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How Will the SCOTUS Same Sex Marriage Decision Change Insurance Benefits for Small Businesses?

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court’s historic ruling giving same sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states carries with it some significant ramifications in terms of insurance benefits. Some businesses have already made the decision to drop domestic partner benefits for same sex couples, while others have made the decision to keep both marriage and domestic partner benefits in place. As small businesses consider their coverage options, there are several factors that should affect the final decision:

  • Do you currently offer domestic partner benefits to opposite sex couples?

    Some companies already offered domestic partner benefits to both same sex and opposite sex couples. These businesses will likely not alter their current policies, since the offerings were not based on ability or inability to marry. If you offer domestic partner benefits only to same sex couples because they previously did not have the same opportunity to marry, you may be among the numerous companies—including Verizon and IBM—that will rescind domestic partner benefits altogether in favor of marriage benefits for both same sex and opposite sex couples. Either way, make sure your policies apply equally to all employees.

  • Will your current employees lose their benefits if you make a policy shift?

    It’s important to consider the history of your current employees before you make a policy change. For example, if you have an employee who has been on your payroll for 20 years and who receives domestic partner benefits for his or her same sex partner, you should seriously consider how a potential policy change will affect that employee. This is especially true for small businesses that have loyal employees who could be negatively affected by a change in benefits.

  • Do you plan to give notice and a compliance grace period if you will be eliminating domestic partner benefits?

    If you do plan to require same sex employees to marry in order to receive benefits for existing partners, it’s essential that you provide plenty of notice and that you give a grace period for compliance. This period could be anywhere from six months to 2 years, but your employee morale will most likely benefit the most from a longer grace period.

  • Have you considered the possibility of discrimination claims?

    Whatever choice you make, it’s important to institute equal requirements and benefits for both same sex and opposite sex couples. For example, while not all self-insured plans require that businesses offer spousal coverage to both same sex and opposite sex couples, failing to do so could result in a discrimination claim. If you keep domestic partnership coverage in place for same sex couples but don’t extend those benefits to unmarried opposite sex partners, you could legitimately face a claim of reverse discrimination. Decisions like these could also inadvertently make a statement about your company’s values, which could have far-reaching ramifications down the road.

  • Will your coverage options attract all available talent?

    Bear in mind that if you choose not to offer domestic partner benefits, you could be placing limits on the talent you have access to. By including both marriage and domestic partnership coverage options in your plan, you make your business attractive to a portion of the workforce that might otherwise seek a job elsewhere in order to get the coverage they are looking for.

Changes to existing law often create compliancy questions as you seek to maintain a diverse work environment that benefits all employees equally. As you comb through the ramifications of the SCOTUS decision on marriage, a PEO can help you identify potential problem areas in your current policy and identify changes that can be made to bring those areas into compliance.

Dealing with a Competent but Decidedly Negative Employee

Negative employeeEvery company has them – employees who have been passed over for promotion or have even been demoted. Though competent in their current position, they have been found wanting for further advancement. In their own minds, however, a disservice has been done to them and they may not be shy about making the claim. For better or worse, they do not have a legitimate grievance and must be made to understand this reality. Here is how to do it tactfully and, more importantly, legally:

1. Have a Peremptory Sit Down – The first step is to simply identify the issue with the troubled employee as soon as possible. In many cases, they may not even realize that they are causing a problem. Some employees will continually criticize management for no apparent reason other than that their feelings are hurt. Not only is this bad for their own career but it actually harms any of their fellow coworkers who fall into the trap of emulating the behavior. This situation should not be tolerated and should be addressed without delay. Start by...

2. Illuminate Better Options – Poorer managers will simply issue an edict that the behavior must stop. While we understand this strategy, salvaging an otherwise valuable employee requires a little more effort. Providing an alternative for the employee to vent their dissatisfaction and frustration can lead to much better results. In particular, you can be a sounding board. That is, you must be willing to listen to their grievances and even be compassionate in the process. Still, giving the employee this option isn’t an “out.” Make clear that their behavior is unacceptable and will have negative consequences up to and including termination. Then...

