Ransom Often the Smallest Cost of Ransomware

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One of the least understood cyber threats to businesses is ransomware, which hackers use to shut down an organization’s computer system until the victim pays a ransom to unlock it. While most organizations focus on the cost of the ransom, which is typically less than $1,000, the costlier damage is to the company’s operations, which can be hampered or completely shut down after their systems are rendered unusable. Ransomware is one of the fastest-growing cyber threats and attacks are expected to grow 300% in 2016 from the year prior, making it vital for your organization to have in place systems…
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Identify Your Workers’ Needs, Consider Costs before Open Enrollment

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It’s almost time for small group open enrollment and you need to drive engagement so that your employees can make informed decisions about their health insurance options. We want to help you help your employees understand all of their options so that they can purchase a plan that is appropriate for their situation. So here is our advice for the open enrollment: Listen to your workforce Before you make any decisions, you should listen to your employees and better understand their needs and preferences. With answers and feedback in hand you can create a benefits package that is more appealing…
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Why Your Employees Need Voluntary Disability Coverage

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No one plans on becoming disabled and missing work, but it can happen. An illness or an accident could cause one of your employees to be unable to work for months, or even years. While their health insurance will cover their medical expenses, it won’t cover the cost of living while they recover. Only 30% of American workers in private industry currently have access to employer-sponsored long-term disability insurance coverage, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means most workers – and their families – do not have adequate protection against one of the most significant financial risks…
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Court Ruling Lets EEOC Inspect Workplaces without Consent, Warrant

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A federal court has ruled that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has the right to conduct on-site inspections of businesses without a warrant or consent from the owner. This new development could put employers in the crosshairs of the EEOC anytime the agency deems a complaint worthy enough to visit a company’s premises over an allegation of discrimination. And legal experts predict that the agency will cite this case whenever an employer tries to refuse an EEOC request for an on-site inspection. “This decision arms the EEOC with precedent that it may conduct on-site investigations regardless of whether an…
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Finding Ways to Reduce Human Errors that Cause Workplace Accidents

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An Indiana University of Pennsylvania professor is hoping that a study he is embarking on will yield new methods for reducing workplace injuries by identifying tools to motivate and engage workers in the safety process. The study will focus on human error and the role it plays in accidents, and accident prevention. Safety sciences professor Jan Wachter believes that human error in the workplace, while not completely preventable, can be managed by better tools to motivate and engage workers in the safety process. If his study yields new ways to manage safety in the workplace successfully, he hopes the results…
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Bill Would Nearly Double Permitted HSA Contributions

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As employers shift more of the cost burden to employees, legislation in Congress would nearly double the amount workers can put into health savings accounts. Under H.R. 5445, employees enrolled in high-deductible plans and opting for single coverage could in 2017 contribute up to $6,500 to their HSAs, while those with family coverage could contribute up to $13,100. Under current law, the 2017 maximum HSA contributions are $3,400 for employees with single coverage and $6,750 for family coverage. The idea behind the measure is to let employees fund all of their out-of-pocket costs through HSA contributions. Premium costs though would…
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Tips for a Successful Company Summer Party or Picnic

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AS A SHOW of appreciation for their staff, many companies hold summer parties or picnics for their employees. They can be both morale boosters and a way for you to say thank you for their hard work and services. But sometimes the affairs, if not pulled off correctly, can create tension and stress not only for the staff organizing the parties, but also for management and employees that attend. To have a successful summer party, you may want to consider the following tips: • No mandatory fun – Try not to make it seem like another work obligation. Don’t treat…
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Final Regulations for Wellness Plans Limit Incentives at 30%

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released final regulations for employer-sponsored wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The final rules take effect at the start of 2017 and affect all wellness plans for employees and their family members, even those plans that don’t also require enrollment in a health plan. The final rules cover: • The amount and type of incentives employers can offer. • Notice requirements. • The definition of voluntary. • Protection of medical information that the plans collect. Here we look at the new rules: Incentives Under…
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Why Your Company Needs a Total Ban on Cell-phone Use

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Distracted driving from smart phone use while driving is becoming one of the leading causes of accidents in the U.S., and for the first time overall roadway deaths and injuries have started rising again despite regular advancements in car safety – a change that experts attribute to the scourge. And as if that news is not bad enough, if one of your employees while driving for you on the job injures or kills someone while using a mobile phone, your organization could face serious liabilities. This is especially true if they were either talking on the phone without a hands-free…
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If You’re Leasing a Vehicle, Put It in Your Company’s Name

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YOU’RE SUCCESSFUL at running your business and you decide it’s time for a new car. You want to take advantage of the great leasing deals many carmakers have on offer, so one weekend you enter into a lease for that vehicle. On Monday you tell your bookkeeper to add the car to your company’s business auto policy, but he tells you that the insurer can’t add the vehicle since it’s in your name. Knowing you’re going to be using this car primarily for business, you realize you’re suddenly in a bind. As a business owner or company director wanting to…
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