DEC 9 STAFFLINK BLOG – GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AVOIDED – TAX BILL MOVES FORWARD – CVS BID TO AETNA – FUTURE OF WORK

This Week: Banking | Budget | Taxes | Merger | Trends | Technology

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 8 Highlights:  Congress averted a government shutdown late yesterday (for now), we learned that several banking apps had security flaws, and both houses passed their version of the tax bill. Also this week, CVS announced its intentions to buy Aetna, a move that signals a new trend in U.S. healthcare delivery. Staying on top of future trends in technology and employment, we found McKinsey’s report on the future of work and Forbes’ coverage of tech trends for 2018 to be worthy of note.

Congresses gives itself a temporary reprieve.

Congress moves government shutdown deadline two weeks later CNN reported Thursday evening. Thursday was the last day that Congress could pass the continuing resolution that permits the short-term funding needed to keep the government up and running. This reprieve is a short-lived one. Congress will still need to approve a spending budget by December 22.

The tax bill starts to take shape.

With both the House and Senate having passed their versions of the tax bill, we can finally get an idea of what might be included in the final version. Stephen Miller offers an excellent summary of the employment-related deduction and credit provisions in each version of the bill in his article, Senate Passage of Tax Bill Signals Benefit Changes–But Which Ones?, written for SHRM.

Will things ever be the same?

CVS Health Corp. recently announced its intention to purchase health insurer Aetna, Inc. This merger would combine one of the largest providers of prescription medications with one of the largest providers of health insurance, a trend that portends major changes in U.S. healthcare delivery. Will this affect employer-sponsored healthcare benefits? Some experts think it could. SHRM’s Stephen Miller tells us more in CVS-Aetna Merger Could Change How Employers Buy Health Benefits.

The future is definitely going to be different.

Predicting big changes for much of the workforce, the McKinsey Global Institute released its publication, What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills and wages, in November. While McKinsey analysts believe there will still be jobs for workers in 2030, they may need to make some major adjustments to their skill sets be able to perform the work.

Also making predictions for the future is Bernard Marr. Marr is the author of the book Big Data and a regular Forbes contributor. In 9 Technology Mega Trends that Will Change the World In 2018 he gives Forbes readers the scoop on what’s to come in the new year.

Think you’ve got mad recruitment skills? Check this out:

HOW TO RECRUIT – The recruiting effort of police officers has taken another step with this recruitment video from New Zealand – voted as one of the world’s best this week.

ECONOMIC BOOM – CYBERSECURITY ADVICE – WELLNESS TRENDS – 30-SECOND LIFE TEST

This Week: Booming Economy | Cybersecurity | 30-Second Test That CAn Save Your Life | Workplace Wellness | HR’s Future | EEOC Claims | Parental Leave

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 1 Highlights: In small business news this week, we’re looking at a rousing response from Wall Street to the proposed GOP tax plan. Meanwhile, responding to the latest round of cybersecurity breaches, experts say more needs to be done.

In health-related news, we learn that an extra step at your next physical could save your life and take a a look at workplace wellness trends for 2018. And in HR news, we found a prediction for the future of the industry, tips for harassment prevention training, and new developments in parental leave benefits.

Economy Hits New Heights

In Surging banks lead Wall Street to highs as tax plan advances, Fox Business reported that all three major indexes closed at record highs on Tuesday, responding favorably to the proposed tax cuts included in the GOP tax bill and statements made by President Trump’s Federal Reserve Chair nominee.

Two-Factor Isn’t Good Enough

When companies such as Uber are paying ransoms and keeping cyber breaches a secret, something needs to change. In Companies Need More Than Two-Factor Authentication to Keep Users Safe, Harvard Business Review contributor Sridhar Muppidi explains what companies need to do to take digital security to the next level.

Two Tests are Better Than One

Most Medical Checkups Miss a 30-Second Test that Could Save Your Life writes Inc. contributor Minda Zetlin. Taking a blood pressure reading from each arm could detect area-specific cardiovascular conditions. Zetlin explains that both arm testing is now recommended by many European and U.S. medical organizations, but the step is often skipped in practice.

Trending in Workplace Wellness

Writing for Talent Culture, Ann Wyatt closed out November with Five Corporate Workplace Well-Being Trends to Watch in 2018. Wyatt predicts that workers will find healthier selections in workplace vending machines, the popularity of standing desks will continue to rise, and wellness programs will place more emphasis on stress management.

