Week’s Best – FL Workers’ Comp Increase | 12 Ways to Keep Great Employees | Obamacare Rates Rise 25%

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In the News … Well, Halloween is on Monday, but the scarier issue may be Obamacare. The White House announced that Obamcare Premiums Are Rising 25%, on average, in 2017 – that story in Business Insider …  Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Rate Increases are coming to business owners soon.  Our Blog post on Tuesday covered the new rates and the reasons behind the increase.  All our clients and email subscribers should have received an email about the increase.  We’ll keep you posted as more information is received.

October is also Cyber-Security month, and recent findings suggest that it is now time all small business owners addressed how to protect their data and financial records.  Our Tuesday post, SHRM’s October is Cyber-Security Month:  Are You Protected? sets out statistics that will inspire you to take protective steps with your company, as well as practical tips you can implement to improve your security immediately.

Florida’s Minimum Wage is Increasing  – SHRM’s post has the details.

In HR, Inc.’s 12 Ways to Keep Your Best Employees from Bolting provides sound advice and ideas – a good read now, especially in light of the tight job market.  And, TLNT’s post, 5 Secrets to Successful One-on-One Meetings, contains helpful advice that takes employee engagement another step forward.  According to the post, studies show that companies with the highest employee engagement are 35% more likely to conduct one-on-one employee meetings, making personal meetings another great tool in your hiring arsenal, if you know how to use them well; this article gives you the insight you need.

HR Morning’s, the EEOC is Targeting 6 Areas for Enforcement in 2017 gives a detailed look at all six areas, and provides strategies that may protect your from fines and compliance penalties.

And, in Trends, Popular Mechanics posted a story, Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee Accidentally Discovered How to Convert CO2 into Ethanol … an event that may eventually have significant repercussions on energy in America.

Monday is Halloween … time to put the scary issues of Obamacare and the November elections aside for a time, and enjoy the fun of children (and adults) in costumes, and plenty of your favorite candy (Monday only, for the health conscious).  We’re Americans, we’ll sort out the rest, in time.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

IMPORTANT: Florida’s Workers’ Comp Rates Set to Increase

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Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rate Change

To Our Valued Clients and Florida Business Owners,

Many of you are aware of the changes that are coming to the Florida’s Workers’ Compensation market as a result of two Florida Supreme Court rulings.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has recently issued a final order granting approval to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) for an overall combined statewide average rate increase of 14.5%; this is a significant improvement over the average 19.6% rate that had originally been requested. This rate increase applies to all new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies that have an effective date on or after December 1, 2016.

Please note that STAFFLINK clients with ‘in-force’ policies will not experience an increase until March 1, 2017.

The two Florida Supreme Court rulings that led to the increase were Castellanos vs. The Next Door Company, whereby the court found that the mandatory attorney fee schedule for workers’ compensation plaintiff attorneys was judged to be unconstitutional, allowing for plaintiffs’ attorneys to charge high hourly rates; and, Westphal vs. City of Saint Petersburg , in which the court increased the time limit for the payment of Temporary Total Disability payments from 104 weeks to 260 weeks.

In addition, there was a third rate increase intended to counter the overall cost increases in medical treatment.

The actual rates have not been released yet, but STAFFLINK will notify you as soon as that information becomes available.  While many questions have yet to be answered, STAFFLINK is available to answer any questions you may have about the information that has been provided at the present time.

Yours truly,

Abram Finkelstein
CEO, STAFFLINK OUTSOURCING

Oct 25- Cyber Security: An Important Issue for All Businesses

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60% of U.S. businesses will experience a breach of sensitive data this year, and 68% of funds compromised by cyber security issues are uncoverable, according to a recent article entitled, 28 Cyber Security Statistics that Will Inspire You (to protect yourself).  Cyber Security has become a significant problem for U.S. business, as evidenced by the 150% growth in Cyber Security insurance last year.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month; you may have seen the President discuss it on television recently.  Attacks are becoming more frequent and serious.

Recently, SHRM posted an article that cited the escalation in attacks:

In September, Yahoo confirmed that hackers had compromised at least 500 million user accounts, making the incident the largest data breach from a single site in history. On Oct. 18, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer stated in a release that she remains confident of Yahoo’s value and ability to keep its users despite the breach, which analysts believe might thwart the company’s plans to sell its core business for $4.83 billion to Verizon.”

Security breaches can be expensive for companies, according to the Journal of Cybersecurity.The total annual cost of cybersecurity crimes is $8.5 billion, and the cost for an individual company is about $200,000, according to research published in the journal.

The article goes on to cite Ransomware, Onion-Layered Security Incidents, and Insider Threats as among those growing in incidence.  Heimdal Security reported that 59% of employees steal proprietary company data when they leave.

