Economy Surging | Tax Reform Boost | 2018 Tax Info | High Achievers

StaffLink’s Small Business Week — January 19 Highlights

In StaffLink’s Small Business Week this week, the economy continues to set records; passage of the tax reform bill prompted many companies to increase employee wages and bonuses; 7-Eleven raids in Florida serve as a cautionary compliance tale for employers; 2018 tax information and tips for businesses preparing for the coming tax season; a look at workplace legal trends; and, how high achievers start their days.

Trump, the Economy, and tax reform 

Love Him or Hate Him, Trump deserves Credit for Booming Economy announces Investor’s Business Daily’s January 12, 2018, editorial. The editorial cites increased wages, bonus payments, and industrial expansions as evidence.  He is not alone, even some of the President’s media critics are now granting the president begrudging praise about his economic policies.

CNBC’s Market Insider with Patti Domm wrote Trump economy’s sustained growth pace unlike anything seen in 13 years. Will the good times last? Some economists tell Domm that they are waiting to see what happens in Q1 of 2018, but for the most part, there is strong optimism in the business community.  In fact, small business optimism is the highest its ever been in the 45 years since it was first measured. 

Corporate America is also proving critics wrong about the impact of tax reform.  More than 164 companies have either increased wages, paid bonuses, or both, including Apple, Walmart, JetBlue, American Airlines, and several large banks, to name a few.  You can find the list in Paul Bedard’s  article, Boom: 164 companies give bonuses, lower fees to millions. 

Which company is serving up the biggest bonus awards? The Street’s Annie Palmer tells us that most employees of Apple will receive $2,500 bonuses in Apple Just Handed Employees the Biggest Tax Bill-Related Bonus So Far.

What can we learn from the mistakes of others?

As the dust settles following the Department of Homeland Security’s raids on 100 7-Eleven stores, including several in Florida earlier this month, Workforce contributor Montserrat C. Miller examines what we can learn from the event. Miller also offers his tips to ensure that your business has its paperwork in order in Raid on 7-Elevens a Stark Lesson in I-9 Immigration Compliance.

Withholding tables plus small business tax hacks for 2018.

The new tax law included several changes that affect individual income withholdings. What should employers and employees do about the changes? SHRM’s Stephen Miller explains in IRS Issues New Withholding Tables for 2018. According to the article, the Trump administration anticipates that ninety percent of wage earners will take home more of their pay following the adjustments.

What can small businesses do to keep more of their money out of the tax collector’s hands? Entrepreneur contributor Peter Daisyme offers up 10 Tax-Savings Hacks That SMall Business Owners Often Miss to help us out. Save those receipts!

Making the most of your morning.

Inc. contributor Christina DesMarais says that high achievers get a head start by starting their mornings right. She tells us their formula for success in Here’s How the Highest Achievers Start Their Days Differently Than Everyone Else.

A look at the latest workplace legal trends.

Sharing good news and bad, SHRM’s Lisa Nagele-Piazza and Allen Smith have put together 8 Workplace Legal Trends for 2018. They predict that the Department of Labor will be employer-friendly and the Obama era overtime rule will see a rollback. Business challenges will include navigating harassment and retaliation claims. Plus, companies will need to adjust to changes in various state drug laws.

Watch This–

Political and social division is deep in many places, not just the U.S.  And, both sides are to blame.  But in the ‘down under’ one organization thinks it’s come up with a solution, and their ad was voted ‘top ad’ in the world this week in BestAdsonTV.   

There may be ‘mutt-in’ better than lamb to heal the  political divide.

Trends in HR | Healthcare Jobs of the Future | Handling Sexual Harassment Claims | Getting Employees’ Best

StaffLink’s Week Ending January 12 Highlights

StaffLink’s Small Business Highlights for this second full week in January include HR trends and healthcare jobs predictions. Plus, a guide to investigating sexual harassment claims and tips for encouraging your employees to work harder. Also, you’ll find an update on the DOL’s proposed association health plans rule and a look at the best in tech in this week’s edition.

Jobs are changing and so is the role of HR.