Predicting the Future of HR

Looking at the future of work from a different angle, SHRM’s Aliah D. Wright gives us Survey: Some Predict HR Will Be Automated, Data-Driven and Strategic by 2022. Wright reports that survey respondents plan to invest heavily in people and data over the next five years to help them find and keep talent.  The automation disruption continues … 

To Prevent Harassment, Instruction Should Be In Person

Also from Aliah D. Wright at SHRM this week, was an article covering the recent announcement that the EEOC will launch an online system to ease the filing of harassment claims. In Consider Face-to-Face Training as EEOC Makes Filing Harassment Complaints Easier, Wright shares the advice from HR professionals that in-person instruction is the best method for conveying the importance of harassment prevention to employees. While live instruction may cost more than other methods, its effectiveness in reducing complaints makes it a bargain.  

(Grand)Parental Leave?

Wellness isn’t the only voluntary benefit that has seen new trends develop in recent years. In Companies Add New Twists to Parental Leave, SHRM’s Stephen Miller reports that Cisco Systems and Whirlpool Corporation are adjusting their parental leave benefits. Included among the changes are gender neutral designations, time off for grandparents, and support for nursing mothers.  

What a Beautiful World

As we leave Thanksgiving behind and prepare to say goodbye to 2017, it’s a great time to reflect on the things we too often take for granted. You can get started with this Louie Schwartzberg video called ‘Gratitude.’

CyberSecurity Secrets | Achieving Excellence | Blockchain in HR

This Week: Cybersecurity | Achieving Excellence  | Gratitude  | Blockchain in HR | Talent Retention  | Form 5500 Series  | Tightened Visa Rules

StaffLink’s Week Ending November 17 Highlights: In small business news this week, cybersecurity was again on our minds. We also take a look at tips for achieving excellence and the importance of gratitude. And, in HR we found interesting tidbits about using blockchain technology as well as talent acquisition and retention. On the regulatory front, 2017’s Form 5500 Series documents are available for review and visa work rules are tightening for foreign workers.  

Let’s Talk About Cybersecurity

In The Key to Better Cybersecurity: Keep Employee Rules Simple, Harvard Business Review’s Maarten Van Horenbeeck says hackers aren’t the biggest threat to your company’s data, your employees are.

When security protocols are complex, employees tend to cut corners. To encourage employees to follow the rules and not fall victim to phishing attacks, make cybersecurity rules easy to follow and keep the lines of communication about security open.

Of course, sometimes hackers are to blame for a security breach. Just ask Uber. Although, you might not get an answer.

In Uber paid $100K ransom after 57M accounts were hacked, the New York Post’s Ruth Brown fills us in on the details of an October 2016 hack that left riders and drivers vulnerable. Why are we just hearing about this incident now? Apparently Uber is better at keeping its corporate flubs secret than it is at protecting users’ personal data.

This Week’s Secrets of Success

When it comes to discovering the secrets of success, there is no shortage of advice. Harvard Business Review’s Paul Leinwand and Joachim Rotering added to that collection this week with How to Excel at Strategy and Execution. While only 8% of business leaders bring high levels of both strategy and execution skills to the table, the authors suggest that this silo approach is coming to an end.

The Benefits of Gratitude

Want to enjoy more personal success and happiness? Try an attitude of gratitude.  As is traditional during the week of Thanksgiving, several publications have stepped up to remind us that there is real science backing the benefits of gratitude. Inc. contributor Bill Murphy, Jr. offers his take in Want to Be Happier and Healthier? Science Says Start By Making a Gratitude List.

Will Blockchain be the Key to Procuring, Protecting, and Paying Employees?

Blockchain has the potential to transform HR practices from payroll processing to storage and retention of personally identifiable information, writes SHRM’s Dave Zielinski in Is HR Ready for Blockchain Technology? In his article, Zielinski offers readers a quick overview of the technology as well as its potential applications in HR. 

Benefits May Be the Secret to Employee Happiness

As the market for top talent remains tight, employers need to pull out all the stops to keep their best employees. What to do? Focus on fun, food, flexibility and finances Forbes’ Zack Friedman tells us in Think Like a Startup: 4 New Employee Benefits to Attract and Retain Talent.

No Respite From Regulation

Sure, it was Thanksgiving week, and many of us took a little time off to be with family and friends. But that didn’t stop the government from sending HR teams some homework. Monday opened with a U.S. Department of Labor press release announcing that advance copies of the Form 5500 annual report for 2017 were available for review. The DOL press release notes that these copies are for information only. Don’t try to file your return using them.  But, they do tell you what to expect.

Will Visa Restrictions Benefit U.S. Workers?

Remember those benefits that Zack Friedman wrote about? If you are competing to hire tech employees, you may need all of them. Inc.’s Emily Canal reported this week that The Trump Administration Tightens Rules in Worker Visa Program, Making it Harder for Businesses to Hire Foreign Employees.