3. Follow Up On a Regular Basis – Coaching sessions are valuable and can have an impact on certain employees. Still, it is essential to monitor the situation and follow up with the employee. Hopefully, things will go well and the employee recognizes the error of their ways. If not, you will have to take the next logical step – a written warning. In many cases, this may be the “straw that breaks the camel's back” with an employee quitting on the spot. Stay calm and...

4. Document Everything – Do not fool yourself – any employee willing to vent their frustration while still employed by a company will not hesitate to instigate a lawsuit if they are terminated. Do everything by the book, have a disinterested third-party present for any coaching sessions and make sure that all the appropriate paperwork is in order. The sad fact is that this type of situation is not usually ended in an amicable manner and you will have to defend your decision when you...

5. Terminate (without Prejudice) – This phrase may be an overused movie cliché but it absolutely applies in this situation. If the employee does not want to listen to reason, you have no choice – no choice! - but to let them go. It does not matter how long they have been with the company nor how valuable their past services have been – just be rid of them. It may be painful in the immediate sense but you, your company and most importantly, the rest of your employees will be far better off for the loss.

6. Finally, have no Second Thoughts – It is never fun to lose a good employee. Nevertheless, a manager must not lose sight of the overall goal. Some immediate pain must be endured for the overarching benefit of the employees and the company. For this reason, it is often best to use a professional employer organization (PEO) to deal with these types of situations. These companies – expert in all facets of human capital management issues – offer a singularly objective view on any employee – good or bad.

To find the best PEO fit for your company, try our free PEO Matching Tool to narrow your search.   

3 New “needs to know” about recent rules & regulations

What_you_need_to_knowCourts love to remind businesses that they have “needs to know” and a need to know what they “reasonably should have known.” There is just no way to get around the liability. Recent rulings and changes in regulation drive this liability home with at least three new “needs to know.”

Department of Labor on overtime:

The DOL last updated overtime regulations in 2004. Beginning in 2016, the new regulations will require periodic adjustments to calculating overtime on a continuing basis. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) remains open to review and unclear about the effective date(s) of changes.

The rules direct employers of salaried employees currently classified by the employer as “exempt” because of their administrative, executive, professional, outside sales, or computer employee duties. What job description duties will identify those as “exempt” remain to be determined.

The salary threshold that partly determines employee eligibility will rise from $23,660/year to $50,440/year. (That is also a move from $455/week to $970/week.) That change opens the overtime door to millions more workers a year. (White House.gov claims 4,680,000 affected workers based on 2011-2013 pooled date.) More than half the affected workers will be women and/or over age 35.

Those previously exempted as “highly compensated” employees at $100,000/year will see their threshold increased to $122,148. An increasing number of well-placed employees make this kind of money without having managerial or executive exclusion.

Employers will need to know or should have known what employees are eligible for overtime or not. And, it would not be prudent to redefine those duties after the implementation of the new regulations. What your PEO knows is the timing, the coding, and all the intricacies in calculations, reporting, and compliance.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration on investigations:

One way OSHA addresses being short-staffed is to push its investigations down the ladder. Of the almost 5,500 claims filed with OSHA since January 1, the agency has shared the responsibility on 46 percent of them with the employer of origin.

For starters, the employer must report within 24 hours any injury requiring hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. This “rapid-response” strategy presses the employer to launch its internal investigation promptly in advance of OSHA’s subsequent call.

This quick response mechanism lets OSHA offer advice on required action and investigatory paths it will want to see. OSHA is clear that it is looking for employers who blame incident victims, who are ignorant of high-risk hazards, and who have missed patterns of injuries. With increased data, the agency hopes employers can make better-informed decisions.

In short, OSHA is tightening its regulation of those employers who claim not to know what they should have known about risk hazards and management. What your PEO knows is exactly what OSHA wants and when they need it.

8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on FMLA:

Sending a clear message that employers cannot hide among the complexities of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the 8th Circuit Court ruled on interference and related discrimination. A well-known large employer had a policy requiring employees to report any unplanned absence in a personal call to their direct supervisor.

An employee took off a few days needing to see a doctor. His girlfriend, who also worked for that employer, personally told his supervisor that he was ill and would miss a few days. And, the employee sent a text message to the supervisor reporting his absence and need to see a doctor. The employee was absent for 11 days and returned with a written doctor’s excuse. He was terminated for failing to directly notify his supervisor for five specific days of the absence.

