STAFFLINK PODCAST: Voluntary Benefits | Healthcare Trends | Add Years to Life

This Week: The New STAFFLINK Podcast | Healthcare Trends  | Quality of Life Tips | HIPAA and FCRA Compliance

This Week’s Highlights: This week, in StaffLink’s first podcast, our president, Abram Finkelstein talks about voluntary employee benefits for small businesses. We’re also sharing news on healthcare trends, as well as life and productivity hacks. Plus, updates on HIPAA and FCRA compliance.

This Week’s Podcast: Are Benefits Your Competitive Advantage?

In an interview for StaffLink’s first podcast, our own Abram Finkelstein discusses the current market for talent and how offering voluntary benefits can help small businesses compete with larger employers. In this insightful interview, Abram shares stories of real benefits helping real people and gives us the inside scoop on what’s trending in benefits today.

You can hear all about it by playing the podcast at the bottom of this blog. 

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Ahead of It’s Time.

Speaking of benefits trends, check out Robert Pearl’s article about Turntable Health for Forbes, How One U.S. Clinic Disrupted Primary Care, Made Patients Healthier and Still Failed. Turntable’s focus on wellness and preventative care didn’t appeal to primary health insurers. But as the cost of chronic-disease management rises, might we see a change of mind in the future? Employer-sponsored wellness benefits were once new, too.

Here’s something else that’s new. 3-D printing technology continues to advance at a rapid pace and the impact on everything from construction to healthcare has been significant. Learn more about How 3-D Printing is Changing Health Care in this article by Aili McConnon in the Wall Street Journal.

Gaining More Time.

Ready to gain more time in your life by increasing your productivity and living longer? Inc. has you covered. First, Amy Vetter shares 5 Daily Habits to Become More Productive (and Mindful) in Your Company to help you make the most of your day. Next, Bill Murphy, Jr. offers up These 7 Habits Literally Add Years to Your Life, According to Science reporting on the findings of researchers who looked at the histories of over 600,000 patients.

Win Some; Lose Some.

This week the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was withdrawing a proposal that would have required health plans, including self-insured plans often offered by small businesses, to file a certificate of compliance with HIPAA’s transaction standards. Following this withdrawal, companies still have to comply with HIPAA’s guidelines, they just don’t have the create more paperwork to prove it. David Slaughter of HRDailyAdvisor.com explains the details in HHS Withdraws Rules for Certifying Compliance with HIPAA Transaction Standards.

Meanwhile, a federal judge declined to enter a summary judgement ruling that would have let an employer off the hook under the paperwork requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) reports SHRM’s Roy Maurer. In Employers Should Share All Background Check Reports Before Revoking Job Offers, Maurer explains that the question of when enough information is enough in the case will be left to the jury to decide.

The takeaway for employers? Send every background check — especially the final one — along with any notice of adverse action sent to an employee or prospective hire. It costs less to do the paperwork than face a jury.

 

And Now, the Promised Podcast:

Listen in as StaffLink’s president Abram Finkelstein explains how offering a unique and responsive benefits package can improve your chances of securing and retaining the best talent.

Stock Market Surges | Unemployment 44-Year Low | WiFi Vulnerability | Millennial Benefits

This Week: Economic Upturn  | Wi-fi Vulnerability | Benefits for Millennials  | OSHA  | Minimum Wage  | ADA

StaffLink’s Week Ending October 20 Highlights: This week StaffLink watched the economy take a turn for the better, wi-fi security take a turn for the worse, and millennials get a turn at choosing benefits. In HR news, OSHA lists its top ten 2017 violations, Florida plans to raise its minimum wage and a 7th Circuit ruling on FMLA and ADA.

Economy on the rise:

In the stock markets, positive earnings reports and strong performance by IBM helped the Dow end at a record high of 23,000 on Wednesday, say MarketWatch’s Sue Chang and Ryan Vlastelica in Dow ends at 23,000 for the first time, as all stock benchmarks log fresh records. Additionally, the two say indicators from the Fed’s Beige Book report points to modest to moderate economic growth.

