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 October 23:
- A sweeping portrait of the country’s unemployed
- California cracks down on unemployment fraud
- The Ins and Outs of a leave donation program
America’s unemployed: a portrait
“The impact of millions of lost jobs today is less visible when so many are staying home. Social distancing has helped financial suffering hide.”
In March and April, the United States economy lost 22 million jobs — roughly the number lost during the Great Depression and the Great Recession combined.
While it’s easy to track the unemployment numbers week after week, it’s much more difficult to comprehend the scope of the upheaval that the pandemic has wrought on peoples’ lives, especially since the economic crisis has had such a disparate impact on different sectors and groups of workers. This piece tells the stories of a handful of Americans across the country as they’ve faced mounting bills and dwindling savings.
Unemployment fraud in CA
“The Department’s top priority is to quickly verify the identity of any claimants in this group that may have been impacted by scammer attacks, while we work to shut down the potentially fraudulent claims.”
California officials froze some 350,000 preloaded debit cards in an attempt to control fraudulent claims.
Officials indicated that they’d been alerted to suspicious activities, including a high number of claims at a single address. The cards were issued by the state’s Economic Development Department and could represent as much as billions of dollars worth of benefits.
Public officials note, however, that some innocent people have been caught in the crosshairs of the investigation, as many legitimate benefit cards were deactivated in the process.
Leave donation programs and COVID-19
“For many employers, this situation has led them to consider, or reconsider, whether a leave donation/sharing program is right for their company.”
As winter weather arrives in many areas of the country, employers and employees alike are considering how to handle the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the personal and professional implications. While quarantining after exposure to the coronavirus is the best thing to do to prevent the spread of the disease, it can have a dismal effect on your paycheck if you don’t have enough paid sick leave.
In response to these issues, many companies are revisiting the idea of creating leave donation and sharing programs, which allow workers to pool their extra leave to help colleagues in the event of illness or family medical emergencies.