Archive for the ‘Workers’ Comp’ Category

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

February 25th, 2015

PEO for Construction Companies 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 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.

Workers Compensation Fraud… It CAN Happen To You

April 29th, 2013

Workers Compensation FraudWorkers compensation insurance exists to protect employees; it’s a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to those injured on the job. But lately, workers compensation fraud has become an entire industry of its own. It’s unfortunately one of America’s most popular crimes; billions upon billions of dollars in false claims are stolen each year, leaving business owners in need of their own protection.

Last month, a Workers Comp Article by NewsOK, revealed that in the past 13 years, Oklahoma judges alone have ordered restitution payments totaling more than $2.5 million in such fraud cases.  While we’re on the road to an improved system, one that limits the number of fraudulent claims and punishes those that make them, it’s no secret that businesses still need to protect themselves.

What can you do?

First, know the many types of workers compensation fraud:

  • Claiming an injury that never occurred
  • Exaggeration of symptoms following a real injury
  • Working while allegedly disabled (and failing to report income)
  • Claiming an injury that happened outside of work as a work-related injury
  • Claiming to be injured during an on-the-job task, when it may have resulted from horseplay
  • Claiming a pre-existing injury/condition as a new injury/condition
  • Extending time off work; employee claims they are still in the recovery phase, when they may actually be feeling fine

Second, know how to protect your workplace:

  • Maintain an OSHA-compliant workplace.
  • Make sure all tools and equipment are up to date and functioning properly.
  • Have surveillance cameras on site, everywhere. This will not only help protect your workplace from potential break-ins or crime, but will also help catch reported injuries on film.
  • Conduct extensive background checks before hiring.
  • Conduct regular drug and alcohol tests in the workplace.
  • Have an accident reporting system in place. Know what information needs to be collected when an injury occurs or a claim is made.
  • Be proactive. Partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) BEFORE a claim is ever made against your workplace.

A little bit more about “Partnering with a PEO:”

When you partner with a Professional Employer Organization that knows workers compensation inside and out, not only will your cost of workers’ comp take a nosedive, but as your employer partner, your PEO has a vested interest in your workers’ compensation claims. A PEO’s professional risk managers will help you manage safety reviews and OSHA compliance, file and track claims and make sure they are legitimate, while your PEO’s technology empowers you to offload time-consuming documentation and reporting activities.

PEOs work on your behalf to get employees back to work as soon as possible, while reducing your overall risk. Want to learn more? Contact PEO Advantage today.

What is a Return to Work Program?

December 5th, 2012

Workplace accidents can strike at any time, and bad accidents can often result in an employee injury and workers compensation claim.  Did you know that as each month goes by, your injured employee’s chances of returning to work significantly decreases?

How do we prevent losing a reliable and hardworking employee following a workplace injury? The answer is with a return to work program. Return to work programs are proactive plans initiated by an employer that are geared to help both the injured employee, and the workplace return to the previous economic, vocational and even social statuses that were present prior to the injury occurring. Without a particular employee’s knowledge and insight, your workplace could be suffering as well without them.

Professional Employer Organizations (also known as PEOs or Employee Leasing) assist employers in establishing proactive return to work programs that outline the following:

  • Maintaining workplace ties and communicating on a regular basis/preventing alienation.
  • Developing step by step transitional plans to eventually return to fulltime employment (beginning with part time employment/involvement).
  • Identifying what type of employee involvement would be most beneficial to have in the workplace.
  • A signed-off physicians report at each step, approving the employee’s new duties.
  • Establishing tasks that accommodate the employee’s limitations, not necessarily set hours and large projects.
  • Ways of establishing workplace support and encouragement.

Through the co-employment (PEO) relationship, PEOs also offer support in other critical areas surrounding workplace safety: workers compensation claims, workplace safety programs, OSHA compliance, loss prevention recommendations and safety reviews/auditing, just to name a few.

To learn more about the co-employment relationship and proactive plans for workplace safety, contact PEO Advantage. We provide risk-free HR solutions that really work!  Call 877-636-9525 or fill out an application today.

Work Comp for Florida Tow Truck & Repossession Companies

August 22nd, 2012

This week we’re taking a “then and now” look at the Florida tow truck and repossession industry and how trends surrounding workers compensation insurance have affected Florida drivers.

Then…

Tow truck and repossession companies have always fallen within the Florida work comp class code of “7219.” What does this mean? Your business has been identified as “high risk,” and more often than not comes with high workers compensation insurance rates.

Historically, many tow truck and repossession companies have not carried work comp insurance for their drivers (recover agents) because their drivers are 1099 independent contractors. Companies with fewer than 4 employees in the state of Florida that are non-construction are not required to carry work comp. However, these drivers may be classified erroneously and the penalties for misclassification can be harsh to say the least.

