Don’t look now, but Fall is upon us and we are closer to the start of 2017 than we are the start of 2016.
We have a Presidential election coming up in a few weeks, meaning that there will be a change in the leadership of this country, one way or another. Either way, expectations are running rampant about changes to healthcare plans in 2017 and the compliancy tied to those programs.
In addition to an upcoming national election, we are now quickly approaching open enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act. This is the time of year when people can apply for healthcare coverage through the exchanges and look for income-based subsidies to help them offset some of their insurance costs.
It’s also the time when employees who don’t feel they have an adequate or affordable employer-sponsored health plan may seek out coverage and subsidies through the exchanges. While an employer may be tempted to find relief in one less person to cover (and pay for), there may be some repercussions.
Whether you’re an employer who runs a pretty safe workplace or you’re one with more than its fair share of worker’s comp claims, the Department of Labor has some new rules for you to “nudge” you in the proper direction.
Under a new rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is an effort to modernize its data collection and create a new database for investors and workers alike to learn about how safe a company is. Not a bad idea, but one that leans heavily on small business’ HR departments.
Have you ever seen the old commercial where an actor comes on screen and says, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV?” Well, to paraphrase that tagline, I’m not an attorney, but I like to think that I have some commonsense ideas and understandings.
As an employee, I have always felt reasonably safe and confident that unless I knowingly broke a law, I would be safe from legal repercussions should a former employee or customer go after a business. Makes sense, right? Not so much anymore.
As the Affordable Care Act heads into its third full year of existence (some provisions started before 2014), there doesn’t seem to be any more clarity for business owners and what they should do. If you have 50 or more employees, do you offer it? Do you succumb to the ever increasing costs and drop coverage and pay the penalty? If you’re under 50 employees, should you drop it and get out while you can? Are there any more changes coming down the road that you need to know about? Well, a recent article in New England Journal of Medicine may help shed a little light on things for you.
As a business leader or as the owner of your own business, I’m sure you already know about the changes to the I-9 form that have come around in time for its 30th anniversary. Unfortunately, in my travels as a sales representative for GMS, I often run into business owners who don’t know what an I-9 form is, let alone if they’re filed properly.
Oftentimes, when a two-term President is entering into the last year of his presidency, he can become a lame duck. His issues don’t get addressed by a congress whose members are worrying about their own re-election. Some begin doing victory laps for their last seven years. Some are dealing with scandals while others are just trying to ride it out without any more problems. Any thoughts of the current office holder being one of those went out the door in 2015.
According to a recent article from the NFIB , President Obama’s administration broke a regulatory record in 2015 by adding over 82,000 pages of regulations to the Federal Register. 545 pages of those deal directly with small businesses. Among those regulations are things like the easing of restrictions on unionization, the changes in minimum wage laws, and the NLRB’s attempts to expand the boundaries of the National Labor Relations Act. All of these have been addressed in my blogs before.
Recently, a colleague of mine wrote a blog post called “How to Avoid Negligent Hiring.” There were some great ideas and thoughts and suggestions, but one thing that was omitted was what kind of costs were associated with a bad hire.
According to a recent survey and blog post by Robert Half Finance and Accounting, there are several costs. The first thing listed by respondents was lowered staff morale (39%). The second was lost productivity (34%). Monetary costs (25%) came in third place. Though they vary from industry to industry, monetary costs can be as much as three times the salary of the person being replaced.
In January of 2016, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will begin to directly impact businesses with between 50-99 employees. While health insurance rates have been impacting business owners since the start of the ACA several years ago, those companies with 50-99 employees haven’t had to offer healthcare or face a fine. That’s changing in a couple of months.
The interesting thing about the ACA is that the very people it is supposed to help, low income workers, seem to be the ones least interested getting their healthcare, even when it’s offered by their employers.