If you watched the morning news today, you saw again that ransomware attacks are in the headlines—this time with the government and FBI warning hospitals across the nation of potential attacks to their systems.  The headlines do not show the havoc cyber criminals cause millions of main street businesses daily.
Ransomware affects organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. Experts say it is not a matter of whether a company will be hit but rather when it will happen.
Cyber-criminals really have no moral constraints about who they go after and whether they put physical or financial lives at risk. Cyber-criminals business is lucrative, and they are capitalizing on companies being distracted with the pandemic. Companies' priority is keeping their employees and customers safe and seeking ways to drive revenue and cut costs to survive, often doing all with less staff, remote teams, and the reassignment of responsibilities. One wrong click on an email or link could shut down a business's systems during this distraction. On top of everything else right now, a ransomware attack is the last thing a business needs to deal with.
This is why we have Delcie Bean of Paragus Strategic IT join us on November 18th at 10 am for a quick hour webinar to help bring you insight into this risk. Not to add something additional to your already filled plate right now but to help prevent a ransomware attack from getting added later.
The more you know about cybercrime, the better position you are in to protect your business.

SBA Releases Simpler PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

The Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Treasury released a simpler Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508S and instructions. This updated, condensed two-page application is for borrowers of $50,000 or less, and is not for use by borrowers who received PPP loans totaling $2 million or more together with their affiliates. This revised document removes a number of previously required steps. Borrowers that use SBA Form 3508S are exempt from reductions in loan forgiveness amounts based on reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, or in salaries or wages. This form also does not require borrowers to show the calculations used to determine their loan forgiveness amount.
OSHA Clarifies COVID-19 Reporting Requirements

OSHA has clarified when employers must report COVID-19 in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities.

OSHA requires employers to report in-patient hospitalizations only if the hospitalization occurs within 24 hours of an exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. The report must be submitted within 24 hours of the time the employer determines there was an in-patient hospitalization caused by a COVID-19 case. Hospitalization for diagnostic testing or observation only is not “in-patient” hospitalization.

Fatalities that occur within 30 days of an exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace. Fatality reports must be submitted within eight hours of the time the employer learns that the fatality took place and that it was due to a work-related exposure.

Employers can review their COVID-19 recording requirements on OSHA’s website. 
OSHA Eases Enforcement of Powered Air-Purifying Respirator Fit-testing

OSHA issued a temporary guidance easing enforcement of fit-testing requirements under the respiratory protection standard. OSHA is currently allowing employers to use PAPRs approved for protection by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) when N95 respirators are not available. However, before adopting the use of PAPRs, employers must determine each employee’s fitness to wear PAPRs through a medical questionnaire, a physical medical exam or both. Read more...
DOT Extends Drug and Alcohol Remote Evaluations and Requalification to Dec. 31

US Department of Transportation has extended COVID-19 drug and alcohol testing guidance to December 31.    This extension allows substance abuse professionals to perform remote "face-to-face" assessments if the technology used permits real-time two-way audio and visual communication and interaction with sufficient quality to gather all the information normally observed in-person.   The professional's state licensing must permit remote assessments/evaluations.    It also lengthens the requalification timeline for service agents to renew their qualifications credentials through the end of the year and continue to provide their services as long as they meet their requalification requirements within the extended deadlines.
Conducting Performance Reviews with Remote Employees

Performance reviews are a key communication opportunity with employees praising their contributions, identifying growth opportunities and establishing goals. Besides the inability for many to do these in person this year, considerations will need to be made for the unique challenges workers faced. Read more...
COVID-19 Symptom Screening Checklist for Employees and Guest

This checklist follows guidance from the CDC for monitoring symptoms of your employees and any guests/vendors on your property.

COVID-19 Vaccine Considerations for Employers

A vaccine for COVID-19, once approved, could present challenges for employers as they will need to navigate the inherent legal risks and logistics of mandating or encouraging employees to receive the vaccine. Employers will be encouraged to discuss it with their attorney to determine which course of action is best for their organization. Read more for a general informational overview of considerations for employers.
For all prior COVID-19 Email Communications, visit our website

For prior Toole Connect webinars, visit our website
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