Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Monthly Newsletter April 2019

Posted by on April 1, 2019 in Newsletters

Dear Valued Clients and Associates,

I am very excited that the warm weather is starting to make its way into the area! My fig tree already has around 20 figs, daffodils and tulips are popping up everywhere and my chickens are so happy with all the worms and insects the rain is bringing to the surface for them.

What’s more exciting than the arrival of spring? The clients we have been able to help, already this year, by creating benefit offerings that align with their goals and save them money off their bottom line!

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have been given so far in 2019 and to you for your support. If we haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet, let’s get a time on the calendar… Who knows, maybe we will be able to help your organization too!

Give me a call or contact me now to schedule a time to discuss your organizational goals and how we will work hard to ensure you and your employees are satisfied.

Here is your April 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!



Dress Code Policies – Time for Change?

By: Maggie Johnson, PF Compass in-house HR Consultant

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.”

To read more about this topic, visit our BLOG here



New Jersey Updates, Expands Family and Disability Benefits

New Jersey has updated and aligned four state leave laws to work together more seamlessly, extended its paid family leave benefit to 12 weeks in a 12-month period, and increased wage replacement amounts in its paid leave programs. Many key changes take effect in 2020, but a few apply this year, and some are already in force.

To learn more, click here



Deadline Extended for EEO-1 Filing from March to May 31, 2019

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has extended the deadline for employers to submit EEO-1 Reports for 2018. The reports are now due by May 31, 2019.

What is the EEO-1 Report?

The EEO-1 Report is a federally mandated survey that collects workforce data from employers. The data is categorized by race, ethnicity, sex and job category. The EEOC uses this information to enforce federal prohibitions against employment discrimination and discriminatory pay practices.

The EEO-1 Report is an annual survey required under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act (Title VII). Under the law, employers with 100 or more employees and certain federal contractors must use the EEO-1 Online Filing System to submit employment data by March 31 every year. The EEOC extended the 2019 deadline because the federal government shutdown delayed the online system’s opening for 2018 reports. The EEOC expects the system to become available for 2018 submissions in early March 2019.

What’s Next?

Employers should monitor the EEO-1 website for more information about EEO-1 filing requirements and about when the filing system will be open for 2018 Reports. In the meantime, employers filing EEO-1 Reports for the first time should register to receive a company login, password and further instructions from the EEOC.

If the preparation or filing of an EEO-1 Report would create undue hardship, an employer may send a written request for an exemption or for special reporting procedures to the EEOC. Employers may also obtain a one-time, 30-day extension of the EEO-1 filing deadline by emailing a request to the EEOC.



Another Sign of the Health Care Crisis: Spending on Medical Expenses Spikes When Americans Get Their Tax Refunds


Americans are using their tax refunds more and more for one expense they can’t afford to hold off on: Health care.

According to new research from financial think tank JPMorgan Chase Institute, people spend an average of 20% more on health care in the months after getting their refund and a staggering 60% more in the first week alone.

Most of it, the reports show, went towards “deferred care” or in-person payments at a doctor’s office — which means that people were delaying going to the doctor until they had their tax refunds in their bank accounts.

“What we saw was an immediate impulse response to the receipt of the tax refund. The day that the tax refund is received is on average the highest cash balance day of the year for the average family [and] the highest out-of-pocket expenditures on health care occur on that day,” said Amar Hamoudi, JPMorgan Senior Consumer Research Lead. “It testifies to the importance that cash flow is playing in health care expenditures.”

To read more, click here.



When it Comes to Employee Engagement, Communication is Key

According to a Gallup poll, 70 percent of U.S. workers aren’t engaged at work. This statistic should alarm employers across the country, as low engagement means employees are not committed to their own success in the workplace, let alone the organization’s.

Investing in employee engagement might seem unjustifiable for a business that is focused solely on profits, as it might not recognize the benefits of engaged employees. One simple and cost-effective way that you can improve employee engagement at your organization is by improving and expanding your communications strategies.

Typical benefits and workplace communications can be bland and difficult to understand, but they don’t have to be. The key messages for each topic in an effective communications plan should be simple, relatable and actionable—and presented in a variety of content formats that you can use to communicate through multiple channels.

By implementing a multichannel communication strategy, where you use posters, emails, flyers and videos to communicate company and benefits information, your message will reach more employees. This will help employees feel more informed about your company, which, in turn, will improve their workplace engagement.



These Senators Received the Biggest Checks From CVS, Humana and Other Pharmacy Benefit Managers That Testified Before Congress

When executives from five of the country’s biggest pharmacy benefit managers testified before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, they stared down a group of senators who have benefited from their businesses. Political action committees for the companies have donated nearly $1 million to the senators’ campaign committees over the past 10 years, according to a Forbes analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.

The recipients spanned the political spectrum. Only one of the 28 senators on the committee, Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), has never accepted money from the companies’ PACs. In 2012, however, her joint fundraising committee, Cantwell Victory 2012, took in $1,000 from Cigna, one of the companies set to testify Tuesday.

In addition, some of the senators have received personal donations from the executives themselves. Derica Rice, who’s now president of Caremark, CVS Health’s PBM division, contributed $1,000 to the campaign committees of Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio)—plus $2,250 to the campaign of Todd Young (R-Indiana) between 2014 and 2016, when Rice worked at Eli Lilly. Read more from Michela Tindera.



BLS Data on Worker Access to Family Leave in 2018 Now Available

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released a The Economics Daily (TED) report on civilian access to paid and unpaid family leave in 2018. These statistics provide insight into family leave benefits trends across the country. For this report, family leave included leave to care for family members, maternity and paternity leave.

Paid Family Leave Access

In March 2018, 16 percent of workers in the private sector and 17 percent of civilian workers had access to paid family leave. In the public sector, 25 percent of state and local government workers had access to this type of leave. Leave access varied by the size of the employer.

Unpaid Family Leave Access

In March 2018, 89 percent of civilian workers and 88 percent of private sector employees had access to unpaid family leave. Ninety-four percent of state and local government workers had access to this type of leave. As with paid family leave, access to leave varied by employer size.

For access to the BLS Data, click here.



A Global Public Health Epidemic Going Completely Untreated: Intimate Partner Violence

When thinking about traumatic brain injuries (TBI), most people immediately conjure images of NFL players, car accidents or nasty falls. But there is a global public health epidemic going completely unrecognized – and untreated: intimate partner violence (IPV). In fact, IPV is the most common form of violence against women in the world, with nearly 1 in 3 women age 15 or older experiencing physical or sexual IPV. And it occurs in all settings, amongst all socioeconomic, religious and cultural groups.

To read more, click here.



How to Conduct a Job Interview

The most important tasks in conducting a job interview are preparing questions and evaluating candidate answers. However, there are other key items you can attend to that will ensure a successful job interview. Learn the action steps you need to know by watching the video below.



I am constantly looking for ways to improve this newsletter and suggestions are welcome. Thank you!


Brandi Bowers | Benefits Consultant
PF Compass Employer Guidance & Benefit Solutions

461 Somerset St. North Plainfield NJ 07060
Tel (732) 258-1032


  • Dedicated Client Service Rep
  • Free in-house claims adjudication for you and your employees
  • Free COBRA and HRA administration
  • Free Bene Admin technology
  • 3 Hours HR Consultation Free for new clients and HR tools to maintain compliance

Source Credits: Copyright © HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved., Forbes.com, Money.com, Mercer US Health

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This