In this new Threat Intelligence report, we discuss some of the latest cyber risks, including Chinese involvement in U.S. hardware hacks; a study that reveals the ease at which criminals are using legitimate email credentials; a Canadian university that recovered $10.9 million in an $11.8 million fraud scheme; millions of voter registration records listed for sale ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections; companies impersonated by hackers in phishing schemes; and ransomware-as-a-service that is now offering exploit kits to users.
The world is different than it once was. It used to be that you needed a 30-foot phone cord to take the phone into another room just so you could have a little privacy, and that when you left work, you really left work, since there wasn’t any way to login remotely.
Nowadays, technological advances have made us truly mobile by enabling us to stay connected 24/7/365. While the workplace impact of 24/7 connectivity has meant that employee productivity has been on the rise, along with it comes challenges that couldn’t have been imagined even 15 years ago.
During the White House’s Summit on Working Families on June 24, 2014, President Obama indicated he was signing a presidential memorandum requiring every federal agency to address flexible work schedules and give employees the right to request such schedules. Absent what could be a dramatic increase in workplace flexibility for federal employees, it is undeniable that the demand for flexibility and work-life balance is on the rise.
Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana in one form or another, and ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized it for recreational use to varying degrees. As recent successful ballot initiatives have shown, with three new states approving some form of marijuana use in 2018 alone, marijuana is becoming increasingly accepted across the country. Which means it’s becoming increasingly likely that eventually you will have to confront how this panoply of marijuana laws impacts your workplace. And — surprise, surprise — that turns out to be much more complicated than it may at first seem.
On May 11, 2014, the governor of Minnesota signed the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), a bill that will require Minnesota employers to make dramatic changes to their employment policies and practices.
While WESA directly impacts employers who conduct business in Minnesota, the changes follow plans by federal and local governments to expand legal protections for women and other employees. For this reason, employers in other jurisdictions should pay close attention to these national and state law trends.
“The only thing that is constant is change.”
Turns out that dusty old Greek philosophers occasionally say profound things (Heraclitus also said that a man’s character is his destiny). And since the Greeks are considered the fathers of democracy and were responsible for no small number of laws themselves, it seems an appropriate departure point to talk about the constantly changing landscape of employment laws.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is more than 20 years old, yet employers have many questions on how the law applies to their workforce. Unfortunately, mistakes in the application can have significant business and legal consequences.
Making FMLA mistakes can be costly, and many employers make mistakes they don’t even know they are making. Let’s take a look at five common leave-of-absence mistakes based on our experience with real clients from our HR Hotline.
As many employers work feverishly through open enrollment for the 2019 plan year, it’s important not to forget about every benefit professional’s other favorite year-end activity — 1094C/1095C reporting! The end of the individual mandate penalty in 2019 does not change an employer’s 1094C/1095C reporting obligations for 2018 when the individual mandate was still in effect. More importantly, the information reported on the 1094C/1095C forms relates primarily to the employer mandate (also known as the Employer Shared Responsibility Penalty or ESRP) which is not going away.
Like Wrightstown Community School District Superintendent Carla Buboltz, many civic leaders — as well as business owners and executives — are seeing their job descriptions evolve. Healthcare reform, along with escalating health insurance costs, are demanding more of their attention than ever before. A survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are now the top concern for organizations, edging out general uncertainty about the U.S. economy.
When the public exchanges opened in October 2013, the technical glitches and low enrollment were well publicized. Since then, both public and private exchanges have evolved significantly. The private alternatives that have entered the scene often have more advantages than their public counterparts.
This archive has been updated to reflect changes made by the IRS in the Form 1095C and instructions for 2018.
We receive questions from employers almost daily on how to comply with these complex reporting requirements in various common (and unusual) situations and scenarios. To help with those questions, we have created 25 different ACA reporting tips for employers to use as guides when completing their Forms 1094C/1095C. These tips address some of the most common ACA reporting issues employers face, including helpful hints, tips and samples of completed Forms 1094C/1095C.
In March 2016, Congress established a Cybersecurity Task Force with the directive to determine the state of cybersecurity within the healthcare industry. They published their findings in June of 2017 and they were not good. It should come as no surprise then that healthcare continually ranks as experiencing the highest number of data breaches and cyber-attacks year over year.
Earlier this year, Congress passed (and the President signed) the Bipartisan Budget Act which included several provisions affecting qualified retirement plans. As employers look ahead at planning for a new calendar year, let’s take a moment to discuss the change to hardship distributions employers may consider adopting. New legislation did not change what might constitute an individual hardship, but it does make hardship withdrawals easier to obtain for participants.
In our 2015 MarketPulse trend study, we introduce our first annual WellnessPulse benchmarking study, in which we survey our clients about their wellness programs and share key results. We also cover trends in executive compensation and benefits, health plan design, healthcare reform, social engineering and cyber risks, workers' compensation, and retirement benefits.
Download the PDF: MarketPulse 2015
Retirement planning is very different from planning for other benefits because the end goal is many years – even decades – away. It’s impossible to develop a foolproof plan that will guide a 25 year-old to her retirement 40 years later. But the practice of planning, the financial education obtained and the savings habits created along the journey can steer employees closer to reaching their retirement goals.
A detailed job description is a helpful document when properly updated. Job descriptions often come into evidence as an exhibit in employment, workers’ compensation, and personal injury matters. If they are not updated, an employee can testify that their job duties have evolved over the years and leave room for interpretation by a judge, jury, or hearing officer what that employee’s job duties actually entailed.
When the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) comes knocking, you may want to scream “why me?” Herein lies part of the problem. With a significant increase in audits and civil investigations over recent years, the more appropriate question is “why not me?” Rather than cross your fingers and hope for the best, it’s time to be proactive and prepare your organization for a DOL audit.
The OSHA Control of Hazardous Energy standard, commonly known as lockout/tagout (LOTO), refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. Approximately three million workers service equipment and face the risk of injury if LOTO is not properly implemented. According to OSHA, compliance with the LOTO standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.
If you could give human form to your safety culture, what would it look like?
Maybe it would be a thick-set, shirtless brute named Trog with a foul disposition beating out a drum cadence to keep your employees rowing in-sync.
Or would it be more like a fussy and constantly disapproving Dickensian paper-pusher named Fizzlewhite who has never met a rule or procedure he didn’t like, even though he hasn’t done most of the things he creates rules to address?
If you were to search the various “mommy blogs” and parenting advice websites out there, how many of them do you think would endorse the following practice?
A child’s safety should always be a top priority for any parent. When leaving children under the age of 10 alone in the house for lengthy periods of time, be sure to provide the kids with a loaded pistol with the safety off in case a stranger should happen by. In a pinch, recently sharpened knives can be substituted for the pistol.
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