Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Posts by Maggie Johnson

Planning for Open Enrollment

Posted by on October 1, 2019 in Human Resources

Planning for Open Enrollment By Maggie Johnson     As we go into the fall, most companies will begin the process for Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment for many employers will be held in November and sometimes into December of 2019 for the 2020 plan year. To ensure your Open Enrollment goes smoothly, here are some suggested tips. Employee’s Share of Premium Most employees share the cost of the premium for health insurance coverage with their employer. For 2020, it is predicted by the Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans that the total health benefits costs per employee will increase by 3.9%. According to AON Consultancy’s 2020 Global Medical Trend Rates Report, healthcare benefit cost is expected to rise by 6.5% in the US. However, whether a health insurance plan is self-insured or fully-insured, the company’s claims experience is normally reflected in that company’s healthcare premium rates, and may...

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Romantic Relationships in the Workplace

Posted by on September 1, 2019 in Human Resources

Romantic Relationships in the Workplace by Maggie Johnson     When two people spend a lot of time together, a romantic relationship may develop between them.  In a recent survey by Namely, 40 percent of the survey’s participants indicated that they’d had a romantic relationship with a co-worker, with five percent of them having had a romantic relationship with their boss or a direct report.   A 2017 CareerBuilder study showed 41 percent of professionals have dated a co-worker with 30 percent of office romances resulting in marriage.  While a blooming romance may be a happy thing, in the workplace, it can spell big trouble!  For a couple working alongside each other, and who are engaged in a romantic relationship, here are just three issues that could spring from that situation: Office gossip and some teasing of the couple may seem harmless at first, but could lead to detrimental consequences. ...

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Onboarding – A Key to Retention!

Posted by on July 5, 2019 in Human Resources

Onboarding – A Key to Retention! By Maggie Johnson     If you think onboarding consists of new employees completing documents such I-9 and W-4 forms, among others, on their first day of employment, you may be missing the value a robust onboarding process can bring to your organization. Onboarding can be the key to increased employee engagement, higher productivity and lower turnover. After spending considerable time, effort and, most likely, dollars recruiting the right person to join your organization, it makes sense to make every effort to effectively assimilate that employee into your company for a mutually successful outcome. According to Work Institute’s 2019 Retention Report, there are 150 million people currently working in the US, that’s more than ever before. In 2018, 41.4 million US workers voluntarily left their jobs. National employee voluntary turnover was over 27%. The cost of voluntary turnover is estimated to exceed $600...

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Medical Marijuana In The Workplace – Update For New Jersey Employers

Posted by on June 5, 2019 in Human Resources

Medical Marijuana In The Workplace – Update for New Jersey Employers By Maggie Johnson     Recreational marijuana use is not yet legalized in New Jersey or New York despite recent attempts by each state’s legislators to do so. However, recreational marijuana use, if legalized, would not necessarily present a problem for employers. As a comparison, alcohol is legal, but employers have the right to prohibit its consumption during working hours and in the workplace. Surely, the same rule would apply to recreational marijuana. But what about medical marijuana? The New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (“CUMMA”) authorizes patients and their primary caregivers who register with the New Jersey Department of Health to possess medical marijuana that has been dispensed by a New Jersey Alternate Treatment Center. Thus, employers may be concerned about employees’ usage of marijuana, prescribed by a physician, for medical purposes. If an employee...

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Dress Code Policies—Time for Change?

Posted by on April 11, 2019 in Human Resources

Dress Code Policies – Time for Change? By Maggie Johnson     In theory, a dress code policy for the workplace could simply consist of two words—Dress Appropriately! However, it seems that employers feel compelled to write policies containing long lists of what and what not to wear in the workplace. Since a vast number of companies have adopted business-casual guidelines for the workplace, isn’t it time to lighten up on rigid dress code policies? In March this year, as reported by the Washington Post (March 21, 2019), even Goldman Sachs, known for its immaculately business-clothed company representatives, officially changed its dress code policy to a “firm-wide flexible dress code.”   Tattoos, Facial Jewelry and Wild Hair   Some dress code policies state that tattoos must be covered, facial jewelry, such as nose, eyebrow and tongue piercings, are not permitted at work, and hair styles must be conservative. That...

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