Restaurants: Why You Need a PEO!

November 23rd, 2015


Dining Out: It’s a major staple of the American culture. The sheer variety of food and atmosphere is astounding! In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are over 600,000 privately owned restaurants nationwide.

Just like any other successful business or organization, the backbone of any good restaurant, besides the food of course, is the people that keep the customers coming back for more! The BLS reports that nearly 7 MILLION people work in the restaurant industry in various capacities! How many of those 7 million individuals call your location their workplace?

Perhaps most importantly, how – on top of all of the additional responsibilities you have as a restaurant owner – do you make sure you and your employees are protected in case of injury? How do you make sure your employees are paid what they’re due, while making sure the appropriate taxes and deductions are made?

The easy answer to all of those questions is: PEO.
The specific answer to all of those questions is: PEO Advantage.

Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) have long been supporting the restaurant industry by taking on numerous back-office responsibilities like payroll, HR, and benefits administration. In addition to these back-office support functions, PEOs can provide workers compensation coverage to your employees, often at a discount to you, the business owner.

Workers compensation is a complex environment and it is often abused by employees looking to make a quick buck at the expense of their employers. With a PEO at your side, you can leverage their extensive team of workers comp professionals and experience to ensure your employees and interests are protected, all while receiving risk management coaching and OSHA training to prevent future incidents.

This is where PEO Advantage comes in!

With nearly 1,000 PEOs across the country, it can be overwhelming to simply punch “PEO” into Google and pick the one that’s right for you. We’ve narrowed that field of PEOs down to the cream of the crop, the top 10% of providers that met our industry standards. We know which PEOs specialize in your industry and can provide you the best personalized service.
We do all of the research, negotiating, and documentation for you so you can do what you do best: Run a high quality restaurant that keeps the hungry masses satisfied!

Construction Companies: The Best Ways to Save with a PEO – Why you NEED a PEO

February 25th, 2015
PEO for Construction Companies

Construction Companies Save With a PEO

Do you own your own construction company?  Perhaps you are looking to expand to accommodate business growth?  Are you looking to get yourself out of the office and onto the jobsites?  The construction industry is one that has a lot of regulatory red tape.  From human resources, to INS requirements to workman’s compensation, the nature of the business is not only highly administrative but requires support from people who are well versed across industry regulations.  Depending on the size of your company, having someone on full time to support the human resources and legal functions can be extremely expensive.    So how do you run your business, stay compliant and increase your bottom line?

You outsource.  Professional Employer Organizations have long been supporting the construction industry by taking on functions like payroll, human resources administration, OSHA compliance, health insurance and workman’s compensation.  In addition to those areas, PEOs also specialize in I-9 compliance – focusing on immigration and INS work requirements. Should there be violations, your PEO will address them and identify the steps required to solve the issues.

In addition to I-9 compliance, PEOs are also there to provide payroll support – from cutting checks to auditing pay methods to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Act, PEOs have you covered.  Payroll administration also includes W -2 and W-3 summaries, maintaining records, handling withholding taxes, filing tax reports and monitoring tax laws.

Another area that can be a challenge for construction companies to handle is benefits administration.  By engaging a PEO, you can take this off your plate.  With the recent implementation of the ACA, benefits and insurance are more complex than ever.  A PEO will not only ensure that you are compliant but also will address any items like benefits assistance for low wage employees.

Workers Compensation.  The phrase generally sends shudders down the spine of any construction business owner.  Why?  It’s expensive, complicated and easily manipulated.  By bringing on a PEO to manage this area of your business, you can be assured that risk will be properly assessed, claims will be handled, audited, monitored and analyzed.   PEOs can also help implement drug free workplace policies and OSHA compliance training.

You must be thinking – how can a PEO do all of this and save me money?  PEOs are experts in our field – we know how to deliver the best services at the best prices for our customers. Most save on average 25% by outsourcing.  Interested in hearing how we can help you get back to focusing on your businesses, your jobs and your bottom line?  Contact us today for a consult!


Quick! Melt That Ice!

February 13th, 2014

ice slips at workAs you’re probably well aware, most of the country is feeling pretty cold right now! In many states you’ll find ice and/or snow covering the roads, sidewalks, and stairs.

At your home you shovel and salt the steps and walkway for your family’s safety, but do you do the same for your employees at your place of employment? Same level slips, trips and falls are occupational hazards that can’t be ignored; these accidents occur nearly 4.0 million times each year! In fact, slip and fall claims continually make up 12-15% of all workers’ compensation claims.

Preventative Measures in the Workplace:

Preventing accidents in the workplace requires a combination of hazard identification and then correction. Have a Slip, Trip & Fall Handbook in the workplace for all property caretakers, managers, and business owners to review. A Slip, Trip & Fall Handbook will likely contain weather related strategies.

