Tag Archive | Regulatory Compliance

FLSA Lawsuits Continue to Rise and Hit an All-time High

From April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 a record number (8,126) of FLSA cases have been filed across the country.  This represents nearly a 5 percent increase from the year before, and the seventh straight year of increases.  In fact, the number of cases filed has risen 438% since the year 2000. Astonishingly enough, these numbers only capture half of the picture as they represent only the federal cases, and not any wage and hour lawsuits filed within the individual state courts. Unfortunately for business owners, the number of cases being filed is expected to continue to rise with the speculation of raising the minimum wage and tightening the regulations on white collar overtime exemptions. 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. 770-339-0000

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Regulatory Compliance–A Black Cat Crossing the Path of Your Business

It seems as though every year the Federal and State governments are adding more acts, mandates, and laws to the business of employment. As a small to mid-sized business, you probably don’t have the time to keep up with the names of all of the new ones, let alone how they can impact you as an employer. Large corporations have complete in-house HR departments and legal departments that work at not only keeping up with the new regulations, but also keeping their corporations in compliance. Are you that lucky? Often times an employer can feel overwhelmed by the addition of regulations, and a bit apprehensive as if a black cat keeps crossing their path and they are just waiting for the bad luck of fines and work interruption from non-compliance to present itself.

HR Strategies focuses on keeping you compliant by working as your off-site HR department, with the back-up of legal counsel from one of our strategic partners, Jackson Lewis, which is one of the largest law firms specializing in workplace law. HR Strategies team can help you reduce the fear of the black cat of regulatory compliance and your risk and vulnerabilities to Federal, State, Local and Professional Regulatory changes. We keep pace with changing governmental requirements that affect your business and help you stay compliant. By relieving your stress of whether or not the black cat (of regulatory compliance) crossing your path on Halloween, or any time of year, and worrying if you are in compliance, we give you the ability to focus on the aspects of your company for which you went into business, while we handle the behind the scenes issues. Click HERE or on the picture above to learn more about how HR Strategies can help you stay complaint.

Help! What do all these Employment Laws and Regulations Mean?

How can I stay compliant when there are so many?

Frequently when a business contacts us regarding our services, one of their main concerns is regulatory compliance; rightfully so, as the number of Employment Laws and Regulations continues to grow each year. It is often times hard for a small to mid-sized business to keep up with not only the new regulations and whether or not they are affected, but also with the constant struggle of how to remain compliant and thus avoid heavy penalties and fines. The most notable regulation currently is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; but employers must remember that PPACA is one of many with which they should be concerned.

The following picture shows the trend that we seem to be on, regarding the ever-expanding nature of government regulations and employment law.

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Note that the chart was created in 2011, but still gives a great view of how regulations are sky rocketing. According to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Unified Agenda 2012, there are currently 3,503 federal regulations in the pipeline. While not all of these are Employment related, one can guarantee that many will be. In fact, there are currently 739 federal regulations that affect small businesses in some form or another.

That number is astounding, but even more staggering is trying to figure out what they all mean, considering that there are 174,545 total pages in the Code of Federal Regulations (an increase of more than 21% over the last decade), according to the Congressional Research Service; and 13,000 final rules were published in the Federal Register from 200-2012, alone. Large companies may have the capacity to stay on top of the ever-expanding regulations, and keep compliant; but often times small to mid-sized business do not have the time or the resources. It’s a shame as this has resulted in what the U.S. Small Business Administration has cited as “Federal regulations plac(ing) a disproportionate financial burden on entrepreneurs”. A study recently released reports that “per employee, small firms spend $2,380 more than do larger firms on complying with government regulations”, mainly due to more fines from lack of education on the regulations or how to comply with them.

As a Professional Employer Organization, HR Strategies focuses on keeping clients compliant by working as an off-site HR department, with the back-up of legal counsel from our strategic partners, specializing in employment law. As regulations climb and change, our internal staff continues to research the requirements and educate our clients on how to stay in compliance. Each one of our clients is assigned a dedicated HR consultant who understands their industry and employment needs and practices, and once a quarter we hold management seminars to educate and inform our clients of the latest in employment law and regulations. However, where many HR Outsourcing companies will stop at passing the information along, we go above and beyond. Our Client Services department is available to answer any specific questions as they arise, and we are available to assist should the need for an audit arise. Yes, many federal agencies are conducting routine audits, and HR Strategies is proud to be able to stand by our clients and aide them in anyway necessary through an audit process.

