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.

 

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.

 

PRESIDENT’S TAX PLAN – 2018 OBAMACARE COST HIKES – DOJ & ADA

This Week: The Trump Tax Plan | Obamacare Costs Rise | DOJ and the ADA | Air Taxis

STAFFLINK’s Week Ending September 29 Highlights: This week, the long awaited tax plan arrived; healthcare premiums and student loan debts are rising; and the DOJ says no to another regulation. Plus, some tried and tested time management tips, and a new way to travel.

Worth waiting for?

President Trump’s promised tax plan is here and Bob Bryan is sharing the details at Business Insider. See the full text or read Bryan’s highlights in IT’S HERE: All the details of Trump’s massive tax plan. Will you owe more or less if the plan comes to pass? Break out those calculators and call your accountant!  Spoiler – small businesses really seem to like it. 

 

Can we deduct that?

Florida residents may be looking for a tax break after seeing their updated healthcare premiums. The Miami Herald’s Daniel Chang reports the bad news in Obamacare premiums in Florida to rise 45 percent on average next year.

 

It’s not avocado toast.

Millennials Would Stay at a Company 36 Percent Longer if It Offered This 1 Benefit writes Melanie Curtin for Inc. What would it take to keep your millennial staff from jumping ship? Here’s a hint: Those diplomas aren’t cheap.

This generation of employees is entering the workforce with 20 years worth of loan repayment weighing them down. A survey of the Benefit Preferences of College-educated Millennials says that employers who help lighten this load will win the competition for talent.

 

Time waits for no man.

In Entrepreneur this week, R.L. Adams shares 15 Time Management Tips for Achieving Your Goals. These tips have stood the test of time and can help you get control of yours.

 

DOJ dodges.

Website accessibility for individuals covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act has been a contentious topic for several years with courts hearing hundreds of cases on the issue. Don’t expect the lawsuits to end anytime soon as the DOJ Halts Plan to Create Website Accessibility Regulations.  In fact, the halt helps protect small business owners from the rapid rise in ‘website accessibility lawsuits’ – an ADA abuse where unscrupulous attorneys file hundreds of lawsuits against small business owners, often unfamiliar with the regulations, in an attempt to settle out of court for thousands of dollars.  

Website accessibility is important; the rise in ADA serial lawsuits is abuse.  Perhaps the government can find a better way.

The autonomous air taxi has arrived.

In Dubai, an autonomous drone will pick you up and ferry you through the air to your destination. Finally, we get George’s Commute!

See for yourself:

 

STAFFLINK’S BLOG – SEPT 22 – Future of Work | HR and the Equifax Breach | Healthcare Battle

This week we take a look at McKinsey & Co.’s thoughts on the future, tips for securing your employee data following the Equifax breach, and Congress’s latest attempt to pass a healthcare bill. Also, it’s time to use the new Form I-9. Plus, scientists’ tips for happiness.

What the future holds: This month’s McKinsey Quarterly included the McKinsey & Co.’s advice on Getting Ready for the Future of Work. Their take– as automation and artificial intelligence continues to encroach on traditionally human job roles, lifetime learning and willingness to pivot will determine individual success. In the future, flexibility and agility will trump fixed skills.

What HR teams need to know after the Equifax incident: HR teams will need all the agility they can muster to stay one step ahead of identity thieves following the recent Equifax breach. Human Resource Executive Online’s George LaRocque explains why employers’ dependence on static identifiers (including social security numbers and other personal identifying information) to manage payroll and benefits leaves them vulnerable and what they can do about it in HR’s Role After the Equifax Breach.

Start using the new I-9 form: The deadline to begin using the new Form I-9 has passed. As of September 18, 2017, employers should be using the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) revised Form I-9 for new hires. In Time to Start Using New Form I-9, SHRM’s Roy Maurer details what’s changed on the form and where employers can learn more.

The Affordable Care Act is in the crosshairs again: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Congress seems to be taking this advice to heart as they work to meet a September 30 repeal and replace deadline. Employers Advised to Stay Tuned as Another Healthcare Bill Heats Up, reads the headline for HR Daily Advisor’s article by Tammy Binford reporting the details of this latest healthcare bill.

Finding happiness isn’t as hard as you think: Inc. contributor Marcel Schwantes tells us how easy it is in 3 New Things Science Say You Should Do to Become Happy. The big reveal? Don’t worry be happy and enjoy the ride. If you don’t find your zen in chill, try Jeff Haden’s The 6 High Performance Habits Only Extraordinary People Share, Backed by Science instead.

Speaking of the future of work and HR, one thing applicants can do is avoid some of these ‘worst’ real interview answers ever – from the LinkedIn archives.  Enjoy.

STAFFLINK Small Business – Sept 15 – Hurricane Irma HR Tips – Equifax, CyberSecurity & Small Business …

This Week:  StaffLink Offices Open for Business | Handling the Hurricane Aftermath | Epic Equifax Security Fail

StaffLink’s Week Ending September 15 Highlights: Natural and manmade disasters were the focus of much of the nation’s attention this week. Here are some of the week’s top stories about picking up the pieces.  

StaffLink Resumes Full Operations:  Hurricane Irma and its aftermath took many businesses offline or out of service, including STAFFLINK. We are now back and running at full capacity and ready to assist our customers. Call us if you need anything! Our President, Abram Finkelstein shared this message on Thursday, announcing the good news and offering some tips on how to prepare for future storms.

Get Ready, America! wants to help you prepare for whatever the future brings, too. Check out their Business Checklist for hurricane preparedness to get started.

