Affinity HR Questions & Answers


We are coming up on our health insurance renewal and I keep hearing about the Obamacare repeal. How will its repeal affect our health insurance offering?

Customer

Q

We are coming up on our health insurance renewal and I keep hearing about the Obamacare repeal. How will its repeal affect our health insurance offering?

 

A

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a very complicated piece of regulation that extends well into the structure of the nation’s health care delivery system. Repealing it in one quick act will be difficult. Moreover, insurers are already having to submit their 2018 premiums and benefit packages to state regulatory bodies for approval. Our best guess is that you won’t see a real change until renewal 2019. Your best source of information is your local health insurance agent or broker who can keep you informed of changes to your existing policies.

I have read about the new Obama Overtime changes. If I pay my employee $50,440 or more, does that automatically qualify her as exempt from the FLSA’s overtime rules?

Customer

Q

I have read about the new Obama Overtime changes.  If I pay my employee $50,440 or more, does that automatically qualify her as exempt from the FLSA’s overtime rules?


A

No, not automatically.  If you pay her less than $50,440, she will automatically qualify for overtime.  But if you pay her more than $50,400, she still must satisfy the duties requirement of the exemption.  So, for example, if you pay your receptionist $51,000, her income level qualifies her for the administrative exemption, but if she is responsible only for answering phones, opening mail and greeting customers, her duties do not qualify her for the exemption.  So even with a salary that is higher than the threshold, in this example she would still qualify for overtime pay if she works more than 40 hours in a week.  Click here for more information on the duties tests for the various exemptions

An employee had an accident, but a very minor one. Do we have to file worker's compensation claims?

Customer
Q

We had an employee take a fall at work. She was out only for a couple of days and had minimal health expenses. Do we have to file this under workers' compensation? Can't we just pay her for the missed days and pick up her medical expenses?

A

In a word, no. You must file it under workers' comp. Federal and state law strictly regulate workplace accidents and injuries and the failure to report accidents and other non-compliance carries very tough financial penalties. Much of workers' compensation is regulated by the state where you operate but the basics are the same: employers are required to provide workers' compensation insurance which provides employees with essential medical care, income replacement and disability benefits if necessary.

While workers' compensation insurance is expensive, there are significant benefits to the employer, not just to the employee. For employers, it is the exclusive remedy for damages and prevents employees from seeking damages through a separate lawsuit. The risk you run by not using workers' compensation in this case is if the worker later feels her injury caused her more harm (financial or physical) than you provided for, then there is nothing to keep her from suing you and you will face not only her lawsuit but the onerous penalties for failing to properly comply with workers' compensation law.

How can we focus on hiring candidates that "fit?"

Customer
Q

We recently hired a few people that have not worked out due to either personality fit or skill set. These candidates interviewed very well but when they got on the job they were less than stellar and frankly just not the right fit for our culture. In the future, how can we insure we are hiring the right person?

A

To garner more insurance over hiring the right candidate, I suggest you develop a hiring team who will review the candidates – a team approach is very effective. Make sure you have a good set of Interview questions prepared that focus on the technical aspects of the job. Ask “behavioral interview” questions by asking the candidate, “tell me about a time…” Have them tell you about how they have acted, performed and dealt with situations in the past – it's the best indicator of how they will act in the future.

We also strongly recommend doing behavioral style assessments on candidates to see what their true behavioral style and motivators are. We feel so strongly about this that we won't do a recruiting project without one. Without this data, you're really just assessing how well the candidate interviews which is not a determinant of future behavior.

Affinity HR