Below, we’ve selected a list of 10 Cyber Security statistics that will inspire you to take protective action, taken from a statistical post that lists 28 cyber security stastistics from the Bitsite Security Ratings blog .

But first, here are 6 practical steps taken from the SHRM article that can help you immediately.

  1. Regularly back up your data in case your company experiences a ransomware attack.
  2. Educate your staff so they are aware of the different types of cybersecurity incidents and how to avoid them.
  3. Keep your systems updated so they have fewer security vulnerabilities.
  4. Enforce good password policies, including requirements that passwords be changed periodically, and prohibit password sharing.
  5. When employees are terminated, immediately cancel all their credentials, including password logins.
  6. The National Cybersecurity Alliance offers free security checkups and tools that may be useful for smaller companies that do not have dedicated security teams.

Organizations and governments are starting to hold businesses responsible for protecting customer privacy—something HR professionals should keep in mind.

Here are a few of the Cyber Security statistics from the Bitsite blog …

DATA BREACH STATISTICS 

COST STATISTICS

In addition to the practical tips listed above, you can also contact us for a free quote on Cyber-Security Insurance for your company.  Simply ask for an HR Business partner at Info@STAFFLINK.net

 

Week’s Best – FLSA OT Guide | 62 Ideas for More Clients | 6 Daily Habits of Productive People

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Welcome to the fall, and the end of the presidential debates.  Just a couple of weeks until our next president is elected …

It’s also now just about 5-6 weeks before the new FLSA Overtime Rule takes effect.  We’ve provided you an INFOGRAPHIC and series of resources from SHRM to help you understand and prepare for the December 1 start date.

Also in HR, SHRM’s Steep New Penalties Under the OSH Act are Causing Compliance Concerns shows you just how significantly OSHA fines have risen; and, Top 10 OSHA Citation Violations for 2016 gives you a very good idea about the kinds of things you need to focus on at your own company.

The Healthcare Quagmire is creating significant medical premium increases for many, problems for the growing number of  individuals investing in HSA accounts, and outrageous costs for patients confused by difficult to understand ‘in-network’ and ‘out-of-network’ designations.  You can gain a greater understanding of the issues by reading How Surprise Medical Bills are Sticking Patients with Outrageous Costs.

In Sales & Marketing, Inc. posted an article presenting 9 Simple Ways to Keep Your Current Clients Coming Back; a reminder that your current clients are your best source of business and future growth.  And, if you’re struggling with trying to add new clients, as all are, then Bill Carmody’s 62 Actionable Ideas to Get More Clients is a must read.  The article contains practical tips from 13 leaders in sales and marketing.

In Leadership this week, the New York Times reviewed the effects of Walmart’s Experiment on Increasing Employee Pay . The article details the impact the hourly pay increases have had on sales and applicant quality at the retail discount giant, and leaves us wondering about how it will affect long-term profitability … and 6 Daily Habits of Highly Productive People contains a melding of the best tips about daily success found in several articles of the same ilk – a good read and reminder.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

October 18 – The Health Insurance Quagmire

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The health insurance industry is undergoing dramatic change, and most of the consequences of that change are hurting the individual insured.

Both The Fiscal Times and SHRM recently published articles citing rapid rises in Obamacare premiums, and outrageous costs many patients are experiencing as a result of ‘in network’ and ‘out of network’ confusion in their health insurance policies.  Additionally, many of these plans do not cover ‘chronic care’ upfront like more traditional plans.

Since 2004, many individuals and employers have invested in HSAs or Health Savings Accounts.  In recent years, the number of individuals now enrolled in HSA-type plans has risen from 17% to 29%.   Though these accounts were designed to help reign in health care expenses, in some cases patients are experiencing ‘sticker shock’ when they learn, only too late, about the restrictions put on these accounts.

Acccording to the article:

…high-deductible plans that are set up to link to health savings accounts (HSAs) can only cover preventive services like vaccines and mammograms until patients buy enough services on their own to pay down their deductible.

These enrollees also generally pay more out of pocket for care than people in traditional plans. People in high-deductible plans were responsible for 24 percent of their medical costs between 2010 and 2014, on average, compared to 14 percent for people in traditional plans, according to a recent study by the Health Care Cost Institute that examined claims data from three major insurers for 40 million Americans. Annual per capita spending out of pocket was $1,030 on average for those in high-deductible plans compared with $687 for people in traditional plans.

Both employer-sponsored and marketplace plans often cover services before the deductible in plans. Two-thirds of plans on the federal marketplace exclude primary care visits from the deductible, according to Avalere Health. Similarly, the deductible doesn’t apply to a majority of workers in employer-sponsored plans when they visit their primary care doctor.

