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Staffing News Online

NJSA's Staffing News Online is a monthly e-newsletter that is available to the staffing industry.  The content for Staffing News Online comes directly from our industry partners.  If you are an NJSA industry partner and would like to submit content for Staffing News Online, please email office@njsa.com with your article.

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  • Monday, January 20, 2020 10:47 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)
    Click here to access the article on Withum's website.

    Submitted by Withum

    In December 2019, the Internal Revenue Service finalized a new Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Certificate).

    Form W-4 is required to be completed by employees to provide employers the required tax withholding on compensation earned by the employee. The form was redesigned with the intention to reduce complexity and provide better accuracy in regard to taxpayer’s withholdings. With one year complete under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), this form should allow employees to better estimate their tax withholdings to be more accurately aligned to their expected tax liability, which was subject to criticism by taxpayers who received smaller refunds than expected during the 2018 tax filing season under TCJA.

    Although a new form has been issued, not all employees are required to complete the Form W-4. Only employees receiving compensation for the first time from an employer after 2019 (i.e. 2020) are required to complete the form. Should a new employee not complete and return the Form W-4 before their first paycheck, the employee should be treated as a single filer with no other adjustments. Therefore, tax withholdings will be taken into account as if the employee was single and eligible for a standard deduction.

    Any employee who has previously completed a Form W-4 is not required to complete the new form until such time the employee wishes to adjust their withholding. Employers may request existing employees to complete the new Form W-4, but those employees are not required to complete the form and employers are required to withhold amounts consistent based on the forms previously provided.

    The new Form W-4 has removed the withholding allowances which was calculated on the previous form. The allowances were typically tied to personal exemptions which, under the new tax law, cannot be claimed and are, therefore, no longer relevant for the form.

    The new Form W-4 is segregated into 5 steps. As indicated above, the form was introduced to simplify the process. Only Step 1 (Personal Information) and Step 5 (Signature) technically require completion. Selecting your filing status (single or married filing separately, married filing joint, head of household) in Step 1 and signing the form will set up tax withholdings under the assumption of the taxpayer claiming the standard deduction for the filing status selected.

    Within Step 2 of the new Form W-4, taxpayers can elect to perform calculations based on the taxpayer having multiple jobs or in the situation where the taxpayer’s spouse works. The form offers three methods of calculating the appropriate amount of withholdings:

    • The first is the tax withholding estimator. This should be used if you expect to work only part of the year, have self-employment income or want the most accurate withholding for multiple jobs. This site guides you through voluminous questions, similar to providing information for your tax return to calculate an estimate of the proper tax withholding based on the information provided. Upon completion you can even print a pre-filled form, which includes an amount of extra withholding as necessary on step 4c of the form.
    • The second method utilizes a multiple jobs worksheet. This worksheet utilizes a table where you are provided a tax withholding amount at the intersection of higher paying job axis and lower paying job axis. The amount from this table is inserted into the worksheet and the amount is divided by the number of pay periods during the year. The amount is included on step 4c of the form.
    • Lastly, the third options is a checkbox and should only be used if you have two jobs that have similar pay. The same should be done on the W-4 filing for your other job. This option is very broad and should be used cautiously in determining appropriate tax withholding.

    Step 3 allows you to adjust your withholdings for expected claimed dependents on your tax return, based on meeting the required income threshold prior to phase out of the child tax credit. Qualifying children (less than 17 years of age) reduce the amount by $2,000 per dependent and any other dependents amount to a reduction of $500.

    Step 4 provides the employee opportunity to make adjustments to tax withholding for other income, deductions or extra withholding. Within this step (4a), employees elect to include amounts of other income that typically are not subject to tax withholding (interest, dividends, retirement income). By including these amounts, tax will be withheld from payroll compensation to account for this other income. This should not include other jobs or self-employment income as those are accounted for in Step 2. If the taxpayer can claim deductions in excess of the standard deduction for their filing status, the taxpayer can adjust their withholding for the additional deductions expected to be claimed on the tax return. The instructions to the form include a deductions worksheet to calculate any additional deduction.