You’ll be surprised to see what the actual weather-specific hazards are – it’s not just ice covering the front walkway or stairs, but also melting snow and ice from employees’ boots and shoes that result in having slippery wet floors indoors.

If keeping the floors dry appears to be an ongoing battle, you may want to enforce a dress code (mainly a proper footwear code) to include shoes with a slip-resistant sole. For employees working outside, requiring a good work boot is advised.

If you currently work with a PEO, be sure to ask them what materials they have available covering OSHA-specific risk management and compliance. PEOs help protect employers from injuries, claims, costly fines, and lawsuits.

To learn more about workplace safety, visit our Safety Compliance section within the PEO Advantage Blog. For specific questions regarding accident prevention, contact our team at 877-636-9525.

Part 3 of 3: Ways PEOs Support Golf Course Businesses

January 27th, 2014

payroll processing for golf coursesWelcome to part 3 of 3 in our 3-part series regarding PEO solutions for golf course businesses. Now, let’s conclude by talking about the word most golf course owners can’t stand to hear, let alone work on: administration. Employees of all different job types, payroll, time off requests, taxes, government forms, scheduling, recruiting, compensation evaluation, hiring, disciplining, performance reviews, firing, exit interviews… the list of administrative tasks goes on and on.

The Challenge: 

Due to the diverse types of employees found within a golf course business, the various responsibilities and the various compensation structures, there are an increased number of HR challenges for the business owner. Each worker comes with their own specific list (it’s a long one) of administrative tasks.

Here’s How PEO Advantage Can Help:

PEOs have the ability to take away many of the tasks that may be slowing your business down and costing you a bundle—especially payroll processing.PEO Advantage helps find the perfect PEO for managing and delivering payroll to your employees, in addition to accounting for the necessary Federal, State and Local taxes. The PEO payroll responsibility also includes Social Security, Medicare, Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) and any other taxes that are applicable.

Many PEOs have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into their Payroll and Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) so that clients can enjoy the benefits of having access to industry leading cloud based systems.  Technological enhanced process efficiency is only one advantage of partnering with a PEO.  Your business will also offset employee liability, outsource payroll & HR and other tasks such as benefits administration which allow your staff to further increase productivity and focus on daily management and growth.  In some cases, PEO clients experience even greater savings by eliminating overstaffed HR departments.  PEO Advantage encourages business owners to redeploy excess employee capacity toward revenue generation.

Here’s a bonus regarding the number of job types you employ at your golf course: PEOs provide professionally written employee handbooks and policies that translate into clear expectations for each position and better job performance!

To learn more about how a PEO can help your golf course with its administration and payroll, contact PEO Advantage at 877-636-9525 and continue your research by downloading the “PEO Advantage “PEO Buyer’s Guide: Don’t Go at it Alone.”

Part 2 of 3: Ways PEOs Support Golf Course Businesses

January 17th, 2014

Health Care for Golf CoursesLast week we discussed workers compensation solutions specific to golf course businesses. This week, we’re talking health care! As we mentioned, golf courses employ individuals across a wide spectrum of job types. Groundskeepers, landscapers, servers, office personnel, event and banquet staff, and more! If you’re a golf course business owner you may very well have a combination of exempt and non-exempt workers.

The Challenge:

Keeping up with specific legislative changes and requirements, particularly surrounding health care and Affordable Care Act, is nothing short of a nightmare. Add in the fact that you don’t have a “uniform” employee type and the health care requirements for each may be very different from one another.

Here’s How PEO Advantage Can Help:

PEO Advantage is busy introducing golf businesses across the country to the PEO relationship. Here’s why the co-employment relationship is such an attractive business model:

Without even factoring in the rules and regulations associated with the Affordable Care Act, there are more than 60 employment-related governmental regulations; compliance alone is a full-time job. PEOs assume much of the liability associated with healthcare regulations and employee management.  Expert help with risk management and compliance protects business owners from costly fines and lawsuits, and with health care and compliance under control businesses can finally concentrate on their core competencies (managing the golf course) and put their growth plans in motion.

In addition to lowering workers compensation costs, they can also lower your health care costs.  With health insurance rates on the rise and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, businesses are looking for ways to continue offering robust benefits to their employees, but also keep their expenses under control. PEOs bring purchasing power to the table alongside access to Fortune 500 quality health insurance packages and previously unavailable benefits such as 401(k), Section 125 plan and Flexible Spending.

Is your golf course business looking to cut health care costs and ensure a Health Care Reform-compliant workplace in the upcoming year? Call 877-636-9525 to speak with a PEO Advantage representative today.

