At Kuno Creative, our mission is to help companies we believe in get results. This is the third in a series featuring our clients, their mission and how they’re pivoting their marketing strategy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies are experiencing an overwhelming sea of change. At the beginning of 2020, executives showed up to work ready to dive into their normal routines. Managers met to plan for future growth, accounting departments paid bills and issued paychecks and human resources focused on hiring/retention, performance reviews and staff training. Now, in these unchartered waters of the COVID-19 crisis, companies are being forced to simply stay afloat by reducing costs, absorbing lost revenue and cutting jobs during this unprecedented economic downturn.
As a leading professional employer organization (PEO), FrankCrum is experiencing a change in its routine, as well. Having partnered with small and midsize companies for more than 35 years, FrankCrum staff would typically spend their days providing clients with back-end support, such as payroll processing, benefits management, workers’ compensation and other compliance-related HR activities.
Now, their focus has pivoted to offering real-time consultations along with the supporting data to educate executives, accounting teams and human resources departments about paid work leave, wage reimbursement, business loans and unemployment programs. Here are some examples of how FrankCrum is using its responsive crisis-management strategies to help companies regain control of their budgets and staffing needs during this global pandemic.
How FrankCrum Has Become a Lifeboat During COVID-19
Medical and Family Leave and Employment Compliance
The federal government recently approved legislation to pay employees if they are unable to work due to COVID-related circumstances. This Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) covers employees who are sick and/or quarantined or employees who are caring for their children and other family members.
How FrankCrum Can Help
- FrankCrum recognizes that these new mandates impact many different company policies including paid time off, absenteeism/leave of absence, salaried and hourly pay and benefits qualifications. They will review your handbook to understand how your company specifically addresses these issues and compare that to the new laws.
- They’re constantly examining Department of Labor guidelines in conjunction with the ADA, FLSA and EEOC to know how to implement these rules: who qualifies for paid leave, what documentation is needed to request time off, how much time off should be granted, etc.
- FrankCrum is also advising clients on how to maintain HIPAA laws to preserve employees’ medical privacy rights while adhering to FFCRA requirements.
FrankCrum also makes sure employers are staying compliant with respect to furloughs, layoffs and terminations. If you’re asking yourself “what’s the difference between a layoff and a furlough,” that’s the type of question FrankCrum can answer.
- They can help you understand whose wages can be reduced and by how much, how many hours an employee must work to retain healthcare benefits and what jobs can be eliminated.
- FrankAdvice experts are on hand to provide top executives with the legal knowledge needed to make these gut-wrenching workforce reduction decisions.
Payroll and Benefits Management:
One new federal Payment Protection Program (PPP) focuses on the needs of small and midsize businesses to help them pay up to eight weeks of payroll and benefits costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities in the form of a forgivable loan.
Another program, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), offers a refundable credit for 50% of qualified wages when the employer must suspend/halt operations or has decreased revenues due to the pandemic.
A third program, the Social Security Tax Deferral, allows employers to defer paying their portion of federal social security until the end of 2020.
You can choose one of these programs to file for financial relief, but if this sounds cumbersome and has left you confused, you don’t have to face it alone if you have a PEO partner by your side.
How FrankCrum Can Help
- For all of the above programs, FrankCrum offers an overview of each economic relief package, a link to the application and all of the payroll reports and W-2 summaries that are required to apply.
- They’ve also set up a COVID earning code to track the amount of qualifying employee wages paid so employers can get reimbursed by the government.
- In addition, they have a system in place to manage payments of healthcare premiums for furloughed employees to maintain their benefits.
- FrankCrum can automate these wage adjustments through their payroll system, making it effortless for employers to take advantage of a relief program.
This back-end support means business owners and accounting departments can spend less time researching and applying for loans and managing confusing payroll deductions and more time on other urgent matters. And best of all, this extra support is free of charge since it’s covered by FrankCrum’s regular PEO service fees.
If you’re an employee applying for or already receiving workers’ compensation and your job is furloughed due to the coronavirus outbreak, you may qualify for partial unemployment.
How FrankCrum Can Help
- FrankCrum knows that certain types of workers and jobs are not covered by workers' compensation and can advise you on those complex matters.
- Since the rules for workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance overlap, FrankCrum has the expertise to help determine if an employee already on leave is also eligible for unemployment payments.
Utilizing Your PEO as a Resource During COVID-19
As federal and state governments issue new emergency orders and economic relief acts to address the coronavirus crisis, companies are expected to keep current in order to manage the safety of their employees while meeting their fiscal needs. FrankCrum has adjusted its real-time support to help its clients navigate these daunting and complicated issues. They have dedicated representatives to answer questions, send frequent email communications with policy updates, host webinars to provide more in-depth knowledge, and publish helpful blog posts on a continuous basis. They have even created a COVID-19 resource page on their website that offers insights to assist clients, partners, businesses, and the community. Visit the resource page to browse articles and webinars for updates and expert advice.
For all of these reasons, we’re thankful to have a partner like FrankCrum PEO! They have been the lifeboat that has helped Kuno Creative steer its ship in the right direction to weather this COVID storm.