Committee Yet Again Delays Hearing PEO Unfriendly Florida HB1305

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We just learned from NAPEO that the House Commerce Committee has again delayed hearing HB 1305. The bill is NOT on this week’s agenda. This is GREAT news!

Our efforts are working! What was a tenuous situation at the beginning of session appears to be calmed down… for now.

The Florida legislature adjourns on April 30, so it’s increasingly likely that HB 1305 will not make it out of committee, however, that’s not a guarantee. We will keep you updated as soon as there is more news to report. Thank you so much for your efforts so far and making our voice heard. We’re moving in the right direction with the understanding that even if this battle is won, there will still be an ensuing war to wage to make sure that “The Gap in Coverage Myth” is buried with this bill.

Florida House Bill 1305 Stalls for Now

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One in Four construction workers in Florida lack workers compensation – a bigger issue is at hand; premium fraud in the construction industry.

When the House Commerce Committee agenda for April 14, 2021 was announced in Florida at 4:30 yesterday the 12’th, thankfully, HB 1305 was not a part of it. While this does not mean that the bill still cannot be taken up by the House Commerce Committee when it meets again Monday April 19’th, every day that passes is one less in the Legislative Session for this bill to get further traction.

We appreciate foremost the grass roots efforts of all PEO industry advocates in making sure that the real issue is addressed; the plight of uninsured worker. Further research by industry insiders has found that there are material amounts of workers in Florida whom are being passed off as 1099 employees (more on that to come) and still others that are being flatly paid under the table in cash. Add a language barrier that often exists with a typical construction worker in Florida and it is the backdrop for at best confusion and often times, unnecessary litigation. This is the dirty little secret trying to be pinned on the PEO industry.

Both FAPEO and NAPEO continue to do a good job in communicating the issues at hand and making sure that we are well represented in Tallahassee and the real issues are being addressed.

The focus of uninsured employees in workers’ compensation must be addressed. The lobbyist of the opposition went on public record that one in four workers on any given job site lack workers’ compensation insurance. Since PEO’s supply only one of seven checks to construction workers in Florida and these are workers that must be submitted as employees, that leaves a lot of claimants may finally be realized is not an offshoot of being in a PEO relationship,

Please continue to reach out to the following lawmakers to enforce that premium fraud is addressed in the State of Florida, not the legislation of it:

Here are the individuals to contact: 

Representative Webster Barnaby (Orange City)  Webster.Barnaby@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Dan Daley (Sunrise) Dan.Daley@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Brad Drake (DeFuniak Springs) rad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Joe Geller (Dania Beach) joseph.geller@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Chris Latvala (Clearwater) Chris.Latvala@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Randy Maggard (Zephyrhills) randy.maggard@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Lawrence McClure (Plant City) Lawrence.McClure@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Angela ‘Angie’ Nixon (Jacksonville) Angie.Nixon@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Anika Tene Omphroy (Sunrise) Anika.Omphroy@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Scott Plakon (Longwood) Scott.Plakon@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Rene Plasencia (Titusville) Rene.Plasencia@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Anthony Rodriguez (Miami) Anthony.Rodriguez@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Bob Rommel (Naples) Bob.Rommel@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Jason Shoaf (Blountstown) jason.shoaf@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative David Silvers (West Palm Beach) David.Silvers@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Emily Slosberg (Delray Beach) Emily.Slosberg@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Josie Tomkow (Auburndale) Josie.Tomkow@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Matt Willhite (Wellington)   Matt.Willhite@myfloridahouse.gov

Thank you for your help. This is not over and will not be in my mind until we prove the point that this is a premium fraud issue, not a PEO issue. Please reach out and let those that represent us know!

Engage PEO Recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of Florida’s Fastest Growing Companies

Congratulations to our friends at Engage for another well-deserved accolade. If you see Mr. Starkman today, wish him a Happy Birthday and congratulations!

Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA – March 30, 2021 – Engage PEO, a professional employer organization providing HR outsourcing solutions to small and mid-sized businesses across the U.S., announced today that the company has been named one of the fastest-growing Florida-based private companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 Regional Florida Series.A segment of the prestigious Inc. 5000 franchise, the second-annual regional list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the Florida economy’s most dynamic segment-its independent small businesses. Engage also was named to Inc. Magazine’s ranking of fastest growing companies in the nation for the fifth consecutive year in 2020, earning a spot on the coveted Inc. 5000 “Honor Roll.””Earning a spot on an Inc. 5000 list continues to be quite the honor, be it on a national scale, or within our home state of Florida,” said Jay Starkman, CEO of Engage PEO. “In large part, our continued growth is due to Engage’s incredible team and our unique HR service delivery model through licensed attorneys. The caliber of our expertise has never been of more value to our clients and referral partners than it is today. We are grateful for this recognition and remain focused on helping our clients recover and rebound strongly in 2021.”

The companies on this list show striking rates of growth across all industries in Florida. Between 2017 and 2019, these 250 private companies had an average growth rate of 202 percent and, in 2019 alone, they employed more than 83,000 people and added nearly $11 billion to the Florida economy. Companies based in major metro areas-Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando-brought in the highest revenue overall.Complete results of the Inc. 5000 Regionals, can be found here.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/5022599#ixzz6rSc4m4u5

Bill Attacking PEOs in FL House Commerce Committee Not Being Heard This Week

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I am happy to understand from our friends at the Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations (“FAPEO”) that Florida House Bill 1305 will not be heard by The House Commerce Committee Agenda for their Tuesday, April 6’th meeting. The House Commerce Committee agenda can be found here – https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Committees/committeesdetail.aspx?CommitteeId=3098

…along with all of the members of this committee.

While FAPEO and NAPEO will continue working with members of committee to help them understand this is a bad bill, it cannot be stressed enough how much your grass roots efforts has slowed down the momentum of what seemed to be a runaway freight train a few weeks back. Thanks for stepping up, but its not over yet this year never mind in the future. There has never been a gap in what a PEO covers and we need to use this opportunity to memorialize this lack of issue. It should be noted this bill can still appear on a future committee meeting agenda this year and for sure if not passed, will be teed up for another run next year at PEO. 

Thank you for all of your help with this bill and let’s not just defeat it this year, let’s bury it for good.

*** A reminder announcement from FAPEO on the bill below ***

From: Robert Skrob 
Subject: Bill Attacking PEO

HB 1305 – Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Employee Leasing Companies has been assigned to the House Commerce Committee.  At 4:30 pm this Friday we will find out if the bill will be considered at the House Commerce Committee next Tuesday.  

The time for outreach to members of the committee is NOW.   

Here’s text of the bill so you can see how damaging that language could be to the PEO Industry. 

Like the bill before, the amended bill shifts liability from construction contractors to PEOs for workers compensation fraud.  

Will you support our efforts to kill this bad bill by sending  an email to members of the House Commerce Committee? If this bill moves forward, these are the individuals who will consider this bad proposal.  It’s important to start our outreach now.  

If you know any of these Representatives personally, please let me know.  

Here are some talking points to select from and adapt for this communication:  

  • An employee leasing company covers 100 percent of their employees with workers compensation coverage.
  • What bill proponents call a “gap in coverage” is simply workers compensation fraud in construction (paying under the table) and has been persistent in Florida in the traditional business model as well with subcontractors utilizing an employee leasing company arrangement.
  • Rather than work to address the underlying problem of workers comp fraud, the bill only shifts liability from general contractors to employee leasing companies for workers comp fraud.
  • This bill would only increase workers compensation fraud in construction in Florida.
  • It financially encourages general contractors to turn a blind eye to both the price of a subcontractors work and checking workers for employees of subcontractors who are on their jobsite for without  required workers compensation coverage. 

Here are the individuals to contact: 

Representative Webster Barnaby (Orange City)  Webster.Barnaby@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Dan Daley (Sunrise) Dan.Daley@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Brad Drake (DeFuniak Springs) rad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Joe Geller (Dania Beach) joseph.geller@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Chris Latvala (Clearwater) Chris.Latvala@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Randy Maggard (Zephyrhills) randy.maggard@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Lawrence McClure (Plant City) Lawrence.McClure@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Angela ‘Angie’ Nixon (Jacksonville) Angie.Nixon@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Anika Tene Omphroy (Sunrise) Anika.Omphroy@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Scott Plakon (Longwood) Scott.Plakon@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Rene Plasencia (Titusville) Rene.Plasencia@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Anthony Rodriguez (Miami) Anthony.Rodriguez@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Bob Rommel (Naples) Bob.Rommel@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Jason Shoaf (Blountstown) jason.shoaf@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative David Silvers (West Palm Beach) David.Silvers@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Emily Slosberg (Delray Beach) Emily.Slosberg@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Josie Tomkow (Auburndale) Josie.Tomkow@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Matt Willhite (Wellington)   Matt.Willhite@myfloridahouse.gov

Thank you for your help. 