Part 1 of 3: Ways PEOs Support Golf Course Businesses

January 3rd, 2014

Ways PEOs Support Golf BusinessesAre you a golf course business such as a country club, golf course or golf community? If so, you’re well aware of the everyday struggles your business type faces: expensive workers compensation premiums, managing employees across a wide spectrum of job types (landscapers, office personnel, maintenance, cooks, servers, event planners, etc), upcoming compliance issues regarding health care, the cost of health care, administration of payroll and HR …. And more!

At PEO Advantage, we recognize these struggles specific to the hospitality industry, which is why we’ve introduced a program specific to country clubs, golf courses and golf communities. We invite you to join us for our upcoming 3-part series on golf business-specific solutions, particularly: Workers Comp, Health Care, and Administration.

This week we’re starting off with workers comp…

The Challenge:

Golf businesses have a unique challenge in that they employ individuals across all spectrums; management, office personal, landscaping, restaurant & bar, grounds keeping, maintenance and more. Traditionally, all employees are lumped into a single workers comp code to standardize the cost, but the golf business suffers higher rates than a traditional office scenario, since they do in fact employ a few higher risk positions such as landscapers and groundskeepers.

Here’s How PEO Advantage Can Help:

PEO Advantage’s new program for golf businesses focuses on providing turnkey solutions through the PEO relationship. PEOs offer numerous advantages when it comes to minimizing the cost of workers’ comp. There are no deposits or audits with convenient Pay-As-You-Go policies and clients see an immediate surge in cash flow since their premium is based on actual wages during that exact pay period.

Additionally, PEOs file and track claims, make sure claims are legitimate, manage safety reviews and OSHA compliance, and offload time-consuming documentation and reporting activities.

But, there are 700+ PEO companies across the country – which one can deliver exactly what you need including low rates?  Through a series of more than 200 questions that cover everything from payroll process, compensation structure, work comp claims history and documentation to HR compliance, technology and your three-year growth plan, we’ll identify and prioritize your current and future requirements. Once we have an accurate assessment of your goals and which services you need, we’ll put our industry expertise and 50+ years of business experience to identify the best PEO companies that are licensed in your location and specialize in what you need.

Don’t forget to tune in for part 2 and 3 in the upcoming days. If you need immediate support or have specific questions regarding workers comp, contact PEO Advantage today at 877-636-9525.

Health Care Reform Requires SBC’s

December 9th, 2013


Health Care Reform Requires SBC’sEffective January 1, 2014 the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be implementing and enforcing the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

What is the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)?

The SBC is a 4 page overview of health plan benefits, cost sharing and limitations. Its goal is to more easily convey standard information so that employees can easily compare medical plans and make informed decisions regarding which plan they’d like to enroll for.

Additionally, the SBC must include a required set of coverage examples showcasing how the plan works, as well as phone numbers and internet addresses for obtaining copies of the plan’s corresponding documents.

Under the PPACA, each Summary of Benefits and Coverage must be accompanied by the Uniform Glossary too.  The Uniform Glossary is a list of commonly used health care terms and their definitions that was designed for use with the SBC.

What’s Important for Employers to Know?

For employers, it’s especially important that the SBC states whether the plan provides “minimum essential coverage” as required by the individual mandate and also whether or not the plan meets the “minimum value” requirement, meaning that the plan pays at least 60% of allowed charges for covered services as required by the employer mandate.

Health insurers and self-funded group health plans must provide the SBC to employees when they enroll in coverage for the first time, prior to the beginning of each new plan year, and/or within seven days of an employee requesting it.

The Benefit of Working with a PEO…

Although the DOL and HHS have provided a new template that incorporates all of the above, there’s no denying that this is a lot of administrative work on top of your already busy schedule. But there’s good news for those that work with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Liability is shared through the co-employment relationship which lightens the burden and limits the risk associated with the SBC non-compliance penalty (which is $1,000 per enrollee). And, HRIS technology made available by many PEOs makes current information (including SBC’s) available at the employee’s fingertips at any time through the employee self-service portal!

Is your business looking to ensure a compliant workplace in the upcoming year? In addition to reducing liability and risk surrounding health insurance, working with a PEO can also result in lower health care costs. Call 877-636-9525 or Get a Free Quote Online to find the best Professional Employer Organization for you.


Different Types of Salary Increases

November 12th, 2013

Different Types of Salary IncreasesEarlier in the year, PEO Advantage shared some tips for determining workplace salary grades (How Do I Determine What To Pay a New Employee?) But, once you’ve determined what to pay a new employee, that’s only half of the battle. Assuming you want to retain employees, you’ve got to provide them with something to look forward to or work towards – promotions and raises!

The following are standard types of increases and adjustments.

