SMB News Weekly Rundown Jul7 28, 2021

Welcome to the Small Business Weekly Rundown. Each week, we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.

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Small Business News Highlights:

Government agencies lead charge toward requiring vaccination for workers

“We have reached a confluence where healthcare workers want vaccine mandates, and government is responding.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will require employees to show proof of vaccination. The mandate applies to frontline workers and represents the first federal agency to require employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment.

New York and California, as well as the Mayo Clinic, are also requiring employees to be vaccinated or to undergo weekly testing. Many public health officials cite the Delta variant and curbing its spread as the reason behind the tightened vaccination requirements.

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President Joe Biden announces that “long COVID” will be covered by ADA

“Many Americans who seemingly recover from the virus still face lingering challenges like breathing problems, brain fog, chronic pain and fatigue. These conditions can sometimes rise to the level of a disability.”

President Joe Biden announced recently that people suffering from “long COVID” symtoms could potentially be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Department of Health and Human Services noted that many of the symptoms associated with long-haul COVID significantly interrupt basic life functions, qualifying sufferers for protections under the law.

Man fills in Unemployment benefits application form.
Man fills in Unemployment benefits application form.

Immigrants experienced higher unemployment rate during the pandemic

“The onset of the pandemic sent the unemployment rate for immigrants soaring higher than the rate for U.S.-born workers.”

New research from the Pew Research Center found that immigrants in the United States experienced higher rates of unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data shows that foreign-born women saw the highest rates of unemployment, though immigrant men also saw sharper rates of unemployment than their non-foreign born peers.

The unemployment gap between immigrants and non-immigrant Americans has closed.

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Walmart to pay full college tuition for employees

“We feel that eliminating the dollar a day investment removes the financial barriers to enrollment, and it will increase access.” 

In an attempt to attract and retain workers, Walmart has announced that it will play 100% of college tuition for qualified employees.

In addition to using the program to incentivize employees to stay with the company, Walmart notes that they view it as an opportunity to train candidates for management positions.

The Latest from Workest

Now that 2021 is more than half way through, it’s worth thinking about how to maximize Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefits. This week Cinnamon Janzer explores 6 Creatives Ways to Spend FSA Money by the End of the Year.

Employee stress levels have skyrocketed over the past year. Kelsey Banerjee looks at how Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can boost worker morale and productivity.

Finally, before we say goodbye for the week, here are 3 things you should know:

  1. Concerned that an employee has an eye on the door? Here are 13 signs that someone is about to quit.
  2. If you don’t remember how to dress for the workplace, you’re not alone.
  3. Finally, an argument against allowing employees to continue working from home.
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