    Simplification of the form may be the case for taxpayers eligible for the standard deduction. However, for those with more in-depth returns, the completion of Form W-4 is much more complicated. One might even reach the point where they essentially complete a preliminary calculation of their tax return. But in the end you will get a more accurate tax withholding estimate, which is presumably the reason the form is completed in the first place.

    Click here to view the article on Withum's website.


  • Tuesday, January 07, 2020 4:40 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    NJSA will induct Vince Grillo into the Industry Partner Hall of Fame at our New Year Kick Off Reception on January 23rd.

    Vince Grillo is a Senior Vice President of Access Capital and has been with the company for over 25 years.

    He is a second-generation financing executive with over 30 years of industry experience. Prior to his post at Access Capital, he began his career at Chase Credit Services, later working for Irving Commercial and the Bank of New York.

    Vince enjoys working with staffing company owners; be it discussing strategic planning, providing solutions for financing needs, or mentoring start-ups. Vince's experience and expertise in the staffing industry have allowed him to be a valuable contributor to the many organizations he is active in.

    Vince is a former member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Staffing Alliance and is currently on their programs committee. He is also an active member of the Techserve Alliance, the Mid Atlantic Staffing Association, the Massachusetts Staffing Association, the American Staffing Association and Staffing Industry Analysts. It is because of his lending expertise and reputation for professionalism in the industry that Vince is a highly respected member of the asset based lending community.

    Vince is a graduate of St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He lives in Bogota, New Jersey with his wife and their two children. In his spare time, Vince is an avid musician and plays guitar in bands at local venues and for various charities.

    Access Capital is the nation's premier independent commercial finance company serving the staffing industry nationwide. We have been financing the success of clients for over thirty years ranging in size from young start up enterprises to large public companies offering asset based lending, acquisition financing and advisory services.


  • Tuesday, January 07, 2020 4:40 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    NJSA will induct Jack Wellman into the Staffing Hall of Fame at our New Year Kick Off Reception on January 23rd.

    Jack Wellman has worked in the staffing industry since 1986 - 34+ years so far and loving every minute of it! He was Executive Vice President of Oxford and Associates (now part of ASGN Incorporated) until 1998, when he moved to New Jersey to become President of Joule Inc., headquartered in Edison NJ. Jack always valued participation in industry associations, representing Oxford since 1986 at both the predecessor of the American Staffing Association and the National Technical Services Association. Now in New Jersey, Jack not only continued his involvement in the national associations, but also joined the New Jersey Association of Temporary Services which was considering a merger with the New Jersey Staffing Association to become the New Jersey Staffing Alliance. Jack strongly believed in NJSA's mission and worked on various committees and projects to improve the future for NJSA, the industry, and its suppliers. With the sale of Joule Inc. to System One in 2013, Jack formed a consulting firm, Wellman Insights LLC, and continues to provide support and his perspectives to owners and senior managers in the staffing industry nationally. Despite moving to Massachusetts, Jack still is involved in New Jersey's staffing industry's future by providing his assistance and support to NJSA's Legislative Committee. Some people just won't go away completely!


  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:56 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Avionte

    Why Social Responsibility Matters

    In a nutshell, social responsibility is the belief that businesses should do more than just contribute to the economy, they should add to society too by making a positive difference to the following categories (among others):

    • Environment
    • Poverty
    • Human rights

    Coming together to make this world a better place is something worth striving for, especially for businesses who often have the influence, money and employees to drive positive changes.

    What Benefits You Can Expect

    Social responsibility does more than just have a positive impact on the world, it’s good for business, both financially and morally! Here are some real benefits you can expect with a decent social responsibility program:

    Attracts customers – People desire to be a part of something more meaningful than just receiving goods and services from a business. When a portion of profits are donated or contributed to a local charity, customers feel better about doing business with you knowing their money is going towards social causes that they are passionate about.

    Increases employee retainment – Employees typically stay at jobs for three reasons: pay, culture and meaningful work. If your company can offer all three, you’re doing it right! But the truth is, most jobs only offer one, maybe two of these retainment options. Having a genuine social responsibility program positively impacts two of these retainment options, culture and meaningful work. It’s no secret that employees want to be a part of something far greater than working 9-5 each day – social responsibility is an employee attraction magnet.

