Jake Richardson

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19 Tips For Manufacturing Worker Safety

Posted by Jake Richardson May 1, 2015 7:00:00 AM on


OSHA is a highly charged topic.

And it might be a poor choice to start a safety tips article with OSHA.

But really, OSHA is the beginning, the middle and the end for worker safety.

OSHA Rules and Guidelines

There is a big difference between “OSHA Rules” and “OSHA Guidelines". OSHA Guidelines are best practices that can improve your safety record, but violating them will not lead to penalties. Following them, however, can improve your chances in an OSHA review.

OHSA rules violations can lead to big fines. For example, in 2015, a Wisconsin manufacturing company had to pay $1.7 million in fines after an OSHA audit discovered numerous violations. The company's safety record was poor and had already had accumulated 1,000 documented injuries because of  unsafe working conditions
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Topics: Worker Safety

5 Employee Recognition Tips, Employee Appreciation Day and ROI Research

Posted by Jake Richardson Mar 17, 2015 8:20:00 AM on

This article is arranged for you to have an efficient experience: the tips are first, followed by some supporting research, and then discussion about Employee Appreciation Day and its creator, Dr. Bob Nelson.

5 Employee Recognition Tips

  1. Recognize when an employee does something well - in other words, a specific task or project.

  2. Make recognition part of your work culture, meaning that it happens frequently and make it easy to do.

  3. Make sure it happens in a fair and balanced way, meaning that it isn’t a politically-based activity where the manager plays favorites and only a few of your employees are ever recognized.
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Topics: Employee management

Top 10 OSHA Cited Violations

Posted by Jake Richardson Feb 23, 2015 7:00:00 AM on

OSHA's top 10 cited violations for 2014 won't surprise you if you work in construction, field services or manufacturing sectors. They consistently keep recurring year after year. However, there has been significant drop year over year in the total number of worker fatalties. If 

According to OSHA, overall, before the ganization was created 43 years ago, about 14,000 worker fatalities occurred each year in the United States. Daily worker fatalities have since fallen from 38 to 20 per day. 

Now, if you had to guess which violations remain at the top of the list, which would they be?

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Topics: Construction Safety, materials management

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Nursing Discimination Laws

Posted by Jake Richardson Feb 11, 2015 8:10:00 AM on

Rules that try to protect pregnant female workers are more than confusing. There are conflicting and often overlapping laws and rules at the federal level. But worse, each state has its own rules and protections, or lack thereof. So if you are operating in multiple states keeping track of all this, and changes to state laws, is not a trivial task.

Worse yet, not complying with these laws is getting more expensive. The number of legal claims filed each year is increasing, and  continues to increase. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that claims increased 71% between 1992 and 2011.

However, The Department of Labor is here to save the day!

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Topics: employee labor rules

6 Very Common Payroll Errors

Posted by Jake Richardson Jan 30, 2015 8:43:00 AM on

Running payroll can be a complex process made more so by the need to be in full compliance with both state and federal labor and tax laws. No one wants to be audited by the IRS, or sued by state or federal labor departments, so it’s a good idea to keep payroll errors to a minimum. Especially those errors that are difficult to catch.

 Below are six common payroll errors, that fortunately are not that difficult to fix.

1. Misclassifying Employees

Misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor rather than as an employee.

This is big mistake of course because of the possible reclassification that might come later on. If and when that happens, you are responsible for paying employment taxes, handling back withholdings and will no doubt have to pay fines and interest penalties. If you can't demonstrate proper reasons for classifying them as an independent contractor that meet IRS criteria, you might be in for a world of hurt with the IRS. Internal Revenue Code section 3509 covers this scenario. You can read more about the details of an employer's liability at the Cornell University site. The keys to understanding whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee mostly have to do with control and independence.
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Topics: payroll time tracking

4 Tips for Dealing with Uncashed Paychecks and Avoiding Legal Problems

Posted by Jake Richardson Jan 19, 2015 8:44:00 AM on

Have you ever dealt with an uncashed employee paycheck? For a variety of reasons employees might not claim a paycheck, though it isn't that common. Each state has some version of an unclaimed property law that addresses what to do. An uncashed paycheck is considered a financial asset and abandoned property. In California, for example, unclaimed property is that which has been left inactive for three years.