Also pointing toward economic growth, initial jobless claims, average unemployment, and continuing claims were all down for the week ending October 14. The big picture? “The U.S. labor market is the strongest in at least a decade in a half” writes Jeffry Bartash for MarketWatch in Initial jobless claims slump to 44-year low.  

Keeping cybersecurity top of mind:

Well, if you weren’t thinking about cybersecurity before you woke up Monday morning, you probably were as soon as you checked your newsfeed. On October, 16, Inc. published Major Vulnerability in WiFi: Update Your Computer ASAP sharing the details of the latest cyber risk. TNW followed up with its own take, explaining that everyone’s wi-fi now belonged to hackers.

Could it get any worse?

Um… sigh. Just read this: Here is the 2018 CyberSecurity Almanac.

What did the experts tell Inc. contributor Joseph Steinberg to expect? Cyber security professionals will have no trouble finding a job, businesses will spend more than $10 billion to train staff on security awareness by 2027, and most organizations will be forced to rely on cloud-based infrastructures by 2020. Know a cybersecurity expert? Get them under contract now.

Multigenerational employment:

Speaking of contracts, how do you keep your best talent happy? Money may not be the key to happiness for every employee. In Different Motivations for Different Generations of Workers: Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, John Rampton tells Inc. readers that different incentives appeal to different cohorts. What’s trending for millennials in particular? Employment that has meaning and work-life balance, says Rampton.

Florida Minimum wage increase:

Money might not be the key to happiness, but it still helps pay the bills. Employers of entry-level workers in Florida may see their bills go up slightly next year as the Sun Sentinel reports that the Florida minimum wage will rise to $8.25 in 2018.

HR Regulatory News:

Ensuring your employees’ health and safety should always be top of mind when it comes to retaining talent and improving job satisfaction. Where are employers going wrong? Here’s a summary prepared by Lisa Nagale-Piazza writing for SHRM of the Top OSHA Violations for 2017 with tips for avoiding these common hazards.

Where ADA & FMLA Intersect

Employers must navigate a substantial number of rules and regulations designed to protect employees and sometimes it can be difficult to know when one rule ends and another begins. The potential overlap of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) seems to be particularly troublesome. The U.S. 7th Circuit was recently called upon to weigh in on this issue reports SHRM’s Jeffrey Rhodes in ADA Does Not Require Extended Leave Beyond FMLA, 7th Circuit Finds.

Unfortunately for employers, decisions related to FMLA and ADA are often very fact specific making it hard to draw firm conclusions from any single ruling.

ROBOTIC TREND CONTINUES … IN ADVERTISING, TOO

Now here’s something cool. This 3-D robotic sign (the first of its kind) advertising Coke moves to the groove. 

Week’s Best – Oct 13 – Trump Kills Obamacare Subsidies – The Tax Plan & Small Business – Cyber

This Week: Trump Ends Obamacare | Corporate Cultures | HR Tax Tips  | Joint Employment Bill  | Brain Training | CA on Fire

StaffLink’s Week Ending October 13 Highlights: This week StaffLink takes a look at President Trump’s move to end Obamacare, HR lessons from the Weinstein debacle, the Tax Plan’s effect on small businesses, hacking your brain, and the California fires.    

 

Eliminating Obamacare by Executive Order:

As Republicans vows to do better, President Trump moved ahead with his own plans to roll back Obamacare. In his October 12 Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States, the President directed the Secretary of Labor to begin investigating ways to extend the use of association health plans, short-term, limited-duration insurance, and health reimbursement arrangements. Small business can hope to benefit from reduced healthcare benefits costs once these changes go into effect.

What are Republicans in Congress planning to do? The Washington Examiner’s Robert King tells us about their latest plans in Republicans renew commitment to repeal Obamacare after Trump order.

 

Is Your Company Committed or Complicit?

The Harvey Weinstein scandal is just one of several recent instances in which companies stand accused of overlooking the bad behavior of key employees. While many companies pledge to provide a safe workplace for every employee, some lack the commitment to follow through on that promise. SHRM contributor Kathy Gurchiek discusses the causes and consequences of this failure to act in A Culture of Complicity at the Weinstein Company.