Demographic shifts and the adoption of new technologies are driving changes in HR from job design to recruiting practices. This Forbes article by Chee Tung Leong points to Four Key HR Trends to Watch in 2018. Will employers and employees prosper in the growing gig economy? What new benefits and compensation models will be needed to ensure that they do?

The high risks and rewards of advancing technology and its effect on healthcare jobs.

The past few years have seen incredible developments in medical technology. But new threats posed by runaway data and sophisticated biological tools have developed too. Forbes’ contributor Reenita Das discusses how new tools and technologies will shape the healthcare profession in 10 Future Healthcare Jobs to Watch.  

The one employee incentive that works.

According to a recent study (and common sense), the promise of upward mobility is a powerful motivator. Employees who believe they have an equal shot at success are more productive than those who believe the system is rigged.

In This Study of 400,000 People Reveals the 1 Reason Employees Work Harder (and It’s Not Pay or Benefits or Culture Decks), Inc. contributor Jeff Haden share details of the study’s findings.

Dealing with sexual harassment: Be prepared to handle complaints.

After a sexual harassment complaint has been made is not the time to decide how your organization will handle one. Mishandling an accusation can cost an organization its time, money, and reputation. SHRM’s Dori Meinert advises employers to learn what to do before they need to do it.

In How to Investigate Sexual Harassment Allegations, Meinert outlines a step by step process businesses can use to get up to speed on this sensitive topic.

Potential good news for small businesses seeking employee healthcare coverage.

SHRM’s Stephen Miller reported this week on a proposal by the Department of Labor that would allow small businesses greater access to association healthcare plans. Miller explains how the proposed rule would work in DOL Proposes Rule to Expand Association Health Plans for Small Employers. The DOL is accepting comments on the proposal through March 6.

CES 2018 in 2 Minutes

With the Consumer Technology Association’s CES 2018 taking place in Las Vegas this week, tech talk is everywhere. If you can’t attend the conference you can still see what all the fuss is about.

Just check out this video:

Job Growth and Stock Market Climb | New Income Tax Brackets | 2018 Trends for Talent and Tech

Welcome to 2018! StaffLink’s best for the week ending January 5 includes signs of economic strength, news of the new income tax brackets, and a court ruling on Miami Beach’s municipal minimum wage ordinance. Plus, this year’s talent acquisition and tech trends.

The economy is on the up and up.

On January 4, the Dow Jones Industrial Average made history. Fox Business News reported that the index hit an all-time high of 25,000 during this first week of 2018. If the trend continues through today, the Dow will hit its 90th record close since the November 2016 elections. Fox Reporter Leia Klingel writes all about it in Dow 25,000 powered by fastest 1,000-point advance ever.

MarketWatch’s Andrea Riquier added to the positive economic news on Thursday with Private-sector job growth sizzles in December, with 250,000 jobs added, ADP says. “The American job machine remains in full swing,” Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told Riquier before cautioning that future growth may be limited by a shrinking labor pool.

The new tax law shifts taxpayer brackets.

The Republican-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law in December and brought with it a set of new income tax brackets. CNBC’s Darla Mercado breaks down the new numbers in New year, new tax brackets. Here’s where you stand.

Mileage deduction rates see a small adjustment.

Beginning on January 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for deductible business mileage will increase by 1 cent to 54.5 cents per mile writes SHRM’s Stephen Miller in IRS Announces Higher Standard Mileage Rate for 2018. The deduction for moving and medical driving expenses increased as well, Miller reports.  However, the deduction when driving for charity remained unchanged.

A district court decides a Florida minimum wage dispute.

In December 2017, a district court in Florida found that Florida local governments’ authority to set minimum wage rates were preempted by state law. The ruling resolved an issue of interpretation between an amendment to the Florida Constitution and Florida statutes. SHRM contributor Sarah Smith Kuehnel explains the details of the ruling in Florida Statute Preempts Miami Beach Minimum Wage Ordinance, Court Finds.

Sourcing new hires in the new year.

How are hiring managers and recruiters adjusting to demographic shifts in the labor market? SHRM brings us some predictions in Tim Sackett Peers into the Future: Talent Acquisition Trends and Predictions for 2018. Millennials are no longer the new kids in the cubicles as members of Generation Z began graduating from college in 2017.