It is estimated that in 2009 misclassification cost the government 2.7 billion in underpaid federal taxes, workers comp and unemployment insurance and it is estimated that up to 30% of companies may still be incorrectly misclassifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

Now…

There have been some industry changes and trends surrounding workers compensation insurance. While many repossession companies and towing companies may not have carried work comp in the past, many must now provide proof of coverage per the contract requirements when competing for major (and lucrative) contracts with companies such as automobile and recreational vehicle financiers.

Where does this leave you, as the owner of a repossession or towing company? The Florida manual rate is high – 9.14%, and on top of that, many traditional
carriers in Florida are shying away from approving the code 7219 because it is loosely defined as “automobile towing” whereas repossession often involves
additional job related hazards.

Solution?

YES. High-risk workers comp class codes don’t have to injure your bottom line. With PEO Advantage, owners of repossession companies and towing companies are lowering their cost of workers comp insurance and re-claiming their profits. PEO Advantage can secure work comp coverage for code 7219 (INCLUDING repossession) below 8.0%.

Here are our program requirements:

  • No previous coverage = no problem
  • Current policy being non-renewed = no problem
  • Must prove favorable claim history
  • No minimum premium
  • No minimum # of employees
  • Drivers must be covered as w-2 employees

Program benefits:

  • Includes payroll and tax administration.
  • Workers Comp Certificate of Insurance (proof of coverage in under 72hrs – if approved)
  • Workers Comp premium is calculated and invoiced on a pay as you go basis. You only pay premium based on the wages paid during each pay period
  • No workers comp annual audit
  • Includes access to a Human Resources professional
  • Includes access to discounted employee benefits

If it sounds too good to be true, just give us a call at 877-636-9525 or contact us online today. Secure work comp coverage, secure peace of mind, and go win that bid!

Insurance Options for Assisted Living Facilities

May 31st, 2012

Why is workers compensation so expensive for owners/operators of assisted living facilities? 

Due to the high-risk associated with owning and operating an assisted living facility, senior care center, retirement home, or nursing home, such organizations are classified within high risk workers compensation class codes – these high risk codes can demolish an organization’s cash flow.

Owning a high risk business sometimes results in rates as much as 300% higher than a business that is not categorized as “high risk.”  Many traditional insurance companies require 50% down from high risk organizations, which can also hurt assisted living businesses financially.

Is there an alternative to such high rates?

Owners/Operators of assisted living facilities can purchase a stand-alone policy on their own, which is a pliable option for large businesses – but is not always the best option for small to medium-sized businesses. Smaller businesses are not always approved, due to the risk, number of years in business, payroll size and number of employees.

PEOs offer every advantage when it comes to minimizing your cost of workers comp- for both large and small companies. For starters, there are no deposits or audits with convenient Pay-as-you-Go policies. You’ll see an immediate surge in your cash flow since your premium is based on actual wages during that pay period. Lower costs translate to more competitive bids on assisted living housing and services, and ultimately, more profit to infuse your bottom line.

PEO Advantage finds you the ideal PEO partner—one who’s already licensed with established workers compensation policies, so that you can add employees and provide proof of insurance immediately upon initiating a co-employment contract. With shared responsibilities, and the strength of a PEO behind your organization, those high-risk workers comp class codes no longer have a negative impact of your insurability or costs.

PEO Advantage is helping assisted living facilities (including senior care, retirement, and nursing homes) find better insurance options through a PEO. Contact us today and we will begin working on a quote for your organization.

Hey You! Careful Up There on the Roof!

April 23rd, 2012

The roofing industry as a whole has quite a few exposures to loss– and believe it or not, they aren’t all up on the roof! As the owner of a roofing company, you have likely encountered losses include employee injury, vehicle accidents, liability claims, and even third party claims by other company’s employees.

You know how to best protect your employees, but who’s there to protect you? Accidents do happen and while  workers compensation rates can literally be “through the roof,” PEO Advantage can help. If high-risk workers comp codes are demolishing your cash flow,  you’ll really appreciate our first-rate, affordable
alternatives.

With PEO Advantage, there are no  deposits or audits with our convenient Pay-As-You-Go Policies. You’ll see an immediate surge in your company’s cash flow since your premium is based on actual wages during that pay period, and by partnering with a PEO you’re not the only one that’s safer, your employees are too!

A PEO will file and track all claims, and manage safety reviews and OSHA compliance.  Many even offer professional assistance in offering clear expectations, easy-to-read handbooks and safety procedures for the roofing industry, all increasing job satisfaction and safety for your employees.

With PEO Advantage and a PEO partnership, roofing companies find peace of mind knowing that their risk is managed. So, be careful up there on the roof! And if you want to relax while you’re down on the ground, PEO Advantage can help. We’ll match you with the perfect PEO to further ensure savings, and most importantly, safety in the workplace.