The Court of Appeals pointed to a number of inconsistencies of fact in the employer’s defense.  But, the essence of the decision told this employer and any employer - considering similar disciplinary action – to have facts and rationale straight. Leaving termination decisions to the bottom of the organizational ladder puts all stakeholders in jeopardy. So, there is no hiding behind rules that require a specific notice that conflicts with the intent of the FMLA policy. Your PEO knows all there is to know about FMLA and has all the data and resources to relieve you of the judgement calls and execution.

Now, all these new “needs to know” have a data aspect. Each needs some current and future thinking about how your Human Resources information interface serves your employee and employer interests. And, in each case, your PEO has the advantage. Let them deal with your Human Resources “needs to know” while you focus on your core business decisions – in construction, hospitality, healthcare, landscaping, retail, or any other industry.  

When Wellness Programs and the EEOC butt heads

wellness_program2Employer-sponsored Wellness Programs have gained traction despite the uncertainty in the future of group medical benefits. According to its important study for Kaiser, RAND research determined:
  • 50% of organizations with 50 or more employees have Wellness Programs.
  • 36% of businesses with more than 200 workers have them.
  • 18% of organizations over all have programs.
  • 51% of companies with 200+ employees offer incentives to complete health risk assessments.
But, what’s an employer to do when Wellness Programs and the EEOC butt heads?

The premise

Legacy wellness programs offered a 10% discount at the local health club franchise. Other good intentions managed the nutrition in vending machines, hosted diet exercise class, or reimbursed employees part of the cost of smoking cessation sessions.
But, Wellness Programs – now a six-billion dollar industry – attract employers as “inexpensive ways to reduce health care costs and help improve employees’ health” (nytimes.com: 2014). However, RAND concludes there has not been a large enough database studied long enough to determine cost or health effectiveness.

The idea remains sound: by encouraging employees to account for their own wellness, employers can pass part of higher healthcare costs onto employees who fail to participate or to meet certain wellness metrics. Offering rewards – including financial incentives – for participation make sense and engages workers who are already wellness aware.

The problem

The Affordable Care Act likes the idea enough to approve Wellness Programs in principle and to offer guidelines for acceptable incentives. (Department of Labor Fact Sheet) But, human self-interest and federal bureaucracy butt heads here. You see there is a risk that some will perceive a financial interest in staying well as a penalty for those who resist participating, who are not as fit as others, or who are physically limited from participation.

The DOL has ruled:

  • There must be a reasonableness standard. Employees must have a reasonable chance of improving their health or preventing disease without finding it overly burdensome.
  • Employers must offer alternative means of qualifying for the rewards to employees whose medical problems make participation and competition unreasonably difficult or for whom the benchmarks are not medically advisable. 
  • Employers must provide clear notice of the opportunity to qualify for the rewards in some other way

The bad news

Nothing goes simply with all things federal. In its first lawsuit involving the wellness program concept (08/20/2014), the EEOC asserted its concern that employer-sponsored Wellness Programs can conflict with the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

According to Allen Smith of SHRM, the EEOC claims that a Wisconsin manufacturer “made its wellness program unlawfully involuntary by imposing steep penalties for not participating.” Specifically, when the employee declined to participate, the employer shifted 100% of the medical premium to the employee. Firing her soon thereafter, the EEOC charged, the company “violated the ADA with its exams and questions . . . calling her termination unlawful retaliation.”

In a second lawsuit announced (10/01/2014), the EEOC claimed another Wisconsin manufacturer “unlawfully threatened insurance cancellation and discipline if an employee did not submit to medical testing and assessment in connection with a wellness program.” The lawsuit asserts the required testing and assessments “constituted disability-related inquiries and medical examinations that were not job-related and consistent with business necessity as defined by the ADA.”

The efficacy of the lawsuits awaits determination, but they throw a wrench in the engine of Wellness Programs. The EEOC insists that this is a question of plans being actually voluntary. Pragmatically speaking, the first suit seems a gross misunderstanding of the law’s intent, and the second reflects the best corporate intentions gone awry of unclear and unestablished regulation.

