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Important Reminders Regarding The American Rescue Plan Act

Last month, we sent out communication regarding initial information on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) after it was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11.  A couple of key items of the ARP go into effect Thursday, April 1.Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) UpdatesEffective April 1st, extensions of leave under the FFCRA are optional.Has your organization made a decision to extend or discontinue pay under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and/or Emergency Family and Med...

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An Easter Message From Achilles Group

 People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.Forgive them anyway.If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.Be kind anyway.If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.Succeed anyway.If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.Be honest and sincere anyway.What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.Create anyway.If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.Be happy anyway....

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The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) Has Been Signed, Now What?

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021.  As this is new information, there will be additional guidance from federal agencies in the coming weeks on administering parts of the Act.You may be most familiar with additional stimulus payments and the expansion of earned income and child tax credits, however there are additional provisions that businesses should be aware of.  Listed below are key highlights from the ARP Act for businesses. Families ...

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Texas Mask Mandate Update: What You Need To Know As An Employer

Governor Abbott recently lifted the mask mandate in Texas, which went into effect on Wednesday, March 10. Many employers have questions about how this affects their businesses and organizations.Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the cancelled mask mandate, with answers that should provide some insight to employers.Is the Texas mask mandate still in place?Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order (GA-34) on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increas...

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How To Address Continuing COVID-19 Employment Issues & Challenges

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, employers continue to deal with unprecedented employment challenges. More often we are hearing a concern that many employees are requesting socially distant work accommodations based on their own concerns over underlying health conditions, fear or reaction to the experience of friends or family who contracted the virus, or loved ones lost as a result.This creates a paradox we’re not well equipped to handle. How do we qualify a request to work from home or reque...

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Client Success Story: South Hampton Resources

Growing from a family-style business to a larger company with a more remote management style was challenging, so we were referred to Achilles Group for their expertise. They put us at ease right from the start by being so personable, and their flexible approach worked perfectly for us. They also have great ideas and clearly know their stuff! Not only do they understand the technical processes, but they also emphasize the people aspect of our business. They’re just really nice people to work with...

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Employee Spotlight: Shaina Schwartz

Meet Shaina Schwartz!Shaina brings energy, good humor and a wide array of skills to serve the Achilles team as a driver of multiple internal operational functions, along with direct client services work. Shaina’s internal role includes contract management, onboarding new clients, workload allocation and support for our client retention efforts. Shaina also drives HR deliverables for clients in manufacturing, construction, and professional services. As a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Sha...

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Client Success Story: Erwin Distributing Co., Inc.

Erwin Distributing Co, Inc. owns and operates Wally’s Party Factory stores. At Wally’s, we offer an extensive selection of party supplies, balloons and costumes for all of life’s celebrations. When we first heard about Achilles Group, there were only two of us handling everything from operations to accounting to legal to HR. With everything on our plates, and with over twenty-five stores spread across Texas and Oklahoma, it was challenging to adequately handle HR issues when they arose, especial...

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A Christmas Moment!

Last Christmas we shared an uplifting and heartwarming story as told by the famous radio broadcaster, Paul Harvey, The Man and the Birds, live on air over ABC Radio on Christmas Eve, 1965. This story shows why it makes perfect sense for God to come to earth, as a human, as one of us.Since then, much has happened, and in various degrees we have been covered with the dust of uncertainty, fear, stress, and deep heart ache. We all need the peace that comes with the true meaning of Christmas, and yet...

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Client Success Story: Vista Host

At Vista Host, we manage over 25 hotels in 10 states. That’s a lot of employees in many different locations! We feel that Achilles Group accomplishes our “Human Resources Heavy Lifting.” We no longer worry about making the tough decisions that surface in HR (such as a termination), because we have the ethical and knowledgeable experts from Achilles Group who will walk us through every step.If we have an issue and our Director isn’t available, we know we will still be well taken care of by the Ac...

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Employee Spotlight: David Jones

David is well-versed in all things staffing and recruiting and regularly provides clients with candidate screening and selection support. His HR career began during his service as a human resource specialist for the Army. David has a disciplined and analytical approach, and applies that focus in his work to research and address compliance challenges, and to develop HR processes. He also brings an experienced and realistic view of supervisory and people management challenges gained from his leade...

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Flu vs. COVID-19: The Differences & Similarities

Flu season is upon us once again. While in previous years it has been common to experience coughing, sneezing and sniffles during this season, this year brings added layers of stress and worry with COVID-19 concerns. How do you know if the symptoms you or an employee are experiencing can be attributed to the flu or COVID-19?While the flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses, there are some key differences, as well as similarities between the two. The following outline of flu and COVID-19 ...

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Client Success Story: Crest Management

People PerformanceWe were so busy growing our business that we didn’t take time to stop and figure out what we needed in regards to investing in and inspiring our people. We came to a point where we knew we needed to put some structure in place and the one thing that we didn’t have was job descriptions. We met with Achilles Group and they were able to get a good feel for each position, both currently and for the future. In fact, they helped us think about what should be included to provide reali...

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Employee Spotlight: Veronica Flores

Meet Veronica, our resident diversity and inclusion expert and this month's Employee Spotlight!Veronica believes in an authentic approach to human resources that helps organizations create a thriving and holistic company culture. She enjoys performance development activities and creates and presents training content for multiple clients across several industries to include technology, manufacturing, restaurants, hospitality, non-profit, social services and real estate.Veronica is a poised and en...

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Client Success Story: GMI Group

GMI Group is an expert in precision machining, product distribution, and metallurgical testing for domestic and international oilfield and industrial supply companies. Achilles Group was recommended to us when our HR functions started to become bigger than our skill set and a major HR issue arose that nobody could have foreseen. We were looking for a partner, not just a vendor, and that was something we have found with Achilles Group.Since then, Achilles Group helped us in a variety of situation...

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Client Success Story: First Presbyterian Houston

“When our HR Director left our company, they recommended that we outsource our HR needs since it was so hard to find one person to keep up with everything, and that’s when we contacted Achilles Group. While other HR firms wanted to come in and take over everything, Achilles Group had exactly the right approach, and we knew that they were exactly what we needed.”Hourly Recruiting:“Achilles Group helped us with recruiting for a critical position on our finance team. Their team posted the position,...

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The Importance of Respect in the Workplace

The year 2020 has been unlike any other. COVID-19 concerns, coupled with current social, economic, and political climates have led to tense conversations and sometimes disrespectful workplace interactions. Political views and opinions on social justice have been especially divisive.We all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, and could benefit from more respect and civility in the workplace. Studies have shown that rudeness and disrespect in the workplace can drastically diminish your...

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Employee Spotlight: Taylor Spaulding

Meet Taylor Spaulding, Achilles Group tech guru and October's Employee Spotlight!Taylor works as a Business Analyst to fuel the performance and margin objectives of Achilles Group. He adds focus and technical savvy to help the team utilize various technologies and data sources, and to enhance our ability to deliver exceptional service to our clients. Taylor also provides key support for all of us that includes report generation and management, and advancement of our team’s use of key technologie...

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Guidance on Payroll Tax Deferral Implementation

Employers and employees alike have questions regarding the payroll tax deferral recently enacted by President Trump. Below are the answers to the most common questions we've received. How is eligibility for deferral determined? Payroll tax deferral is available to employees who have wages and compensation of less than $4,000 in a given biweekly payroll period during the September 1 to December 31 deferral period, or an equivalent amount for other payroll periods. This translates to anyone making...

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FFCRA Paid Leave And The 2020-2021 School Year

The Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into effect by President Donald Trump in March of 2020. Generally speaking, the Act requires employers with fewer than 500 employees provide two different options of emergency paid leave, expanding upon the existing Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow employees who need it to care for a child whose primary childcare facility or school closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers who fall under the FFCRA qualifications must provi...

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