Mobile Applications for Your HR Needs

Mobile App Technology for smart phones is no longer the wave of the future, but commonplace and necessary in every aspect of today’s world. This day and age demands information on the go and for everything to be accessible on a “smart” mobile device; the world of Human Resources is no different.

Our HRIS system offers Web Access for clients and worksite employees, and what’s more, there are apps for a few of the items, such as check stubs. How nice is it to go completely paperless? I.e. an employee has direct deposit – no check stub needs to be printed at all, if the company chooses. The employee can simply pull up their check stub right on their smart phone using an app!

HR Strategies Time Tracker Plus enables you to track your employee’s time, but you can also keep track of Paid Time Off Accruals and requests, and employee scheduling. What’s more, Time Tracker allows your mobile workforce to do the key essentials of the system right from their smart phone using an app! Not sure about the security of tracking time on a smart phone? No worries, if you choose to do so, GPS coordinates can be captured as to where the employee is when they punch in!

As mobile application technology continues to grow in the general population, you can be sure that it will continue to grow in the HR world. We at HR Strategies are continually striving to keep pace with the needs and wants of our employers in bringing that mobile application technology to all of our clients. As we do so, we will always continue our in depth customer service and client satisfaction. After all, any form of technology is only as good as the people bringing it to you and servicing it on a daily basis.


Refusing Health Care Coverage? Be Prepared to Pay

The Internal Revenue Service has recently released the maximum fine amounts for those persons who forego health care coverage.The-Health-Care-Reform-and-Medicare-resized-600.jpg

Individuals earning below the tax filing threshold of $10,150 will not pay a penalty. Others earning above $10,150 will pay based on earnings over the tax threshold of $10,150.

For taxes filed for the year 2014:

  • Individuals earning between $10,150 and $19650, there is a flat penalty fee of $95 per adult (47.50 per child under 18). Thus, a single adult making $19,000 would pay $95 (1×95); a family of two adults at $19,000 would pay $190 (2×95); and a family of one adult and one child at $19,000 would pay $142.50 (95+47.50). The maximum penalty per family with a household income below $19,650 is $285.
  • Individuals earning above $19,650, will be required to pay a penalty equal to 1% of their annual income. For example, a single adult employee earning $40,000 per year would be required to pay $400 (40,000×1%). Whereas, a family of six with two adults each making $50,000, the total income would be $100,000. Therefore the family would pay $1,000 (100,000×1%).

The maximum penalty for 2014 is $2,448 per individual annually, which is 1% of a yearly income of $244.800. Earnings above that for individuals are capped at the individual maximum penalty.

The maximum family penalty issued by the IRS was $12,240 for a five-member family, and will only impact households with a combined yearly income of $1.2 million or more.

*Remember these penalty rates are only for the year 2014, and will increase in 2015 and beyond. The 2015 penalties will be the greater of $325 per person or 2% of total income. 2016 Rates will rise further to the greater of $695 per person or 2.5% of total income. The years following 2016, the penalty rates will be adjusted according to inflation.

Call HR Strategies today for assistance! 770-339-0000 or visit our website at

Remembering A Legend: Robin Williams

robin willams eap“Studies show that 20% of employees have mental health or substance abuse problems at any given time.”

We at HR Strategies, like the rest of the world, are greatly saddened with the tragic loss of Actor & Comedian Robin Williams earlier this week. We feel that in light of this tragedy and the forthcoming discussions regarding mental health, depression, and suicide; it is imperative that we remind our clients that HR Strategies is proud to offer the Employee Assistance Programs of EAP Consultants for free to all of our Client Employee’s and their immediate family members.

What is an EAP (Employee Assistance Program)?

An Employee Assistance Program is a program designed to identify and assist employees, through a variety of services, in resolving personal problems (e.g., marital, financial or emotional problems; family issues; substance/alcohol abuse) that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance. Services may include:

Counseling Services Face-to-face assessment, short term counseling, referral and follow-up for alcohol and drug problems, work related difficulties, marriage and family issues, and emotional and psychological problems * counseling offices located conveniently to your employees * 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, toll-free telephone access to mental health professionals * case management that includes coordinating referrals to resources beyond the EAP, when needed.