Finally, from CNET, we bring you this video featuring a look at the tech you may expect to see influencing your life in 2018. From augmented reality to voice assist, the future is here (even the Star Trek ad at the front) … 

Benefits and Compensation in 2018 | Affordable Care Act Deadlines and Deals | Marketing in 2018

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 29 Highlights

Closing out 2017, StaffLink brings you good tidings for retailers, updates on benefits and compensation trends, the latest ACA events, and a peek at what marketers are planning for 2018.

Employee benefits and compensation are changing with the times.

Earlier this month, SHRM’s Stephen Miller took a look back over employee pay trends in 2017 and made some predictions for 2018. In 4 Key Compensation Trends in 2017, he offers his insights into what employers should expect in 2018. One notable development for 2018 is that hiring managers in some jurisdictions will be prohibited from asking candidates about their past salaries.

Also from SHRM’s Stephen Miller is 5 Big Benefits Trends Going into 2018. Miller writes that employers will invest more in financial wellness programs for employees. He also predicts that health care costs will continue to rise, and everyone will need to adjust to the Affordable Care Act’s requirements.

Retailers enjoyed robust sales this holiday season.

Earlier this week, Fox Business reported that holiday sales increased by almost 5% between November 1 and Christmas Eve with electronics purchases leading the way. Fox Business shares the sales results and reactions from shoppers and retail representatives in Retailers feel shoppers’ Christmas Cheer.

Making a plan for personal success.

It’s that time of year when people begin making plans for their futures, setting goals, and resolving to achieve them. If you are short of ideas on what you’d like to change in the coming year, check out 30 Habits, Qualities and Secrets That Lead to Success from Entrepreneur.com.

ACA change-ups: Employers get a little more time and individuals get to avoid a penalty.

On December 22, the IRS announced an extension of the 2018 deadline for employers to provide ACA-related insurance coverage information forms to their employees. However, SHRM reports in IRS Extends Deadline to Supply ACA Forms to Employees, employers are still required to meet the existing deadlines for filing their information forms with the IRS. Employers may also qualify for a good-faith exemption from penalties in circumstances where inaccurate information is filed.

Speaking of penalties, the tax reform bill passed by Congress lifts the so-called individual mandate penalty for 2019. This change will effectively eliminate the individual coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act in 2019. How will this affect employers and employees? Read, What Individual Mandate Repeal Means for Employers at SHRM.org.

What will marketers do differently in 2018?

Inc. contributor Melanie Deziel asked a few people to find out. She tells us their plans and predictions in What 28 Entrepreneurs & Marketers Are Doing Differently in 2018 (And You Should Too). Among the predictions are a move to video and a focus on building stronger connections with customers.

For more on what marketers will be up to in 2018, check out this video from MSNBC. (That was quick. The move to video has already started.)

Tax Overhaul Triggers Optimism | View the New Tax Rates and Brackets | Keeping Company Data Secure

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 22 Highlights

The big news this week was the passage of a major tax overhaul. How are investors, taxpayers, and corporations responding to the new law? You’ll find out in our highlighted articles of the week.

Plus, discover how hackers can trick your company into exposing sensitive data. And finally, just in time for your New Year’s Resolution making, we found articles on improving your exercise routine and your brain’s performance.

A festive response to the passage of the GOP-led tax overhaul.

On Monday, Wall Street hit another record-setting high. As Fox Business reported, the lofty gains were attributed to investor excitement over the lowered corporate tax rates included in the new tax bill. Read the details and what analysts had to say about this latest market spike in Tax plan optimism propels Wall Street to record highs.

It wasn’t just Wall Street investors who were celebrating the new tax bill this week. On Wednesday, CNBC published AT&T, Comcast giving $1,000 bonuses to hundreds of thousands of workers after tax bill. The article quotes representatives from both companies explaining their motivations for the payouts.  

How will the new tax bill affect you?