Contact us today…  If we don’t find you a PEO solution that saves you at least twice our analysis fee—your evaluation is on us.

Workers Comp Solutions for North Carolina!

April 4th, 2012

If you own a roofing, trucking, manufacturing, staffing, landscaping, construction, HVAC, plumbing, painting, maintenance or cleaning business, you are probably well aware of the rising costs of workers’comp.  Owning a North Carolina business that is considered high risk can severely stifle your cash flow.

With insurer results weakening due to rising injury expenses, insurers are passing costs on to North Carolina employers of all sizes, with smaller employers feeling the greatest impact. High costs result from high state-regulated rates, and requirements for large down payments and audits. Traditional workers’ comp policies require up to 50% down payment which adversely impacts cash flow, and polices are audited annually to make sure that actual wages paid to employees per code were estimated accurately at the policy’s inception. A company whose policy was rated for less than actual wages will be forced to come out of pocket for the difference in a lump sum.

Given  your specific line of work, accidents unfortunately may be unavoidable, regardless of how much you protect your employees. But you do have options for more affordable workers’ comp coverage. Although rate increases are occurring, insurer competition remains a factor in pricing—and partnering with the PEO Advantage North Carolina branch in Holly Springs, will introduce extremely convenient employee leasing solutions to business owners in the Triangle and Triad areas.

We have access to hundreds of PEOs, additional workers’ comp carriers and all major medical and supplemental insurance carriers, and we are uniquely positioned to serve high risk accounts.  PEO Advantage North Carolina branch is helping high risk companies across the state reduce workers’ compensations costs and improve their cash flow. We even guarantee clients a minimum of 25% cost reduction.

Solutions delivered by PEO Advantage:

  • Pay as you go workers’ comp policies (no deposit, no audit, improved cash flow)
  • Up to 35% discounted rates with PEO Advantage
  • On time and on demand workers’ comp certification access
    • Since PEOs are already licensed and have established work comp policies in many states, a client can add employees and provide proof of insurance immediately
  • Claims review and administration
  • Workers’ comp billing reconciliation
  • Safety plan creation, administration and training
  • Safety audits and reviews
  • Report and document accidents
  • OSHA compliance

Don’t waste any more valuable time or money — many states are approving workers’ compensation rate increases this year and with PEO Advantage there are
no deposits or audits with convenient Pay-as-you-Go policies.

Call the PEO Advantage North Carolina office at 877-636-9525 or contact us today for a North Carolina PEO quote.

Why Workers’ Comp May Be Costing You a Bundle…

November 1st, 2011

With insurer results weakening due to rising injury expenses and the unstable condition of the economy, insurers are passing costs on to employers of all sizes, with smaller employers feeling the greatest impact.  If you run a construction, HVAC, plumbing, painting, roofing, trucking, manufacturing, staffing, landscaping or maintenance or cleaning business, you are probably well aware of the rising costs of workers’ comp.

Owning a business that is considered high risk can severely stifle your cash flow.  High costs result from high state-regulated rates, and requirements for large down payments and audits.  Traditional workers’ comp policies require up to 50% down payment which adversely impacts cash flow, and polices are audited annually to make sure that actual wages paid to employees per code were estimated accurately at the policy’s inception.  A company whose policy was rated for less than actual wages will be forced to come out of pocket for the difference in a lump sum.

Given your line of work, accidents unfortunately may be unavoidable, regardless of how much you protect your employees. But you do have options for more affordable workers’ comp coverage.  Although rate increases are occurring, insurer competition remains a factor in pricing. Partnering with a company that has access to hundreds of PEOs, additional workers’ comp carriers and all major medical and supplemental insurance carriers, means you don’t have to go to market alone.

PEO Advantage in Tampa is uniquely positioned to serve high risk accounts.  We’re helping high risk companies across the country reduce workers’ compensations costs and improve their cash flow. We even guarantee clients a minimum of 25% cost reduction.

Solutions delivered by PEO Advantage:

  • Pay as you go workers’ comp policies (no deposit, no audit, improved cash flow)
  • Up to 35% discounted rates with PEO Advantage
  • On time and on demand workers’ comp certification access
    • Since PEOs are already licensed and have established work comp policies in many states, a client can add employees and provide proof of insurance immediately
  • Claims review and administration
  • Workers’ comp billing reconciliation
  • Safety plan creation, administration and training
  • Safety audits and reviews
  • Report and document accidents
  • OSHA compliance

Don’t waste any more valuable time or money — more states are approving workers’ compensation rate increases this year, and with PEO Advantage there are no deposits or audits with convenient Pay-as-you-Go policies.  You’ll also see an immediate surge in your cash flow since your premium is based on actual wages during that pay period. Lower costs translate to more competitive bids and, ultimately, more sales and profit to infuse your bottom line!