Yearly Archives

2017

Sexual Harassment Training: More Important than Ever

By | Harassment and Discrimination, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety

With famous individuals falling like dominoes as allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment continue, business owners should be evaluating their corporate stance on sexual harassment. One problem that confronts business owners is defining exactly what does, and doesn’t, constitute sexual harassment. Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published guidance on this issue. Following this guidance won’t necessarily protect a business from being embroiled in a lawsuit, but it will aid in their defense….

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Year-End Reporting of Company-Paid Health Insurance—and an S-Corp Reminder

By | Benefits & Insurance, Payroll, Record-keeping

As the year draws to a close, company personnel charged with record-keeping should collect their corporate health insurance information in preparation for W-2 and other tax form reporting. (MarathonHR clients should send this information to us as soon as possible.) For S-Corporations (S-Corps), this information should be segregated by payments made to employees, and their spouses and dependents (which are not wages and are therefore not subject to withholding), and payments made on behalf of…

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Employer Planning Strategies for the 2018 Healthcare Laws

By | Affordable Care Act, Benefits & Insurance, Employee Retention

With the ACA very much alive as we head towards the start of 2018, many employers may be adjusting their health insurance strategies. Applicable large employers—those with 50 or more FTEs—full time equivalent employees; a blended combination of full-time (30 hours per week) and part-time personnel—must provide “affordable” health insurance or face stiff penalties that are increasing again in 2018. For employers of fewer than 50 FTEs—small and midsized businesses (SMBs)—the mandate does not apply….

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Dealing with a Drug-Addicted Employee: Dismissal or Treatment?

By | Benefits & Insurance, Drugs in the Workplace, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety

With drug addiction rates continuing to rise—especially for prescription drugs—employers are increasingly dealing with substance-abusing employees. Statistics* indicate approximately 70 percent of drug abusers are employed—some 10 million people. Traditionally, many companies have dismissed personnel who exhibited signs of substance abuse, especially if it happened on the job. Now, the problem has become so rampant—even among trusted personnel at the highest level—that many employers are asking themselves, “Should I dismiss people with substance abuse problems,…

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Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2017—Is Your Firm Safe from Them?

By | Employment Law, OSHA Regulations, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

At the National Safety Council’s September, 2017 Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the top 10 cited violations for 2017.  As you might expect, the number one violation—fall protection—reflects the top cause of workplace injuries—falls. The next three—hazard protection, scaffolding protection and respiratory protection—also related to likely causes of workplace injuries. This list is a reminder to employers that workplace safety is a top priority, and that safety…

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Complying with Payroll Recordkeeping Requirements

By | Best Practices, Payroll, Policies and Procedures, Recordkeeping

In the past, we have written about a variety of requirements and forms, from OSHA form to payroll and other accounting documentation. Today, we’ll cover some general guidance related to payroll recordkeeping. This task isn’t easy—although the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are straightforward, other state and federal laws can be complicated and confusing. Additionally, most of them change from time to time. As with so many workplace laws, one principle overrides…

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Big Jump Predicted for Group Health Plans in 2018

By | Affordable Care Act, Benefits & Insurance, Employment News

Group health plan costs will nearly double the increase businesses experienced in 2017, according to surveys conducted by varied business advocacy groups. Plan costs are expected to rise 4.3 percent, even after plan changes and other measures to reduce costs. Without changes, the rise would be closer to 6 percent. That figure is far below the rises business owners experienced around the turn of the millennium, when they rose as much as 14 percent in…

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Employee Benefits—Managing Them for Everyone

By | Benefits & Insurance, Best Practices, Employee Retention, Hiring, Sick Leave

Employee benefits have become increasingly complicated for business owners as they struggle to address them for very different generations of workers. Baby boomers may want time off for elder care, while millennials may want extra paid vacation or flex time. Compounding the issue, workers have become increasingly willing to turn down a job offer—or even leave one company for another—to acquire the benefits package they desire. Organizations can address these concerns without negatively affecting the…

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Reasonable Accommodation—Maintain A Paper Trail, and Don’t Assume Anything

By | Best Practices, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

One of the most complex issues for employers is the definition of reasonable accommodation. Per the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, reasonable accommodation is “any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that allows an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace.” Evaluating disabled job candidates equitably is difficult enough,…

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Make Technology Work for You

By | Benefits & Insurance, Best Practices, Employee Engagement, Technology in the Workplace, Uncategorized

In our last article, we offered strategies for managing personal technology use at work. Employee use (or abuse) of technology in the workplace, while detrimental, is not the only concern for business leaders. Firms must also help workers better manage their time using technology for valid business purposes, both inside and outside the office. Here’s a bit more practical advice. Help Workers Help Themselves: Many office workers report that the volume of business email and…

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