Businesses Face Cyber Security Concerns

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Cyber-securityBusiness of all sizes are now facing “social engineering attacks,” a new epidemic that uses human interaction (social skills) to obtain or compromise information about an organization or its computer systems.  An attacker may seem unassuming and respectable, possibly claiming to be a new employee, repair person, or researcher, and even offering credentials to support that identity. However, by asking questions, he or she may be able to piece together enough information to infiltrate an organization’s network. If an attacker is not able to gather enough information from one source, he or she may contact another source within the same organization and rely on the information from the first source to add to his or her credibility. Continue reading “Businesses Face Cyber Security Concerns”

FLSA Recordkeeping: Are You In Compliance?

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FLSA-recordkeeping-are-you-in-complianceSpringtime may have you thinking about spring cleaning.  And you may be wondering whether your payroll files could use a little sprucing up.  However, every employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must be mindful of the Act’s requirement that employers keep certain records for each covered, nonexempt worker[1].   While the FLSA does not require that records be kept in a particular form or format, the Act does require that the records include 1) complete and accurate information about the employee, and 2) complete and accurate data about the hours worked and the wages earned. Continue reading “FLSA Recordkeeping: Are You In Compliance?”

Employment Law: The Elephant in the Room

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elephant in the room

Employment law:  what does it really mean to your business? Most business owners I speak with see it as the elephant in the room, the one that needs to be addressed but if ignored, possibly it will not sit on them.  Perhaps the elephant will find its way out of the room in search of some peanuts and disappear. Continue reading “Employment Law: The Elephant in the Room”

ACA: How Prepared Are You For What Comes Next?

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ACA-how-prepared-are-you-for-what-comes-nextOver the past several months I have met with several business owners and their HR/Benefit departments. They are concerned that they do not have the resources and expertise to handle the tasks ahead with compliance and reporting of the Affordable Care Act. Other employers who believe they have the proper system and data in place to comply are not confident that they can compile and report by the deadlines. Honestly, they have great cause to be concerned. Continue reading “ACA: How Prepared Are You For What Comes Next?”

Is HIPAA Compliance as Scary as Being Chased by a Hippo?

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Is-hipaa-compliance-as-scary-as-being-chased-by-a-hippo-1It’s a strange fact, but the hippo is responsible for more human fatalities in Africa than any other large animal, including lions or elephants; and HIPAA violations are the most common audit problem for employers according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). So, what does a hippo have in common with HIPAA? The weight of a hippo can be similar to the weight an employer feels when trying to overcome compliance matters! Continue reading “Is HIPAA Compliance as Scary as Being Chased by a Hippo?”

Well Written HR Policies Can Keep Employers Out of Trouble

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well-written-policies-can-keep-employers-out-of-troubleBe Specific! It Could Save You From An HR Nightmare
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions. Therefore, in an effort to assist employees at non-union worksites, the NLRB is closely monitoring complaints it receives as possible violations of Section 7. Continue reading “Well Written HR Policies Can Keep Employers Out of Trouble”

Don’t Go Toe-to-Toe with the EEOC

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In The HR Ring, We Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee.

There wasn’t much else to look at in the room aside from the worn dry erase board with remnants of notes past and painted cinderblock walls, dully highlighted by the glow of yellow fluorescent lights…unless you count the imposing Area Enforcement Supervisor.  His authoritative voice warned the 14 of us of the perils of non-compliance with federal employment laws.  Most employers with 15 or more employees are covered by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws…and you don’t want to go toe-to-toe with the EEOC. Continue reading “Don’t Go Toe-to-Toe with the EEOC”

Form I-9 Errors Can Be Costly HR Mistakes

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Avoid Common HR Pitfalls with I-9s
Form I-9s are very simple new hire forms, yet complicated to complete correctly. They come with seven pages of very detailed, fine-print instructions to complete the entire two page form. The dates must be completed in the format required. All areas must be filled in as applicable and not left blank…there must be an “N/A” (not applicable) placed in the section, instead of leaving it blank. Non-maintenance of these forms can prove to be extremely costly for a business. Yes, I’m talking about the Form I-9, that each of us dreads (you know you do) completing because it must be explained very clearly to all new employees. There’s a reason for this, and it’s surprising how many employers are unaware of the importance this form represents for their organization. Continue reading “Form I-9 Errors Can Be Costly HR Mistakes”

State of the Union Summary – Initiatives affect business owners

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President Obama recently announced several initiatives that affect small businesses.  Below is a summary of what the President mentioned during his State of the Union address.

Creating “myRA” – Starter Savings Account

  • The President is using his executive authority to create “myRA” (my Retirement Account) – a new “starter” retirement savings account that will be available through employers. This savings account would be offered through a familiar Roth IRA Account and, like savings bonds, would be backed by the U.S. government.

Continue reading “State of the Union Summary – Initiatives affect business owners”

Increasing scrutiny of misclassifying workers

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Properly classifying each worker as either an employee or contractor is an employer responsibility that is undergoing increasing review and scrutiny by regulators.  When the economy entered into a recession back in 2008, employers sought ways to decrease costs, and as business activity slowed down, certain jobs required flexible and variable work schedules versus the traditional permanent, full-time position.  With the pay or play mandate to go into effect in 2015, employers who have more than 50 full time employees but do not currently provide medical insurance are evaluating many strategies to best cope with PPACA – one of which may be to transition certain positions to a contractor status. Continue reading “Increasing scrutiny of misclassifying workers”