Avoiding discrimination in employee background checks

Denying candidates with criminal histories a fair shot at a job can cost employers big time — both in fines and lost talent, employer groups say. Dollar General discovered this the hard way: the discount retailer was ordered to pay $6 million after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago […]

High-deductible health plans are a financial gamble for many employees

While almost half of employees plan to sign up for a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) during this year’s open enrollment, many workers find the high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs financially out of reach. Some 41% of survey respondents said they would not meet their yearly deductible, and 39% said they could not afford out-of-pocket costs […]

It’s time for clients to try reference-based pricing. Here’s why it works

In 2017, the U.S. spent $3.5 trillion on health expenditures. That’s more than any other country and more than double the average among developed countries, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Every year, healthcare costs rise, putting additional strain on individuals, their families and their employers. The system is broken. Any significant […]

Healthcare is getting more expensive. Here’s what employers should be thinking about

WASHINGTON — Employees shopping for healthcare in the U.S. market now have more choice than ever before, but they still don’t have the transparency and financial data necessary to make smart decisions about their care. That’s according to Ford Koles, executive director of research firm the Advisory Board, who said employers are shouldering an outsized […]

DOL’s new fluctuating workweek rule may pave road for worker bonuses

The Department of Labor’s new proposal would give employers additional flexibility when calculating overtime pay for salaried, non-exempt employees who work irregular hours — and may make it easier for some workers to get bonuses. The new proposal, released this week, clarifies for employers that bonuses paid on top of fixed salaries are compatible with […]

IRS increases retirement contributions for 2020

The IRS said this week that workers contributing to 401(k), 403(b), 457 and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plans plans can add $19,500 next year, an increase from $19,000 in 2019. The move could help workers save more for retirement, but it may be inconvenient for employers who’ve already started open enrollment, experts say. Employees […]

AI, tech are transforming traditional HR

Nearly all HR leaders say their jobs will be unrecognizable in 10 years thanks in part to the adoption of new technology, according to new survey data. Eighty-two percent of HR executives say that their jobs will transform due to increased focus on people management and less on administrative tasks, as well as the adoption […]

It’s time to consider a wage and hour audit

Those who believed the Trump administration would scale back the Obama-era Department of Labor’s aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws may be surprised to learn that the DOL recently announced that it recovered a record $322 million in unpaid wages for fiscal year 2019. This is $18 million more than that recovered in the […]

Experts predict 2020’s most in-demand benefits

With 2020 fast approaching, benefits professionals are taking stock of breakthrough trends of this year, even as they think about what employers will most want to offer their employees in the next. “Looking back on 2019 it was definitely a year of innovation in benefits,” says Kate Torgersen, founder of Milk Stork, a breast milk […]