Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Small Business News Highlights for July 29:
- DOL says exempt employees will not lose status during pandemic
- Business ID thefts on the rise during COVID-19 pandemic
- Pandemic sounds death knell for open-plan concept work spaces
DOL says exempt employees will not lose status
“COVID-19 is a rare event affecting the public welfare of the entire nation that an employer could not reasonably anticipate and is consistent with the FLSA’s regulatory criteria for emergencies.”
The Department of Labor has ruled that exempt employees who do non-exempt tasks during the current pandemic can still be classified as exempt workers by their employers. This means that employers must compensate employees for all hours of telework, including overtime pay for time beyond 40 hours, without impacting their status.
Business ID thefts on the rise
“The ferocity of cyber criminals to take advantage of COVID-19 uncertainties by preying on small businesses is disturbing.”
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the current business climate to open additional lines of credit with stolen identification information from small business owners.
According to information collected by security industry analysts, organized rings of cybercriminals appear to target dormant and inactive businesses, finding information about the owners online, and then working with forgers to edit the documents needed to apply for business loans.
Experts estimate that these criminals are successful about 20% of the time.
Open plan work spaces shifting back to individual spaces
“We just did the big open-office concept; we put everybody in desk shares that were right on top of each other.”
For the past 2 decades designers and planners have been systematically moving toward open plan concepts. Now, suddenly, the tides have turned and office walls and partitions are in again — and designers are struggling to embrace the change.
Adding walls to workspaces designed to function without them can be difficult and expensive, making the shift back to individual spaces cost prohibitive for businesses already struggling to stay afloat. Instead, employers are turning to temporary screens or partitions as a means to keep people — and their germs — a safe distance apart while working.