    Attract top-tier talent – Playing off the point above, social responsibility not only retains top-tier employees but attracts them too. People are naturally drawn to company’s who give back to the community.

    Tips

    It’s time to look at some real-world tips to build a rock-solid social responsibility program, but also encourage it throughout your office for years to come.

    1. Create a mission– No fruitful social responsibility program is complete without a meaningful mission statement. What is your why? Or as Simon Sinek puts it, “WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?” Keep it short, purposeful and inspiring.  Here’s the Avionté Hope Foundation (AHF) mission for reference: “To help people help themselves by touching lives and driving change.”
    2. Partner with local and national non-profits – With over 1.5 million non-profit organizations within the US, there’s bound to be at least a few groups happy to collaborate with your company. Start with an idea like a meal packing event and reach out to see who wants to help. You can always start with the nation-wide non-profit, Feed My Starving Children – they’re always looking for volunteers!
    3. Offer paid volunteer hours – Allowing your employees a few days a year of paid volunteer time is one of easiest and frankly, best ways to grow your social responsibility program, especially since employees don’t have to take any additional time off to volunteer.
    4. Put the FUN in fundraising at your office – Fundraising can be so much more than selling cookies or beef jerky. Put some creativity and fun into it! Whether it’s organizing a trivia event that benefits a local charity or assembling a bake-off to raise some dough for those in need, make your fundraising events fun!
    5. Create challenges to raise more money – Competition is a good thing, especially when it comes time to raising money for a good cause. Whether this takes the form of an office contest to see which department can raise the most money or a charity bean bag toss tournament that crowns a winner – healthy competition never hurts!
    6. Reward and showcase individuals giving back – Make an example of those who go above and beyond to support social responsibility. From a simple shout out to a formal award program, let the world know that your company appreciates the commitment.
    7. Be genuine – At the end of the day, being genuine is perhaps the most critical step in creating and then nurturing a social responsibility program. Be authentic, believe in your mission and support the cause.

    Conclusion

    Social responsibility truly enriches our society and brings people together as a community – all while keeping businesses afloat. There’s no downside to a strong social responsibility program, it just takes some love and support.

    About Avionté

    Avionté is a leader in enterprise staffing and recruiting software solutions, offering innovative end-to-end staffing solutions to over 900 customers and 25,000 users throughout the U.S. and Canada. Avionté delivers a robust platform for clerical, light industrial, IT and professional staffing firms to maximize profits and boost productivity.

    Click here to view the article on Avionte's website.

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:49 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by TempWorks Software

    The unemployment rate still hovers around 3.7% as of October 20191. Employee retention and engagement remains a top priority for many companies. According to a recent Gallup survey, 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged, which ends up costing the global economy up to $7 trillion in lost productivity2. To assess employee engagement at your staffing company, evaluating metrics behind employee burnout and turnover is a good place to start. Here are some recent statistics regarding the effects of employee burnout in the United States:

    Link Between Burnout and Managers

    As others dig into this topic, surveys have found a good predictor of burnout across many companies. One of the most accurate predictors of whether employees become burned out is based on their manager. Here are a few key statistics about the link between burnout and managers:


    Avoid Employee Burnout and Turnover

    Helping employees avoid burnout significantly impacts a company’s productivity and efficiency levels in a positive way. As a first step to increasing employee engagement and reducing burnout, companies should focus on training their management team and hiring candidates with management talent and skills.

    For staffing agencies, figuring out how to keep temporary employees engaged can be even trickier than the average company. If your staffing agency is looking for new tools to engage temporary employees, check out TempWorks Buzz, the staffing industry’s first native app for employee engagement. In addition, staffing agencies can also choose to use the geofencing and facial recognition features within TempWorks Buzz to streamline the punch in and punch out process for employees at the worksite. Contact us for more information on how to engage your employees with our mobile solutions!

