As many parts of the country are entering the spring storm season (or are still digging out from winter weather), now is a good time to review your company’s disaster plans and emergency protocols. It makes good business sense to be prepared for natural disasters, widespread illness or even acts of terrorism.
With some planning, you can protect your employees, information and equipment. Preplanning also helps you continue “business as usual” if you suddenly sustain damage to a facility or if employees can’t come to work but your customers are still depending on you. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a staggering 40 percent of businesses affected by disasters never re-open. This number is significant considering also that more than 25 percent of small businesses will experience a ”significant crisis” in a given year and nearly 66 percent of small businesses do not have an emergency plan in place.
Now is the time to create a disaster planYour emergency plan will define employee and company roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency and should also define short and long-term company goals after a disaster. It should be written out and shared with employees in advance of a disaster.
One of the more important Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020: the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage, also known as the “Cadillac tax.”
What is the Cadillac tax?
Beginning in 2020, the ACA will impose a 40 percent excise tax on the cost of health plan coverage that is more than these pre-determined annual limits:
Six years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) transformed healthcare and became part of the business landscape for every employer. Since then, we have seen significant changes in regulations, penalties and deadlines affecting employers of all sizes. Here are some of the aspects of the ACA to keep top of mind this year.
Driving Culture! Determining Culture! Re-establishing Culture! On any given day I speak to a number of small business leaders and entrepreneurs who are concerned about their company’s culture. This is because they know that creating a company culture is key to attracting the right employees and, in turn, driving business growth.
Why you should care about company culture
The thing is, there is only so much businesses can offer employees in the way of pay, benefits and extra perks to stand out from the competition. And, if you’re a small business or startup, it becomes even harder to compete financially for the most coveted employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is in the process of amending the overtime exemption rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Currently, the FLSA provides an exemption from overtime pay for employees who meet certain tests regarding their job duties and who are paid on a salary basis at no less than $455 a week.
This new rule would dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay by the end of 2016. Under the proposed new regulations, the threshold for exempt status would go from $23,600 per year ($455 per week) to $50,440 per year ($970 per week) – an amount in the 40th percentile of earnings for full-time salaried workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The DOL estimates that this increase in salary threshold for exempt status would affect approximately five million workers, making them eligible for overtime pay. In California alone, 420,000 workers would be affected.
Why the increase in exempt status salary?
President Obama directed the DOL to change their minimum pay for exempt status because more and more employees worked in excess of 40 hours per week for pay that would put them below the federal poverty threshold. The wage threshold hasn’t changed since 2004, which is the only time it has been updated since the 1970s. Importantly, the new regulation would also include changes to the salary threshold every year, based on wage growth and inflation.
TriNet and inDinero are each dedicated to empowering business owners with the right knowledge to help them run healthy companies with happy employees and happy bank accounts. Last month, both teams put their Twitter handles and LinkedIn profiles to work to find out what burning tax questions small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) have as they prepare for tax season.
You asked, inDinero Answers!
The type of feedback we received from SMBs is essential to giving us the opportunity to proactively tackle any problems that hinder business owners’ momentum this time of year. After all, taxes are complex and the deeper you get into your personal and business tax filing, the more questions arise (and the more specific they become).
We received a wide array of questions, from what types of insurance you can and cannot write-off on your taxes to strategies for anticipating and planning tax-related annual fees as activities arise throughout the year. inDinero’s tax experts dove right in to explain the concepts, best practices and actions business owners should know.
Without further ado, here are our expert answers to your business tax questions...
Happy International Women’s Day!
Wait, what? International Women’s Day?
We’ll be honest, we didn’t know that there was such a thing. But if this one day gives us the opportunity to discuss hiring, compensation and cultural practices that affect our fellow sisters in the workforce, why not take it?
For those of you not in the know, International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is “pledge for parity,” with a focus on accelerating equality between men and women. This is especially timely given increasing attention and legislation toward equal pay practices between the sexes.
So, how should you take this opportunity to celebrate your female staff?
Change is sweeping through employment law, and small businesses are finding themselves caught in the riptide. With an increase of lawyers filing Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action lawsuits against businesses over the past year and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) cracking down on disparate impact in hiring, every business owner needs to be aware of the federal and state laws on screening potential employees.
This is why the hiring and compliance experts at TriNet and GoodHire will be sharing insight into how to address pre-employment screening issues in an in-depth employment screening best practices webinar on April 7 at 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will help you get a handle on the employment screening issues and learn best practices for staying compliant.
Compliance is a hot topic right now, with news stories coming out every day about companies in trouble for everything from regulatory missteps to downright illegal business activity. In fact, TriNet recently commissioned a survey of 1,000 small business owners and discovered that a whopping 73 percent of them find it easier to raise their revenue by five percent than to keep their business fully compliant with government regulations.
On the other hand, the result of non-compliance – from cutting corners, negligence or simple ignorance of the laws governing your business – can result in hefty fines or even the loss of your company.
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, compliance can be a confusing and daunting topic. Unfortunately, it is also a topic that touches on almost every aspect of your business. As lawyers and lawmakers are busy piling regulations on your business, it can seem that there may be no light in this fog of laws and requirements. How are you supposed to focus on your business when your days are spent constantly maintaining compliance?
National Employee Appreciation day is on March 4 and it is the perfect time to review your current employee recognition program. The idea of recognizing employees for their length of service or the quality of their work is well known. When most of us think about employee recognition, we probably have a vision of an employee being given a gold watch for their 20-year anniversary or a trophy for “outstanding customer service.”
However noble these tokens may be, they may not really be contributing to your business in a valuable way that both achieves business goals and is rewarding for your employees. If you are wondering how effective your employee recognition program is, start by asking yourself the following questions: