New Jersey Governor Signs PEO Bill into Law

From NAPEO: Governor Chris Christie (R) signed Senate Bill 2512 into law 9/13/2017. The new law allows a client or PEO to provide workers’ compensation coverage for worksite employees. Previously, New Jersey law only permitted the PEO to provide such coverage for worksite employees. A client company that assumes the responsibility of providing workers compensation coverage to worksite employees will be required to provide a copy of the client service agreement to its insurance carrier prior to the issuance of the policy or upon partnering with a PEO. In the event that a client company’s policy is canceled pursuant to New Jersey law, the insurance carrier is required to provide the PEO with copies of all notices required to be issued to the client company by regular mail.

In addition, the law modernizes the state’s PEO statute by:

  • Allowing the PEO and client company the flexibility to allocate responsibility for the direction and control over management of safety, risk and hazard control at the client worksite; and
  • Requiring the client to accurately report wages to the PEO.

In recent months, both chambers passed the bill by unanimous vote. NAPEO worked to enhance the legislation throughout the legislative process and testified in support of the bill. The new law goes into effect immediately, though insurance carriers will have up to 180 days following enactment of SB2512 to comply with the new notice provisions. For more information, please contact Daniel Harris.

Source: The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations

 

New Hampshire Workers’ Comp Rates May Decrease for Sixth Year in a Row

From InsuranceJournal: New Hampshire employers could pay less for their workers’ compensation insurance next year because of a filing that lowers the rates and loss cost factors insurers use to develop prices. This move would mark the sixth year in a row that New Hampshire workers’ compensation rates have decreased, according to a press release issued by the New Hampshire Insurance Department.

“A decrease in workers’ compensation rates means a decrease in costs to New Hampshire businesses.” said Insurance Department Commissioner Roger Sevigny in the release. “These considerable savings could be used to bring more workers, higher salaries and expanded operations to New Hampshire.”

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) filed a rate proposal in August with the New Hampshire Insurance Department to reduce voluntary loss costs by 13.3%. The NCCI is a licensed rating and statistical organization that gathers data, analyzes industry trends, and prepares workers’ compensation rate filings for New Hampshire and many other states.

The loss cost is the portion of an employer’s insurance premium that pays claims costs for work-related injuries. It is ultimately used by insurers to set rates and premiums in the voluntary market. All insurers writing voluntary workers’ compensation in New Hampshire are required to use the new loss costs, along with a loading to cover company expenses.

The NCCI has filed a decrease of 10.3% for the assigned risk, or “residual,” market. The residual market ensures access to workers’ compensation for companies that are not able to buy coverage on the open market. About 9% of workers’ compensation insurance is obtained this way, according to the press release.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department has scheduled a public rate hearing for 10 a.m. September 21 to give NCCI an opportunity to discuss the filing and interested parties and other stakeholders the ability to provide testimony or comments. The hearing will be held in the Insurance Department’s Conference Room 274.

After the hearing and a short public comment period, Commissioner Sevigny will issue a decision on the filing, and the new rates will apply to policies effective January 1, 2018.

“The decrease in workers’ compensation rates is great news for job creators and seekers all across the Granite State,” said Governor Chris Sununu in the release. “This will increase New Hampshire’s advantage with regards to attracting, retaining and growing jobs.”

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire.

Source: Insurance Journal East

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2017/09/12/463973.htm

These Are the 4 Emotional Intelligence Job Skills You’ll Need In The Future

“It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head–it is the unique intersection of both.” -David Caruso

Lots of discussion these days about AI but what about EI (a.k.a. Emotional Intelligence)? Below is a great article from Fast Company regarding the importance of having an emotional intelligence skill set on which most hiring managers don’t place a high level of importance. Working with your client companies to ensure they hire emotionally intelligent employees will increase your value as a PEO and as a true partner.

We hope you enjoy this 3-minute read and are looking forward to seeing you at NAPEO!

————–

All the data suggesting that coding is rapidly becoming an essential skill for any job–not just one in tech–only tells one side of the story.

The other side indicates that soft skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, attention to detail, and writing proficiency top the list of what hiring managers find missing from job seekers’ personal tool kits. But according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, one the job skills that will make a candidate competitive in the job market of the future is emotional intelligence. The WEF predicts it will be among the top ten in 2020.

How emotionally intelligent are you now? There are several ways to test it (including one that’s so accurate it’s creepy). The good news is that even if you’re a bit deficient on some traits, emotional intelligence can be improved. Here are some suggestions on boosting your EQ right away.

IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING SKILLS

Most people are by nature bad listeners. People spend 60% of their conversations talking about themselves, according to the Harvard University Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab. And when others are talking, we’re busy trying to craft a response so that we’re not really listening.

Learning to be a better listener is a matter of doing a few simple things. One is simply to take a pause after the person is done speaking and then think of a response. Another is to paraphrase what you think you heard to make sure you are really paying attention.