The good news

Such complications make it all the harder for small to mid-size employers to create and promote Wellness Programs. Compliance always comes with considerable expense. But, there are enough cost benefits to sustain the interest of executive leadership.

What’s an employer to do when Wellness Programs and the EEOC butt heads? The situation offers another advantage to co-employment with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). The PEO can deliver quality Wellness Programs at volume-discounted costs and still assure compliance with all current and evolving related issues. The PEO relationship does not facilitate or justify discrimination and may be better prepared to manage a true employee benefit.

Our Providers Answer Your PEO Questions

QAIf you are considering the possibility of outsourcing your human resources department to a PEO, you know that it can be overwhelming to research the various offerings available to you. Choosing a PEO is a big step for your business, and we want to help you find the best provider for your company so that you can develop a positive, long-term relationship.

In order to help you research and gather the information you need to make the right decision for your business, we put together a list of common questions and concerns that we consistently receive from our site visitors as they consider their options.

We then interviewed our PEO providers to get answers to these questions:

1.    Are you able to provide me with more affordable health insurance than I can find on my own?

2.    Can I customize my benefit packages?

3.    What does it take to get an employee up and running on your service? How does your onboarding process work?

4.    You talk about the employee self-service offering. How does this benefit my employees and my business?

5.    How much interaction is there between the PEO and my employees? How and where does the interaction take place?

6.    If my employees have an issue, who can they talk to?  Do they contact the PEO directly or does everything have to go through me?

7.    How much liability goes to the PEO vs. the business owner if there is a legal action against the company (sexual harassment, wrongful termination, etc.)? How much assistance does the PEO provide in settling these disputes and at what cost to me?

8.    Does the PEO have an in-house lawyer that I have access to for consultations? Is there an additional fee for this?

9.    Who handles state unemployment taxes and claims? Do I have to do anything, and what is the extent of my involvement?

10.    Will I lose control of certain aspects of my business if I go with a PEO? What specifically can I not do, or will I need PEO approval to do, once I sign up?

11.    What, if anything, is the PEO able to do without my consent?

12.    What kind of training and development offerings do you offer? In what areas are they available and is it offered online, onsite, or in a classroom?

13.    How do you assure me you have remitted my state and federal taxes?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting the Q&A sessions we had with each of our providers. Our goal is to help make your decision less complicated by giving you clear answers from those in the industry about how partnering with a PEO will affect your current business practice.

See links below to directly access these in-depth discussions as we post them.

Oasis Q&A

TriNet Q&A

Group Management Services Q&A

Xcel HR Q&A

Employers Resource Q&A


My Back Office Q&A

Optimum Employer Solutions Q&A 

Staff One Q&A

FrankCrum Q&A



IRS Updates HSA Contribution Limits for 2016

HSAThis month the IRS announced changes to health savings account (HSA) contribution limits as well as limits on high-deductible health plan (HDHP) minimum deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket amounts. The changes reflect inflation expectations and cost of living adjustments.

Summary of New Limits

New limits show moderate increases in the contribution limits for families as well as for HDHP out-of-pocket amounts. Increases stipulated by Revenue Procedure 15-30 are as follows:

  • HSA Family Contribution: $6,750 ($100 increase)
  • HDHP Individual Out-of-Pocket Amount: $6,550 ($100 increase)
  • HDHP Family Out-of-Pocket Amount: $13,100 ($200 increase)

Individual HSA contributions, HSA catch-up contributions, and HDHP minimum deductibles reflected no change in the new procedure.

High-Deductible Health Plan ACA Limits vs IRS Limits

HDHP limits under the Affordable Care Act differ from those stipulated by the IRS based on different indexing methods for expected inflation increases. For this reason, the ACA limits are higher than those stated by the IRS:

  • Individual out-of-pocket HDHP limit: $6,850
  • Family out-of-pocket HDHP limit: $13,700

Despite higher limits under the ACA guidelines, the IRS limits will still be used for tax purposes in determining whether or not the HDHP is compliant.

