This week in Homebase News we cover the increasing trend of data breaches among small businesses, the correlation between health and employment, Google’s new partnership with Olo, and more. Read below to get the details on these stories and other happenings involving local businesses and hourly workers.

Study: Data Breaches Wreaking Havoc on Small Businesses 

A recent study found that data breaches are becoming a terrifying expense for small businesses, not just for consumers. 

“Twenty-one percent of small businesses reported a data breach within the last 24 months, up by 17% from two years ago. A full 41% of small businesses said they were hit by a breach that cost them more than $50,000 to recover,” according to the Bank of America Merchant Services Third Annual Small Business Spotlight

Researchers added that the continuing breach trend could threaten the survival of the average business because “30% of consumers surveyed revealed they would never return to a small business that suffered a breach, up from 20% two years ago.”

Study: Employment Conditions Impact Overall Health 

Research from the University of Washington determined that the conditions of your employment, including pay, hours, schedule flexibility and job security, have an impact on your overall health. 

Researchers looked at data collected from the General Social Survey from 2002 to 2014 and constructed a multidimensional measure of how health, mental health and on-the-job injuries were associated with employees’ quality of work among 6,000 adults in the US. The study shows that the overall pattern of work conditions is more important than any single factor such as wages. 

According to the study, technology is reshaping the nature of employment, with regular jobs giving way to gig-economy employment and flexible employer-employee relationships. Researchers added that current models are too simplistic to understand this type of modern work. 

“Employment relationships are complex. They determine everything from how much you get paid, how much control you have over your work schedule, your opportunities for advancement and how much protection you have against adverse working conditions, like harassment,” study author and UW doctoral student Trevor Peckham said. 

Google’s New Partnership Extends Impact on Restaurant Industry 

Digital food ordering platform Olo recently announced a partnership with Google that allows consumers to order food from its restaurant partners directly from Google Search, Maps, and Assistant. 

The feature has been available on Google since May, but Olo’s announcement means that customers searching for any of the 70,000 restaurants that use its platform can now order directly from Google. 

“We’re not linking you off to a third-party site, not even the restaurant’s site. We’re keeping you within the Google framework and removing steps from that ordering experience,” Olo founder/CEO Noah Glass said. “This was a natural move considering how many people start their search on Google and how many people already have their information stored through Google. Consumers have a natural trust in Google.” 

Experts: New Overtime Rule Won’t Hurt Employers 

A new rule requiring employers to pay overtime to salaried employees who make up to $35,568 per year will affect 1.3 million workers in the US according to the Department of Labor. However,  experts say many employers won’t be slammed with the change because they already prepared for the Obama-era rule that would have impacted 4.2 million workers due to its much higher salary. 

In 2016 an overtime rule that was eventually blocked by a federal judge would have set a salary threshold of $47,476. 

“The number is just so much lower,” Portland,Oregon attorney Kara Govro said. “So it’s not worrying employers or, at least, not very much.”

A survey found that in order to prepare for the 2016 change, more than half of retailers nationwide adjusted salaries and reclassified exempt workers to comply with the upcoming regulation.

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