Human Resources

Compensation Back On the Front Burner?

During the so called “Great Recession” most employers naturally and prudently acted cautiously regarding compensation decisions. One of the first areas to suffer was total compensation. Employers reduced or suspended salary increases and bonuses, and tried to hold the line on benefit costs. Continued low consumer goods inflation added to the incentive to freeze salaries as much as possible.

Protect Yourself from a HIPAA Audit

When most people think “audit”, they think about the IRS. For businesses, audit is more and more frequently bringing to mind HIPAA. HIPAA has some serious risks, but if you remain compliant and up-to-date, it does not need to bring a sense of fear to you or your business.

It may seem like common sense to say the best way to avoid or successfully complete an audit is to be proactive about compliance. Audits normally arise from three sources:

ACA Pay or Play – Beyond the Look-Back Measurement Period

Most large employers subject to the pay or play penalty under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have established look-back measurement periods and stability periods to determine which employees must be treated as full-time and offered group health coverage to avoid the penalty.

The look-back measurement period is by no means the end of the story when it comes to the pay or play. There are two important remaining pieces to the puzzle in order to address compliance.

Keep Your Medical and Drug Testing Forms Separate

You cannot ask any medically-related questions on a job application or during a pre-job offer interview. You can only inquire about medical, worker’s comp, and drug testing issues AFTER a job offer is made; this is normally a conditional job offer.

Once the employee is on board, medical and drug questions and tests can be addressed. Be sure to keep that information in a separate file – in a separate location – apart from the general personnel file. Check with your legal counsel to ensure compliance on this and other issues.

Pre-Employment Screening: Avoiding Traps and Lawsuits

Hiring new employees is more difficult today than it has ever been before. The pervasive nature of social media, the legalized use of previously-illegal drugs, and increased concern for protecting individual and company confidences all pose potential barriers in making hiring decisions. Employers of all sizes are well-advised to implement legal pre-employment screening measures before hiring the wrong person for the job.  

Michigan law permits employers to implement several types of pre-employment screens. Employers can: