Post your OSHA Log Summary by February 1, 2016

January 27, 2016 | Leave a Comment

It’s that time of year again-Feb. 1 marks the deadline for you to tabulate your annual OSHA Log Summary (OSHA Form 300A) and post it in a common area wherever notices to employees are usually posted.

The summary must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in calendar year 2015 and logged on the OSHA 300 Form. And don’t forget to leave the Summary posted until April 30, 2016.

If you need additional assistance, have questions about recordability, or would like to compare your loss performance trends against national benchmarking data, contact your Cornerstone Consultant at 314-373-2900 or email us at cig@cornestoneinsurancegroup.com for more information.

Posted in OSHA, Risk management, Safety

Snow Day or No Pay?

January 22, 2016 | Leave a Comment

Regardless where an employer is located, they are bound to deal with some type of inclement weather at some point during the year.  As we approach the throes of winter, many employers will be faced with the daunting question of “do we have to pay employees if they don’t come to work when it’s snowing?”.   The short answer is, it depends.  While all employers will likely say their employee’s safety is paramount, closing up shop each time a snowflake appears isn’t feasible.  However, many employees often are unable to make it to work or come in late due to traffic and other headaches caused by the weather.

 

When dealing with non-exempt employees, employers only need to pay them for the time worked.  Often, employers can require the employee to take accrued paid time off to supplement the shortened work day, but the employer has no obligation to pay the non-exempt employee for time missed if PTO isn’t applied.  “Unless there is a state law restriction or written policy to the contrary, employers may require employees to use their PTO to cover absences,” said Paul DeCamp, an attorney with Jackson Lewis in Reston, VA and former administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

 

Exempt employees prove to be a little more tricky, as they must be paid for a full day where any work is performed.  Employers may require exempt employees to use available PTO to cover the time missed, but, at the end of the day, should an exempt employee perform any work they are entitled to a full day’s wage.

 

Employers may rely on employee’s ability to work remotely during inclement weather and it’s important to understand the challenges or risks this presents.  As previously mentioned, non-exempt employees are due time paid for time worked, however when those employees work from home, it may be difficult for the employer to verify that Joe Employee actually worked the number of hours they claimed.  Additionally, the ability to work from home during inclement weather may impact other areas of accommodations especially those where someone with a serious health condition or work restriction requires working from home.  Each situation should be reviewed on a case by case basis, but some employers chose to implement a strict no work from home policy to avoid this scenario.

 

What happens, if the tables are turned, and the employer makes the decision to close the office, or is forced to close due to unforeseen circumstances (an ice storm knocking out the power for example)?   While the company can require employees to take PTO in this event, employers should take into consideration how this will affect overall morale.  Additionally, the boss should be cautioned when disciplining employees who don’t make it into work.  No company wants to be put in the position of defending their requirement for all employees to come into work and then one of those employees getting into an accident.

 

There is no one solution fits all and each company will need to evaluate what works best for them and their organization.  Whatever the decision, it should be applied consistently and fairly to all employees in similar scenarios.   Never fear, the sun will come out tomorrow……….and then we’ll have tornadoes to deal with.

 

Written by: Bethany Holiday, TotalHR Director, The Cornerstone Insurance Group

Posted in Benefits

“Report Cards” are due…but you have a bit more time!

January 15, 2016 | Leave a Comment

Under the current Administration, we have seen repeated delays of implementation of the ACA.   Pay or Play has been delayed on more than one occasion… Deadlines to sign up for individual coverage have been extended…  No different, employers will have two more months – or until March 31 – to give employees forms for reporting health coverage in 2015 (Form 1095-B for health coverage and 1095-C for employer provided health offering and coverage).

The deadline for reporting this information to the Internal Revenue Service has also been extended – in this case, by three months.  1094-B and 1094-C are due May 31 for those filing via paper and June 30th for those filing electronically.

While these delays have repeatedly drawn criticism, it has given employers the opportunity to consult with professionals and better ensure compliance.  Should you need help or perhaps a second opinion, we are happy to assist you in answering questions, like:

  • Who has to report?
  • What information do I need to report?
  • What if we weren’t required to comply with the employer mandate this year?
  • Do I use my payroll software for this or is there another option?
  • What are the penalties for not filing?

Written by: Ben Crowder, Consultant, The Cornerstone Insurance Group

Posted in Benefits, Blog, Health Care Reform Info, Human Resources