Snowed In

The holiday season is in full tilt, and this British ad captures the essence of the season, as well as ‘Best Ad in the World’ this week.

FUTURE OF WORK | 2018 TAX BILL | 2018 SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS | MEDICAL MARIJUANA |

This Week: Trends in Income, AI, Employment and More | Tax Law Updates | IRS Sets 2018 FSA Limit | Medical Marijuana Acceptance Expands

StaffLink’s Week Ending November 17 Highlights: This week StaffLink takes a look forward to 2018 with articles about trends in small business, the future of work, tax reform, and income and employment shifts. We also share a guide to the changes coming in the new tax bill. You’ll also find an update on the IRS’ 2018 FSA contribution limits. Plus, a look at how state medical marijuana laws are impacting employers’ drug policies.

What the Future Holds

According to the South Florida Business Journal, the future for Miami includes higher incomes. Reporter Keith Larsen shares the details in Miami ranks No. 1 among US cities with fastest-growing incomes.

Meanwhile, Forbes contributor Jeanne Meister shares her predictions about trends in the workplace in The Future of Work: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform the Employee Experience.

What career path offers a promising future?

SHRM’s Allah D. Wright gives us a big hint with Study: More Cyber Jobs Exist Than People to Fill Them.

Bringing together workplace trends and hiring expectations for 2018 and beyond is Small Business Trends’ Rob Starr who writes that 90% of Small Businesses Plan to Hire in 2018–Depending on Budget. Along with its hiring predictions, Starr’s article also details what small businesses have planned for advertising, cyber security, and more.

The Future of Taxation

We are all a little bit closer to finding out what our future tax bill may be as the House passed its version of the tax reform bill this week.

In a November 16 article, Tax overhaul drama moves to Senate as House approves its bill, Reuters reporters David Morgan and Amanda Becker explain the latest twists and turns of the tax overhaul journey.

Not sure what it all means? Fox Business offers Your Guide to 2018 Tax Changes, breaking down the details to help us figure out what the final numbers will be when tax time rolls around.

Happiness is…

What is the secret to happiness? After Studying the Lives of 724 Men for 79 Years, Harvard Reveals the 1 Biggest Secret to Success and Happiness, writes Dana Severson for Inc. The answer? Keep your friends close.

HR Updates

Remember to say thanks to your HR department as the new year approaches and the 2018 updates keep coming.

Learn about next year’s flexible spending account limits in 2018 FSA Contribution Cap Rises to $2,650 at SHRM.

Also on HR’s radar for 2018– recent court decisions and other challenges surrounding the adoption by states of varying medical marijuana use laws. Read all about it in 4 Things Employers Should Know About Medical Marijuana Laws by SHRM contributor Lisa Nagele-Piazza.

Speaking of Gratitude

As we approach Thanksgiving, we leave you with a short film on ‘Gratitude’ by renowned filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg.  It is a key to health, happiness, and longevity – as well as good relationships. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

STAFFLINK – Jobs & Pay | Sleep Hazards | Healthcare Costs | FMLA | BOXES (Video)

This Week: Jobs and Pay | Sleep Hazards | Healthcare Costs | FMLA Case | Joint Employer Bill  | I-9 Compliance

StaffLink’s Week Ending November 10 Highlights: Employment is up but wages aren’t; Employees carry increased healthcare costs; Losing sleep can cost a lot; Ignorance is not bliss for FMLA compliance; the Joint Employer Bill gets past the House; and applying I-9 procedures to remote workers.

Hiring Heats Up, But No Money in the Pot

The U.S. continues to experience record unemployment rates and Fox Business reports that the U.S. added 261,000 jobs in October. Nonetheless, wages aren’t going up MarketWatch’s Jeffry Bartash observes in Everything about the U.S. job market is red-hot–except for paychecks.

Wages Aren’t Up, But Expenses Are

In Workers Pay More of Rising Health Costs, SHRM’s Stephen Miller reports that premium renewal rates increased by over 6% in 2017, but employer premium contributions remained almost unchanged. Miller shares these and other findings from the 2017 United Benefits Advisors Health Plan Survey in his article.

This is Your Brain on Drowsy

Reporting on a new study released by UCLA regarding the dangers of sleep deprivation, the Daily News’ Joe Dziemianowicz explains that a lack of sleep can be as disruptive to cognitive function as drinking alcohol. The article, titled This is what happens to your brain when you don’t get enough sleep, highlights the risks of sleeplessness on the body and mind.
Don’t Mess(Up) with FMLA

The U.S. District Court in Massachusetts wasn’t hearing any excuses from an employer who was found to have willfully violated the Family and Medical Leave Act. Following a jury verdict, the judge awarded double damages just to make sure the defending employer got the message. Jeff Nowak provides his lively take on the proceedings and his takeaways in Train Your Managers on the FMLA, or You’re Courting Trouble.  

