Are You Ready to Comply with the Affordable Care Act

by Andrew SzczesniakJune 4, 2015 8:00 AM

In January of this year, the Federal Government began enforcement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for those employers with 100 or more employees. Next year, those employers with 50 or more employees will have to begin compliance with the law as well.

In a recent article on, HR managers in large companies talked about the difficulties in compliance when it comes to calculating hours. What was troublesome for them was people who took unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Re-employment Rights Act or even jury duty and how those hours would be calculated in determining healthcare eligibility. Because of that, “60 percent of large companies with more than 1,000 employees indicated that they aren’t prepared for penalty management under the ACA.”

Every business needs to prepare for the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

Photo Credit:  “Affordable Care Act” by Michael Havens is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0



Human Resources

Are You Ready to be Unionized?

by Andrew SzczesniakMay 28, 2015 8:00 AM

Back in January, I wrote a blog post called “Are You a Union Shop? Are You Prepared to Be?” In it, I talked about how an NLRB ruling split 3-2 along party lines was making it easier for unions to unionize a place of employment.

A PEO like GMS can help your company by creating an employee handbook.


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Human Resources

Supreme Court Rules on Pregnancy Discrimination

by Andrew SzczesniakApril 7, 2015 8:00 AM

A few months ago, I wrote an article about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Specifically, I wrote about how the EEOC ruled in favor of government regulations treating an employee’s pregnancy no differently than it treats a worker’s comp injury.

Well, the Supreme Court recently weighed in on this topic in a case between UPS and former employee Peggy Young.

How the Supreme Court's ruling on pregnancy discrimination affects human resources.


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Human Resources

NLRB looking to expand NLRA

by Andrew SzczesniakMarch 31, 2015 8:00 AM

Wow, that’s a lot of letters. What does this all mean?

Over the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been contending that their reach expands beyond unionized workers. On March 18th, the NLRB General Counsel, Richard Griffin, released a 30-page report providing guidance to attorneys and HR professionals on what he believes is not a legal rule for an employee handbook under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  

In short, Mr. Griffin’s report proposes major changes under which the NLRB believes it can apply its rules.

NLRB loosk to expand NLRA and what it might mean


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Human Resources

Is Your Workplace a “Harassment-Free Zone”?

by Andrew SzczesniakFebruary 3, 2015 7:47 AM

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has begun commission meetings under its new chair, Jenny R. Yang, this month. The newest commissioner was also sworn in at this time bringing the board back to its full strength of five members.

This month, they have also begun hearings on workplace harassment. What they have learned from experts in the field is that workplace harassment is still a major problem.

Workplace harassment is a major issue.


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Risk Management

Are You "Underutilizing" Your Employment Liability Tools?

by Andrew SzczesniakJanuary 27, 2015 7:00 AM

So you have that “bad apple” employee that you have to get rid of. He’s a pain in your side. Your management team spends an inordinate amount of time dealing with him and frankly, his co-workers don’t like him either. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?


When letting an employee go for cause, you need to make sure that you’re protecting yourself from the liability of:

  1. An unemployment claim that will drive your unemployment insurance up, cutting into your margins or putting you in a competitive disadvantage with your competitors
  2. A potential discrimination lawsuit filed by the employee
  3. A possible violation of either the FMLA or ADA that will have the federal government breathing down your back

How do you avoid these pitfalls? As with all things, there’s an easy way and a hard way.


Picture of a rotten apple. Think it's easy to fire bad employees? Make sure you're protecting yourself from employer liabilities.


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Risk Management

Are You a Union Shop? Are You Prepared to Be?

by Andrew SzczesniakJanuary 8, 2015 7:00 AM

We have all heard the phrase, “there are two types of people in the world. Those who… and those who…” The blank spot is usually then filled in with whatever point someone is trying to make.

In the world of business, you can make a strong case that the old adage that holds truest is “those who are union and those who are not”.

Well, many “who are not” maybe counting down the days to when they will be.

Picture of industry workers.


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Human Resources

Does a Wellness Program Really Matter?

by Andrew SzczesniakDecember 1, 2014 8:03 AM

If pressed, most employers would say that having a “rich benefits package” is a great way to attract and retain top quality employees. The more perks the better, right?

Those same employers would also probably say that they can’t afford the richest of plans, but try to offer the best that they can afford. Well, if you believe those two statements, you’re going to love reading this.

Picture of an apple. Wellness programs can help keep your benefits costs down while increasing employee satisfaction.


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EEOC Challenges Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

by Andrew SzczesniakNovember 11, 2014 10:44 AM

The EEOC has made it into the news again, but you may not have heard about it.

A few months after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a ruling on how pregnancy in the workplace can be viewed as a worker’s comp issue, they have now weighed in on wellness programs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, there has been a strong push on advocating wellness for employees, and rightfully so. Wellness programs improve the health and productivity of your employees while increasing efficiencies and increasing profitability.

However, according to an article on, the EEOC has not yet issued guidelines on how employers can and must structure wellness programs to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Despite the lack of guidelines, the EEOC is pursuing two litigation cases against two separate companies for what they say are violations of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Challenges Ahead Sign. The EEOC's lack of guidelines have created challenges for business owners who want to administer an employee wellness program.


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Benefits | Risk Management

Controllable Costs

by Andrew SzczesniakOctober 21, 2014 8:18 AM

In the business world, everyone is always looking to maximize profitability. It’s not because business owners are greedy trying to grab every last dime. It’s because they are working their tail off to either make the business succeed or make it grow.

In their efforts to do so, business owners look to control what they can, especially when it comes to costs. As a salesperson, I have often been the person who they tried to control costs through by either beating me up on price, extracting extra services or using what my company does to help make them more profitable. However, it often seems to come back to controlling costs.

When a business owner thinks of controllable costs, they often think of material prices, employee hours or something else on the production end. What seldom comes into play is controlling workers comp, healthcare and unemployment costs.  But, how can you control those costs? Those things are completely out of a business owner’s control. Right?

Business man



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