    Sources:

    1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
    2. Gallup, 2018, Want to Improve Productivity? Hire Better Managers
    3. Gallup, 2018, Employee Burnout, Part 1: The 5 Main Causes

    Click here to download the article as a Word doc.


  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:45 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Two River Benefits Consultants, LLC

    The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate (i.e., the requirement that most individuals obtain adequate health insurance or pay a penalty) is dead. A side effect of the ACA mandate’s demise is that states are beginning to step-in and pass their own versions of the individual mandate. Massachusetts, of course, has long had an individual mandate in place for its residents. Since the ACA mandate’s repeal, California, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont have passed individual mandates. Several other states are also considering enacting individual mandates. As these state laws become more prevalent, employers and plan sponsors need to consider whether these states have reporting requirements similar to the ACA’s requirements under Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Similar to the repealed ACA individual mandate, New Jersey requires its residents to obtain minimum essential health coverage (subject to various exemptions) or pay a penalty. To assist the state in verifying enrollment information provided by taxpayers, employers and plan sponsors (whether or not domiciled in New Jersey) providing coverage to New Jersey residents will need to submit to the state the same forms required under Sections 6055 of 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (i.e., Forms 1094/5-B and 1094/5-C). The forms must be submitted electronically through the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services’ MFT SecureTransport service, which is the same system for processing W-2 forms.

    Currently, the existing IRS Forms 1094/5-B and 1094/5-C contain the information New Jersey needs to verify enrollment, and therefore, New Jersey is willing to accept those forms

    Employers and plan sponsors providing coverage to New Jersey residents should consider contacting their reporting vendors to ensure that the vendors have the capability to submit forms to the state. Employers and plan sponsors that handle reporting on their own should start working now to make sure current file submission programming is compatible with New Jersey’s filing system. In a more perfect world, the IRS forms will continue to request enrollment information so that states with individual mandates can “piggy-back” on those forms. If that is not the case, the rising tide of state individual mandates could because an administrative headache for employers and plan sponsors.

    Updated Guidance for Health Coverage Filings

    (Posted NJ Website December 13, 2019)

    Starting with Tax Year 2019, the New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act (HIMPA) requires third-party reporting to verify health coverage information supplied by individual payers of New Jersey’s Income Tax.

    Under HIMPA, employers and all other providers of minimum essential coverage must file information with the Division of Taxation on or before March 31, 2020. The State has no plans to offer filing extensions.

    Employers must:

    Send the appropriate 1095 health coverage verification form to each primary enrollee (usually the employee or purchaser of the policy) to whom they provided minimum essential coverage in 2019. Deadline for sending to primary enrollees is March 2, 2020.

    • NOTE: This requirement is different from Federal practice as modified in December 2019. New Jersey’s Health Insurance Mandate requires 1095s be provided to primary enrollees.
    • This applies to both part-year and full-year New Jersey residents. For 1095 filing purposes, a part-year resident is a primary enrollee who lived in New Jersey for at least 15 days in any month.
    • By March 31, 2020, provide New Jersey with a 1095 health coverage form for each primary enrollee (usually the employee or purchaser of the policy) to whom the filer provided minimum essential coverage in 2019. This applies to both part-year and full-year New Jersey residents. For 1095 filing purposes, a part-year resident is a primary enrollee who lived in New Jersey for at least 15 days in any month.

    Meeting these requirements requires that filers or their representatives register and use MFT SecureTransport services – the same system that employers use to file W-2 payroll tax forms with the State. New Jersey will not accept mailed forms.

    Out-of-State Employers Who Employ New Jersey Residents Have the Same Filing Requirements as in-State Businesses.

    These requirements are not limited to businesses that withhold New Jersey payroll taxes. If you are an out-of-State employer, you must ensure that NJ receive any required 1095 document for each New Jersey resident you employ. Insurers, government agencies, exchanges, multiemployer plans, and all others responsible for reporting Minimum Essential Coverage on behalf of New Jersey residents also must file the required information with the State.

    Privacy concerns for non-New Jersey residents

    The allowance of filings that include non-New Jersey residents raises significant privacy and legal concerns for employers who employ across the country. The State of New Jersey’s website cautions, “Out-of-state filers who provide information on non-residents of New Jersey should consult privacy and other laws pertaining to residents of other States before sending any sensitive or personal data to New Jersey.”

    The 1095-C form includes the following protected information and HIPAA data:

    • Social Security number
    • Taxpayer name and dependent names
    • Date of birth
    • Health insurance enrollment dates

    Employers who use this short-cut option could face sharp scrutiny from employees who do not reside in New Jersey. There may also be privacy concerns if their HIPPA protected data is provided to New Jersey without their consent.

    Updated Guidance on What Forms Are Required From Whom

    New Jersey will not require 1094 forms for 2019, though it will accept them if a coverage provider sends them.

    The State expects to receive filings of Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. Filers of Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, should use that form for New Jersey filings.

    If the federal government discontinues, substantially alters, or makes unavailable Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C, New Jersey will deploy similar forms and require they be sent to the State and to New Jersey taxpayers.

    Forms for Insurance Bought on Healthcare.gov or Any Other Exchange

    Insurers who provide coverage through policies sold on the federal Healthcare.gov exchange or any other exchange must provide a 1095-B for any primary enrollee who purchases coverage. See below for more guidance on what form to use.

    Guidance on Forms Sent to New Jersey:

    Coverage providers can send 1095 files containing data pertaining only to part-year and full-year residents of New Jersey, or, for ease of filing, New Jersey will accept the exact same 1095 data files sent to the federal Internal Revenue Service, even if the files include data about individuals who are not residents of New Jersey. Filers who provide information on non-residents of New Jersey should consult privacy and other laws pertaining to residents of other States before sending any sensitive or personal data to New Jersey.

    Requirements for filings vary depending on whether an employer is fully insured, self-insured, or a participant in a multiemployer plan. The size of a company also affects reporting requirements, as detailed below:

    Fully Insured: filed by the insurer on behalf of the employer

    Self-Insured:

    • Single-Company, Applicable Large Employers (ALEs). ALEs generally are companies that employed an average of at least 50 or more full-time equivalent employees on business days during the preceding calendar year: Employer files 1095-C or 1095-B for each person who was a full-time employee for at least one month of the calendar year and for any employee who was enrolled in the self-insured plan. New Jersey requires only Parts I and III of Form 1095-C be completed, but will accept fully completed forms as well. ALE members that offer employer-sponsored, self-insured health coverage to non-employees may use Form 1095-B for these non-employees, or ALEs may file a 1095-C using Code 1G in Part II, to report for non-employees. For this purpose, a non-employee includes a non-employee director, an individual who was a retired employee during the entire year, or a non-employee COBRA beneficiary. This also applies to a former employee who terminated employment during a previous year.
    • Single Company, Not an Applicable Large Employer (Non-ALE). Non-ALEs generally are companies that employed an average of fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees on business days during the preceding calendar year. Here, an employer files a 1095-B for each covered employee.
    • New Jersey requires only Parts I and III of Form 1095-C be completed, but will accept fully completed forms as well.

    Transmitting 1095 Returns

    Under New Jersey’s Health Insurance Market Preservation Act, insurers, employers, government agencies, multiemployer plans and other entities that provide health insurance must submit required information returns to New Jersey reporting on individuals’ health insurance coverage. There is no paper filing option available.

    Insurers or Employers are able to provide confidential or sensitive data to the State of New Jersey using the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services' (DORES) MFT SecureTransport service.

    Taxpayers who have MFT SecureTransport service user credentials can now use them to submit the required health insurance coverage returns. Test scenarios are available.

    New Jersey will accept returns submitted in bulk filing. A company responsible for submitting files for multiple companies can establish a single MFT SecureTransport Account and submit a single file containing the information for the various companies. NJ will not accept files in a zipped file format.

    You will receive a submission receipt upon successful transmission which will serve as the acknowledgement. This receipt will be sent to the email associated with the MFT SecureTransport Account.

    If you are required to submit a correction file to the IRS, New Jersey will also require you to submit the correction file.


  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:41 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Haley Marketing

    As technology improves and social media becomes even more integrated in our everyday lives, we must evolve with it and find new ways to target our audience. Organic reach is an essential component for success in using social media. Organic reach is simply the number of people your content reaches without paid distribution.

    So, how do you gain more organic reach for your social media posts? Here are a few ideas. 

    Think About Your End Goal

    You may roll your eyes because it seems we always start with this phrase, but it’s the most important. If you don’t know what you want out of a post, you can’t put the right strategies in place; and in the end, no matter how much organic reach you’re getting, if you’re not targeting a specific goal, your efforts may be for nothing.

    Do you need more applications, leads or followers?

    Gaining followers can be a slippery slope because you want more eyeballs on your posts, but you need to be strategic. A follow or like doesn’t convert for your business … at least not instantaneously. So, if you’re looking to gain followers, be practical. Just because someone likes your post doesn’t mean they want a job. Just as if you add an item to your cart, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy it.

    If you’re gaining followers to your pages, focus on the long-term impact of these followers. It’s as easy to unfollow as it is to follow someone, so you want to build a strategy to keep their attention long term.

    Utilize Engagement Currencies

    Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter – these platforms contain important algorithms when it comes to engagement. A simple like or comment can not only boost your post to the top of your audience’s news feeds, it can also spread your organic reach to audiences outside of your page likes.

    Are you capitalizing on this?

    Develop Persuasive Content

    As a society, we live life in the fast lane. Once we have an idea, we tend to want it created, developed, posted, and converted on as quickly as possible. And honestly, that’s OK – it’s human nature. But what I think is important here is to not take any short cuts.

    Instead of posting a caption as quickly as possible, take time to think about what you’re posting. Does the job have great benefits? TELL THEM. Does the job offer a bonus? TELL THEM. What hours are they working? TELL THEM.

    Don’t hide the juicy parts of the job in the job description. When posting to social media, make these points noticeable.

    Involve Your Community With Engaging CTAs

    As mentioned, likes, comments and shares are valuable internet currencies, so maximize opportunities for these to happen:

    Run a contest

    People love free stuff. Whether it’s a gift card or tickets to a sporting event, adding an incentive can help drive organic reach.

    But not too fast – think of your end goal. Specifically, contests are great for gaining long-term audiences because you can add fine print in order for someone to enter. In your copy, I’d encourage you to have people like the page and the post, and also comment and share it. All these things take maybe two minutes to do, but they offer real benefits for your firm:

    • Like the page – now, you are capturing their attention long term.
    • Like and comment on the post – using those valuable currencies to boost the post.
    • Share the post – through this, you’re getting your audience to help you do the work because now their audience has their eyes on your post.

    Of course, thinking about conversions, I recommend including a link back to your company website in the social media post. You can then go in and track how much organic traffic your website received and what they did.

    Encourage interaction

    Again, capitalize on the audience you already have. Through persuasive copy, encourage job seekers and employers to interact with your posts. For example, if you have a job posting on social media, ask your audience to tag or share the post with their friends. After all, even if your audience isn’t interested in the content at the time, that doesn’t mean they don’t know someone who would be interested.

    The night shift might not be for everyone, but Sally could have a friend who likes to be at home with her kids. If Sally sees your posts, maybe she’ll tag or share with her friend.

    In a world of sponsored posts, organic reach is not dead. For more information on improving your organic reach, check out this episode of InSights.



  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:38 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Assurance

    Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) covers a wide variety of employment Claims -related exposures from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and discrimination claims to sexual harassment and more. Below are a few key coverage components. Understanding these coverage offerings and knowing how it impacts your staffing company will help you and your insurance broker craft a custom-tailored policy.

    EPLI for Staffing Companies

    It’s essential to make sure the definition of “employee” extends to temporary/placed employees in your EPLI policy. The ability to extend coverage to your clients as co-defendants is important in the event a claim is made by a temporary employee for a wrongful act against the client/host employer. Where available, you should also request the policy be rated on billable hours, rather than head count, for the most competitive rate.

    Choice of Counsel

    Under a typical arrangement, the insurance carrier relies on a panel of qualified employment attorneys to provide defense in the event of a claim. Some carriers, however, will allow an insured to designate their own employment attorney, in lieu of the panel approach, which is a conversation you want to have with your broker prior to renewal. The carrier will require basic information such as the attorney’s name and hourly rates, and if approved, the carrier will endorse your policy which will allow you to use the pre-approved attorney of your choice.

    Wage & Hour

    Wage and Hour coverage is available; however, capacity is still limited and the coverage can be somewhat restrictive in scope. The sub-limits offered are generally for defense only and do not include indemnity, and limit are typically in the $50,000 - $500,000 range. Historically, carriers have only provided the coverage to in-house employees, although some carriers will now extend coverage to temporary and PEO employees.

    Third Party Coverage

    Some policies will allow you to extend harassment and discrimination coverage pertaining to claims made by third parties such as vendors, suppliers and so forth.

    Hammer Clause

    All EPLI policies contain a settlement provision commonly referred to as the “hammer clause.” In a typical policy, the insurance carrier needs your permission to settle a claim. This provision states that should your insurance company and the claimant both agree to settle the claim, but you don’t agree, the total claim payment (including defense) can be limited to a certain percentage of what the claim would’ve settled for, if you had agreed to it. 150% is a common sublimit.

    For additional information on employment-related claim trends and coverage, watch this quick video.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.


  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 9:25 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Urbach & Avraham, CPAs

    The background: In 2012, a nonprofit hired an accountant from a temporary staffing agency. Diane (not her real name) did so well that the nonprofit took her on permanently even after learning that the staffing firm did not perform any background checks. They later discovered she stole tens of thousands of dollars from them.

    The inside scoop: Diane managed the nonprofit’s payroll and credit cards, and reconciled journal entries. She also signed off on her own statements, with no one reviewing her work. This lack of internal controls let her charge personal expenses to the nonprofit’s credit cards — including a snowblower, payroll for her own company, and family vacations — without being detected.

    She hid about $45,000 in credit card charges by debiting the credit card clearing account and crediting cash. Credit card charges were supposed to be entered into the nonprofit’s accounting program — so manual checks could be cut to pay for them — but Diane bypassed this by allocating them to different accounts within the system. She also entered the receipts under the wrong vendor name, so anyone trying to trace them would get lost in a maze of dead ends. Finally, she neglected to file payroll taxes for three years, putting the nonprofit about $20,000 in arrears for the tax liability alone.

    How She Got Away With It: Besides giving one person control over the credit cards and the reconciliation, the nonprofit’s auditors didn’t review the credit card statements at year end. And they never tried to match the charges to the actual receipts.

    How She Got Nabbed: The scheme unraveled when Diane went out on medical leave and others took over her job functions. They saw what was going on; Diane was soon fired, law enforcement was called in, and charges were filed against her.

    What Can My Company Do? The biggest mistake was a lack of internal controls. The person responsible for receipts or disbursements shouldn’t be the one reconciling the accounts. Also, internal and external auditors should closely examine significant transactions and random test for others. Staffing firms should be running background checks on all potential candidates. Finally, every employee should be required to take time off so someone else can review his work. Your accounting advisor can suggest specific ways to tighten controls and avoid these pitfalls.

    BY: Pamela Avraham, CPA, Partner, Urbach & Avraham, CPAs which provides accounting and tax services to staffing agencies. Firm may be reached at 732-777-1158 or pma@ua-cpas.com. Firm website is www.ua-cpas.com

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 9:21 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Peapack-Gladstone Bank

    The Peapack-Gladstone Bank is pleased to present its 3Q19 quarterly human capital solutions industry update from our Senior Advisor, Jim Janesky, who oversees client coverage and leads the vertical.

    Through this industry update, we will share with you our impressions on the market, track the leading macroeconomic indicators, report relevant transactions, public market valuations and highlight current trends. We also encourage you to set up a meet and greet with Jim Janesky and obtain a complimentary evaluation of your business.

    Click here to access the update.


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