Coming back from COVID

As Governor Whitmer has lifted parts of the stay-home order, many employers are preparing to bring laid off or furloughed employees back to the workplace.

BCN Services helps local businesses reopen in a way that protects employees and complies with local regulations. See more information below about how we are helping businesses in this difficult time.

One significant piece of this assistance involves our partnership with Midwest Enviro Solutions, which decontaminates, sanitizes and tests work sites so your employees can be confident that you’re protecting them. This is just one of several new mandates for Michigan businesses.

See information on the Governor’s most recent Executive Orders:

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Gossip can be costly and disrupt your workplace

Gossip in the workplace is disruptive and can be costly to businesses by reducing productivity. So what should you do when you discover that an employee is gossiping?

Conversations that are negative about others, or are intended to elevate the gossiper, rarely have a positive outcome and can be a form of workplace bullying. Whether it is about another employee or the company, it is important that this toxic behavior is addressed immediately and be disciplined if necessary.

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How employers should approach at-will employment

At-will employment means that either employer or employee can end an employment relationship at any time, with or without notice, and with or without explanation.

But employers should beware of using it in the same way in all situations. At-will employment is not a one-size-fits-all solution for employers parting ways with an employee. Employers must comply with all federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws. And employers firing an employee in a protected case should tread carefully if citing at-will employment as the separating reason.

Michigan, as well as many other states, recognize at-will employment status although some states have exceptions for public policy or implied contract.

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New, finalized W-4 form available for 2020

On Dec. 5, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service released its final version of a modified 2020 Form W-4, the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. The new form is intended to make withholding more accurate and was implemented as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The change affected filers for the first time last tax season, taking effect January 1, 2018 and modifying the tax laws.
Following are some helpful links about the change.
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Michigan minimum wage increases to $9.65

Michigan’s minimum hourly wage increased from $9.45 to $9.65 on Jan. 1, 2020.

The minimum wage will increase again to $9.87 in one year, at the beginning of 2021. For more information and guidelines about Michigan’s minimum wage, visit the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

Michigan’s minimum wage has been in the news throughout the past two years, as a citizens group pushed for a higher wage via petition, and the state legislature halted those efforts. Business groups opposed the citizen measure, saying it would be too expensive.

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2020 can mean a profitable approach for your business

It’s hard to believe there is less than six weeks left of this decade. Not just this year, but this DECADE! I have written multiple end-of-year blogs (It’s that time of year again) because goal-setting is my favorite topic for discussion. It’s a great time to reflect on where we are and where we want to go.

So, what will be different for your business in the coming year? Why will it be different? And how will it be different?

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Navigating the rapidly changing landscape of marijuana laws

What if you could jump into your time machine and take a trip anywhere in the United States in the 1970s? Imagine telling an employer that marijuana use would be legalized in the next 40-50 years. Can you picture the disbelief that you would encounter?

Well, that day is here. Starting with California legalizing marijuana for medical use in 1996, today 11 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana usage and many others allow for its medicinal use with a prescription.

This shift in the legal landscape of marijuana usage has left employers scratching their heads wondering what they should do. Where zero tolerance marijuana policies were common 10 years ago, now employers have to rethink their drug policy when it comes to marijuana use.

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HR News Update! Final Overtime Rule Raises the Salary Minimum to $35,568 beginning January 1, 2020

The Department of Labor has issued a long-anticipated final rule to the overtime regulations within the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective January 1, 2020, the salary level required to be exempt from overtime (along with meeting certain duties test requirements) will be $35,568 or $684 per week.

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The Sixth Circuit offers employers guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act’s ‘Interactive Process’

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On November 30, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in a published decision, offered guidance to employers regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (“ADA”) “interactive process” and what conduct may render the employer liable under the ADA.

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What employers need to know about ICE raids

Reports of raids by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, is all over the news. ICE has conducted raids at various places of employment all over the United States in order to determine immigration status.

It’s important to know how to respond if your workplace is approached by a federal immigration officer.

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