To find out more on how we handle regulatory compliance check out the following case studies, testimonials, and contact us at 770.339.0000.

Why We Chose the Name HR Strategies

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Did you know that today is Namesake Day? Have you wondered why we chose the name HR Strategies? We develop in-depth strategies for the human resource needs of small to medium sized businesses. The explanation is simple, but what we do for our clients is complex. Our clients outsource their HR hassles and responsibilities to us. Being able to function as an entire Human Resource department, we chose a name that referenced the detail and forethought in which we plan out the customized services we provide for each business. HR Strategies goes above and beyond in managing customized HR solutions for companies that are motivated to reduce costs by using HR Outsourcing. As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), HR Strategies becomes your Payroll Processing Company and Workers’ Compensation Outsourcing, handles your Employee Benefits, provides Human Resource Consulting, works with you on Human Resources Regulatory Compliance, and provides Human Resource Training, as well as many other related HR responsibilities. Our professionals enable 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. We allow business owners to concentrate on their passion, without being distracted by countless human resources responsibilities.

Call us today to learn how we can take care of your Human Resource needs!

770-339-0000

Businesses Strategically Plan for ACA

Businesses everywhere are looking to assess their options and understand how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect them and their employees.  Businesses are no longer waiting for a change in the political and regulatory landscape but to strategically do what’s best for their bottom line. A recent article by Paul Christiansen in the Wall Street Journal discusses going “protean”; that is having a smaller set of core employees and outsourcing other functions. Christiansen states that “by going protean, some companies are able to adjust their number of employees to below 50 (the number at which many fines and regulations of the Affordable Care Act begin) and avoid their very own fiscal cliff”.

Business owners have looked at the fines, and struggled to put together a plan of action that will best protect them from ensuing regulatory fines in association with the ACA. Companies may be considering laying off employees, reducing employees to part-time status, or raising prices of their goods and services to pay for the fines. Unfortunately, these tend to be short-term solutions. Employers may be better suited by switching their strategy from “How can we  avoid the ACA” to a strategic thinking of “How can we afford and sustain under the ACA?”

Although “protean” may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for most small employers, outsourcing certain core competencies outside of the business unit may certainly fit the protean model. Outsourcing can take on a variety of models, and companies must carefully consider the risks and benefits of each. While simply making employees 1099 contractors may seem like an easy way to “outsource” and contain costs, one must remember the DOL and IRS’ strict definitions of an employee versus an independent contractor. In addition to the “independent Contractor Test”, both IRS and DOL have taken the position that if a contractor does the same job that a typical employee may do, then they are in fact an employee—not a 1099 or independent contractor. Ultimately, this quick-fix opens the company to further fines for misclassification, and ends up costing the company more than just potential ACA penalty taxes.

So how can a company go protean and outsource while avoiding further defiance of regulations? One way is to outsource responsibilities via a corporation-to-corporation relationship of their non-core tasks.  These tasks can include accounting, marketing, IT, legal, finance, and many other areas. Outsourcing human resource functions has become one of the most popular, as the variety of state and federal regulations has become increasingly complicated. Companies are choosing to contract with Professional Employer Organizations (PEO’s) to alleviate their companies of the burdens of payroll processing, employee benefit administration, training, regulatory compliance and many other human resource responsibilities. In going protean by contracting with a PEO, companies are able to focus on their core competencies, and receive professional help with compliance of many regulations (including the Affordable Care Act) while reducing man hours spent on non-core tasks.

As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), HR Strategies provides the customizable HR solutions (including but not limited to payroll, benefits, workers compensation, tax administration, regulatory compliance, HR consulting, training solutions) and expertise of a large corporation’s personnel department in an affordable and effective solution. HR Strategies enables clients to reclaim time, stabilize and reduce labor costs, and stay compliant with government regulations. Call us today to begin strategically planning for the ACA by utilizing our PEO services. 770-339-0000.

Regulatory Compliance Testimonials

A great staff of friendly, competent, professional people. We rely on their expertise. They are especially valuable now with the stimulus program and as changes are phased in for benefit requirement.

As our world gets more complex we are happy to have a strong partner watching our back.” –Consulting Group

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 “Thank you for the very informative seminar yesterday. I appreciate the team at HR Strategies keeping us informed and helping us run our businesses well.” –Medical Practice

See all Testimonials Here

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