Vital Business Solutions Newsletter

October 30, 2009 

Are You Prepared? Are you liable?


Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and more...

Employees in most companies are from different backgrounds and cultures and have different religious beliefs. Do you have reasonable accommodations to handle the various religious beliefs and practices? How do you handle holiday celebrations in the workplace? How do make reasonable accommodations without causing undue hardship on you, the employer? Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 states that "Employees cannot be forced to participate -- or not participate -- in a religious activity as a condition of employment." Read more on religious discrimination here: 

Flu Season

In our mid-year issue of the VBS newsletter, we discussed safety and health standards focusing on safety measures for an influenza pandemic. Now that the flu season has arrived, there is renewed concern on the negative impact that this might have on the workforce. How can you ensure your workplace is safe for your employees and that you can keep your business viable during the flu season? Here are a few guidelines you can follow to reduce the spread of flu:
  • Promote regular hand washing
  • Clean commonly-touched surfaces often
  • Encourage sick employees to stay home
  • If employees display flu-like symptoms at work, send them home immediately and recommend they get medical treatment
  • Consider offering vaccine or encourage employees to get vaccinated against seasonal flu and H1N1 flu
  • For employees who are at higher risk for flu complications, consider allowing them to work from home
  • Consider canceling face-to-face meetings or space attendees further apart at meetings
  • Try to make your leave policies flexible and include public health guidance
Employers are required to provide a "safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women" (OSHA Act of 1970). In addition, employers should also bear in mind that there may be occasions where the employee may not be sick but may need time off to take care of sick relative. Help ensure your employees understand your leave policies.
Additional Resources: Fact Sheets and Quick Cards
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic, OSHA 3327-02N 2007
How to Protect Yourself in the Workplace during a Pandemic
What Employers Can Do to Protect Workers from Pandemic Influenza
Respiratory Infection Control: Respirators Versus Surgical Masks

"Federal Guidelines Encourage Employers to Plan Now for Upcoming Influenza Season", U.S. Department of Homeland Security, August 2009

Preparing for H1N1 Flu Season U.S. Department of Labor
2010 Social Security Changes

How does the 2010 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) impact the small business owner?

According to the Social Security Administration, cost-of-living adjustment will not automatically increase in 2010. How will this impact you? Do you have the facts? The link below will take you to the important facts and figures:

Information About 2010 Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment
Happy Client

Our company found ourselves in the grip of a HR challenge without the internal capacity to address the issue.  We required timely assistance from an experienced and reliable company and were referred to VBS who quickly assessed the circumstances, designed a  successful resolution and walked us through an effective process.  Our high level of satisfaction has led us to engage VBS as our regular HR services provider.  Their team of professionals is knowledgeable, definitely customer-focused and provides quality products.  I highly recommend VBS to any business owner as a standalone HR consultant or as a supplement to an internal HR division.
Diane C. Pratt
DP Consultants, Inc.

Hennrietta Smith, President
Vital Business Solutions, Inc.


We can help you
with your
Policies & Procedures Manuals
VBS meets HR needs with manuals and forms to assist managers in managing their resources well. We also create manuals for the employees. These identify management's objectives, outline company rules and regulations, and identify the company's expectations.  

Let us know if you need help with the following:

  • Employee Manual
  • Policies & Procedures Manual
  • Human Resource Forms
  • Organizational Chart
Get everyone on the same page!