Business Management

Construction Contracts – Insurance and Beyond

It goes without saying that any contract should be carefully reviewed before signing. But construction contracts can be especially tricky, given their unique language and the potentially far-reaching consequences when something goes wrong. This is why we highly recommend a lawyer or in-house counsel review all contracts. Here’s an overview of the highlights – and…

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Pay or Play Enforcement for Health Insurance Begins

As 2018 drew to a close, the IRS began sending enforcement letters related to employer compliance with shared responsibility rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for calendar year 2016. Let’s take a look at what this means. The document in question is known as Letter 226-J and informs employers of their potential liability for…

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Employer’s Alert: New Health Insurance and other Benefit Plan Limits for 2019

Annual dollar limits affect many employee benefit plans, and are periodically adjusted to allow for inflation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced a series of such cost-of-living adjustments for various welfare and retirement plan limits for 2019. Annual limits for these benefits vehicles will increase for the coming year: High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and…

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Workers’ Compensation Audits – Don’t Get Hit in the Wallet

One unhappy trend we’ve been seeing lately is more and more employers being hit with audit noncompliance penalties from their workers’ compensation carriers. These penalties can be very significant, up to twice the annual premium, so let’s take a look at how to avoid them. Like any insurance policy, a workers’ compensation policy is a…

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New I-9 Form In Effect September 18th

In July of 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an updated version of Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Under federal law, every employer that recruits, refers for a fee or hires an individual for employment in the United States must complete a Form I-9. While there has been a grace period…

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Controlling Workers’ Compensation Costs

Fourth in a series of installments on workers’ compensation coverage In previous posts on workers’ compensation, we’ve covered experience modification factors, what makes a claim compensable and signs of fraud. Now, let’s get to the bottom line – literally – and talk about controlling your workers’ compensation costs. The first thing to understand about cost…

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Minimum Wage Increases in MD and DC

As noted here at the start of this year, some 19 states plus the District of Columbia enacted new minimum wage laws in 2018. These laws supersede the current federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour, and the vast majority of the increases took effect on or about January 1. The exceptions were Maryland,…

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Flood Insurance

The sudden and tragic flooding in Ellicott City over Memorial Day weekend was a sobering reminder that sometimes lightning does strike twice in the same place, so to speak … we saw similar flooding there in 2016, and this time around the damage was even more severe. The forecast that day called for a chance…

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Health Plan Audits: What You Need

Much as the Internal Revenue Service has the authority to audit tax returns, the Department of Labor (DOL) has a broad mandate to investigate and audit an employee benefits plan’s compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Audits are performed by the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), and will often focus on…

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HR Hotline: Real People, Real Answers

In a recent post we discussed MyWave Connect, our online portal for convenient access to resources on safety, compliance and much more (read about MyWave Connect here). While MyWave Connect is a vast and searchable resource, sometimes you need a little personal guidance, especially when it comes to matters of Human Resources. Chances are that…

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