Month: September 2014

How Many Employees Do We Have?

Another update from the HR jungle….

David is the HR director for his company. He’s attended seminars about the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) but found most of the presentations confusing. He wasn’t sure what his company needed to do to comply with the law and, with all the delays in implementation, he moved this topic down his list of priorities.

Now David needs explain to the company owners what needs to be done to comply with the ACA. He knows the first step is to verify whether they are a “large” or a “small” employer. A large employer has at least 50 employees and is subject to an employer penalty if it doesn’t offer health insurance to its employees.

David’s company has 40 employees that work an average of 30 hours per week and so are full-time employees under the ACA. But his company also has 15 part-time employees.

How should David count the part-time employees under the ACA?

1. Add up the total hours worked during the month by the 15 part-time employees. Let’s assume that during the past month they collectively worked a total of 1260 hours.
2. Divide their aggregated hours by 120 (30 hours/week x 4 weeks = 120 hours per month). So David divides 1260 hours by 120. (1260 ÷ 120 = 10.5)
3. Round down to the nearest whole number. So David rounds down 10.5 to 10. During the past month the part-timers worked hours that are equivalent to 10 full-time employees. (That’s why part-time employees are called “full-time equivalents” or FTE’s).
4. Add the 10 FTE’s to the 40 full-time employees for a total of 50 employees. That means that in the past month, his company was a “large” employer under the ACA.

David should select 6 consecutive months in which to use the above formula to verify his company’s employer size. If during this 6 month counting period, the company has 50 employees, it is a “large” employer.

Is your company struggling to understand how the ACA will affect the employee group health plan? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you understand the basics of the ACA and how it affects an employer of your company’s size.

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Complying With the ACA Is Making Me Feel Sick!

Another update from the HR jungle….

Marilyn is the HR director for her company. She’s spent a couple of years trying to figure out what the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) means for her company. They have 80 employees so she knows they are a “large” employer and could be subject to the employer penalty if the employee group health plan doesn’t meet the minimum standards set in the ACA.

Trying to sort through the details of the ACA, while keeping up with her regular duties is making Marilyn feel sick. She knows that she has to track each employee’s weekly hours to verify who is eligible for the group health plan. Under the ACA, a full-time employee works an average of 30 hours a week.

She knows that the ACA allows employers to use two different counting methods to count employee hours. The counting methods are the Monthly Measurement Period and the Look Back Measurement Method but she isn’t sure which method to use.

What options are available to Marilyn?

1. She could read the IRS regulation explaining how to count each employee’s weekly hours using the Monthly Measurement Period and the Look Back Measurement Period.
2. She could ask for assistance from the insurance agency or broker that sold the group health plan to her company, assuming they provide such assistance.
3. She could hope that the employer penalty will be delayed yet again so that she has another year to figure out what to do.

Is your company struggling to understand how the ACA will affect the employee group health plan? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you grasp the basics of the ACA and how it affects an employer of your company’s size.

Join the HR Compliance Jungle today. Click here!

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Love in the Workplace

Another update from the HR jungle…

Bobby supervises the day shift crew for his company. A few months ago he became romantically involved with one of his subordinates. Then they broke up.

When Bobby verbally counseled the subordinate about poor attendance she countered with a complaint of harassment. A few weeks later when Bobby proceeded to a written warning about attendance she complained to the owner (John) about sexual harassment and a hostile workplace. That was John’s first clue that he had a problem.

John’s company grew organically over the past few years and has few formal processes for handling employee complaints. There is no HR department, only a payroll administrator who coordinates payroll matters with the CPA firm that handles John’s business and personal tax matters.

What should John do next?

1. He needs to immediately investigate and resolve the complaint against Bobby. He may want to hire a third party to conduct the investigation to demonstrate that the process will be neutral and fair to all parties.
2. He needs to decide how to avoid similar situations in the future perhaps by creating an explicit non-fraternization policy.
3. Most importantly, he needs to create some human resources policies appropriate for the size of his company so that employees know what is expected of them and what they can expect from John’s company.

Has your company faced similar problems and wondered what to do next? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help your company to create the HR policies that fit your situation and then be a resource to your staff.

Join the HR Compliance Jungle today. Click here!

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Is DIY Always the Best Approach?

Another update from the HR jungle…

Bentley is the office manager for a small manufacturer. He was originally hired as the second shift supervisor but his organizational flair meant he soon was promoted to an office job. Now his boss has assigned him responsibility for employee matters.

Bentley knows nothing about human resources or how to run an HR department but he’s a team player. He knows the company faces some HR issues already. Several second shift employees have complained about being harassed by a co-worker. Bentley knows all the parties involved from his days on second shift and is worried the harassment really happened.

Bentley begins researching harassment issues on the EEOC website. There he discovers that harassment comes in many forms and is covered by several different laws. Bentley also notes there are a lot more federal HR laws that apply to his employer than he initially realized. (Bentley hasn’t even begun to look at applicable state laws.)

What should Bentley do next?

1. He could continue researching HR laws and issues but the research cuts in to his regular workload.
2. He could muddle along doing his best until a crisis erupts, exposing the gaps in the company’s HR compliance efforts.
3. He could tell his boss that it’s time to get professional help in setting up the HR department. A person knowledgeable about HR issues can be a resource for Bentley while he learns his new duties as head of HR.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes. Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help your company create an HR department and then serve as a resource to your HR staff.

Join the HR Compliance Jungle today. Click here!

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Visit us: http://www.complianceriskadvisor.com/