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Small Business Health Insurance Trends 2020

by Tim AustinOctober 31, 2019 8:13 AM

Changes in healthcare are prompting many small business owners to rethink the role of employee benefits like health insurance at their companies. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, health insurance premiums are expected to rise by 6 percent in 2020, which can weigh heavily on your bottom line. Below, we explored some of the top health insurance trends that will impact small businesses and how you can adapt in the ever-changing benefits landscape.

 Small business health insurance is changing in 2019.

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Benefits

What the Updates to New Jersey’s Family Leave Laws Mean to Business Owners

by Makenzie RizzoOctober 14, 2019 8:00 AM

The state of family medical leave has been in flux in New Jersey over the past year. In February, Governor Phil Murphy signed an amendment to expand both New Jersey’s Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and Family Leave Insurance law (NJFLI). Those changes went into effect back on June 30, 2019, but they wouldn’t be the only adjustments to leave laws during the years.

As of Oct. 7, 2019, business owners have a pair of new laws to plan for when it comes to how the state processes leave applications. With so many changes, it can be hard to keep all the new family leave updates straight. To help, here’s a breakdown of what business owners need to know about the changes to family leave in New Jersey over the course of 2019 – and why it might be important to business outside the Garden State as well.

A mother taking family medical leave from work after the birth of her new child.

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Benefits

Florida Bans Vaping in the Workplace: What it Means for Business Owners

by Tim AustinSeptember 30, 2019 8:00 AM

Back in 2018, Florida voted to ban vaping in enclosed workplaces. The new law went into effect in July of 2019, but Florida isn’t alone in its ban on vaping in the workplace. Several other states, including California, New Jersey, and New York, all prohibit the practice in any place where smoking is not permitted, while other states have bans for specific settings, such as in enclosed workspaces or schools.

As more states take action to prevent vaping in workplaces, it’s a good time for business owners both in Florida and outside the state to figure out what they need to do to prepare their company from past and future legislation.

An employee vaping in the office before Florida’s ban on vaping in the workplace. 

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Risk Management

How Much PTO Should Employees Receive?

by Tim AustinSeptember 23, 2019 5:07 PM

Paid time off (PTO), while an attractive employee benefit, can present some challenges for small business owners. From determining the number of PTO days to creating an employee leave policy to tracking time off, there’s a lot that must be taken into consideration. Use this guide to determine how much PTO your employees should receive.

 Woman travelling on PTO.

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Human Resources

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Association Retirement Plans: What it Means for Small Business Owners

by Tim AustinSeptember 16, 2019 2:04 PM

Retirement plans are one of the most valuable employee benefits offered by organizations today. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the vast majority of workers say having a retirement plan is critical to their overall job satisfaction. Perhaps that’s why this benefit is such a deal breaker for job hunters and one of the main reasons why so many workers stay with their current employers. 

It can be challenging for small businesses, however, to manage the administrative costs and compliance requirements associated with offering retirement savings plans. Only 53 percent of small-to-mid-sized businesses offer a retirement plan, with approximately 38 million private-sector employees without access to one through their employers.

The good news is that may be about to change. In July 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) clarified the definition of “employer” within the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in sponsoring a multiple employer contribution pension plan. In establishing the ‘final rule', which goes into effect Sept. 30, 2019, the DOL has made it easier and more cost-effective for small businesses to offer retirement plans to employees through Association Retirement Plans (ARPs).

 Retirement savings.

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Benefits

Promoting Safe Behaviors in the Workplace

by Jason FreudenbergSeptember 5, 2019 8:00 AM

It’s essential to avoid incidents in the workplace that put your employees at risk. Unsafe behaviors or decisions are usually contributing factors in incidents. If employees are not aware of the hazards or are not motivated to follow safe procedures, their behavior will expose them to hazards.

While employers must put engineering, administrative, and PPE controls into place to protect employees from hazards, it is also essential to promote safe behaviors and a safe environment. 

Small business employees going through a workplace safety assessment to promote safe behaviors at their jobsite. 

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Risk Management

Managing Different Personalities in the Workplace

by Tim AustinSeptember 3, 2019 7:39 PM

Personality tests can be an effective tool in employee recruitment, training, and development. As your business grows and becomes more diverse, a one-size-fits-all approach to employee management won’t work well on a team made up of different personality types. Company leaders will need to have a better understanding of what makes employees tick and how to encourage everyone to play nice in the workplace.

Managing different personality types in the workplace can present its challenges. As a result, you’ll need to be flexible with your employee management style. Using Deloitte’s Business Chemistry, here’s how to manage employees with these four different personalities.

 Managing different personalities in the workplace.

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Human Resources

The Legal Requirements for Starting a Business

by Tim AustinAugust 29, 2019 2:54 PM

Starting a new business is an exciting endeavor, but it also requires a lot of preparation. Part of this process includes taking measures to make sure the business is set up properly so that you can legally conduct business. Here’s what you need to do to make sure that your new business is ready for success according to federal, state, and local regulations.

An owner starting a new business that follows state and federal regulations. 

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Human Resources

Take Your Kids to Work Day: A New Perspective

by Alicia SzczesniakAugust 22, 2019 8:00 AM

Entering through the glass doors of a corporate building, I expected nothing less than a dull monotony. However, I discovered upon closer inspection that instead of a boring office building, I had entered a comfortable, healthy, work environment. Rather than simply shadowing my dad on “take your kid to work day,” I took this as an opportunity to interview the employees of GMS on their thoughts about their work environment.

The response I received was overwhelmingly positive. One might expect Mike Kahoe, president of GMS, to speak highly of the company, calling it a “friendly, cheerful environment.” But what one might not always expect is for the rest of GMS to speak of it just as highly.

A group of employees eating with one employee's daughter during Take Your Kids to Work Day.

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Grab Bag

Dos and Don’ts for OSHA Inspections

by Tim AustinAugust 12, 2019 8:00 AM

Are you prepared for an OSHA inspector to arrive at your door? OSHA performed roughly 72,000 federal and state plan inspections in 2018 alone and all it takes to earn an unexpected visit from an inspector is a complaint from an employee or operating in a high-hazard industry.

Nobody plans to have an OSHA inspection occur at their place of business, but it’s important to act accordingly if it does. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do before, during, and after an OSHA inspection to protect your business.

An OSHA inspector reviewing the worksite of a small business. 

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Risk Management

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