After weeks of speculation, individual taxpayers can finally begin making their calculations. Forbes contributor Rob Berger gives us the information we need to do the math in The New 2018 Federal Tax Income Brackets and Rates. Under the 2018 tax structure, there are seven individual tax brackets with rates beginning at 10% and capped at 37%.

Education assistance is in and the ACA mandate is out.

Employer-sponsored tuition assistance survived the new tax law but the ACA penalty did not. Beginning in 2019, individuals who fail to purchase health insurance will owe a $0 tax penalty. This move effectively eliminates the ACA’s individual coverage mandate.

These are just a few of the many changes detailed by SHRM’s Stephen Miller in his article, Final Tax Bill Dices and Splices Benefit Changes. Miller’s article is well worth the read. He does an excellent job of identifying the key tax changes that employers will need to contend with in the new year.

Lest you think taxes are all you should be thinking about.

Can cybersecurity ever be far out of mind for modern businesses? Keeping us on our toes is Harvard Business Review’s Eric Cole writing The Most Common Ways You Could Get Tricked into Compromising Company Data. According to Cole, sophisticated phishing emails, infected attachments, and unsecured devices should be on your watch list for 2018.

Getting into shape for whatever the future brings.

Enough about business, let’s talk about you. How can you make the most of your time in 2018? Start with The best workout routine for losing weight- according to an exercise physiologist brought to you by Business Insider’s Zach Williams and Kevin Reilly.

You can enhance your brain workout too. Just follow the advice Forbes contributor Tara Swift shares in 4 Habits You Didn’t Know Were Holding Back Your Brain Performance.

Can you keep a secret?

What would you do if you had the number of a VIP? Would you keep the information to yourself or share it with the world? Watch what happens when someone gets Santa’s number in this ad from Portugal.

2018 HEALTHCARE PLAN TRENDS | STRONG ECONOMY | BITCOIN | OSHA TOP 10

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 15 Highlights

This week StaffLink is bringing you tips on making the best of your day and of your Bitcoin investment. Plus, good news about the economy.

For our friends in HR, this week’s highlights include a free report on coming trends in healthcare benefits, new legislative developments, and a rundown of the top ten OSHA violations. We also found an infographic detailing how 2018’s HR environment will change.

And, for a bit of holiday cheer, a Christmas-themed ad to view.

Free report on healthcare from StaffLink to you.

Just in time to for you to snuggle up and read over the holidays, we bring you our 2018 HR Trends: Healthcare Plans Summary. Learn what to expect and how much it may cost with our free download.

2018 EMPLOYEE HEALTHCARE TRENDS

Learning something new every day.

Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin looked at the research and made a list of do’s and don’ts for having the ideal day. She shared the results in this article: What your daily routine should look like, according to science.

Wait? You already knew all those tips? Okay then, here’s something else you can learn about today. Try this video: Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin in 2 Minutes from Inc.’s Guadalupe Gonzalez.

Good news on the jobs front to close out 2017.

In Employers Report Strong Job Growth, Unemployment Holds Steady, SHRM’s Roy Maurer treats us to a review of several November economic reports. Maurer writes that wages rose slightly and 228,000 U.S. jobs were added in November.

Proposed legislation seeks to limit mandatory arbitration in harassment cases.

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this week seeks to prevent employers from keeping sexual harassment claims out of the courthouse writes SHRM’s Lisa Nagele-Piazza in New Bill Would Ban Mandatory Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims. However, experts interviewed by Nagele-Piazza point out that if a workplace situation has reached the point of arbitration or litigation, matters are already far out of hand.

Is your workplace free of these common safety risks?

The work comp pros at SFM have prepared a slide show featuring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s top ten safety violations of 2017. The linked article also includes a list of SFM resources for addressing each of these violations to help ensure a safe workplace for all.

Looking forward to 2018 and what it will be like for HR teams.

SHRM’s Beth Mirza made a list (and maybe even checked it twice) of what HR will look like next year. She puts it all together in this clever infographic, What’s Out and What’s In for 2018.  

Speaking of lists, this ad tops British viewer’s list as the best Christmas Ad for 2017. Well, of course, they did! This ad features Paddington. Enjoy.