Irma Response Includes Insurance Holds and a Few Breaks From the IRS: This week, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an emergency order temporarily prohibiting rate increases and policy cancellations by Florida insurers. The Sun Sentinel shared the details and a response from Jeff Grady of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents in its article, State Freezes Insurance Rate Hikes and Cancellations During Hurricane Irma Recovery.

Also this week, in Agencies Give Tax Filing and 401(k) Withdrawal Relief to Hurricane Irma Victims, SHRM reported that the IRS is extending filing and payment deadlines and relaxing some 401(k) lending and distribution requirements to aid businesses and individuals affected by the hurricanes.

Equifax’s Failure to Protect:

In the midst of struggling with nature’s devastation, over 1.4 million individuals and business owners also had to face a manmade catastrophe. TheNextWeb reported the details last Friday in 143 Million US Consumers’ Data Stolen in Equifax Breach. Want to find out if you were affected by the breach? Check your status at Equifax using this link.

The Equifax breach is in part the result of terrible password choices at the company that were easy to hack.  So, this might be a good time to review your passwords. But before you do, read 7 Passwords Not to Use at Your Small Business courtesy of The HartfordView via Inc. (Hint: “Admin” is not an appropriate password.)

An HR’s Work Never Ends: From overtime rules to FEMA guidelines, HR teams have some catching up to do as work resumes. Following a recent court ruling, SHRM asks (and discusses) What’s Next for the Federal Overtime Rule?

Speaking of court rulings, SHRM looked at a case involving the Family and Medical Leave Act to help answer the question, Are Employees Eligible for FMLA Leave During a Natural Disaster? As you probably guessed, the answer is “It’s complicated.”

Florida Recovers and Rebuilds:

Facing hot temperatures, wild weather and ‘gators,’ Floridians are a resilient bunch. As this week’s video demonstrates, the Keys were especially hard hit, but the recovery effort is already under way. 

STAFFLINK RESUMES FULL OPERATIONS

To all of our valued clients:

I hope that you and your families all weathered Hurricane Irma with minimal damage to your homes and businesses.

I am happy to report that StaffLink Outsourcing, Inc. has returned to full operation and is back to business as usual in the aftermath of the storm. We would like to thank everyone affected for their cooperation in our efforts to finalize payrolls before the hurricane, to ensure that there was minimal impact on your businesses and employees.  For those who have not solidified an Emergency Preparedness Plan with StaffLink, please connect with your Payroll Specialist and communicate what you would like us to do in the event you are unable to contact us during an emergency.

As you know delivery of live checks during some emergencies are a challenge.  Currently, all of the delivery services are attempting to get back to normal service.  The courier service is working on a skeletal crew and FEDEX will resume limited pick up service today.  For those of you that still receive paper checks, now is a great time to reconsider initiating paperless payroll!  Please contact Deborah Stewart or your assigned Payroll representative to discuss taking advantage of our paperless payroll service.  You can also ask about our free Paycard for your employees without a bank account.

Once again, please resume normal communications with StaffLink.  All departments are fully operational and waiting to assist you.

Thank you for your business and for your patience during these challenging times.

Very truly yours,

Abram Finkelstein, President

Ph  (954) 423-8262 Fx  (954) 423-8263

2018 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS | HABITS OF TOP SALES EARNERS | LINKEDIN VIDEO

This Week:  Social Media Trends to Watch | Habits of Top Sales Earners | Harvey Lessons and in Pictures

Stafflink’s Best of the Week for the Week Ending September 1: This edition features a view of what the future holds for social media including a review of LinkedIn’s new video feature, a look at the habits that make a salesperson rich, a compliance update from the EEOC, and a look at the people and places affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Video, Chat Bots, and Analytics, Oh My!

2018 has lots of changes in store for businesses that use social media. That’s what John Hall of Influence & Co. tells Inc. readers in his article, 6 Social Media Trends to Prepare for in 2018. Hall predicts that better analytics tools will be developed to meet marketers’ need to justify their investments in social media marketing. And, platforms will continue to offer similar features in a quest to capture those marketing dollars.

Some of these changes are already starting to take shape at LinkedIn. This August, LinkedIn began allowing video posts for members. Now users can post video snippets from webinars, product presentations, or their personal observations in their LinkedIn feed.

Is your business ready to leverage video marketing? What will you show the world?
How do they do that?

Have you ever wondered what those top earning salespeople do to make the magic happen? Entrepreneur says those salespeople who make the most focus on making the most. Guest contributor Marc Wayshak writes that wealthy salespeople got that way by concentrating their activities on only those tasks that bring in the Benjamins in bulk. Aimin’ for the top and let the rest drop.

In others words, a salesperson’s application of the 80/20 rule.

Wait, What? But Didn’t You Say…

So, first, the EEOC said that employers were going to have to report some additional information on the EEO-1 Form. And, since it might take businesses awhile to adjust, the deadline for filing the EEO-1 was moved from September 30, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Then someone decided to change things.

Don’t worry. The deadline for filing is still March 31, 2018. But employers won’t have to answer the new pay data question that triggered the extension. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) wants to give that question another look. So the question is suspended, but the new filing deadline remains.

According to this article at SHRM, the new plan is for businesses to fill out the form, leave the new portion blank, and file it in March. (We’ll keep you posted on any additional updates.)

Hurricane Harvey – Tips for Helping Employees Deal with Loss
It may take our nation years to fully assess the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.  The New York Times’ collection, Harvey in Pictures, shows us both the power of the storm and the strength of the people who faced it as they begin their recovery.  Employers can have a huge impact on the lives of employees during catastrophes.  SHRM’s article, ‘How to Support Employees Through Grief & Loss‘ provides helpful insights for when calamity strikes here in south Florida.

HARVEY IN PICTUREShttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/27/us/harvey-pictures-hurricane-storm.html