Simply Engaged Blog

Protecting Your Business from The Opioid Crisis

April 3, 2018

Beyond the incalculable emotional pain to addicts and their families, the increasing number of overdoses and deaths from opioids is costing the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars.

Prescription opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl) and illegal opioids such as heroin are now the most commonly abused drugs in the workplace. Many employers claim they’ve been impacted by prescription drug use among their employees. Absenteeism and turnover are on the rise, and declines in job performance are increasingly linked to the opioid crisis.

Against this grim socioeconomic backdrop, how can companies protect their people and their business? Implementing strong workplace policies and investing in education, training and employee support programs is a good place to start.

A California Court Ruling May Change the Way Employers Calculate Overtime Pay for Some Employees

March 12, 2018

On March 5th,  the California Supreme Court (Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California) held that employers who pay certain types of bonuses to non-exempt employees must apply a more generous calculation when determining how much overtime must be paid.  This decision does not affect exempt employees because they are not eligible for overtime.  Also, this decision only comes into play if and when a non-exempt employee works overtime and is paid a so-called non-discretionary bonus. 


The IRS Announces Decrease in HSA Maximum Contribution

March 9, 2018

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged medical savings account available to people who are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).

The funds contributed to an account are tax deductible, or handled as pretax payroll deductions. HSAs help individuals and families pay for their current health care expenses and save for future ones through tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses.

On March 5, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a $50 decrease in the annual family coverage contribution limit for HSAs. The maximum limit for 2018 is now $6,850. There is no change to the annual tax deductible limit for individual-only coverage under an HSA ($3,450), and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for health care, commuter and other benefit limits are not affected.

What You Need to Know When You Have Sick Employees

February 16, 2018

This year's flu season is severe. All but a handful of states are experiencing widespread flu outbreaks, which has many employers wondering what they are permitted to do under the law when their employees get sick. 

Safety Programs and the Impact to Your Bottom Line

February 1, 2018

If you could save your company money, improve productivity and increase employee morale, would you? According to OSHA, workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can reduce their injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent. Safe environments also improve employee morale, which positively impacts productivity and service. When it comes to the costs associated with safety, consider the following statistics from OSHA:

• Employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone, which comes straight out of company profits.
• Injuries and illnesses increase workers’ compensation and retraining costs.
• Lost productivity from injuries and illnesses costs companies roughly $63 billion each year

What the New U.S. Tax Law Means for Employee Benefits

January 15, 2018

Repeal of the individual mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act, new tax credits related to the Family and Medical Leave Act, and elimination of some “fringe benefits” including employer-provided commuting and parking benefits: These are just some of the changes from the sweeping tax overhaul legislation signed into law late last month. 

Although tax and HR benefits experts are still interpreting the full impact of the new provisions, it is imperative for employers to know which of their programs may be cut or eliminated.

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