Posts

OSHA'S UPDATED COVID-19 GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYERS

Image
 Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ) recently updated its  COVID-19 guidelines  to help employers navigate a world with vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. In its updated guidelines, OSHA has emphasized guidelines for non-healthcare-related industries that typically involve close-quartered contact for extended periods, such as retail, food-service, and other essential positions. OSHA has stated that fully vaccinated people do not need to take all of the precautions that unvaccinated employees must. The guidance focuses mainly on identifying those employees who are at-risk in the workplace and unvaccinated. Who are the at-risk workers? Those who have conditions that prevent them from having a full-immune response to vaccinations. Workers with disabilities; under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workers with disabilities may be entitled to accommodations to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19.  Those workers that cannot be protected from a vaccina

THE SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF TEXAS MUTUAL INSURANCE OVER PRIVATE EQUITY COMPANIES

Image
    Air ambulances became  available to citizens in the 1970s ; since then, they have become increasingly more common and important when saving someone’s life. However, this life-saving innovation also brought greed along with it. Large privately-owned companies were able to decide the cost of the flight, no matter the case. Since 2012, Texas Mutual Insurance along with the Attorney General and other insurance providers, fought against these large businesses to achieve a rate for air ambulances that is reasonable. Large companies such as  PHI Air Medical , naturally fought against the state of Texas to overturn a previously passed law that says PHI was to only receive fair and reasonable funds. Not the ones that they decide upon on their own. Texas workers’ compensation law prohibits medical providers from charging injured workers when they require medical treatment. "The issue has now been fully and fairly litigated," said Mary Nichols, senior vice president and general coun

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE AND THE TEXAS A&M FOREST SERVICE PROVIDE INSIGHT ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM WILDFIRES

Image
  he  Texas Department of Insurance  and the  Texas A&M Forest Service  recently collaborated on a live stream covering wildfires and the impacts from the  historic freeze . The freeze has set plants and agriculture back a bit as we are not seeing the green of spring as much as we are accustomed to. Even with this setback, wildfires are still prevalent in Texas; it is important for homeowners to take easy, uncostly, steps to help prevent wildfires and protect their homes. Things as simple as: Cleaning out gutters Cleaning out plant beds Getting rid of vegetation that died Checking attic fence to make sure its properly screened in  Creating a defensible space around your home (30-foot space around your home) If you encounter a wildfire, safely evacuate your home and call 911 immediately. For information about active wildfires in Texas, visit  https://texashelp.tamu.edu/browse/by-type/naturally-occurring/fires-wildfires/ .  For more information about how to protect your home from wil

HOW DID THE PANDEMIC AFFECT THE PEO INDUSTRY?

  The  National Association of Professional Employer Organizations  (NAPEO) released their annual White Paper Series last month to dive deeper into the status of professional employer organizations (PEOs). NAPEO provided a summary of the current state of PEOs after 2020 through certain key statistics. The numbers and statistics used were covered in a previous blog  last week. Though the past year presented many obstacles, statistics show that PEOs fared better than most industries during the pandemic.  A key statistic used showed that PEOs had seen a consistent growth rate of 7.6% when factoring growth  with  the pandemic and 8.3% without. These results show that the average PEO remained at the same size as it did in 2019. While that may not be the sexiest fact for PEOs, it is still positive when considering the state of the economy in 2020. Even though the average PEO remained the same size in 2020, “holding steady actually resulted in a substantial outperformance relative to external

STATE OF THE PEO INDUSTRY - POST 2020

Image
  The  National Association of Professional Employer Organizations  (NAPEO) released their annual White Paper Series this month to dive deeper into the status of professional employer organizations (PEOs). NAPEO provided a summary of the current state of PEOs after 2020; though the past year presented many obstacles, PEOs fared better than most industries during the pandemic. Research and statistics from NAPEO’s previous white papers show that PEO clients enjoy, “a better chance of survival, higher growth rates, lower employee turnover, higher employee satisfaction and they fared better during the COVID-19 pandemic.” These numbers are no surprise given that PEOs alleviate most internal headaches for small and mid-sized businesses through their HR expertise. The number of worksite employees (WSEs) continued to go up in 2020 as PEOs employed 3.97 million WSEs in 2020. This massive amount represents, “13.7 percent of all employment by private sector employers that have 10 to 99 employees

BENEFITS BUZZ: DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ISSUES COBRA SUBSIDY MODEL NOTICES FAQS

Image
  Benefits Buzz: Department of Labor Issues COBRA Subsidy Model Notices, FAQs   The Department of Labor (DOL) issued  FAQs  and  model notices  for the COBRA premium assistance provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In the FAQs and notices, the DOL provides guidance on: • Eligibility • Elections • Notice requirements and duration of the subsidy  The goal of the FAQs is to provide further insight into why the federal COVID-19 related relief for plan deadlines does not apply to notice or election periods. These provisions were set forth in the ARPA about the COBRA subsidy. Although, an individual may elect COBRA from an earlier qualifying event if the individual is eligible to make that election. This includes the extended time frames provided that relief. In addition, the DOL provided mental health FAQs covering the  Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) . The CAA amended the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) to provide more protection. The

NATIONAL WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK 2021

Image
  National Work Zone Awareness Week 2021  National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) takes place this week, from April 26th – April 30th. This week of awareness is held each year to preserve the lives of those who work in these work zones. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) aims to remind the state’s motorists this week to proceed with caution when encountering one of the 3,400 active work zones in the state. Throughout 2020,  more than 22,000  traffic crashes happened in work zones; these accidents lead to 186 deaths, with 680 people seriously injured. TxDOT has identified that the most common causes of accidents in work zones stem from: speeding, driver inattention and unsafe lane changes. Each of these causes are easily preventable and with the help of NWZAW, will hopefully be eliminated. To continue public outreach and awareness, TxDOT reminds drivers to adhere to the Move Over/Slow Down law. The state law requires vehicles to move over lanes and reduce its speed by at l