Not My Circus

A bill to clarify exactly who is an employer passed the House this week and will head to the Senate for a vote next. In House Passes Joint Employer Legislation, SHRM’s Allen Smith explains the NLRB decision that precipitated this legislative action and shares reactions to the potential return of the direct control standard for determining if a joint-employer relationship exists.  

If You Thought That Was Confusing…

Oh those wacky government officials, they’re always looking to make life complicated. Compliance with the Form I-9 document verification requirements is no exception to this rule. Roy Maurer explains just how complicated things can become and offers some methods to alleviate those complications in How to Comply with I-9 Requirements for Remote Workers.

Uber’s ‘Inside the Box’ Approach to Improving Cities

Well, this week’s ‘Best in the World’ video ad features one company’s ‘spin’ on what will improve city living.

Enjoy Your Weekend.

MARKET HITS NEW HIGH | TAX PLAN IMPACT | POWELL TO THE FED | BAD HIRES

This Week: Tax Plan Reactions | Powell Appointed  | Bad Hires | 401(k) Advice | Overtime | Immigration | Social Security

StaffLink’s Week Ending November 3 Highlights: This week, StaffLink takes a look at reactions to the GOP’s proposed tax bill and the naming of a new Fed chief. We also look at an update on the overtime rule litigation, new bills on immigration and farm labor, changes to the social security base rates, what the experts say about 401(k)s, and how to avoid bad hires.

Changes in Tax Plan and Fed Leadership Trigger Positive Market Response:

The stock market closed at a record high on Thursday for the 55th time in 2017. MarketWatch reported the details and offered some explanations for this latest remarkable close in Dow ends at a record as Trump taps Powell for Fed chief, GOP unfurls tax plan.

As noted in the MarketWatch article, President Trump announced his replacement for outgoing Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, this week. Reuters’ contributors Howard Schneider and Jeff Mason provide more details and their analysis of the move in Trump taps Fed centrist Power to lead U.S. central bank.

Of course, Powell’s appointment wasn’t the biggest reason for the stock market bump. That claim goes to the GOP’s proposed tax bill which caps the corporate tax rate at 20%. Reviewing the bill, Forbes contributor Tony Nitti notes that individual tax rates for many taxpayers would be lowered but we’ll also see significant changes in allowable deductions. Nitti explains the numbers in Breaking Down the House Tax Bill: What’s In and What’s Out?

This Week’s HR Legal and Legislative News:

A legal challenge to the Obama administration’s overtime rule which increased the minimum salary necessary to exempt workers from overtime payment requirements has been put on hold.

The Department of Labor asked the court to stay the litigation while it works on drafting a new rule. SHRM’s Allen Smith explains the history of the case and its current status in DOL Calls for Temporary Halt on Overtime Rule Case.  Expect to see a bump in the current OT exemption to $33,000 when the administration does present its new rule. 

Covering the legislative front this week, SHRM’s Roy Maurer gives us Mandatory E-Verify, Farm Labor Bills Clear First Hurdle explaining the complex interaction of two proposed bills approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Maurer writes that the Legal Workforce Act has been well-received by HR professionals while the Agricultural Guestworker Act is getting mixed reactions from members of the agriculture industry.

Retirement Savings:

Employers and workers can expect to contribute a little more to social security retirement savings in 2018.  Read about it in the HR Daily Advisor’s report Social Security Wage Base Limit Raised to $128,700.

But it’s not just the Social Security Administration that wants to see more money put away for retirement. In Push 401(k) Default Savings Rates Higher, Researchers and Plan Sponsors Agree, Stephen Miller of SHRM reports that experts believe employers should encourage workers to stash more money in their 401(k) plans by setting a higher default-contribution rate.

Hiring Savings:

Hiring can be time consuming and expensive, but firing is even worse. This week, SHRM’s Roy Maurer put together some tips to avoid making a hire you’ll regret in 5 Common Bad Hire and How to Prevent Them.

THIS WEEK’S VIDEO – A SCARY GOOD SOUTH FLORIDA OFFER, VOTED ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST.

One of the Week’s Best Global Ads – a Scary Good Offer that Hit south Florida Burger King Stores Halloween Night (they’re not clowning around with McDonalds anymore).

Enjoy Your Weekend.

 

 

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. 

STAFFLINK PODCAST GRAPHIC 1600x900

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.