June 2017 Focus

Job Descriptions Need Regular Review

When was the last time you looked at your organization’s job descriptions? All company job descriptions should be reviewed and updated annually. Job descriptions are as important as your handbook for two reasons:

  • First, the job description establishes the Employer’s expectations of the Employee’s performance; duties; educational, experience, environmental and physical requirements. The employee should review and acknowledge an updated job description yearly.
  • Secondly, having an updated job description is important for Workers’ Comp and FMLA, when required for return-to-work duties. If the employee has restrictions upon return, the doctor can review the employee’s job duties and physical requirements and determine what tasks the employee may perform.

Additionally, reviewing the job descriptions annually aids your company’s efficiencies by determining if technology should be updated, if job duties should be reassigned to improve productivity and budget, or if organizational and job title modifications may be required.

American Health Care Act Remains in the Senate

On May 4th, the US House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) by a narrow margin. The bill maintains most of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), such as mandating coverage for Pre-existing Conditions, prohibition of Annual or Lifetime Limits, and covering dependent children up to age 26.

However, there are several changes with the AHCA. The individual and employer mandate would be abolished retroactively from January 1, 2016. To combat the problem of people who wait to enroll in a health plan until they are in need of care, insurers could charge a 30% surcharge during the first 12 months for failure to maintain continuous coverage. Instead of subsidies to assist in paying for coverage, individuals could receive tax credits based on age and income. Most all taxes associated with PPACA would be abolished, and Medicaid would change from the current federal matching system to a grant system based on population.

The Republicans are under pressure to provide a replacement to one of the largest pieces of legislation to ever come out of Washington. Even though the Democrats were in control of all three branches of Government when they passed the PPACA, it still took them almost a year to agree on the on their legislation. It will not be easy for the Republicans to come up with a transition and replacement plan for a law that has been in effect since March of 2010. We'll have to wait and see what, if anything, the Senate will do with the AHCA.

6 Weeks of Paid Leave for New Parents

Another of President Donald Trump's campaign promises was that of paid leave for new parents. It appears the Trump Administration is attempting to make good on this promise based on its 2018 budget titled "A New Foundation for America Greatness" released on May 23rd. On page 20 is a brief summary of a plan that would provide up to six weeks paid leave to new parents, including the parents of newly adopted children. The authority to administer the program would be granted to the states. The benefits would be paid for through each state's Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. Funding would be generated from savings gained by implementing new reforms within the UI programs. At this point, all indications show the employer will not directly foot the bill for paid leave. However, to make it happen, there have to be employer reporting requirements to the UI program, if the employer is not paying the employee directly.

Payroll and Human Resource Basic Training Class Dates

Summertime is finally here and that HR and Payroll class is near. Do not wait, sign up today. Below is the current class schedule to be held at the Ridgeland Campus of Holmes Community College. The cost of each class is $300 and includes a desk reference for future use.

  • Payroll Basics will be held June 28th.
  • HR Basics will be held June 29th.

Classes are limited to the first 24 registrants. Click below to register for upcoming classes.

View upcoming payroll and H.R. basic training classes!

ProSential Group Webinars for June

As a client of MWG Employer Services, we are pleased to offer free, monthly educational webinars through ProSential Group. Previous webinars are available through the ProSential Group Client Portal. To register for this month’s webinars, click on the links below.

HSAs, HDHPs, and Account Based Plans (HRAs, FSAs)

Tuesday, June 27th

Register Online

Strategies for Developing an Effective Employee Handbook

Thursday, June 29th

Register Online

The Simple Truth

The Trump Administration released their 2018 Budget containing a plan to require up to six weeks of paid leave for new parents, and the critics pounced. Most of the responses I saw criticized the Administration for not going far enough. But I did not see one article asking if the federal government should be legislating such?

I agree, the federal government does have the constitutional authority, but is it within the intent of our founding fathers to pass such legislation on a national level? I can remember when the Family Medical Leave Act was passed in 1993. Those in favor commented that the government was not requiring employers to pay employees while they were on protected leave. They were just requiring their jobs be protected. Opponents said it would only be a matter of time before it became paid leave.

The opponents were right. California, Washington, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have already passed some form of paid FMLA. The simple truth is, if you look at the history of entitlement legislation, it never ends with the original intent. There is always expansion. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Welfare have all been expanded in breadth and scope since they were first enacted. Tack on the additional costs associated with controlling waste, fraud and abuse, and now we struggle with how to pay for these and other programs.

I'm not opposed to paid parental leave. But, maybe it is best left up to the employers to decide what's best for their employees, thus keeping parental paid leave a benefit, not a right. On the other hand, if this happened, what would politicians use to trump their competition during election time?