Office Management & HR
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COBRA is a federal law that requires employers with 20 or more employees to offer continuing coverage to individuals who would otherwise lose their health benefits.
The proper response to employee insubordination can range from disciplinary action to termination. A succinct policy can assist employers in appropriately dealing with insubordination issues.
Former employees may be entitled to unemployment benefits depending on the circumstances under which they quit or were terminated. It's important to contest unjustified unemployment claims because successful unemployment benefit claims affect your tax rate, and you may discourage fired employees from pursuing wrongful discharge legal claims.
'Home Office vs. Leased Office Space -- Why Not Stay Home?' reviews the benefits to working from your home and the reasons many businesses should operate from a home-based environment.
'Job Qualifications Can Contain Legal Traps' reports on the correct way to determine job qualifications for an vacant position, thereby avoiding liability in discrimination suits.
'Sound Business Principles, Communication Are Keys to Downsizing' reports on the issues to consider when adopting a reduction in force.
When you hire a new employee, your next step is to complete the required forms, including Form W-4 and Form I-9.
Once you've decided which health benefits you might want to offer to your employees, you will then begin the process of contacting benefit providers. Employers can obtain information informally by surveying other employers or may choose to work with a consultant. Beginning on October 1, 2013, small businesses (generally, those with 50 or fewer full-time employees) are able to purchase health care coverage for 2014 and later years through a government-run insurance marketplace established specifically for them—the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
Employers are required to provide certain benefits to their employees and may choose to provide others in order to attract and retain the best employees. Tax savings and pricing incentives also exist for a business owner when providing certain employee benefits.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees to offer full-time employees and in some cases their dependents, minimum essential health care coverage that meets affordability and minimum value requirements or face a potential penalty. This mandate, originally scheduled to take effect in 2014, is delayed until 2015.
Beginning in 2015, employers of 50 or more are required to offer employees health care coverage or may be liable for an assessable payment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Act.
With most health plans, a fair amount of the administration is taken care of by the company, agent, or alliance that you have the insurance with. However, that does not mean that you're totally off the hook. You'll still have to perform some duties as an employer providing health benefits.
Flexible Spending Arrangements are an employee benefit that allows employees to use pretax dollars to reimburse health and dependent care expenses not covered by insurance.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) allow employees to make pre-tax contributions to an account that can be used for health care expenses. HSAs are a newer form of health insurance benefits and have been increasing in popularity in recent years.
There are several health care insurance options to choose from if an employer decides to offer health care benefits to employees. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are the most common types of health care plans offered.
If an employer chooses to offer health care benefits to employees, decisions will have to be made regarding which benefits should be offered and who will be covered in compliance with applicable federal and state laws.
Health care benefits are optional for most smaller employers, but of critical importance to most employees. Employers of all sizes should be aware of the pros and cons of offering health benefits to their employees.
Fringe benefits are property and services whose benefit to employees often outweighs the cost to the employer. Generally, fringe benefits are part of your employees' taxable wages, but there are certain fringe benefits that are excepted from this rule and you can still take a business deduction for their cost. Nontaxable fringe benefits include no-additional-cost services, qualified employee discounts, working condition fringe benefits, very minimal fringe benefits and qualified transportation fringe benefits.
Keogh plans are retirement plans available to businesses that operate as sole proprietorships, partnerships or LLCs. Keogh plans are very popular with self-employed individuals who want to set up a retirement plan with business advantages.