How HSA Contributions Look Across the Nation

Over time, healthcare premiums have increased, causing many employers to reduce the contributions they make toward a health savings account deductible in order to cover the premium. Contributions vary based on a number of factors, including:

  • Employer Size: Smaller employers (fewer than 50 employees) typically contribute more than larger employers do. These larger contributions may be attributed to the fact that small employer health plans usually require higher deductibles than those available to a larger group.
  • Region: California and the New England states generally offer the highest contributions and most generous health care plans, while South Central states offer the lowest contributions. Areas with generous contributions also see greater participation in HDHP programs.
  • Industry: Industries that cater to a demographic group that places low value on benefits (such as construction or oil extraction) tend to see lower contributions, while industries that substitute salary for benefits and employ more employees with families tend to offer higher contributions.

Overall, current trends show a decrease in employer contributions to HSA plans. Contributions may be influenced by premium increases, maximum out-of-pocket amount changes, and availability of other health plan options. However, these plans are becoming more popular due to their cost savings potential.

Top 10 Questions Asked About Using a PEO

Human_ResourcesHiring a PEO is a big step for your business, and you undoubtedly have questions about how your daily operations and responsibilities will change. In this post, we answer ten of the most commonly asked questions from our clients about how the PEO works and what that means for your business.

1. Can a PEO provide me with better health coverage than I can find on my own? 

Yes. Because PEOs work with large numbers of people, they have more buying power and can usually get better group rates. They may also have unique programs for health insurance that offer better solutions than a small employer can provide individually. Rates may vary based on specific circumstances, but in general, a PEO can provide better coverage and benefits options. They can also help you customize your benefits package to include dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings accounts, college funds, and other options.

2. What does the onboarding process for a new employee look like?

The PEO will help you get each employee enrolled in the new system using either face-to-face interviews or electronic onboarding. Most PEOs will provide handbooks outlining the employee’s options and procedures for interacting with the PEO. A PEO can also help you with recruiting, job descriptions, and job applications when you need to fill positions on your current payroll.

3. How do employees interact with the PEO?

Most PEOs will give the employer the option of whether employees have direct contact with the PEO or whether they go through a company representative. If desired, the client can have a liaison on-site to interact with employees. The PEO may also take a “train the trainer” approach, in which employees go to their managers with questions and needs.

Other interaction opportunities include a website where employees can view pay statements and benefits, a service center to answer employee questions by phone, training seminars regarding safety, benefits, or compliance, and notifications by mail. The client company usually has plenty of flexibility in determining how much direct interaction employees have with the PEO.

4. How much liability goes to the PEO vs. the business owner if there is a legal action against the company (sexual harassment, wrongful termination, etc.)?

The PEO provides liability insurance that will cover the business up to a specified amount for various types of claims. The client will usually be responsible for a portion of the claim, and this amount may vary based on the type of claim incurred. The insurance policy is designed to ensure that a lawsuit doesn’t cripple the business.

5. How much assistance does the PEO provide in settling these disputes and at what cost to me?

The PEO may retain legal counsel to help resolve legal claims. The cost of this counsel and of any HR tools designed to minimize risk will be included in the PEO’s fee. If the claim is tried in civil court, additional fees may apply.

6. Who handles state unemployment taxes and claims? Do I have to do anything, and what is the extent of my involvement?

The PEO handles state unemployment taxes and claims. The business owner may need to provide necessary data and will also be responsible for any claims filed by employees not on the PEO payroll (such as those handled before the client hired the PEO).

7. Will I lose control of certain aspects of my business if I hire a PEO?

The PEO will assume responsibility for administrative tasks, payroll, safety compliance, risk management, and benefits administration. This frees the business owner up to manage the operation and growth of the business. If desired, the PEO can also help with recruiting and hiring on an as needed basis. In these cases, the PEO handles pre-screening of candidates and initial phone interviews, but the client retains power over hiring decisions.

8. PEOs are responsible for paying payroll taxes for their clients. How can I be assured the PEO will properly remit my state and federal taxes?

As part of the process in vetting a PEO for your company, you have the option to ask them to present you with a letter from a certified CPA showing proof of timely tax payments. This will be more credible if the CPA is not “in house.” You are also within reason to ask for quarterly financial statements as proof of tax payments. Many PEOs are certified by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), which imposes standards for financial and operational compliance. The ESAC also provides quarterly reports, including verification of accurate payments.

In addition, the PEO may have an insurance policy for financial protection and should provide documentation of tax payments. As you research and compare PEO offerings, be sure to ask about each company’s verification and accreditation process.