To give you a bit of perspective on where this bill is in the Legislative process.  To become law this bill would have to pass House Commerce Committee before reaching the House floor, getting on the agenda and passing the House.  In addition, this bill would need to pass through three committees in the Senate and pass through the Senate floor vote with the exact same language as the House bill.  And, all of this would have to happen by April 30th

We are fighting to kill this bill every step of the way.  Your efforts are a huge help. Thank you! 

Bill Attacking PEOs Moves to Commerce Committee

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See the latest news from FAPEO regarding HB 1305. Interesting and concerning to note that someone ‘in House leadership pushed to advance this bill by having it removed from the sub-committee’.

HB 1305 – Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Employee Leasing Companies was removed from the House State Administration & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee and assigned directly to the House Commerce Committee today. 

This means someone in House leadership pushed to advance this bill by having it removed from the sub-committee. 

The House Commerce Committee meets today at 4:00 pm, but the agenda deadline has already passed.  The Commerce Committee meeting after today is Tuesday, April 6th with the agenda due at 4:30 pm on Friday.  

We should expect the bill to be on the Commerce Committee agenda 12:30PM – 2:30PM on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. 

Many of the members of the House Commerce Committee already voted on the bill as members of the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee.  We have begun outreach to members of that committee.  

We will discuss this bill and next steps on our FAPEO Board of Directors call on Wednesday, March 31st at 10:00 am. 

To become law this bill would have to pass House Commerce Committee before reaching the House floor, getting on the agenda and passing the House.  In addition, this bill would need to pass through three committees in the Senate and pass through the Senate floor vote with the exact same language as the House bill.  And, all of this would have to happen by April 30th

We continue to fight this bill at every step to prevent lawmakers from shifting liability increasing the incentive for workers’ compensation fraud in the construction industry.

House Bill 1305: Week in Review

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Happy Friday!

Here’s a recap of the recent activity regarding House Bill 1305:

  • The bill now moves to the House State Administration & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee. This hearing could be as early as Thursday, April 1, 2021
  • NAPEO and FAPEO have asked that we all email our state representatives regarding why this bill is bad for the PEO industry

More to come…

Have a great weekend!

PEO Unfriendly House Bill 1305 Passed in Florida

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Unfortunately, HB 1305 – Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Employee Leasing Companies passed through the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee Tuesday, March 23’rd.  

The bill was amended, the entire bill was replaced with a new version.  Here’s the amendment which replaced the previous text of the bill so you can see how damaging that language could be to the PEO Industry.

It is important that we all reach out and thank those that voted for PEO and more choice for Florida businesses. Please send a message of THANK YOU to these lawmakers for standing up to support PEO’s in Florida: 

Representative Kamia L. Brown (Orlando)  Kamia.Brown@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Fentrice Driskell (Tampa) Fentrice.Driskell@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative William Cloud ‘Will’ Robinson (Bradenton)  Will.Robinson@myfloridahouse.gov

This bill now moves to the House State Administration & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee. FAPEO, NAPEO and all interested stakeholders are working to prevent this bill from getting heard and killing this bill outright.  

We will alert you to the new committee members that will be our focus to educate on why this bill is bad for Florida.

As a reminder, here are some talking points to select from and adapt for this communication:  

  • An employee leasing company covers 100 percent of their employees with workers compensation coverage.
  • What bill proponents call a “gap in coverage” is simply workers compensation fraud in construction (paying under the table) and has been persistent in Florida in the traditional business model as well with subcontractors utilizing an employee leasing company.
  • Rather than work to address the underlying problem of workers comp fraud, the bill only shifts liability from general contractors to employee leasing companies for workers comp fraud.
  • This  bill would only increase workers compensation fraud in construction in Florida.
  • It financially encourages general contractors to turn a blind eye to both the price of a subcontractors work and checking workers for subcontractors who are on their jobsite for workers compensation coverage. 
  • And it reduces workers compensation coverage options for small to medium sized construction companies that already have limited options for coverage in the open market.