Mandatory Employer Sign-ups for CalSavers Have Begun

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

If your company does not offer its staff a 401(k) plan, you need to be aware of deadlines for registering your employees in the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program. The program is designed to help California workers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan start socking away money for their retirement. Employers with five or more workers are required to give their employees access to the CalSavers program, which was launched in 2019. CalSavers deadlines Deadlines for when employers have to adopt the program depends on their size: Businesses with more than 100 employees: Sept. 30, 2020 Businesses…
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New Law AB 2257 Adds Independent Contractor Exemptions

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

A new law has come to the rescue of a number of freelance professions by exempting them from the onerous requirements of AB 5, which required most independent contractors to be classified as employees in California. Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 1 signed AB 2257 as an urgency measure, so that it took effect immediately after it passed unanimously in both houses of the state Legislature. If you remember, AB 5 set a new standard for hiring independent contractors, requiring many to be reclassified as employees covered by minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance. It created a…
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Cal/OSHA Conducts COVID-19 Sweeps, Proposes Huge Fines

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Cal/OSHA COVID-19 inspections and subsequent fines have caught some employers off guard. The agency has been conducting sweeps of employers in California to root out those who are not protecting their workers from COVID-19 exposure. Cal/OSHA has targeted companies in industries that have a heightened risk of exposure to the coronavirus, which resulted in 11 citations being issued. While Cal/OSHA has been inspecting facilities since April for COVID-19-related infractions, the recent sweeps are part of a new targeted and ongoing enforcement effort that California employers should be aware of. Cal/OSHA COVID-19 inspections & fines issued For an example of what’s at…
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Seven Tips for Prepping Your Home for Autumn

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the temperature starts dropping and harsher weather looms in the coming months, now is the time to get your home ready. Taking steps now to protect your home and belongings can help you enter the new season worry-free, and you might save money in the process. We’ve compiled our top seven tips for prepping your home for Autumn. Prepping Your Home For Fall: Clean your furnace and switch out filters Check your furnace for soot, ignition problems, pilot-light health and the state of other components to make your home ready for fall. You should also clean up dust and…
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Workers Choose Employee Benefits And Perks Over Salary Hikes

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Great employee benefits and perks packages can help attract top-notch talent, maintain employee morale and improve overall engagement and satisfaction with a company. The coronavirus pandemic has made perks and benefits even more important, particularly in light of so many workers feeling burned out, stressed from working at home or feeling isolated due to closures and shelter-at-home orders. Recently, retailer Staples surveyed 1,549 employees across the U.S. about their preferences for work perks, asking them to rate how various benefits affected their motivation and if they preferred perks over higher salaries ― and which benefits were most important to them when…
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Raft of Bills Would Add New Coronavirus Measures

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The California Legislature is working on a number of new measures to protect workers in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures take aim at “holes” in the system that may leave employees who contract the coronavirus on the job without workers’ compensation benefits, footing higher utility bills because of working at home and needing sick leave time available to them should they contract the disease. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would work closely with legislators to help the measures become law. Below we look at the legislative moves that have gained the most traction and are supported by…
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Protect Your Business from Being Hacked by Employees

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While hacking by outsiders is posing a larger and more significant threat to companies of all sizes, the threat of insider jobs – particularly being hacked by employees or disgruntled former employees – is often a bigger one. These attacks, carried out with malicious intent to hamstring a company’s operations, can cause serious problems. Recent Examples A former employee of Spellman High Voltage Electronics Corp. is facing charges after employees began reporting that they were unable to process routine transactions and were receiving error messages after he resigned, due to allegedly being passed over for a promotion.The mayhem cost his…
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Preparing for Open Enrollment during Pandemic

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

With the coronavirus showing no signs of slowing, health insurance is likely top of mind for your employees. Many of them will be anxious and it’s likely that they will be more engaged and interested in understanding whether their current coverage is sufficient should they be stricken by the virus. Not only that but due to social distancing and with many employees working remotely, employers will need to adjust their open enrollment procedures to make sure they are safe, efficient and a success for both them and their employees. This year in particular, it’s important that you use a multi-pronged…
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Trump Issues Executive Orders to Reduce Drug Costs

| posted in Uncategorized

President Trump has issued executive orders aimed at reducing the cost of medications by tying Medicare payment for outpatient drugs to international prices, passing drug-maker rebates to patients and not middlemen, and allowing individuals to import prescription medications. Another executive order aims to force community health centers that receive $340B drug discounts to pass discounts for insulin and injectable epinephrine on to patients. Executive Orders to Reduce Drug Costs Drug importation The Executive Order on Increasing Drug Importation to Lower Prices for American Patients calls for new regulations that would: Allow individual state health plans to import certain drugs. Authorize the reimportation…
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What Insurers, Employers Expect for Group Health Plan Rates in COVID-19 Aftermath

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

A study has come out predicting that COVID-19, as devastating as it has been, will have little effect on 2021 group health plan rates, as well as offerings. The study, by eHealth Inc., also found that many insurers have increased utilization of telemedicine and that many of them are extending benefits related to coronavirus testing and treatment. Here are the main points of the study: Waiving COVID-19 testing costs ― 97% of insurer respondents say they are waiving out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus testing. Waiving treatment costs ― 58% of the insurers say they’re waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment. Among insurers who…
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