areas worst hit by the storm.

 

In the weeks to come, people and their pets will need assistance. From supplying diapers to offering free housing, regional businesses and nonprofits will be working round the clock to provide aid. Check out this Hope for Houston Resources guide prepared by FinFit to find a list of area organizations that can help, and use your support; and, this article on ‘Support for Employees During Times of Loss and Grieving‘ for insights into working with employees who’ve suffered during this catastrophe. 

 

Managing FMLA Requirements in the Wake of a Disaster:

Based on our experience with previous disasters, we anticipate that many businesses in the area hit by Harvey will be closed down for periods ranging from days to months.

So how do employers manage employee leave during that time? And what about businesses that remain open but have employees who can’t make it to work?

We put together some answers in Pay and FMLA Questions in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. 

And, the Department of Labor issued an announcement that they are offering ‘compliance flexibility’ regarding benefit plans affected by Harvey.

 

Social Media Trends for Your Business:

Maybe the biggest news for business marketers this week was the rollout of video posts on LinkedIn. You may have already seen several videos in your LinkedIn feed as early adopters leaped into (lights, camera) action.

 

LinkedIn’s video feature demonstrates two of the six trends that Inc. sees coming in 2018: video dominance and platforms offering overlapping features. You can read Inc.s other predictions in 6 Social Media Trends to Prepare for in 2018.

 

Change the Form, Change the Date, But Wait…

SHRM reported this week that under the direction of the White House Office of Management and Budget,  the EEOC will suspend the March 31, 2018 effective date of a pay-data collection effort incorporated into the newly revised EEO-1 form. Beginning in March, employers will be expected to begin using the new EEO-1 form which requests the information, but they won’t be required to fill in the salary blank.

 

Watch Your I-9 Compliance Because the Government Is

A 9th Circuit Court recently upheld the imposition of penalties in excess of $300,000 for violations relating to a company’s failure to verify its workers under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. A defense of good faith failed to sway the court. Our colleague Bruce Cross of  Perkins Cole, LLP explains the ruling and its implications in this article.

 

Community Members & Business Respond

Finally, it can be hard to imagine the scene on the ground of a natural disaster.

Cheryl Cuzco, an eESI client of 17 years, and owner of Cheryl’s Restaurant in Fulton, had to evacuate to New Braunfels, then got busy helping.  She purchased this food truck, and has headed back to help.    

You can get updates and assist her efforts at https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.cuzco.1

This Houston businessman was in the thick of it and chose to open his doors to his neighbors. This video by the New York Times shows us what it was like.