In addition to the number of items not covered upfront in HSAs, the Fiscal Times article reveals that even the most diligent individuals are being blind-sided by the issue of ‘in-network’ and ‘out-of-network’ providers:

One of the more challenging and frustrating tasks for consumers navigating the health care system is finding physicians and hospitals that are “in network” and willing to accept the coverage terms of their health insurance policies. This is particularly true of patients faced with surgery or other more complicated procedures, when more than one or two physicians are involved.

A new study published this week by the Brookings Institution notes that being diligent about determining that the hospital and doctors performing the procedures participate in their insurance plans may not be enough. People can still be hit with thousands of dollars’ worth of additional “surprise medical bills” – sometimes ten to 20 times what they expected to pay.

HEALTH INSURANCE HELP FOR COMPANIES WITH 100 EMPLOYEES OR FEWER

As a result of the quagmire that is now health insurance, Benefits Pro cites research showing that many companies with fewer than 100 employees are turning to PEOs (professional employer organizations) to help them navigate the health insurance maze, and provide them better prices than they can get themselves.

Your health insurance is important.  At STAFFLINK we can help you understand your coverage, provide you the best options, and in most cases, provide you and your employees a better price on that coverage than you can obtain otherwise.

Contact one of our HR Business partners at HR@STAFFLINK.net for assistance with your health insurance coverage – it could make a significant difference in your financial future.

 

 

October 14 – STAFFLINK Week’s Best

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Well, Matthew passed most of us by in South Florida – a good thing for us here; not so for our friends in Haiti, the Bahamas, north Florida and the Carolinas.  We hope some of you found our ‘Hurricane Prep for Business Owners’ guide useful.  If you missed it, simply click the link above.

In HR, the job market is growing 17% more robust, according to recent studies.  SHRM’s More Signs of a Robust Job Market points out the expected gains, and notes that lower tenure rates overall support the research.  South Florida is among the nation’s best job markets (#3) and an INFOGRAPHIC in the HR Daily Advisor breaks down the gains by region and industry, and also notes the Miami gains … an experienced HR exec sums up the 5 Rules of HR in a 5-minute video that may help keep you focused when everything else is making you a little neurotic … and you’ll find 7 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement at your company, even if you don’t have any money to spend.

Also in HR, cover letters are an important part of any job search; Cover Letters that Get Rejected Fast reveals what NOT to do – a good read if you’re beginning a job hunt, or if you’re looking for candidates and simply want to expedite your selection process.  Of course, you can always call us; hiring right is important to your company, and helping you make a great selection is one of the things we do at STAFFLINK.  Call us at 954-423-8262, and ask for an HR Business partner.

Finally, in Leadership, Inc. magazines ‘12 Things Bosses Do that Cause Great People to Quit‘ provides a list that is worth a review by all of us in management.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

October 11 – U.S Hiring INFOGRAPHIC for Q4 – South Florida Among Best

Q4 hiring in the U.S. is expected to grow +18%, with some of the best gains forecast for South Florida.  Here is an infographic from ManpowerGroup that shows the anticipated gains by industry sector. Below the infographic is a list of U.S. markets in order of market strength; Miami/South Florida ranks #3.

U.S. Employment Outlook Returns to Post­Recession Strength for Q4 2016 (PRNewsFoto/ManpowerGroup)

U.S. Employment Outlook Returns to Post­Recession Strength for Q4 2016 (PRNewsFoto/ManpowerGroup)

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October 6, 2016 – STAFFLINK’S Hurricane Matthew Resource Guide

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Hurricane Matthew is upon south Florida: Home Depot is out of flashlights, but expecting more later today; a local Publix is out of water; there are long lines at gas stations, turnpike tolls have been removed, and the wind is just beginning to pick up.

For those of you who don’t know the drill – it’s been a while since Hurricane Wilma – there are certain precautions you need to take, things you need to have on hand;  as a business owner, there are a few things you need to do, too.

This first edition of the Stafflink Small Business Blog will provide you the information you need: four resources that will help you make sure you get it all done before and after Hurricane Matthew, and a great resource to keep on hand for the future, too.

First, the most recent tracking information on Hurricane Matthew from Wunderground – a user-friendly and up-to-date online resource; second, a South Florida hurricane guide put out by the Sun-Sentinel; third, a business preparation guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and, lastly, an article about the five things you’ll need to keep on hand.

Use these resources to stay informed, keep safe, and protect your family, your company and employees.

TRACKING HURRICANE MATTHEW

SOUTH FLORIDA HURRICANE GUIDE

PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS FOR A HURRICANE

THE 5 ITEMS YOU’LL NEED AT HOME