Nextep's 2021 Annual Report is here! See what we accomplished together this year.

The Government is Shut Down. Here's What it Means to You and What We're Doing About It.

Beth Dean 10.01.13
122 Woman Working And Tea

In the face of budgetary disagreements, many parts of the federal government shut down on October 1, 2013.

The implications reach beyond the 800,000 temporarily furloughed federal employees and impact private businesses and employees. Below is a list of ways your company may be affected, as well as areas where you can turn to Nextep for additional assistance during this time.

Department of Labor
The Department of Labor (DOL) and its affiliated divisions will cease or reduce operations during the government shutdown. Divisions include:

  • Wage and Hour Division (WHD), which governs the proper payment of employees
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which governs workplace safety
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), enforcing workplace anti-discrimination laws.
  • Companies are still expected to fully comply with DOL provisions, including overtime payments, safety training, and Title VII. Nextep’s Human Resources professionals are available to answer any questions or case-by-case situations that may arise for our clients.

Mail
The US Post Office is still operational, which means that any compliance notices or other items currently in the mail will continue to be delivered without interruption. There will likewise be no change or delay in payments to various vendors, benefits carriers, partners, or other parties to whom Nextep pays bills on behalf of our clients.

Unemployment
Multi-year funding for unemployment and Social Security benefits was approved in earlier bills; payments will therefore not be interrupted. Most unemployment proceedings are operated by state and local governments, which are still currently operational. Therefore, unemployment claims, responses, and hearings will continue as usual. Nextep’s HR Department will continue to respond to unemployment claims swiftly and thoroughly, and work closely with clients to prepare for any hearings, as well as instill best practices to safeguard the company.

Taxes
Though the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not available to answer questions or issue tax refunds during the government shutdown, timely tax reports and payment are still due. Nextep will continue our regular schedule of reporting and remitting all payroll and other applicable taxes on behalf of our clients.

Benefit Eligibility
Many government employees are on temporary indefinite furlough. This may potentially create a federally approved qualifying event that allows these furloughed individuals to join a spouse’s benefit plan. Please contact Nextep’s Benefits Department for further details if an employee on your company’s benefit plans is interested in adding a furloughed spouse to his or her plan, or needs to obtain coverage for him or herself due to losing coverage under a furloughed spouse’s plan.

Employee Verification
E-Verify, the online portal mandated in several states and for certain government contractors to verify an employees identity and eligibility to work in the United States, has ceased operations during the government shutdown. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released interim procedures that suspend E-Verify deadlines during the shutdown.

Employers are still required to comply with existing requirements for correctly completing the I-9 form within three days of a new employee’s first day. Nextep has released a series of advisories to assist employers in correctly completing the I-9 form and avoiding common mistakes, and Nextep’s Payroll and HR professionals are available for questions as well.

For our PEO clients, Nextep also performs verification through the Social Security Business Services Online. Currently, this online service is still operational, though customer support is not available. Nextep will continue to verify social security numbers for new hires and notify clients of any mismatches and the proper next steps.

Workplace Health
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stopped its seasonal flu outreach and will have significantly less capacity to investigate outbreaks. As flu season approaches, employers are urged to promote awareness and health in the workplace using the CDCs existing educational materials and posters. Nextep advises employers to encourage but not require the flu shot to promote a healthy workplace.

Disaster Response
While disaster preparedness programs are suspended, disaster response is still operational under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Any individuals or businesses impacted by explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other catastrophic events will still receive FEMA assistance. Nextep encourages company leaders to review and maintain a disaster preparedness and recovery plan to ensure business continuity in the face of a disaster.

Nextep will continue to closely monitor the situation and inform clients of any impact they may feel as a result. For additional questions, please contact Nextep.

Also on Nextep

We all know the importance of regular physicals and check-ups, but when was the last time you checked in on your mental health? May is Mental Health Awareness month, serving as a good reminder of how crucial a healthy mind is in the overall map of our wellbeing. This list and infographic can get you […]
Read more
If you’ve made it to this blog on leadership training, chances are you’ve spent some time with us the last couple of months as we dove into turning The Great Resignation into The Great Retention.  So far, we’ve covered flexibility, DEI, employee growth, pay, employee engagement, and benefits. While each of these is important, when […]
Read more
It’s no surprise benefits are one of the top reasons for employees staying with a company or going elsewhere. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study shows that 36% of employees leave for better benefits. Employee retention can be daunting, but we’re here to break it down! Therefore, we’re talking today about benefits. We’ll look […]
Read more
Employee engagement is a crucial piece of the recruiting and retaining top talent puzzle. When it comes to employee engagement, few people in Nextep can speak more authoritatively on the subject than our very own Director of Happiness, Tracey Hixon. To help you get started, Tracey answers some questions about how to retain employees by […]
Read more
In our employee retention series, we’ve talked about flexibility, employee growth, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Now, let’s look at another topic that has a massive impact on attracting and retaining top talent: pay! The Great Resignation and the impacts of an ongoing pandemic have long-lasting effects. As a result, employees are evaluating their […]
Read more
Now is the time for employers to carefully review any arbitration or employment agreements they have in place. On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act (HR 4445).  In cases of sexual assault or harassment in the workplace, many employers ask employees to sign arbitration […]
Read more
How often do you get the chance to expand beyond your current retention or recruiting strategies? It’s common for managers to get stuck in the daily work routine and overlook the growth opportunities their employees want. That neglect may mean a greater chance of talented employees leaving in the short run. Around 48% of employees […]
Read more
When employees can’t bring their whole self to work, they leave. Creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) workplace is imperative to increasing employee engagement and retention. Also vital: talking to your employees about it “Black and Hispanic workers are more likely than white workers to say they’re actively looking for new employment opportunities,” according […]
Read more
The Great Resignation: a term most leaders are probably tired of hearing but can’t ignore. So, instead, let’s talk about The Great Retention! We know tackling retention can be a daunting task, which is why we’re here to help you break it down and take it one step at a time.  The Great Resignation Retention […]
Read more
Finding a PEO can be a daunting task. You should feel confident in your partnership with Nextep or any PEO for that matter. To ensure you do, we’ve put together a short checklist of questions to ask in your meetings with PEOs.  1. What accreditations and certifications do you hold?  A few credentials you’ll want […]
Read more
(JANUARY 13, 2022) UPDATE: The Supreme Court halted OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (or ETS) to enforce COVID-19 vaccination statuses for employees. While there’s a chance new OSHA guidance could emerge at some point, you can disregard the previously announced vaccination mandate deadlines. As always, we’ll keep you in the loop if new legislation emerges. If you […]
Read more
It’s important to know about upcoming changes to tax laws for businesses. Prepare your company’s budget with this cheat sheet! 2022 Tax Update Breakdown Social Security wage base First $147,00 of wages in 2022 FICA – Social Security (OASDI) 6.2%, up to the wage base FICA – Medicare 1.45% up to $200,000, then 2.35% (The […]
Read more

Download Our App