Alabama retailers, consumers enjoy tax holiday
The state of Alabama suspended its 10% sales tax on emergency preparedness supplies last weekend, and hardware stores stocked up on fire extinguishers, flashlights, batteries, coolers, tarps and anything else that qualified, according to an article in the Anniston Star.
At Ace Hardware in Oxford, Ala., first aid kits were on display, along with carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
Even construction supplies such as plywood were on the list. Shoppers could make a single purchase of a portable generator up to $1,000, tax-free.
The tax holiday ran from Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8.
DOL announces guidance to state agencies on work sharing
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced guidance to state agencies responsible for unemployment insurance regarding short-time compensation, commonly referred to as “work sharing.”
“Work sharing is a win-win for workers and employers,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This program will provide more flexibility to workers and employers so they may more efficiently and effectively weather the ups and downs of the economy.”
Work sharing allows employees to keep their jobs and helps employers avoid laying off their trained workforces during economic downturns by reducing the hours of work for an entire group of affected workers. Workers whose hours have been cut back receive a reduced paycheck from their employers, but their pay is then augmented by state unemployment insurance.
The guidance provides detailed information about a new federal definition of short-time compensation — which includes more worker protections such as maintenance of health insurance and retirement benefits — as well as how states currently operating short-time compensation programs can transition to the new definition. The guidance also provides information to states that already have permanent short-time compensation programs on how to begin receiving 100 percent federal reimbursement of payments made by state programs.
The Labor Department will issue additional guidance to address other aspects of short-time compensation found in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, including a two-year federal initiative to enable states to quickly implement and try out short-time compensation programs; and the provision of approximately $100 million in grants to states for the implementation or improved administration of, or for promotion of and enrollment in, a short-time compensation program. The department also is developing model legislative language, to be provided in the near future, that will assist states in amending their laws so they can adopt short-time compensation programs.
Have HR-related questions and concerns? Get access to essential forms, policies and guides, plus a live call center, at ToolkitHR.com, powered by HCN and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Green hotel chain partners with carpet tile manufacturer
Adoba Eco-Hotels and Suites, a growing chain of environmentally responsible architecture and design, has designated Interface Hospitality carpet tile its floor covering of choice for the brand’s properties.
"The flooring is the first big step toward sustainable interior design, and Interface — known for the highest of sustainability standards — is the ideal partner to deliver great design,” said James Henderson, CEO and president of the Adoba brand. "We encourage our property owners to source many of the decorative accessories locally, and we recommend the use of Interface carpet tile for its green construction as well as for the company’s ability to recycle the carpet at the end of a product’s life cycle."
The first Adoba Eco Hotel was converted in February in historic downtown Rapid City, S.D. The company is working on three other properties to open in Texas and Colorado in the near future.
Interface Hospitality is a division of Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial carpet tile. The 39-year-old company has promised to eliminate any negative impact it has on the environment by the year 2020, a goal it calls “Mission Zero.”