After IRS Tweak Be Careful that You’re Complying with Affordability Test

| posted in Blog

Now that the final attempt (this year) at dismantling the Affordable Care Act came to a quiet end in the last week of September, employers need make sure that they stay on track with compliance. First and foremost is that the ACA’s employer mandate and shared responsibility provisions still stand. That includes the affordability test, to which employers need to pay special attention, as increases in premium can put some of your employees over the edge into “unaffordable” coverage territory. And this year there’s a twist that you need to be aware of. As it’s almost time for open enrollment,…
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Three Troubling Trends Affecting Workers’ Comp

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While U.S. employers are seeing fewer industrial accidents thanks to more employers putting a premium on workplace safety, some emerging trends threaten to seriously affect this trend and usher in higher workers’ comp premiums. Today, it’s not enough to just keep a safe workplace. You should have policies in place to avoid these emerging threats – and also instill them in management. Three particularly troubling trends are as follows: More workers injured in traffic accidents This is a biggie and one that’s harder for employers to manage. There has been a significant uptick in motor vehicle accidents in the last…
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Sexual Harassment Lawsuits: How to Protect Your Company

| posted in Uncategorized

By now, employers should all realize and understand that sexual harassment is illegal. However, what they might not be aware of are two 20-year-old rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court that: • Expanded what is termed sexual harassment; • Expanded the responsibility that employers have to provide a work environment that’s non-hostile; and • Did away with harassed employees having to prove that their company holds some responsibility or that their career suffered from lack of promotion, firing, demotion, or other such action. Employers are now directly responsible for employee behavior, thereby giving harassed workers more recourse in bringing about…
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Employers Seek New Ways to Reduce Health Insurance Inflation

| posted in Blog

As employers anticipate that their employee health insurance costs will rise 5.5% for the 2018 policy year, they are also planning to step up their cost management efforts in new areas, according to a new study. And despite the maelstrom in Washington over how to deal with the Affordable Care Act, 92% of employers surveyed said they are “very confident” their organization will continue to sponsor health benefits in five years, according to the “Willis Towers Watson 2017 Health Care Employer Survey.” Employers will try to contain costs by exploring new strategies like emerging health care delivery systems, and arrangements…
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New Notice Requirement for Victims of Violence

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

On July 1, a new notice requirement went into effect for California workplaces concerning the rights of victims of violence or stalking. Under the new rule, employers with 25 or more workers must provide new employees with written notice about the legal rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to take time off for medical treatment and legal proceedings. The notice spells out their rights under existing California law that they are entitled to take protected time off from work to do this, meaning you cannot take action against those employees for exercising their rights under the…
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As Competition for Talent Increases, More Employers Offer Benefits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As competition for talent heats up, more companies are not only offering higher salaries, but also boosting their employee benefit offerings, according to a new study. Nearly 33% of organizations surveyed said they had increased their overall benefits in the last 12 months, a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study found recently. The majority of benefits increases were in health insurance and wellness programs. On the flipside, only 6% of firms said they had reduced benefits, mostly citing the need to remain financially stable, whether it was due to increasing costs of benefits, economic factors or poor organizational performance….
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Pay Attention to Policy Milestones to Reduce Workers’ Comp Costs

| posted in Blog

Once they’ve paid their annual premium, many employers pay scant attention to their workers’ comp policy until the renewal date starts closing in. Unfortunately, that’s not the best time to attempt to control costs. Because workers’ comp is one of the most loss-sensitive insurance policies, and as claims can sometimes be paid out for decades, it’s incumbent on you to proactively manage claims. One way to do that is through a quarterly claims review process, the timing of which is in line with the calculation of your company’s Experience Modification Factor (X-Mod), which is the one factor you can control…
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How Management Can Demonstrate Safety Buy-In

| posted in Blog

We’ve had many articles about workplace safety and that in order for you to have a successful workplace safety program you need not only employee buy-in, but also management buy-in. If the management can show its leadership and commitment to promoting and ensuring a safe workplace, getting staff to fall in line is easier. Dr. Isabel Perry, CEO of The Safety Doctor, a workplace safety app, recently posted a blog about the 18 examples of management involvement she has observed visiting job sites and conducting workplace safety interviews, benchmarking, safety conferences and more. These are the specific examples she identified…
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Will OSHA Conduct an Inspection after an Employee Complaint?

| posted in Blog

OSHA will make inspections of a workplace for a variety of reasons, including following a worker injury and always after a worker’s death. Inspections may also occur randomly or part of a program aimed at a particular industry that OSHA has decided to target. The other way an inspection may occur – and the main focus of this article – is if an employee contacts the agency to complain about possible safety violations. These complaints may or may not result in an inspection of your workplace based on certain conditions, including the timing of the complaint. Under OSHA regulations, a…
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OSHA Pulls the Plug on Electronic Reporting Rules

| posted in Blog

Federal OSHA has suspended its much anticipated and dreaded electronic filing rules for workplace injury and illness records. The rules, put in place during the Obama Administration, would have required organizations with 250 or more employees to submit electronically information from OSHA Forms 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), and 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report). The same rules would also apply to employers with between 20 and 249 employees in certain industries, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail and transportation. A major thrust of the rules was to name and shame employers…
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