Are all employers required to have an employee handbook? If you answered "no" to this question, you are technically correct. There are no federal or state laws that specifically require companies to create and maintain employee handbooks. HOWEVER, we strongly suggest doing so since, regardless of your company's size, having an employee handbook is a good business practice. There are many laws requiring employers to notify employees of workplace rights (e.g. EEO, sexual harassment, ADA, FMLA), and this document can help with that. In fact, a well-crafted employee handbook helps protect both employer and employees. Following are five specific reasons why having a handbook might be a good idea for your organization.
Our knowledge is your knowledge! That is the common expectation in the HR world, right? It's all about sharing resources, training, updates, and knowledge with employees, clients, and even other human resource professionals in our network. We do it because everyone in this role knows what a constant challenge it can be to keep up with changing legislation, benefit offerings, trends, policies, and compliance requirements. You can never have too many tools in your toolbox of HR information.
- Can and should we screen social media accounts as part of the hiring process?
- We have good reason to believe an employee has been stealing from the register. What should we do?
- How do we keep an employee at-will but require them to give notice before leaving?
- Can we ask an applicant why they are leaving their current job?
Where do you turn for answers to these and other HR questions? Google? Colleagues? A coin flip?
Businesses spend an average of 25 hours per month trying to understand and resolve HR issues, and in too many cases much of that time is spent guessing or following poor advice. There's a better way to get reliable information faster, and we're inviting you to see how it works.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has made it easier for small employers (i.e. generally 50 employees or less) to join together to buy health insurance coverage with big company benefits and potential large group savings. The DOL's recently released Association Health Plan (AHP) final rule expands access for these organizations. AHPs have been around for many years, but the rules on them have now been loosened a little with the newly adopted legislation. AHPs have a better negotiating position due to the health risks being spread over a larger pool than if the members participated individually. The final rule also bestows upon them the ability to self-insure without being required to meet all of the essential benefit mandates of a small employer.
Employee benefits are typically an employer’s second largest expense after payroll. They are also a critical tool for attracting and retaining top talent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a very interesting News Release: Employer Costs For Employee Compensation – September 2017. The study estimates that employee benefits make up 31.7% of an employee’s total compensation, on average.
"Why do I need Long Term Care Insurance? I already have health insurance!"
This is a common response when people are asked if they have considered Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI). What people don't realize is that their health insurance will typically not cover long-term care needs in a nursing home, assisted-living facility, or in one's own home. Another common misperception is that it's just the elderly population that has these needs. Unfortunately, this is not true, as young people also experience accidents as well as chronic and debilitating illnesses, all of which can create a need for long-term care.
Over the last few years, employee wellness programs have been a common topic of conversation in all size organizations and at multiple levels. Employers have a lot of questions when creating or modifying plans. What follows might help answer some of those questions.
The following series of questions and answers is designed to give a high level overview of the responsibilities companies have if they are required to provide time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Did you know that a beneficiary designation is a legally binding document that supersedes your will. It allows you to decide what happens to your assets, including life insurance policies and retirement/annuity accounts, in the event of your demise. Regardless whether you update your will or not, payout for these accounts will go to the last beneficiary on file.
More and more, baby boomers are hitting that magic age of 65. One result is that employers are frequently asked by employees if they need to enroll in Medicare coverage if they plan to keep working and are covered by the employer’s medical benefits. While everyone always wants the simple 'yes' or 'no' answer, the appropriate response to the question is not always simple, and there are a lot of 'it depends' scenarios. Here are some of the details to consider.