Appropriations Law Includes New Health Benefits Requirements

By David Slaughter, JD The massive appropriations and COVID-19 relief legislation that President Trump signed December 27, 2020, includes a number of provisions affecting employers’ health benefit programs. These include arbitration procedures for “surprise billing” situations, a new layer of transparency requirements, added flexibility for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and disclosure rules regarding mental healthContinue Reading

COVID-19 Collides with Flu Season. Now what?!!

While many workplaces are settling into a COVID-19 groove of social distancing, face masks, and hand sanitizer, we find ourselves on the cusp of flu season in the United States. Employers should start preparing now for what could be a difficult workplace winter. Common Flu Peaks Between December and February Although flu season is hardContinue Reading

PPP: First and Second Draw Loans

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) portal resumes January 11, 2021 to accept applications for First Draw PPP Loans.  Second Draw Loan applications are accepted January 13, until March 31, 2021.  The Payroll Protection Program is a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their employees on payroll. Loans have 1% interest rate. Loans issued before JuneContinue Reading

Cybercriminals Find Ways to Pry, Pounce on Your COVID-19 Planning Efforts

As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, cybersecurity and data privacy risks are expanding for employers. Read on to learn some simple steps you can take to address and mitigate the dangers. 2 Key Areas of Opportunity for Cyberthieves Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the pandemic in two ways: First, they’re launching phishing campaigns to lureContinue Reading

Unprecedented Workplace Challenges of 2020 Spill into New Year

by Jennifer Sims If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 2,020 times: “That’s 2020 for you!” The past year has certainly taught us to expect the unexpected. After all, when is the last time employers encountered a nationwide pandemic, mass economic shutdowns, and a hotly contested presidential election, much less all in the sameContinue Reading

2021 Workplace Trends

We all have high hopes for 2021 after reeling through the quagmire of 2020.  How will 2020 shape the workplace of 2021? Here are some top trends from the experts at Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Benchmark One. Changing workplace One thing the experts agree on is that in the post-COVID-19 world, the workplace will never beContinue Reading

$900 Billion COVID-19 Relief

The U.S. Congress passed a $892 billion COVID-19 relief act December 21, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.  President Trump reluctantly signed the bill into law Sunday, December 27, 2020, demanding Congress increase stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 per individual.  The House passed the  stimulus increase to $2,000 per individual.  The bill heads to theContinue Reading

Vacation and Holiday Checklist

The more questions to which you answer “yes,” the more complete your policy is regarding vacations and holidays. General Do you have a policy: Regarding vacation days? Regarding holidays? Are these policies in writing? Do you have a system for tracking when vacation days and holidays are used? Do you use a computer system forContinue Reading

Can You Fire an Employee for Facebook Posts?

Two things are eminently clear as the 2020 election season ramps up: (1) Everyone has an opinion, and (2) they aren’t shy about sharing it. So, what’s an employer to do when an employee likes or shares an inflammatory article on Facebook or uses his 280 characters on Twitter to start a battle with aContinue Reading

Texas Workforce Commission Nov 1 Changes

European countries like France and Germany are reinstating lockdowns amidst the second wave of Coronavirus.  Here in the United States, Texas continues on the path to reopen its economy.  One of the latest measures comes from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) reinstating the state work search requirements effective November 1, 2020. Work search is aContinue Reading

Checklist for Benefits Communications

Most companies are receiving employee benefit renewals.  In order to avoid benefits communication errors, it is wise to periodically review communications that employees have received in the past to gauge their perception and understanding.  Ask yourself the following questions: Were these communications meant only to fulfill ERISA compliance regulations, and do they comply with currentContinue Reading

3 Benefits You’ll Need to Offer Post-Pandemic

By Emily Muhoberac, COO, Sapper Consulting Have you reevaluated your employee benefits package since social distancing was implemented? It’s likely that your pre-pandemic perks, plans, and promises won’t hold up after COVID-19 passes. You’ll need new, creative benefits to retain talented employees and snag new superstars. How your company reacts and realigns during this crisisContinue Reading

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