 

MANAGE STRESS MORE EFFECTIVELY

It’s tough not to blow your stack when annoying coworkers or a demanding boss are getting on your last nerve.  But emotionally intelligent people understand that it’s important to de-escalate anxiety whenever possible.

You can do this by relinquishing some control and admitting you need some extra help. There are no brownie points for heroic handling of projects if it causes you to burn out. Keeping a cool head while critical mass is being reached will get you noticed and may put you in line for a promotion.

 

GIVE GOOD FEEDBACK

Emotionally intelligent people are excellent communicators and giving quality feedback is part of that skill–even if it’s negative.

Checking yourself before you start spouting any specious commentary can increase the chance that your feedback will be most constructive. For that, it helps to channel the words of 13th century mystic Sufi who wrote: “Before you speak, let your words pass through these three gates: At the first gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’ At the second gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it necessary?’ At the third gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it kind?’”

If your suggestion doesn’t check all those boxes, best to keep it to yourself until you’ve had some more time to process.

 

EVALUATE YOUR EMPATHY

An empath is aware of others’ feelings and takes them into consideration when they’re working with them. It doesn’t mean they’re a pushover who lets others do as they will in order to be well-liked. They just know how their words and actions will affect individuals and teams.

Becoming more empathetic starts with being curious about where other people are coming from. You can also try putting yourself in a colleague’s shoes, especially if they are angry or upset. Try to understand their motivations, even if you don’t agree. And share your own thoughts and feelings. Nothing builds trust faster than being open yourself.

If you’re able to show that you can manage your emotions (especially when everyone else is losing their cool), collaborate with a variety of people, listen well, and offer constructive feedback, you’ll be way ahead of the curve come annual review time. And you may even find an open path to your dream job in the coming years.

 

 

FAPEO Sends Out NCCI’s FL Workers’ Compensation Rate filing for 2018

The following is an excerpt from the email sent to FAPEO members:

 

Government Affairs Update

By David Daniel

Florida PEO Lobbyist

 

Yesterday NCCI released their proposed rate filing for workers compensation rates for 2018.   This filing was for a rate DECREASE of 9.6 % effective January 1, 2018.  They expect OIR to hold a public hearing on this proposed increase sometime in October.  

 

The expectation was for an additional significant rate increase based on the recent Florida Supreme Court actions and how the change impacted behavior.  Apparently NCCI has based this recommendation on a downward trend in experience and from data from 2014-15.  They indicate this recommendation is not a law filing like last year but rather an experience filing.  They believe the impacts of the Castellanos case were addressed in their last recommendation.

 

This caught the business community off guard and it takes the political wind out of the sails for real workers compensation reform in the 2018 Legislative Session.  While I can make the case that this is good new for the business community it could put a squeeze on workers compensation carriers in the marketplace. 

 

Robert Skrob, CPA, CAE

Executive Director

Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations

 

Comment below what you think of this recommendation from NCCI.

 

-David Campbell

Risk Consultant at Libertate Insurance

 

 

 

Will master Cyber policies be the next EPLI product for PEOs?

With two carriers now offering master PEO cyber programs, the question here is PEO’s be able to sell these as part of their overall package?

A recent 2017 RIMS survey has shown that 83 percent of organizations have a standalone cyber insurance policy (up 3 percent from 2016) and only 14 percent are utilizing the cyber coverage offered in their other insurance policies.

One reason for this statistic could be that Risk Managers want specific endorsements and add-on coverages that apply directly to their industry or are a result of a problem they’ve faced in the past.  This has been a crucial part of individual cyber policies over the past few years as the carriers try to keep up with the quickly evolving cyber space.

With the above in mind, it may be difficult for PEO’s to make this as part of their basic package as EPLI has become over the past decade.

I would like to note the PEO cyber program has one crucial endorsement, Social Engineering, that can be added on for an individual client company.  This has to be individually underwritten for each client company adding another layer for the PEO sales rep to cross-sell.

If you work in the PEO industry, please comment below with your thoughts of PEO’s offering cyber coverage to client companies. For more statistics from the RIMS survey please visit: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2017/08/25/462357.htm

 

-David Campbell

Risk Consultant at Libertate Insurance

Does your EPLI policy cover against employee harassment to a Third Party?

Most employers understand their Employment Practices Liability Insurance policy to cover against employee to employee or employer to employee harassment and discrimination.  But many of these employers could be liable for claims that they do not have coverage for under their current EPLI policy without the proper endorsements.  The most reoccurring of these claims have been third party claims against the behavior of your employee to the third party.  The language in a Lexington policy of an event resulting in a claim is: “allegation(s) of intentional or unintentional Discrimination, Harassment or any civil rights violations committed by an Insured and brought by a Third Party, whether such event against the Third Party occurs directly or through the Virtual Environment.”.  Their terminology for this coverage is Wrongful Business Environment.