As the world becomes more connected, secrets become harder to keep. A company that hopes to save face by covering for an owner or employee may instead find itself losing everything.

 

The President’s Tax Plan and Its Effect on Small Businesses:

Wondering how President Trump’s proposed tax plan will affect your business? Bill Smith highlights the biggest changes in his article, Breaking Down Trump’s Tax Framework and Its Potential Impact on Small Business at Entrepreneur.com.

Also from Entrepreneur this week, we found Everything Small Business Owners Need to Know About the 401(k) Match with advice from Kevin Busque on what small business can offer employees.

 

Filing the Paperwork:

In Not Every Aspect of Form 1095-C Can Be Outsourced, SHRM writer Allen Smith, warns employers that they remain responsible for ensuring that their ACA paperwork is accurate even if they outsource parts of the process. Employers with 50 or more employees need to provide the appropriate form to employees by January 31 and be prepared to submit the documentation to the IRS in either February or March. You can find out more about how to get it right in Smith’s article.

 

Speaking of Getting it Right:

A bill to clarify the meaning of “joint employer” passed through the House Committee this week. SHRM’s article, House Committee Passes Bill to Redefine ‘Joint Employer,’ explains that the bill was crafted in response to a NLRB decision that broadly defined the term to encompass employer who had indirect or even potential authority over an employee. The broad, yet vague, definition has been causing headaches for employers ever since. Small businesses and franchisors have been particularly confounded by the ruling.

The Save Local Business Act would redefine the term to attach only to employers having direct control.

 

Get Smart:

This week in Inc., Steve Farber tells you how to Increase Your Brain Power with These 4 Surprisingly Simple Hacks. Slowing down and daring to dream made his list. What’s on yours?

 

After the Fire:

We have seen a shocking number of tragic events this year, including natural disasters from coast to coast. This video displays the devastation caused by this week’s wildfires in California.


Horrific California Fire Leaves Neighborhoods… by rightthisminute

As people begin to recover from the wildfires in Napa, businesses are looking for ways to help. The Mercury News reports that Safeway and other grocers are raising money and offering food to support the community.

 

STAFFLINK – Networking Secrets | Pay Comparisons | Guns in the Workplace

This Week: Networking for Success | Take Home Pay Statistics | Free 2017 Compliance Guide | Guns in the Workplace

STAFFLINK’s Week Ending October 6 Highlights: This week STAFFLINK takes a look at expanding your network, stretching your dollar, your rights and compliance responsibilities as an employer, and offers help for handling your compliance issues.

Networking isn’t an event.

So says Inc. contributor Nicolas Cole In The 1 Networking Rule 99 Percent of People Are Afraid to Follow, but Should. Cole tells us that effective networking involves casual gatherings among friends, not scheduled events with name tags. By building friendships, you’ll form relationships with people who want to help you instead of those just hoping to make a sale.  You can gain a few more tips by reading the article.

Money in the bank.

This week, in Here’s how much money you actually take home from a $75,000 salary depending on where you live,  Business Insider examined what it really means to earn $75,000 a year from city to city.  Using SmartAsset’s paycheck calculator, BI’s reporters found that after federal, state, and local taxes are deducted some paychecks are as much as 12% lighter than others. 

Can your employee bring a gun to work?

As this week’s tragic event in Las Vegas revealed, violence can happen anywhere. Are you wondering what your obligations are as an employer when it comes to protecting employees and maintaining a safe workplace? There may be limits to what you can do, depending on your state’s laws. 

In Guns at the Workplace, the Practical Law Company details the issues small business owners should consider when defining their on-site gun possession and other workplace safety policies.

Your Small Business Backup System:

For small businesses, keeping track of compliance with state, federal, and local laws can be a hassle. Fortunately, simple affordable compliance help is just a click away. To get started, visit our blog and register to download your free copy of Stafflink’s 2017 Compliance Companion today.

You can also watch this video to learn more about what STAFFLINK can do for you.