Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Human Resources

Leave Laws and Affected Employers Are Expanding in New Jersey

Posted by on March 5, 2019 in Human Resources

Leave Laws and Affected Employers Are Expanding in New Jersey By Maggie Johnson     New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy continues to place his mark on state employment law, making life somewhat easier for working families. It wasn’t long ago that New Jersey employers had to become familiar and comply with the New Jersey Earned Sick and Safe Days Act. Here comes the next phase! On February 19, 2019, amendments to the New Jersey Family Leave and SAFE Acts were signed into law and shall become effective on June 30, 2019. In addition, changes were made to New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance legislation, which are effective on July 1, 2020. However, be aware that there are also new requirements under the provisions of the aforementioned amended laws that employers must comply with now. These amendments will significantly expand the benefits afforded to New Jersey workers, and provide them with...

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Thoughts on RIFs and Lay Offs

Posted by on February 7, 2019 in Human Resources

Thoughts on RIFs and Lay Offs By Maggie Johnson     It’s said that employees are an organization’s most valuable asset. A stable workforce creates a workplace with no paranoia of job loss, high employee morale, increased knowledge and job skills, and higher productivity. Often, a company that has been recognized as a Best Place to Work has a stable workforce. A stable workforce shows the leadership’s effective strategic planning. I met a CEO of a well- known New York-based, international financial services firm who told me that in more than 30 years of business, his company has never laid off an employee. He explained that this has been due to in-depth and far-sighted business and workforce planning, with consideration for possible changes and dips in market conditions. As such, his workforce doesn’t fluctuate. New positions are added when planned, consistent business growth levels are reached. At a conference,...

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Is It Time To Check Out Check-Ins?

Posted by on January 1, 2019 in Human Resources

Is It Time To Check Out Check-Ins? By Maggie Johnson     As we have just entered a new year, you may be planning or already planned performance goals with your employees. These employee performance goals more than likely tie to the 2019 goals for your organization. Thus, employees’ performance is integral to a company’s success. It would seem reasonable then that steady progress toward completion of those established employee goals, and general employee performance and productivity, would be at the forefront. Yet, more than 70% of employers still conduct only annual performance evaluations for their staff. There is, however, a strong trend to move to more meaningful discussions or “check-ins” with employees. It began in 2012, at Cargill, a worldwide food producer and distributor, with the launch of its Everyday Performance Management system, followed by Google, Adobe and Accenture with similar practices that redefined performance management. Check-ins can...

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Posted by on October 30, 2018 in Human Resources

Acronyms! By Maggie Johnson     Medical plan terminology such as HMO, EPO, PPO, etc. can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with health insurance abbreviations. Understanding the meaning of these and other health insurance terminology can be helpful, especially when you are deciding which health benefits are best for your company. Below is a simple explanation for several health insurance terms, beginning with medical plan acronyms: HDHP/CDHP (High Deductible Health Plan/Consumer Directed Health Plan): This plan type typically has significantly lower premiums than other plan types, but also requires much higher deductibles with a minimum deductible of $1,350 for single coverage and $2,700 for family coverage for both 2018 and 2019. A health savings account (HSA) can be used in conjunction with an HDHP/CDHP to pay for any qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses, including deductibles. (Also see HSA below.) HMO (Health Maintenance Organization): An HMO is a network of healthcare...

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Why Wellness?

Posted by on September 21, 2018 in Human Resources

Many employees working in small businesses handle multiple responsibilities. When such employees are not at work, the lack of their productivity impacts their employer’s business. Absenteeism due to illness can be a big problem for the small employer, even if the employee is not paid while absent. However, in the state of New Jersey and in New York City, mandated paid sick leave requires most employers to pay their eligible employees (those who have been employed for at least 120 days and work more than 80 hours in the calendar year) up to 40 hours of pay annually while absent from work due to illness, among other reasons. While we expect a certain amount of absenteeism in the winter months due to employees catching colds, what’s worse is an employee who is absent due to the ‘flu, and who could have avoided suffering from that bout of ‘flu, simply...

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When is it time for a company to have an employee handbook?

Posted by on August 27, 2018 in Human Resources

The majority of small businesses develop an employee handbook when they have about ten employees. However, several employment laws apply long before ten employees are hired. The prudent decision, as espoused by HR experts, is to have an employee handbook as soon as possible, for instance, when the first employee is hired. So why create an employee handbook? An employee handbook is an important document that advises employees of the company’s polices, and gives updates as those policies are amended. It will normally spell out the reason for the policies, who they apply to and consequences if they are not followed. An employee handbook is often a valuable tool in training new employees on company expectations. Not having an employee handbook might pose legal risks to a company and cause employee problems. The basic components of an employee handbook usually include statements regarding compliance with federal, state and local...

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