9. What types of training will the PEO offer?

Most PEOs offer numerous training classes, some as many as 300 or 400. These classes cover a wide variety of topics including sales development, managerial training, blue collar courses, safety courses, sexual harassment, diversity training, worker’s compensation, compliance information, and much more. The client can usually choose whether to conduct the class online or have a live representative come and teach on site. Online classes can be scheduled immediately, while those requiring a live teacher will need to be scheduled in advance.

10. Can the PEO do anything without client consent?

No. All actions taken by the PEO are stipulated in the agreement. The PEO cannot make decisions for your business or implement changes without your consent.

As you research PEOs, keep track of the various benefits, services, and opportunities each one provides. You can easily narrow down your search using our PEO Matching Tool. This ‘go to’ list will help you choose the provider that can best meet the specific needs of your business.


5 Ways to Leverage the Power of Social Media for Hiring

social_media_recruiting.Social media isn’t the new kid on the block anymore. Almost everyone has a Facebook account, and LinkedIn has become a standard networking tool in most industries. While most businesses now have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, many don’t utilize these tools to their greatest potential, especially when it comes to recruiting and hiring. Social media outlets offer excellent opportunities for referrals and networking opportunities, but in order to gain the most benefit, businesses should be active in multiple ways.

How to Maximize Your Social Media Hiring Potential

In order to find the people you’re looking for, you need to go where they are. While 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, only 36% of job seekers are. That doesn’t mean LinkedIn isn’t useful, but it does mean that it should be one of several tools in your social media toolkit. Let’s take a look at five ways you can put social media to work for your hiring process:

  • Publish Job Openings

    Not only should your jobs be accessible on sites like CareerBuilder, Glass Door, and Indeed, but you should also post them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. According to Jobvite, 76% of the people who used social media to search for a job found the position they now hold using Facebook. Facebook and Twitter make it easy to share positions with job-seeking friends, and those word-of-mouth referrals are more likely to complete the hiring process faster and stick around longer.

  • Network With Industry Insiders

    Most business professionals use LinkedIn to network with others in the field and find potential job candidates. If you don’t maintain an active presence on LinkedIn, now is the time to flesh out your profile, join groups, and establish your name in your industry. When the time comes to hire, you’ll already know which people can point you toward the best candidates.

  • Generate Referrals

    Employee referrals are some of the most effective recruiting resources you have at your disposal. You can join the strength of your employee referral program with a robust social media presence to reach people who will be a good fit for your business.

  • Reach Out to Passive Candidates

    Passive candidates are people who aren’t currently looking for a new position, but would be open to the right offer. Three-quarters of currently employed individuals fall into the passive category, and only 15% say they would not be open to a job change. Social media is a great way to reach out to the other 60%, especially if you find someone with the right blend of technical qualifications and soft skills.

  • Conduct Background Checks

    Social media offers excellent opportunities for learning about the social lives of potential candidates. Social profiles and posts can either highlight red flags or underscore a candidate’s suitability for the position.

Social Media as Part of a Robust Recruiting Strategy

Word of mouth referrals and social media contacts certainly offer numerous opportunities for recruiters to connect with potential job candidates. However, they are best utilized as part of a comprehensive recruiting strategy in order to correct for any potential bias within the targeted population. In order to maintain a diverse, equal-opportunity workforce, companies should utilize the power of social media while also establishing robust diversity recruiting strategies that make available positions equally visible to all members of the workforce.


What Does the Affordable Care Act Mean for Your Business?

Affordable Care ActMarch 23rd marked the fifth anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Designed to make health care insurance available to more people, the ACA brought with it a host of new regulations and compliance concerns for businesses. As provisions of the bill begin taking effect, companies need to know exactly what the law will require of them and how they can prepare for the changes.

