Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

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.



Circling The Wagons With A PEO To Help Protect Your Company

protect your comany

PEO Support To Help Protect Your Company

If you are worried about how to protect your company moving forward, Total HR Management is not surprised. As a professional employer organization, Total HR understands when our client companies feel unsettled by constant changes in healthcare policy, benefits administration, and federal regulations. Given the ongoing implications of the Affordable Care Act and the coming administration change in Washington, many small to mid-sized companies are questioning what the future will bring.

Luckily, Total HR is able to reassure our client companies that regardless of the changes, we will be there to protect and support them. By working with us as either a PEO or a tailored HR outsourcing support company, you are able to circle the wagons and gain protection. One of our goals is to help shield your company from many external dangers that could potentially disrupt your business.

Protect Your Company Moving Forward

In the legends of the old west, wagon trains of settlers moving to fulfill their manifest destiny would often be attacked by hostiles. When under attack, the settlers would not protect themselves on their own. Rather, they would circle the wagons and find strength in numbers. By circling the wagons, they created a protective barrier on all sides from the external threats of local tribal warriors or bandits. The pioneers learned that by coming together, they greatly increased their chances for survival and success.

In the same fashion, by working with Total HR Management as a co-employer, you receive the protection both of our team’s human resources expertise and the negotiating power of a large pool of companies and their employees. Rather than being forced to negotiate benefit program rates as a small to mid-sized company, Total HR Management employs the greater pool of the employees of our client companies to negotiate the favorable rates that traditionally are only accessible to larger companies and huge corporations. Regardless of shifts in government policy and regulations, Total HR does everything it legally can to make sure that you can access the best deal possible when it comes to benefits administration and healthcare challenges.

HR Experts Help With Shifting Federal Regulations

The HR managers at Total HR Management are certified Senior Professionals in Human Resources (SPHR) and Professionals in Human Resources (PHR). As a direct result, they have the experience and the expertise that your company needs when faced with changing times. Regardless of shifts in federal regulations or policies in light of the new administration coming into office in Washington, the HR managers will remain up-to-date. We make our client companies aware of any changes or shifts in advance to protect them from the turbulence of shifting tides. Regardless of what happens, our HR managers stay one step ahead of the curve to help ensure the safety and success of our client companies.

Ultimately, Total HR Management hopes that everything goes smoothly when it comes to any political transition. If policy changes or regulatory shifts do prove to be challenging, we are ready to make sure that they do not disrupt the ongoing success of your business. As a client company of Total HR, you can trust that the wagons of experience and expertise will be circled when needed. By working with us, your company will have a greater level of protection and financial leverage than you could ever have imagined in the past.

Total HR Management Can Help

Please take the first step and protect your company by calling Total HR Management at (800) 975-5128. By requesting an HR audit from experts in human resources and regulatory management, you will take a step in the right direction to ensure your company’s future safety and ongoing success.


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.

United Healthcare On How The Total HR Value Proposition Can Help California Companies

What is the Total HR value proposition for UnitedHealthcare. In the first part of this two-part article, the executive team at UnitedHealthcare Group (UHC) detailed why they decided the PEO option made sense for California companies in the 50 to 99 employee range. Given the challenges faced, Tim Rhatigan, Senior Vice President of Small Business for UHC, and Director of Sales Allen Patrick, Vice President of Small Business, carefully laid out the value proposition offered by Total HR Management. The goal of the UHC vetting process in California was to find a PEO solution that reflected the mission and values of UnitedHealthcare as an industry leader.

The Total HR Value Proposition Defined

Total HR Management has a long history of delivering tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of individual clients. At the same time, as the CEO of Total HR, James Harwood understands the importance of offering healthcare plan solutions that make sense to both clients and insurance brokers. In the vetting process, Allen Patrick saw this track record, saying, “PEOs in general are not in the business of health benefits. Since insurance brokers drive the majority of UHC’s market in California, we needed a PEO that would be broker friendly. Beyond being local, Total HR fit this profile as a broker-friendly PEO. Total HR clearly knew how to work with brokers from a benefits standpoint.”

When asked what UHC hope to achieve with this partnership, Tim Rhatigan provided an answer that not only made a lot of sense, but also sounded like a slam-dunk for California companies facing this new hurdle. Rhatigan said, “Given the unique challenges of this phase of healthcare reform, we needed a dynamic partnership that would help our customers. We felt Total HR would help those companies deal with the problem of affordability while offering the flexibility and choice that they need. It is the right time for Total HR to help companies in California with 50 to 99 employees find solutions to a tough challenge that is literally right in front of them. This challenge can be the difference between these employers providing benefits and not providing benefits.”

UHC Recognizes The Total HR Value Proposition

hr value proposition

UHC Explains The Total HR Value Proposition

UnitedHealthcare Group has a long history of helping their members find workable solutions to challenges before they become problems. Beyond being a workable solution, the Total HR value proposition offers quite a bit more to potential client companies. As Patrick detailed in the interview, “At UnitedHealthcare Group, we always want to do what’s best for our members. Given what many of our members are facing in California, we believe that working with a PEO like Total HR will be the best solution for the rate increases that they are facing.”

