Employee benefit benchmarking results, compliance reminders presented at 2018 Share to Compare seminar
Employee recruitment/retention and controlling costs top concerns for employers
LMC hosted nearly 100 employers for this year’s Share to Compare seminar, held July 19 in Urbandale, Iowa. Attendees received the results of this year’s benefit survey, a valuable resource for understanding how their benefits compare to other organizations in the Midwest and nationally.
While the survey remains open through October, participation records have already been broken. In his opening remarks, Rick DeBartolo, LMC senior vice president, underscored the important role the survey data has in shaping employee benefits decisions.
DeBartolo also addressed association health plans stating, “We know they are coming, and we’re reviewing the regulations.”
Hacking and cybercrime are in the news daily, and everyone has likely been impacted by it in some way from the numerous high profile breaches of the companies that store our data. The increase of these threats has awakened us to the reality that we need a level of vigilance that offers better protection.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, data breaches increased 40 percent in 2016, with a total of 1,093 reported breaches. This trend continued in 2017, with over 1,120 cases reported by October. Ransomware was the most common threat. Global ransomware costs due to business productivity impact and mitigation are estimated to have exceeded $5 billion in 2017. An additional $2 billion was paid to hackers in ransom over that same time period.
All employers with forklift operations are required to have their employees trained and certified before they can work. To help protect employers and their employees from the risks associated with forklift operation, OSHA explains the minimum requirements employers must meet in its Powered Industrial Trucks standard, 1910.178(l). According to this standard, all operator training and evaluation shall be conducted by persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence.
West Bend Mutual Insurance Company recently presented its Spirit of the Silver Lining Award to Brian Hughes, Vice President of LMC Insurance & Risk Management. The award honors West Bend agents and the nonprofit organizations they support for their dedication to delivering a silver lining to those in need.
Hughes was presented the Spirit of the Silver Lining Award for his involvement with Hawthorn Hill. Hawthorn Hill's mission is to establish and operate housing programs for homeless families with children that help them obtain permanent housing, and to provide services to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Hughes has served on the Board for six years and currently serves as the vice president. He is very active in fundraising efforts, and this agency also sponsors events for the organization. Additionally, as part of the Spirit of the Silver Lining Award, West Bend donated a $10,000 grant to the organization.
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Social Engineering has become one of the most prevalent types of computer-related crimes lately. In this type of crime, an employee of a company is tricked into transferring funds to a “bad actor.” The “bad actor” sends an email impersonating a vendor, client, or supervisor of the company and advises the employee that banking information for the vendor/client has changed or company funds immediately need to be wired at the “supervisor’s” direction. The email looks authentic because it has the right logos and company information; however, careful study of the email will reveal that the funds are being sent to the “bad actor’s” account. Too often, unsuspecting and trusting employees unwittingly have cost their companies millions of dollars in connection with social engineering claims.
The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule that increased the civil penalty amounts that may be imposed on employers under various federal laws. The DOL’s final rule implements the 2018 annual adjustments for civil penalties assessed or enforced by the DOL, including penalties under the FLSA, FMLA, OSHA, and ERISA. The increased penalty amounts became effective on January 2, 2018, and may apply for any violations occurring after November 2, 2015.
Juli Jenkins, LMC’s client service executive, joins the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Iowa Leadership Committee. In addition to her role on the Committee, she will put her workers’ compensation knowledge and experience to work serving as NFIB’s workers’ compensation advisor.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the NFIB as their workers’ compensation advisor and as a member of their Leadership Committee,” stated Jenkins. “The important role small businesses play in our communities and economy cannot be understated, which is why I look forward to working with other committee members to help small businesses grow and prosper.”
Jenkins attended the NFIB’s 75th Anniversary Conference June 18-20 in Washington, D.C. The event included a legislative update by key lawmakers, a media panel, a morning keynote address, and a luncheon address by President Trump. Toward the end of his address, Trump stated, “Every American who owns a small business plays a vital role in creating a safe, strong, and prosperous America.”
NFIB is the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943, NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven organization, exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses. For more information, visit www.nfib.com.
National Safety Month is observed annually in June with the primary focus on providing education on how people can reduce the leading causes of hazards and disasters that occur in their homes and communities. Because an emergency can happen any time of year, organizations such as the National Safety Council help individuals, families, and communities become more aware of the dangers that can occur around them. Emergencies and disasters are on the top of the list of those hazards that many are not always fully prepared for.
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