Answer: An employee would be eligible for Emergency Family and Medical Leave if the daycare or school is open, but the institution has asked the child to stay at home due to a COVID-19 exposure in the household and a family member is quarantined or awaiting test results.
Answer: Generally, no. If you become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, you may take paid sick leave under the FFCRA to seek a medical diagnosis or if a health care provider otherwise advises you to self-quarantine. You would not be eligible if you unilaterally decide to self-quarantine for an illness without seeking a medical diagnosis or medical advice, even if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
Answer: The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision regarding rights of LGBT individuals in the workplace. Title VII forbids employment decisions which take into account an individual’s sex. An adverse employment action based on sexual orientation or gender identity is a decision based in part on an individual’s sex and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Answer: Yes. If the physical location where your child received instruction or care is now closed, the school or place of care is “closed” for purposes of Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave. This is true even if some or all instruction is being provided online or your child is expected to complete assignments through another format such as “distance learning.”
Answer: Generally, no. Under the CARES Act, an individual may be eligible for benefits if they meet circumstances listed in the Act. There are circumstances under the CARES Act in which specific, credible health concerns could require an individual to quit their job and thereby make them eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Generally, they may be eligible for PUA due to exposure only if they have been dvised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine.
Answer: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave effective on April 1, 2020 and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. An employer may not deny an employee paid sick leave even if they provided paid leave for a reason identified in the FFCRA prior to the Act going into effect.
Answer: DiSC® behavioral assessments provide a common language that people can use to better understand themselves and the styles of others. Participants learn the characteristics of each DiSC® style and with their customized assessment results, use tailored strategies to better communicate and engage with others. Join our seminar on March 26 to improve sales and working relationships.
Answer: No. Health benefits are part of compensation, terms, conditions and privileges of employment. For example, an employer that fires an employee because of anticipated high health claims based on genetic information or that uses this information as the basis of a hiring decision, would violate Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
Answer: Most insurance policies are designed to cover the cost of replacement, not fair market value. Most policies contain a penalty if it’s determined that limits are insufficient. According to a recent study, only 25% of commercial buildings were insured using correct values. If an unfortunate event were to occur, would you have enough funds available to replace your building if your insurance company didn’t cover all of the loss?
Answer: Do you have reliable transportation? What would you do if your spouse is transferred? Are these legally defensible interview questions? Join our Navigating the HR Jungle seminar on January 23 to learn about lawful interviewing, federal and state regulations, employment discrimination, taking corrective action, workplace harassment, employee privacy, seven principles of management and more.
Answer: Many factors come in to play, but most importantly is knowing the overall health of your group and the amount of risk you’re willing to take. Fortunately, there have been many changes in the industry over the past few years bringing about level funding designs. With these types of plans, the insurance company takes on the risk, but as the employer, you can reap the benefit if your plan performs better than projected.
Answer: Employers may offer two new HRAs to employees effective January 1, 2020. With an Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA), HRA funds may be used to purchase individual health insurance or Medicare. Under an Excepted Benefit HRA (EBHRA), HRA funds may be used to purchase excepted benefits such as dental and vision benefits. This provides greater flexibility to employers without requiring the HRA be aligned with an employer-sponsored group health plan.
Answer: Core benefits like health insurance and PTO aren’t going anywhere. In fact, many companies will increase their investment to add more value. Yet a greater emphasis will likely shift to perks that impact employees’ day-to-day lives. Student debt, childcare, flexible work and remote work arrangements, pet health care, retirement planning, wellness plans – these are issues that challenge employees on a daily basis that progressive-minded employers have stepped in to help alleviate.
November 11, 2019
Answer: Seventy percent of workplace change initiatives fail. To help your team, describe what’s changing and why. Draw out reactions and feelings; don’t try to push past or overcome them. Talk about what the team can control, elements they cannot control and factors that they can influence. This helps people gain a sense of control again.
Answer: Some employees have high health costs, and therefore they value and will contribute towards richer benefits. Others want the best plan the employer can afford but don’t want to pay for more. A third group of employees, often older but healthy individuals as well as younger families, value health savings accounts with lower-cost, high-deductible health plans. Consider offering multiple plans which address the diverse needs of your workforce.
Question: When does the new overtime rule take effect?
Answer: To be exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees must be paid at least $35,568 and meet certain job duties tests. If they are paid less or do not meet the duties test, they must be paid 1 ½ times their regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. The new rate takes effect January 1, 2020.
Question: I’ve made my benefits renewal decisions for 2020. Is there anything else I should do?
Answer: Yes. Now is the time to work with your trusted benefits advisor to finalize and implement your plan for the coming year. Your plan should address Five Key Areas of focus: Data/Benchmarking | Communication | Enrollment | Compliance | Technology. It should be written with specific timelines and clarity on who is responsible to help accomplish your goals. Now is the time to engage on your next renewal. Do you have a plan?
September 9, 2019
Question: Is employee health the key to a healthy bottom line?
Answer: Most employers feel hopeless as they receive their benefits renewal. Many factors contribute to the renewal, but only one that employers can impact. A strategic wellness program that engages and motivates employees will increase productivity, reduce both absenteeism and presenteeism. Empowering employees to improve their health is a win/win scenario for any organization!
Question:Have the contribution limits for an HSA increased for 2020?
Answer: The IRS limits for Health Spending Account (HSA) contributions increase for 2020. Eligible individuals with self-only high deductible health plan (HDHP) coverage will be able to contribute up to $3,550 for 2020, while eligible individuals with family HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $7,100 for 2020. The $1,000 catch-up contribution limit that applies to HSA-eligible individuals who are age 55 or older will remain unchanged.
Question: How can we retain our talented staff?
Answer: When people are empowered and excited about their work their productivity, morale, and ultimately, business performance increase significantly. As a leader, you can increase employee engagement and encourage people to stay with your organization by addressing three areas that get to the heart of what really matters to them and that drive their job satisfaction. Join our seminar, Engaging & Retaining Talent, on October 19.
Question: What are the best ways to prevent Cyber Crime in my business?
Answer: According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 96% of all financial and phishing crimes are attributed to an employee falling victim to an email scheme. Take advantage of the resources available and educate your employees on Cyber Crime prevention; it could have a huge impact in reducing this risk to your business.
Question: How can I detect and avoid a gender pay gap in my business?
Answer: Nationwide women are paid approximately 80% of what men are paid; 78% in Missouri. Employers can take steps to avoid perpetuating this gap. First, establish a compensation structure including salary ranges for positions; remove inquiries about prior salary from your employment application; avoid asking candidates and prior employers about their salary history; and focus your hiring conversation on the predefined salary range. Lastly, conduct a thorough compensation analysis of your current staff to identify issues.
Answer: It is extremely important to know how your business performs against others in the industry. Benchmarking is a process by which your organization can measure and compare data with other similar organizations. This can include, but is not limited to: medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, 401K, paid time off, and sick leave policy. At Ollis/Akers/Arney, we have several tools available to help. Do you want to know how you compare?
The $3 million neighborhood hub unites community resources under one roof.
Lynne Meyerkord, executive director of the AIDS Project of the Ozarks says the pandemic has forced them to make a lot of changes. She says their federal grant money is currently secure, but she’s …
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Toni Robinson, president of Springfield NAACP says they learned early in their career to practice listening and humility. Robinson says these abilities are critical to being a good leader. Robinson …
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Elizabeth Hurst, business development manager with HR Advantage, says insurance has become nearly as important as pay to job candidates. Hurst says they’ve seen candidates turn down jobs that …