When asked what benefits does working with a PEO bring to these mid-sized companies, members of the United Healthcare Group, Tim Rhatigan outlined the motivation behind UHC’s decision. Rhatigan clearly explained his process by connecting it to the central values of UHC as a national healthcare company. Rhatigan explained:

“The key motivation is to figure out a solution that addresses the question of affordability. The Total HR value proposition provides a PEO solution that could give these UHC members access to the benefits affordability that their companies need. What we also liked was that Total HR as a PEO could offer these companies so much more than just affordability, and I believe the host of HR options available with a PEO will surprise many of these companies. We also know our members want simplicity to go side-by-side with greater choice. Total HR provides a package that balances choice and simplicity with affordability.”

UHC Clients And The Total HR Value Proposition

Allen Patrick furthered this idea by focusing on the importance of maintaining a comfort level for long-term clients. In other words, why rock the boat when the boat doesn’t need to be rocked? As Patrick said, “Total HR will help us provide our clients with a transition that has a high comfort level by avoiding disruption. The shift will be simple for these companies, and you can’t put a price on that kind of ease when it comes to any type of customer service. I am confident the Total HR option will have the look and feel of the small business plan that these employers know and understand.”

At the end of the interview, the UHC team was asked why they believe it makes sense for California companies in the 50 to 99 employee range to work with Total HR. In a moment of true business eloquence, Tim Rhatigan stated, “From a customer’s perspective, an employer in the 50 to 99 employee range, this option means I can outsource my human resources to Total HR and focus on growing my business. Although United Healthcare is focused on their health insurance, we also know that Total HR offers so much more than just an affordability solution to these companies. Total HR is going to bring professional human resources management to the table for these employers from better employee handbooks to workers’ compensation solutions to payroll services.”

Taking this point to the next level, Rhatigan said, “If I am an employer, it makes sense to put all that under one umbrella. If I am an employer and I want to focus on growing my business and providing more jobs in the community, working with a PEO like Total HR is a great way for me to simplify by outsourcing all of the issues that potentially get in the way of my company growing.”

Total HR Management Can Help UHC Clients

Total HR Management could not have said it any better, and James Harwood is grateful to be working in partnership with UnitedHealthcare Group. Harwood believes that both companies and insurance brokers in California will see how working with a PEO like Total HR can help them. As Allen Patrick of UHC clearly stated at the end of the interview, “By showing the brokers that their client companies can save money in the long run by working with a PEO, it has opened the door to them rethinking their opinions about this sensible option.”



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.

Total HR Management Partners With UnitedHealthcare To Help California Employers

Total HR Management is proud to announce a working partnership with the UnitedHealthcare Group (UHC) to help address new Affordable Care Act requirements in California for companies with 50 to 99 employees. Such companies face real ACA challenges in California as they are forced to transition to a community rating. No longer eligible for the composite rated plans for large groups, these employers will be facing huge rate hikes in the upcoming renewal period. With a primary focus on providing top-flight customer service to their members, UHC believed that Total HR was the best local professional employer organization (PEO) option available in California for HR outsourcing.

Total HR Partners With UnitedHealthcare

United Healthcare

Total HR Partners with UnitedHealthcare in California

When asked why he thought UHC chose Total HR Management as their California provider, James Harwood relayed his insight as the CEO of Total HR. Harwood described how, “UHC is excited about the opportunity to offer their premium broker partners a viable alternative that will help their business clientele in the 50 to 99 employee range who are about to be adversely impacted by the new Affordable Care Act requirements. By opening the door to PEO medical insurance options, UHC knows that an ideal balance between large company benefits and HR solutions can be made available to help these employers.”

The goal of the partnership is to reduce the impact to companies in the 50 to 99 employees range in the expensive shadow of the new ACA requirements in California. Beyond the premiums going up 20% or more – a real financial hardship for a smaller business – the shift to the community rating also means more administration and bureaucratic management challenges thrown onto the plate of these business owners. Rather than being able to focus on the business of their business, the new ACA demands could quickly become an administrative burden for these employers. When it comes to employers in the 50 to 99 employee range, such requirements could be even more damaging to their bottom line because time really is equal to money.

UnitedHealthcare Chooses Total HR

United Healthcare

UnitedHealthcare Chooses Total HR 

James Harwood is proud that a national company as respected as UnitedHealthcare Group would choose Total HR as their California provider. He knows from firsthand experience how much a PEO solution can help UHC member companies facing new ACA hurdles. As Harwood clearly explains, “Through the PEO partnership, even companies with under 100 employees can continue to offer a large group medical plan with composite rate premiums. In addition to the savings when it comes to the benefits plan rates, a PEO provides a comprehensive HR solution that can include payroll processing, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), recruitment and selection services, and a diverse range of human resources support provided by certified HR professionals. A co-employment relationship with Total HR can be beneficial on so many different levels.”