To learn more about EAP Consultants you may contact one of our benefit specialists at 770-339-0000, or by visiting their website directly at

It’s the First Day of School

It’s the first day of school in Duluth, where the HR Strategies office is located! Students, good luck this year!! Parents, do you have a small business? Call HR Strategies today!



Happy 4th of July from HR Strategies!


Independence Day is Coming Up!

Independence has been a goal of Americans since the founding of our country, and those with their own companies tend to be particularly independent. Some people start their own business believing that it is the only route to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; only to later realize the headaches that can come along with owning and managing a business. While they began their business to gain independence, they lose the freedom that they dream of. They become saddled with letting their business’ rule their lives, depriving them of time with family and friends, and even at times their health.

american flag drawing

It is time as business owners to create your own Declaration of Independence!

  • Independence from rising administrative costs. Outsourcing your HR administration relieves business owners from the complex HR matters of benefits, workers’ compensation claims, payroll, tax administration, regulatory compliance, etc., and by doing so reduces your overhead.
  • Independence from focusing on the mundane. Outsourcing your HR enables small business owners to focus on their core competencies, rather than focusing on running payroll, providing employee benefits, or the many other facets of human resource administration. Outsourcing allows business owners to concentrate on their passion, without being distracted by countless human resources responsibilities.
  • Independence from the worry of regulatory compliance. Outsourcing your HR administration can keep business owners compliant by working as their off-site HR department, with the back-up of legal counsel partners, firms specializing in workplace law. Outsourcing can help you reduce your risk and vulnerabilities to Federal, State, Local and Professional Regulatory changes.
  • Independence from the nightmare of Workers Compensation Insurance and Risk Management. Outsourcing can help improve the work environment and make it safer by focusing on workplace risk management, safety programs, and good human resource practices. Additionally, when you outsource with a PEO, such as HR Strategies, they can arrange workers’ compensation coverage with major insurance carriers, provide their clients with training on safety and government compliance in regards to workers compensation and risk management, and manage the complexity of claims.
  • Independence from the burden of human resource administration and paperwork. When you outsource your HR needs to a PEO you receive assistance with all of the complications and paperwork that go along with the employee lifecycle:  writing help wanted ads and job descriptions; drug screening and verifications; new hire candidate assessment tools; new hire paperwork, including I-9 compliance; customized employee handbooks; employee policies and procedures; Federal and State required postings; human resource, supervisor, and compliance training; EEOC claims; Employment Practices Liability Insurance; Employee Assistance Program; compliance with IRS, INS, ADA, EEOC, FMLA, FLSA, DOT, COBRA, Title VII, etc.; discipline and termination counseling; investigation of employee/employer and employment complaints.

 Declare Your Independence today by calling HR Strategies at 770-339-0000!

Why Are Wage & Hour Case Filings Coming in Staggering Numbers?

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 has long been responsible for setting the minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour), guaranteeing overtime wages, and establishing record keeping practices and regulations. Attorneys have been flocking to wage and hour law suits in staggering numbers over the past 6 years due to the financial incentive they bring; they are easier to prove than discrimination cases and almost guarantee a win for the Attorney, as any violation no matter how small will result in a reasonable attorney’s fee award. As recently demonstrated in a case in which an employee was awarded $6,000+ in unpaid overtime wages, and the attorney was awarded $125,000+ in fees and costs.

Since 2000, there has been a 438% rise in the number of cases filed. The most common have been sighting an employer for not paying all hours worked and for the misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime. The number of cases filed each year is speculated to spike even higher with the proposed changes coming to the FLSA in the form of a raise in the minimum wage, along with updating the regulations regarding who qualifies for overtime protection.

You may not be able to ward off all wage and hour claims, but you can take preemptive steps to safeguard your company. Reviewing your current employee classifications (Exempt, Non-Exempt, 1099), updating any time and attendance policies and practices, and making sure that your record keeping is in line with the current FLSA regulations, will lessen your exposure to a wage and hour claim. HR Strategies can help you reduce your risk and vulnerabilities to a FLSA regulations lawsuit, along with the many other Federal, State, Local and Professional Regulatory changes.  Call us today to relieve your stress of whether or not you are in compliance; and give yourself the ability to focus on the aspects of your company for which you went into business, while we handle the behind the scenes issue of compliance. G

Give us a call today at 770-339-0000

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