So, we have coverage for your employee harassing or discriminating against a third party.  But what happens when the scenario is flipped and a third party discriminates or harasses your employee?  The employee would go to the employer or manager, and one of two things will happen: The employer will address the issue or the employer will ignore the issue.  In the first scenario, the employer and employee can work together on behalf of the employee to file a claim against third party’s employer.  Let’s hope they have third party coverage on their EPLI policy.  In the second scenario, where an employer fails to do anything, the employee can file a claim against the employer.  This would actually be looked at as a “hostile work environment claim” (your typical EPLI claim) and would be covered.  In this scenario, as well, the employee would also be able to go after the third party’s employer as well.

 

For more examples and details on this coverage, please visit: : http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2006/11/01/third-party-coverage-can-be-an-important-part-of-epli-policies

“Suppose a document messenger makes daily stops at a real-estate agency, where he greets the receptionist. After a number of visits, the messenger begins making suggestive sexual remarks. The receptionist complains to the owner of the business, who does nothing other than advise the receptionist to just tell the messenger to stop bothering her.

One day the messenger appears and makes suggestive remarks to the receptionist and even touches her inappropriately. Visibly shaken, the receptionist complains again to her boss, who takes no action. Not being able to endure the continuing harassment, the receptionist quits and sues her boss for emotional distress and failing to prevent an assault.

This is a clear example of an employer tolerating a hostile work environment, a typical EPL claim. The mere inaction of the employer makes him responsible. This also could be pursued as a third-party claim against the messenger’s employer.”

 

If you have any questions regarding your EPLI policy or would like a free audit of your current policy and coverage, feel free to reach out to David Campbell at dcampbell@libertateins.com or 407-613-5483.

Florida Board of Employee Leasing Back on Track

According to Suzanne Hurst, Deputy Director of the Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations, the Governor has officially appointed consumer member Shekhar Komuroji and industry member Carl Guidice to the BELC.”
According to Governor Scott’s website, “Komuroji, 42, of Tallahassee, is an IT contractor for CanDoTech Consulting, Inc.  Industry stalwart Carl Guidice is currently the CEO of Human Resources Outsourcing and the former CEO of SOI.
This comes after a brief hiatus in which the board stopped meeting and all members resigned due to liability concerns.  Last week, the board had an agenda of the following.
AGENDA
BOARD OF EMPLOYEE LEASING COMPANIES
2601 BLAIR STONE RD
TALLAHASSEE, FL 32399
AUGUST 17, 2017 – 10:00 A.M.
1. New Board Member Training
2. Application Review
3. Board Elections
4. Future Meeting Dates And Locations
The meeting minutes were not available yet based on timing, but can be found here when they are.  http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/pro/emplo/meetings_past.html
Also note the upcoming schedule for board meetings is as follows:

August 30, 2017 (Conference Call)

September, 2017 (TBA)

October, 2017 (TBA)

November, 2017 (TBA)

December, 2017 (TBA)

Good news for the industry and I know that the board is looking for additional board members. If so inclined, additional information is available here – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/pro/boardmember/boardmember.html

U.S. DHS M-274 Handbook NAPEO Update

Compass Readers,

Quickly after Michael Miller’s memo went out yesterday about the M-274 handbook, Farrah Fielder (General Counsel, NAPEO) sent out an email with NAPEO’s updates and plan for tackling this head on.

Farrah expressed the following points on the M-274 change and NAPEO’s federal governmental affairs plan:

  • NAPEO has been aware of this change since February, when several NAPEO members mentioned to NAPEO that the PEO content had been removed from the M-274 handbook.
  • Contact with ICE by NAPEO member companies at that time yielded no information on the changes.
  • There was no political leadership at ICE when these changes occurred.
  • NAPEO has seen no changes in enforcement from ICE towards the PEO industry since the Trump Administration took office.
  • No NAPEO member, to our knowledge, has changed its policies on the I-9 form based on the removal of the PEO content from the M-274 handbook.
  • And, as far as we are aware, ICE has not rejected/refused/prohibited PEOs from filing I-9s on behalf of clients or filing client I-9s as agents since the changes to the M-274 handbook.

Farrah continued, “NAPEO, as part of its federal legislative and regulatory agenda, has immigration reform as an agenda item.”

The following is the associations plan of action:

  • Ask the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to clarify the responsibilities of a PEO under E-Verify, addressing the following issues:
    • PEO and client compliance responsibilities under E-Verify
    • Compliance with E-Verify for individuals and clients that are already in a PEO relationship
    • Creating an E-Verify compliance safe harbor for PEOs
  • NAPEO also plans to form a working group to implement these items once there is political leadership at ICE.

To understand more on this topic, please refer to this previous article that was published yesterday: https://peocompass.com/u-s-department-homeland-security-m-274-handbook/

If you have any questions feel free to contact Farrah Fielder (ffielder@napeo.org) or Thom Stohler (tstohler@napeo.org – VP, Federal Government Affairs NAPEO) directly.

We will continue to update as more information comes in.

Regards,

Brian Urso
Risk Consultant
burso@libertateins.com
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