The Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations is comprised of organizations which provide integrated, cost effective solutions for the management and administration of human resources for its clients by contractually assuming employer rights, responsibilities, and risk, and by establishing and maintaining an employer relationship with the workers assigned to client companies.
As mentioned in a post by Libertate Insurance’s Vice President, Sharlie Reynolds last Friday FAPEO will hold their Annual Business Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting on August 4th, 2021 at the Tampa Marriott Westshore. In addition to plenty of discussion surrounding the ongoing wave of ransomware attacks and coverage options to help client company’s offset potential losses from said attacks, there are currently a plethora of ongoing bills that could impact PEOs. FAPEO has shown their commitment to making sure that the professional employer organization industry has the appropriate representation and necessary spotlight in favor of or against the following list of bills in circulation – https://www.fapeo.org/legislation-impacting-peos/
A look at the history of the PEO Industry in Florida
FAPEO provides a colorful timeline as to how PEO’s came into existence in the state of Florida (click on https://wwww.fapeo.org/history/
Listening to early participants in the PEO industry describe how the industry came to be established in Florida, Margaret Mead’s inspirational quote comes to mind. Attorney Michael R. Miller, the general counsel of the Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations (FAPEO) since its inception, says that the biggest surprise looking back at the history of the industry and the association is that “a ragtag band of novice employee leasing entrepreneurs” could get bills passed to establish and license PEOs in Florida.
Interviews with several of these “novice employee leasing entrepreneurs” form the basis of this history of the PEO industry in Florida, and their stories are compelling, inspiring, and yes, surprising.
Early History of the PEO Concept
Employee leasing in the United States began as early as the 1940s. In the early 1970s, the concept was popularized by a consultant named Marvin Selter, who leased the employees of a doctor’s office in Southern California. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) contained an exemption for multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWA), which provided a loophole for employers with leased employees to claim they were exempt from the ERISA requirements. Passage of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) further encouraged employee leasing by providing a tax shelter for employers who contributed a minimum amount to employee plans. More stringent guidelines in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 later eliminated most of the TEFRA incentive, however.1
To read the entire history of the PEO industry in Florida, as provided by and written by FAPEO (found on their website, click on https://www.fapeo.org/history/. Take the historical journey of what initially started as employee leasing in the 70’s and 80’s with business being done with a handshake on through to when H. Britt Landrum, Jr., started asking questions as the first CEO of LandrumHR in Pensacola, who founded AmStaff in 1970, an employee staffing company that later became the full-service PEO it is today. He remembers reading an article in Inc. magazine in 1981 about a company called Staff Leasing of America. The leadership of Staff Leasing had been successful in getting a bill passed in Congress that made it possible for highly compensated professionals such as doctors and lawyers to exclude their employees from their pension plans if they leased the employees from an employee leasing company. “When I saw that article, I picked up the phone and talked to the owner of Staff Leasing of America,” Landrum recalls. “By that time he wanted to sell franchises or license others to be involved with him so they could pay him a royalty.” also called a Staff Leasing client who had been mentioned in the Inc. article to find out why a business would want to use an employee leasing company. The answer was simple and direct: “It makes it much easier for me as an employer to handle some of those employer-employee administrative things.”
Libertate Insurance hopes to see everybody at FAPEO in Tampa for the Annual Business Meeting; August 4th’s agenda is as follows: