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Your Company Really Needs Employment Practices Liability Insurance

“Why would my company ever need employment practices liability insurance? Nothing bad is going to happen.” The PEO professionals at Total HR Management are surprised by how many of our client companies came onboard with this initial attitude. They literally did not realize how a lack of an EPLI policy can truly place a business on the edge of dire jeopardy. If something with an employee does go wrong, the excellent EPLI policy offered under a professional employer organization’s group umbrella can save your business and keep your doors open.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance A Necessity

In the 21st century, from the moment that a manager starts the pre-hiring process until the exit interview, the company is vulnerable to an employment-related lawsuit. Such lawsuits are much more common that you might imagine. This is why your business should take a hard look at whether it can afford to defend itself against alleged wrongful employment practices accusations.

If you are unwilling to crack open the company’s piggy bank and put the future of your company at risk, you need an EPLI policy yesterday. Total HR Management can help get you one today.

employment practices liability insurance

Employment Practices Liability Insurance in 2017

As an insurance solution, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects your company against wrongful termination, discrimination or sexual harassment suits from your current, prospective or former employees. This coverage applies to directors, officers and employees, and can sometimes extend to third party liabilities as well.

Total HR Management has seen EPLI coverage protect client companies from unexpected lawsuits, both spurious and real in nature. While the majority of employee lawsuits are groundless, defending against any lawsuit is costly and time-consuming. This is why your company needs EPLI armor.

Three Out Of Five Employers Will Be Sued

According to researchers, three out of five employers will be sued by a prospective, current or former employee while they are in business.

Did you know that the vast majority of general liability policies held by companies do not include employment-related lawsuits? Such non-EPLI coverage leaves a company’s assets 100% vulnerable to such an employee lawsuit. As costs for litigation and damage awards climb, experts predict that employment liability will only become more complex.

Total HR Management wants you to know the manner in which your company will be covered under such a policy. EPLI policies provide protection from the following wrongful employment practices and many types of employee lawsuits, including

  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful termination
  • Breach of employment contract
  • Negligent evaluation
  • Failure to employ or promote
  • Wrongful discipline
  • Deprivation of career opportunity
  • Wrongful infliction of emotional distress
  • Mismanagement of employee benefit plans

Can you imagine one of these potential problems hitting your business hard? In fact, it’s probably more than possible. Such issues don’t always lead to employee lawsuits, but you need to be ready and prepared to protect the future of your business if they do. EPLI policies reimburse a company against the costs of defending a lawsuit in court and for judgments and settlements. An employment practices liability insurance policy covers legal costs, whether a company wins or loses the suit

Total HR Management Can Help

Does it sound like employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) could make sense for your company? The HR managers at Total HR Management can explain exactly how EPLI coverage will benefit your business model. Isn’t it time to be protected? To learn more, please call Total HR Management at (800) 975-5128 today.

 

No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.

 

8 Fibs Employers Tell Themselves To Justify Independent Contractor Misclassification

Independent contractor misclassification is a mistake all responsible companies need to avoid. Despite potential penalties and fines, employers will often go out of their way to convince themselves that they can classify a certain worker as an independent contractor and not as an employee. When it comes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal government does not want to hear your company’s excuses. They demand that everything is done by the book, and, and Total HR Management can help.

independent contractor misclassification

Beware Independent Contractor Misclassification

Given business payroll tax consequences combined with the health care reverberations of the Affordable Care Act, sometimes being able to slide a few employees into the Independent Contractor classification seems like a great idea. As a professional employer organization with a proven track record of helping our client companies avoid this avoidable mistake, Total HR Management wants to assure you that it’s anything but a great idea. Independent contractor misclassification can lead to major issues with the IRS in specific and the federal government in general. Why would you ever want to open up that can of worms?

Beware Independent Contractor Misclassification

In a great article in The Practical Employer column of Workforce, attorney Jon Hyman, a partner at Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Cleveland,  dishes out 12 myths that employees tell themselves to justify independent worker misclassification by their employers.

We have decided to flip Hyman’s article on its head by applying these myths directly to the employers. Not wanting to push the envelope to the breaking point, we chose 8 of the 12 myths and transformed them into 8 fibs that employers tell themselves to justify independent contractor misclassification.

8 Fibs About Independent Contractor Misclassification

Fib 1: Since the person is under independent contractor under one law, he or she is an independent contractor under all other laws.

Response: Even if they are a legitimate independent contractor under one law, they very well could still be an employee under other laws.

Fib 2: I sent the individual a 1099 tax form, and this now officially makes them an independent contractor.

Response: Sending an employee a 1099 tax form does not make them an independent contractor or change their employee status.

Fib 3: The individual signed an independent contractor agreement. Such an agreement signed between a company and a person is valid.

Response: Signing an independent contractor agreement does not affect an individual’s official employment status.

Fib 4: The person is not on my payroll so they are not my employee.

Response: A person do not have to be on your payroll to be considered and classified as a full-time employee.

Fib 5: The individual has their own employer identification number (EIN) or they have paperwork stating they are performing services for my company as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or other business entity.

Response: An EIN or paperwork stating that an individual is an LLC or other business entity does not make them an independent contractor.

Fib 6: The individual teleworks, works off-site, or works remotely and is never in the actual office. They clearly are an independent contractor.

Response: People working off-site or remotely from home can be employees. Being bodily present in the office is not an official designation.

Fib 7: This person has been working for my company as an independent contractor for years. Why would anything change?

Response: Past designation as an independent contractor does not mean a person still falls under the independent contractor classification.

Fib 8: It is established practice in my industry to classify such workers as independent contractors. This is simply the way it’s always been done.

Response: Just because your common industry practice claimed one thing before is not an excuse today to misclassify under the FLSA.

Total HR Can Help Your Company

Given the extent of the potential penalties and fines, your company wants to avoid the mistake of employee misclassification. After all, you don’t want a silly fib to come back and cost your company an arm and a leg. As a PEO, Total HR Management can help your company avoid independent contractor misclassification. To learn more, please call (800) 975-5128 today to set-up an HR audit.

 

No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.

 

 

Three Strategies to Help Promote Employee Engagement

As a professional employer organization, Total HR Management stresses the importance of learning how to promote employee engagement in the workplace. By promoting AND having a strategy to increase employee engagement, a company raises morale and increases productivity. There are several exact strategies that can be instituted which significantly raises employee engagement, communication and a sense of teamwork.

Below are three proven examples of such strategies which promote mentor relationships between employees, allows time for fun activities (that improve the spirit of the office) boosts morale, and fosters better communication.

Promote Employee Engagement = Increased Productivity

employee engagement

Successfully Promote Employee Engagement

In Google Scholar, you can download a PDF of a well-cited study that details how employee engagement is one of the keys to improving performance.  After years of surveying employees and examining organizational results, the role of employee engagement in the success of a company is confirmed. When employee engagement is ignored, companies lose the best talent from a disengaged staff. Such loss has a truly negative impact, leading directly to lower profit margins and higher recruitment and selection expenses.

The lesson: learning how to promote employee engagement makes a lot of sense. Total HR Management has the proven track record of helping our client companies turn this strategy into a viable reality.

3 Proven Strategies To Promote Employee Engagement

  1. Encourage mentor relationships between employees

Take advantage of the generation gap between employees by encouraging mentor relationships between employees. What’s so intriguing is that these relationships actually go in both directions. Baby Boomers can mentor Millennials about finding the right work-life balance as responsibilities changes over time while Generation Z employees can mentor Baby Boomers on new technologies. When an employee is mentored, they feel that an organization cares about their development and career path. By instituting such strong connection, you promote employee engagement.

  1. Allow and even promote fun activities in the work day

If you want to promote employee engagement, you need to help create fun as well. Why do you think casual Fridays became instituted nationwide? Fun at work means employees that value the workplace and actually want to be present. By fun, we don’t mean you have to have a ping pong table in the break room or organize dodge ball games. Rather, trivia and contests that highlight the company can prove to be very effective. For example, who can come up with the best metaphor that represents the heart of the business? As opposed to a spirit animal, what business animal represents each employee? When done with good intentions, such activities can be a lot of fun.

  1. Institute Communicative Feedback Loops

Whether the economy is thriving or there is an economic downturn, being transparent about future prospects always builds trust with employees. Online, there are many options for creating both normal and anonymous feedback loops. At the same time, beyond written feedback, face-to-face feedback in constructive staff meetings can be very effective as well. Rather than focus on the critical, staff meetings should highlight the positive and what works to achieve personal and professional results.

Total HR Management Can Help

Total HR Management wants to help your company promote employee engagement in your company workplace. Our talented HR managers can help find a solution that works for your company. If you have questions about what to do at your company, please call Total HR Management at (800) 975-5128 today to set-up an HR audit.

 

No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.

PEO Support — Why Managers Should Avoid Loaded Questions With Employees?

In the ongoing PEO Support series, Total HR Management asks the tough questions that managers and business owners have to answer on a regular basis. Our goal is to provide constructive and supportive answers based on years of experience of working with our clients. One very distinctive position we have taken is to do your best to avoid what we call loaded questions with your employees.

PEO Support = Proven Solutions

The very fact that the phrase loaded questions includes the word “loaded” should provide immediate insight into why such questions should be avoided. Are you a manager running a successful business or a Sheriff shooting it out with the bad guys in Tombstone? Although the latter has a certain thrilling appeal, such thrills are best left for movie night. No matter how you define them, loaded questions should be left out of the office. In today’s business environment, its crucial to pay attention to what helps make your employees better focused, more productive and engaged. Embracing all of these qualities will only help to promote your company’s bottom line!

loaded questions, peo support

Loaded Questions Undermine Employees

Loaded questions also tend to bring with a win-lose or a lose-lose situation, as opposed to a win-win. Do you even want to be here?, Did you even understand the goal that was set?, Were you trying to lose a customer?, and other loaded questions lead to resentment. Rather than generating unnecessary resentment because maybe your eggs were cold that morning, be constructive and positive with your employees. Never allow negative emotions to characterize your managerial style. Be patient, present, calm and receptive to what is being said. Approaching communication this way will allow everyone to be more honest, open, calm and have a common objective-the company’s vision.

Loaded Questions Limit Success

Total HR Management has found that loaded questions only limit success. By asking a loaded question, you are immediately putting an employee in a defensive position and potentially shutting down communication all together. By making them feel bad, you are failing as a manager to hopefully find a constructive solution. In other words, you are perceived as devolving into a mercenary looking for a bounty as opposed to a team leader promoting their success as well as the company’s success. Rather than wanting to truly discuss the issues with your employee in an interactive fashion, it’s clear that you have already made up your mind, have a definitive opinion and not open to any feedback.

Rather than be a mercenary, why not be a coach, team leader and a strategic manger? Reframe the question so it leads to a positive solution. As opposed to Do you even want to be here?, a reframing looks like, What is needed to bring out the best in you as an employee?, promoting a positive response. As opposed to were you trying to lose that customer? reframing looks like, How could that interaction have gone better and, or, how can I better support you when these situations arise?, This approach helps open the door to a better understanding

PEO Support Helps You Manage Well

The PEO Support offered by Total HR Management is designed to help you manage well. By focusing on the positive and fostering a creative work environment, you can create the groundwork for ongoing success. We have found time and time again that positivity and high employee morale are the bedrock on which such success if built. Loaded questions can make you feel smart and powerful, but they will not help to make your company productive and possible.

Our HR managers can help you with the bureaucracy of your business, reducing stress and saving time. As a result, you won’t find yourself as often in the frustrating position where you want to ask a loaded question as a passive aggressive response. By improving your mood and allowing you to focus on the business of your business, we help your company grow and improve the work environment.

Total HR Management = PEO Support

To learn more about PEO Support, please contact Total HR Management. If you have questions about how we can help your company, please call Total HR Management at (800) 975-5128 to set-up an HR audit. Our goal as a professional employer organization and HR services provider is to help you company succeed.

 

No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.

 

Is Your Company Culture Attracting AND Retaining The Top Talent?

Company culture is no longer just “office talk”, it’s an actual palpable atmosphere that your business creates that everybody breathes on a daily basis. Are you fostering a culture that attracts and retains the talent that your business needs to be successful? If not, Total HR Management can help you examine your company culture, provide recommendations on changes that will raise your attraction level and improve retention and recruitment efforts. Below are four elements of a positive company culture that will help attract and retain the best talent.

Practicing and Owning Your Company Culture

company culture

Is your company culture attracting the top talent?

Many companies talk about workplace culture, but few seem to put their ideas and theories into actual practice. What companies fail to understand is that the spirit of your workplace is the key to attracting, engaging, and retaining the top talent. If your employees want to be aligned with the company culture, they are more likely to be motivated, productive and loyal.

So, here’s the question: Who actually owns your company culture? The CEO, CFO, COO, the janitor? The answer: all of the above! Do your employees have input to the nature of their culture and what it can offer them? You can effectively change the company culture without affecting the leadership and the executive structure. The best way to do this is by addressing the question to your employees in a questionnaire. Let them offer feedback as to what is positive and what is negative about the company culture. By receiving real world input, you will have a much better idea of the steps to be taken.

Four Elements of a Positive Company Culture

  • Company Culture Begins During Onboarding

Does your company have an official onboarding process that includes an introduction to the spirit of the business and the positive elements in the workplace? If not, you making a big mistake that could affect your long-term retention efforts. Like a good meal, the first taste is very important. If onboarding is like an employee’s first taste of their new company, make that taste a positive experience-presentation is everything! Be ready to share how engaged, talented and positive minded people can grow within your organization. Emphasizing these qualities from day one will help you create a company culture that focuses on the positive from the very beginning.

  • Empathy and Flexibility = Positive Company Culture

Managers need to have empathy for their employees while being flexible at times. Employees tend to be negative about rigid managerial systems that fail to address their needs. According to the HR Bartender, nearly 25 percent of employees say having an empathetic and flexible manager is an important part of their work-life balance. By addressing the concerns of your employees in a manner that does not damage your business, you will be creating goodwill that will pay off in the long run.

  • Wellness Programs Promote Health and Company Culture

Wellness programs have become quite popular in recent years, and their placement in organizations is connected with employee’s trust and faith in a positive company culture. These programs can help attract top talent because they show that the company cares about an employee’s health and well-being. There are countless examples of wellness programs leading to increased productivity and profitability. Total HR Management can help your company research what kind of Wellness Program makes the most sense for your business, balancing the positive and avoiding liability.

  • Company Culture Allows For Personal Flavor In The Office

When employees were asked what’s important to them about a company’s culture, the majority expressed the importance of being able share their personal flavor and personality at their desk-cubicle. Family pictures, personal mementos and nick knacks should never overwhelm an office, but they no doubt can (and probably should) be included to heighten the fun and human side a corporate environment.

Positive Company Culture Leads to Future Success

By instituting a positive company culture, you help ensure the future success of your business. To learn more about instituting a positive company culture, contact Total HR Management today.

Please call (800) 975-5128 today to speak with an HR professional and access the help your small to mid-sized company needs.

 

No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.

 

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