Generally speaking, if a check has been unclaimed for three to five years it becomes state property. At this point it is the state that keeps the check and provides a means to the public so it can be searched for and claimed.

The point of the Unclaimed Property Law is to prevent unclaimed property from being used by people other than the owner for their own gain.

To use California again, businesses there are required to annually review their financial records for uncashed checks. If they identify any, there is a process for reporting them to the state.  The State Controller’s Office (SCO) is responsible for collecting abandoned property reports and making this information available to the public, so individuals can claim their property.

While these situations don't come up too often, a business still needs to have some policies and procedures in place should the situation arise.
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3 Payroll Fraud Schemes Embezzle Millions

Posted by Jake Richardson Jan 14, 2015 8:06:00 AM on

1. Payroll Manager Uses ‘Ghost Workers’ to Embezzle $480,000

We've written a couple of posts about fraud as it relates to timesheets and overtime pay. This one is about what happens when management level employees, like a payroll manager embezzle money.

Grady Memorial is the largest hospital in Georgia and the main public hospital for the city of Atlanta. It employs about 5,000 people, so that is a considerable payroll to manage. The thing is, a former director of payroll did a little more than manage it. He was convicted of embezzling $480,000 from the hospital. For several years, he oversaw payroll for all employees and he knew the internal payroll system well. With his administrative system access he also falsified vacation and severance pay records for employees that had been terminated.

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Topics: payroll time tracking, fraud

$2 Million Dollar Fraud Results From Paycheck Selfies

Posted by Jake Richardson Jan 5, 2015 9:04:00 AM on

Printed Paychecks are a Security Hole? Really? Yes, Really.

Go to Google and do an image search for “my first paycheck,” then come back to finish this article.

Okay, wasn’t that amazing. What you saw was hundreds of smiling employees posting an image of their first paycheck. If you search for “my last paycheck” you’ll see more. 

Perhaps you’re now wondering whether you have a policy in place so that employees don't take a selfie holding their pay check and sharing it online.

Good. This is the article for you. Read on.

In a recent national news story, a Minnesota woman posted a selfie photo on Instagram holding her paycheck. Zoom in a little on the photo, and you can clearly can see the company’s bank account number!

Criminals gathered the information and used it to create counterfeit checks against her employer's bank account.
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Topics: contractor timesheet

5 Giving Stories for the Holidays

Posted by Jake Richardson Dec 31, 2014 9:06:00 AM on

The holidays are about many things and in particular what seems to make them meaningful is giving. Generosity has been linked to terms like meaning and purpose, but not only at the level of concepts or language. Research has shown that people who experience a sense of purpose in their lives might live longer.

Princeton University, Stony Brook University and University College London (UCL) researchers studied over 9,000 adults with an average age of 65. They found that the ones with the greatest well-being had a 30% less likelihood of dying. Meaning and purpose have been said to be a part of well-being. In other words, experiencing fulfillment in life is tied with what one experiences as meaning and having a sense of purpose. Contributing something positive and seeing an impact improves well-being.

We probably have all had some experiences where we received money or some material object, and yet it turned out to be accompanied by an emptiness.

Christmas has been criticized at times for being overly commercial, so one way people make it more meaningful is by focusing on giving rather than trying to maximize their own gains. Here are 5 giving stories for this holiday season.
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How Not to Waste One Million Dollars on Time Clocks

Posted by Jake Richardson Dec 19, 2014 9:12:00 AM on

Sad Story of Hawaii Department of Education

Picture nearly one million dollars worth of brand new time clocks still in boxes stacked in a break room. They were purchased in 2010 by a state government department in order to track employee work efforts better.

However, when it was noticed that the time clocks also needed software and cables to connect them, plus labor to configure the system and getting it running correctly, it was decided not pursue the project any longer!

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Topics: Timesheet Software

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