Monday, November 10, 2014

Tennessee Cracks Down on Workers' Comp Fraud



Nashville, TN - The Workers' Compensation Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development has put into place new procedures to identify employers who engage in payroll fraud such as intentionally classifying workers as independent contractors, failing to table." These practices are typically used to avoid paying workers' compensation and unemployment insurance tax premiums.

Recently, the Department of Labor entered into a settlement that assessed a penalty of more than $300,000 against a drywall contractor who materially understated his payroll to his insurance carrier. The settlement is the largest ever of the department's Employee Mis-classification Education and Enforcement Fund.
The Employee Mis-classification Advisory Task Force, created by the General Assembly in 2010, made recommendations that led to legislation to improve the state's efforts to reduce misclassification fraud. Based on Task Force recommendations the department will be aggressive in pursuing criminal prosecution, hire additional investigators and purchase fraud detection software. 

What this mean for PEO's moving Froward: 
The laws apply to all businesses, including PEOs operating in Tennessee. Given the slate of negative publicity with several PEOs based in that state over the last few years, perhaps it will help repair the image of Tennessee PEOs as well as the state itself and its legislators. 

If you have any questions regarding Workers' Comp and how to avoid the pitfalls of Comp Fraud please contact the LL Roberts Group (toll free) at 877.878.6463. You can even talk to us on Facebook!

Friday, June 7, 2013

PEO Executives Offer Opinions on Obamacare




In a recent survey, top ranking PEO executives offered up their opinions on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and what will be the reaction of employers. The first opinion from PEO leaders on this matter is devised from the fact  that some companies that currently provide insurance are being hit with huge premium increases. Before Obamacare, some clients had been receiving modest increases but now as a result of “community rating”, which is required by the ACA, premium increases have skyrocketed. The result of this could cause some employers to drop health coverage altogether and for others not to offer it. 

Another thought is that some companies will provide coverage but they will have to cut wages to help pay the increased costs.  Some are finding that Obamacare is just “too complex” and these companies will probably have to increase wages and allow their workers to procure coverage through the individual exchanges as some of employees might find better options in the individual exchanges if they qualify for a subsidy. 

The final opinion from the PEO execs is that many companies are revising their business structure to minimize or offset the increasing cost of insurance.  Most companies haven’t made final decisions and some are still trying to find “loopholes” within the regulations. One scenario is to keep workers below the 30-hour weekly threshold requiring insurance.  This means that many employees will lose hours and wages.  Other companies are striving to stay below the 50-employee ceiling that triggers the insurance mandate.  These companies are deliberately restraining expansion and that’s never a good strategy.  All of this clouds the Obamacare promise of universal coverage.  What matters for small and medium-size firms is the analysis between the gap of providing health coverage and the consequences of paying the tax penalties.  The wider that gap becomes in addition to the “hassle factor” of being compliant, the more likely it is that companies won’t be able to provide insurance for their employees.
Source: The Washington Post

Opinion: 
It seems clear that PEOs stand to gain plenty of new business as small to mid-sized businesses seek to avoid the additional administrative cost and headaches of dealing with Obamacare.

Don't forget to check out our Obamacare page weekly updates. For more information on how a PEO can address your company’s employee benefit needs, feel free to contact a PEO Representative at the LL Roberts Group (toll free) at 877.8578.6463. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

BEWARE of Fake Comp



Historically, when hard markets occur or when comp carriers drop a PEO's policy, "fake" workers' comp providers seem to pop-up like weeds after a spring rain.  Unfortunately, this seems to be a consistent trend within the industry. As Work Comp markets dry up and coverage costs rise, the temptation can lure some PEO operators to the dark side.  PEO Agents and Brokers need to be on guard against questionable or downright fake work comp carriers for PEOs.  

Here are a few of tips for you to bear in mind as you search for PEO solutions for your clients: 
 
  • Be aware if the PEO makes a change in carriers.
  • Check out the WC Carrier's status and rating. Don't fall for questionable rating services.  AM Best is the "best" (if not only) source. ( www.ambest.com ).  
  • Confirm that your PEO partners are licensed within the states they do business.
The LL Roberts Group takes great pride in our due diligence processes, and PEO partner relationship management practices, as well as our "finger on the pulse" of the PEO Industry. Our Agents and Brokers can rest easy at night knowing that we are constantly monitoring the market place and our affiliates. If you have any questions or suspicions about a current or potential PEO partner or their carriers please feel free to call us.  If you believe you have discovered a case of "Fake Comp" please let us know as well.  We'll certainly be able to offer some  insight on your concerns.