Naturally, both James Harwood of Total HR and the executive team at UHC understand that some employers in the 50 to 99 range, as well as many insurance brokers representing them, will resist the PEO option at first. Arguing that they don’t want to pay more, they will question Total HR’s value proposition. James Harwood has confronted this misunderstanding in the past and successfully navigated it. Rather than pay more, these companies will save both money and time in the long run.

Total HR Can Help UHC Clients In California

As Harwood notes from a wealth of experience, “The reality is that Total HR addresses a number of important HR areas that demand attention. By addressing these issues effectively, removing the unnecessary hassles, we save our clients time and money. If the company is not outsourcing these tasks to an HR solutions provider, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They either have to hire someone in-house to do the work or they are forced to find and manage multiple vendors that do not communicate between each other. Research has shown that companies using multiple vendors and in-house resources hemorrhage money. Their HR management costs incredibly are as much as 32% higher than organizations outsourcing these functions to a single vendor like Total HR. As a one-stop shop, we save companies both money and time.”

UnitedHealthcare Group chose a partnership with Total HR in order to provide quality services that would help their company clients moving forward. The simple truth is that California-based companies in the 50 to 99 employee range are coming down to the wire as these rate hikes rapidly approach, and they will have to make a choice. Since it is a requirement for companies this size to provide affordable health insurance, UHC sees that a partnership with a PEO like Total HR will allow them to meet this requirement while keeping costs down.

Contact Total HR Management To Learn More

Moreover, since the ACA requires that employers that are community rated track eligibility, keep up-to-date on all reporting requirements and produce forms like 1094/1095, Total HR is a PEO option that truly makes sense. By handling all of these reporting requirements for each client company, Total HR Management allows a company to work on their business instead of getting lost in the maze-like bureaucracy of their business. To learn more about Total HR’s new partnership with UnitedHealthcare and how it can benefit your company, please call (800) 975-5128 today to set-up an HR audit 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.

Hiring Challenges Facing Business Owners In The Second Half Of 2016

From recruitment and selection to talent retention, hiring challenges will be the biggest issue for organizations in the second half of 2016. As their roles become broader and more strategic in the early 21st century, HR managers face a number of complex issues, ranging from the ongoing troubles presented by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the latest revision of overtime rules and regulations. All of these challenges are important to Total HR Management’s client companies; they know that they will confidently receive our support across the board. Yet, as a professional employer organization (PEO), Total HR truly believes the second half of 2016 will be characterized by difficult staffing questions and hiring challenges.

Hiring Challenges In 2016

hiring challenges

Hiring Challenges in 2016

The reasons for these staffing questions and hiring challenges range from a rebounding economy to the traditional optimism that goes hand-in-hand with an election year. When it comes to human resources management, the staffing function that involves hiring, training and retaining employees is at the very core of the mission. Recruitment and selection, along with talent retention, are key elements in developing a workforce that aligns with the goals and the long-term vision of an organization.

For this very reason, Total HR Management expanded our capabilities in the 21st century to include a staffing agency option to help support our client companies. Beyond recruitment and selection, we can address both your temporary and long-term staffing needs. By addressing the talent concerns of our client companies across the board, Total HR delivers the specific kind of support your company needs as opposed to the same old scratched record played over and over again.

Talent Retention Challenges

According to a November 2012 poll by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), HR professionals anticipate that retaining the best employees will be the greatest HR challenge a decade down the line in 2022. As often happens in business, the egg has hatched early and the problem is already in the nest. In 2016, Millennial and Generation Z employees have a tendency to job hop more than even their Generation X predecessors.

Economic challenges often make it difficult for companies to maintain continual pay increases over time. As a result, younger employees are willing to use their Internet capabilities to look for better options, even when they are on the job. If you track your employee’s Internet usage, you’ll be surprised at how many are checking out Indeed, Career Builder, Monster and other job sites during the day.

Beyond regular talent retention, technical talent retention has become more difficult than ever. A cyber economy where information technology needs are universal has made it difficult for organizations to fill specialized positions. Even during periods of high unemployment, companies find a shortage of technology-driven employees with the training and competencies to perform in niche jobs. The problem is today those niche jobs are growing. In a robust economy, the technical talent shortage is heightened by a greater competition for such employees. Total HR Management has the strategies in place to help fill an organization’s specific needs for trained and capable technical talent.

New Employee Hiring In 2016

Hiring new employees is a challenge being faced by many small to mid-sized businesses as they continue to grow. Total HR understands that there are substantial costs involved when bringing new employees on board. Such costs will continue to increase in the second half of 2016. According to Investopedia, the total cost of onboarding, including taxes, benefits, equipment, training, and bonuses, can range from 1.5 times to 3 times the salary of the position. That’s a significant investment for companies that are battling their competitors in a thriving economy. As a result, the recruitment and selection experts at Total HR help to guarantee that each new employee fits the specific needs of your company.

If you have questions about the hiring challenges facing your organization in the second half of 2016, you are not alone. From our staffing agency support to recruitment and selection expertise, we are here to provide the help you need. To learn more about how Total HR Management can help your company overcome these hiring challenges, 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.

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