Merit Increase: A merit increase is a salary increase based on performance. Employees must meet or exceed preset business goals or performance criteria in order to receive an increase in pay.

Promotion: A promotion takes an existing employee and promotes them to a different position within the Company that often pays a higher salary and/or provides better benefits and perks.

Market Adjustments: Market adjustments do not have to do with performance but instead have to do with external conditions – market conditions to be precise. If an employer sees that Vice Presidents of Sales in similar companies make on average about $10,000 more each year than what they are paying their current employee, OR, the market is improving and the company is currently making more money than it has in the past, employers may increase the VP of Sales’ salary. This helps to strengthen employee satisfaction and retention.

One-time Incentive: A one-time incentive is a lump sum payment granted to recognize individual and/or department productivity. These can be given at any time and at any frequency over the course of a year.

Now, keep in mind that you can create a really competitive incentives program that combines two or more of the abovementioned salary increase opportunities. If you currently work with a PEO, be sure to run your ideas by them; PEOs are experts in attracting and retaining top talent – they help make sure the right talent is hired and stays put.

For more information on pay grades, payroll, or PEOs, contact PEO Advantage today.

Can Part-Time Workers Collect Unemployment?

October 15th, 2013

Can Part Time Workers Collect UnemploymentUnemployment … every business owner’s favorite topic….

Not quite! Unemployment, taxes, claims, and everything else that revolves around the topic is quite complex.

Most businesses with employees pay state unemployment taxes. Each business’s particular rate is affected by the stability of the business’s employment record. A more stable employment record almost always results in a reduced tax rate over time.

However, if unemployment claims are authorized or repeatedly filed against you, your rates could go up. Additionally, claims result in lost time and money due to having to provide timely, complete, and accurate information at the time of the claim. No wonder we want to avoid them!

So, who can actually file for unemployment? Are these benefits offered to full-time employees only? What about part-time employees? Can they collect unemployment as well?

In short, yes.  Your state’s department of labor will evaluate their eligibility based on past wages (most often the past 18 months). If the employee made enough money during the necessary timeframe, then it does not matter if they were working part-time or full-time.

In fact, those that have been demoted from full-time to part-time work can actually file a loss-of-work claim and, if authorized, receive partial payments.

What can you do to limit your chances of facing unexpected expenditures surrounding unemployment? First, document, document, document! If an unemployment claim is filed, you will be given the chance as the business owner to dispute the claim. If you can prove that the employee left voluntarily or transitioned from full-time to part-time by choice, the claim may be denied.

Second, if you work with a PEO or are going to be in the near future, you’re already in a pretty good position. PEOs assist business owners by significantly decreasing risk and liability. Through the co-employment relationship the PEO assumes many employee management responsibilities. They help clients win unemployment claims by keeping appropriate documentation and also help to ensure workplace compliance. Through frequent audits they can also help identify and protest erroneous charges or claims tied to state unemployment tax (SUTA).

Because employees are documented as employees of the PEO and not the client for tax filing purposes in a co-employment relationship, the PEO is responsible for unemployment taxes.  It is in everyone’s best interest to continually work to keep rates (and claims) to a minimum.

If you’re interested in unemployment claims support or are looking for employee management solutions to help further protect your workplace (and money), call 877-636-9525 or contact us online.

Workplace Investigations: Part 3 of 3: Drug Testing

October 10th, 2013

Legal Drug Testing in the WorkplaceThere’s reason to believe Sandra in Sales is under the influence of something at work each day. She just hasn’t been acting herself lately. But, now what?!

Drug testing is considered a workplace investigation. While some Federal contractors and all Federal grantees are required by law to drug test periodically to ensure a drug-free workplace (under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988), the majority of employers across the U.S. are NOT required to drug test.

Although not required by law to test, most private employers have the right to test for a wide variety of substances. Before requiring an employee to undergo mandatory testing, it’s important that you as the employer have familiarized yourself with various state and Federal regulations that may or may not apply to your organization, and have designed a drug-testing program that is fair and legal. Some state and local governments have statutes that limit or prohibit certain types of workplace testing.

It is critical to have a clear written policy letting employees know about the types of testing that may be done and what will happen to them if a test yields a positive result. This includes all types of pre-employment testing, for-cause testing, reasonable suspicion testing, post-accident testing and random testing.

If you are “in the clear” to test within the workplace, it’s also very important that you keep the results absolutely confidential. The documentation should be kept in the same confidential file of medical information that is used for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) purposes.

Does your Company currently have a drug-testing program and policy in place? PEOs  provide professionally written employee handbooks and policies that translate into clear expectations and peak performance within the workplace. If you don’t already work with a PEO and are interested in the co-employment relationship – or – need a second opinion on workplace testing and an existing scenario, contact PEO Advantage today.