The Big Picture

 On January 1, 2015, businesses employing more than 100 full-time employees were required to begin offering affordable health care options or face a penalty. Businesses employing 50-100 workers will need to offer coverage beginning in 2016. Compliance with all of the provisions of the law will mean answering questions about many elements of day-to-day business, such as:

  • How many full-time employees are on your payroll? The ACA considers a full-time employee to be someone who works thirty hours or more.
  • Will any of your employee benefits be affected by the Cadillac tax? The Cadillac tax applies to situations in which the employee health benefit exceeds specified statutory dollar limitations. Coverage that exceeds this limitation will be subject to a 40% excise tax.
  • Do you utilize the services of any temporary workers for which you will be responsible? The ACA considers short-term temporary workers to be employees of the staffing agency through which they obtained the assignment. However, long-term contingent workers may be considered employees of your business; as such, they would count toward your full-time workers total.
  • Are you prepared for employer reporting responsibilities? Employers will be required to fill out new forms using indicator codes to demonstrate both availability of coverage and affordability of coverage. Accurate submission will require a clear understanding of the needed forms and associated codes.

Why Hiring a PEO May Be the Best Move for Your Business

As the Affordable Care Act takes effect, many businesses may benefit from the services of a professional employer organization (PEO). One responsibility of the PEO is to handle compliance and regulatory issues. As the ACA brings significant shifts in how employee health coverage must be handled, a PEO can help you:

  • Navigate the changes necessitated by the law. Failure to comply means hefty penalties for your business, even if the mistake was unintentional. A PEO will ensure that your business remains compliant as the law unfolds.
  • Reduce health insurance rates. Because the PEO has a large pool of employees under its umbrella, the organization will often qualify for better rates than you could get as an individual business.
  • Handle administrative issues associated with coverage. Health insurance administration can be complex and time-consuming. Small business owners can shift that responsibility onto the shoulders of the PEO, freeing them up to focus on core business tasks.

 We still do not know all of the ramifications that the Affordable Care Act will have on small businesses. As the law unfolds over time, a PEO can help your company remain compliant with the law, while giving you the freedom to run your business successfully.

A Lesson in Smart Business Management from the Masters Golf Tournament

golf tournamentAnyone who watched Jordan Speith completely dominate the Masters tournament – one of golf's four majors – this past weekend could not help but be impressed by his mastery of “course management.” He is not the longest of hitters nor the best putter within 25 feet but he does set himself up for success at every opportunity by understanding his environment.

The same can be said of many successful business people. They don't always hit the hole-in-ones but they are slow and steady in their rise to success. Still - and this action demonstrates Mr. Speith's true mental acuity - despite his magnificent course management skills, he turned to the experts when he needed that little extra boost.

Though he tied for second at the Masters last year – Jordan did not rest on his laurels. Instead, he asked the experts,  two-time Master's champion, Ben Crenshaw, and “Gentle Ben's” lifelong caddy at Augusta, Carl Jackson – to help him master some of the more esoteric intricacies of the course and look at the result... a green jacket the very next year!

Business owners should recognize the brilliance of this decision and find the expertise they need to turn their modestly successful businesses into a world class one. Nowhere is this advice more valuable than when it comes to a business's most valuable assets – its employees, and nowhere can a business leverage this asset better than utilizing a professional employer organization. (PEO)

PEOs are experts at sourcing, recruiting and then maintaining a superior core of employees for any business. They can handle everything in the realm of human resource management from the routine – payroll and benefits administration – through training and resource allocation, all the way through termination and compliance.

Most importantly, a PEO can leave a business owner and his executive staff free from the mundane – but important! -  everyday tasks of running a business and allow them to focus on the really important goal of growing it.

To find the best PEO for your organization try our free PEO Matching Tool. We feature many PEOs that focus on various industries, sizes and locations to best meet your unique needs.

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Testimonials! The finest folks on the web have used PEOcompare to guide them in their PEO selection.

"I found PEOcompare and could use their services matching tool as a guideline, choosing wisely what services we wanted for our company. Quickly we received responses from some PEO Companies and selected MyBackOffice within a week. It has been a great relationship and great fit for our business. I would have never found MyBackOffice, so if you need a PEO that is a fit for your business, I suggest  PEOcompare.com."

Jack Trompert, President
Talent 101

"PEOcompare narrowed my search, saving me time & reducing my amount of research.  I had limited staff and a limited budget, I needed a PEO company that could fit my needs. PEOcompare provided a free, easy to use tool with an automated PEO scoring framework that let me control the process.  I chose the companies I wanted information from."

Todd Girard, Owner
Trinity Optical