HR & Compliance

Add SBAM offers a full spectrum of human resources services to keep you compliant and help your business run more efficiently and profitably....


Human Resources Solutions

ASE LogoLooking for help with tough HR issues? 

SBAM partner ASE has the answers about hiring, firing, FMLA, ADA and more! Get access to a FREE HR hotline, affordable and cost-effective research consultation services, discounted employee handbooks and workplace posters, and more.


Section 125 Plan, FSA, HSA & HRA Administration

 

KUSHNER & COMPANY LogoLooking for ways to contain health care costs?
With the cost of health insurance continuing to rise, most employers require their employees to contribute to the cost of health insurance premiums. SBAM partner Kushner & Co. can help you put a tax-favored, consumer-directed plan in place that benefits you and your employees.

 


COBRA Administration

Personalized, affordable administration for your business. 

If you have 20 or more employees, your company is required by federal law to offer continued health insurance coverage via COBRA and will face huge fines if it's not administered correctly.  Let SBAM help you stay compliant for as little as $35 per month. 

Motivate your employees to achieve success! Wednesday on the free Business Next audio seminar.

Today on Business Next, Michael Rogers talks with m.Motivational speaker and trainer Paul Artale talks about how to set up your small business employees for success, the virtues of a compressed workweek and the value of being involved in your community, both for the small business owner and the small business employees.
Also today,  Shirish Grover, coordinator for the Ferris State Entrepreneurship Institute, discusses the purpose and goals of this new Ferris State program; and from the International Council of Shopping Centers Michigan Idea Exchange in Dearborn, Steve Millman of Northstar Commercial talks about the commercial real estate perspective in west Michigan and Jason Kildea, director of commercial real estate for the Gillespie Group, talks about urban retail re-development in downtown Lansing.

Listen Wednesday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.   

Mental stress leads to workers' comp

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner AdvanceHR

Stress. Doctors know what it means and employees are learning fast. Stress is one of the fastest-growing causes of Workers' Compensation claims in the country.

There are at least three types of mental stress that can be compensable Workers' Comp claims:

    1. Physical-mental claims - An employee sustains a physical injury from an accident at work, such as an object falling on him or her. The employee then develops emotional problems either from the extent of the injury or the duration of the recuperation period.

    2. Mental-physical claims - An employee experiences a sudden or gradual emotional jolt that results in a physical injury, such as a heart attack. This is what is commonly referred to as "job stress" but it can take some unusual turns.

    Example: A court awarded compensation to an employee who was awakened and told to return to his place of business. Upon arrival, he saw that the place was on fire, and suffered a heart attack.

    3. Mental-mental claims - It is in this category that current interpretations of compensation laws break from the past. No physical injury is involved. States vary as to how their laws deal with mental-mental claims.
  • Some states award compensation to an employee who sustains a gradual onset of stress resulting in mental injury. The stress itself need not be out of the ordinary.
  • Some states award compensation only if the stress is found to be caused by unusual circumstances.
  • Some states require that the mental condition or injury be caused by some sudden set of circumstances. No compensation would be awarded for gradual stress or stress from normal working conditions.
  • Some states don't recognize mental-mental claims.
It is the "gradual stress" category that can concern employers because it can be easily manipulated by employees. Also, it ignores the fact that life itself is often stressful.

Sometimes, a claim is a direct result of the relationship between employee and supervisor.

    Example: A Wisconsin purchasing agent was awarded compensation for mental-mental stress. She suffered a mental breakdown attributed to harassment by her boss.

Even though there is wide interpretation of what constitutes compensable stress, there are precautions you can take to avoid certain trouble:

  • Monitor employee workloads and make sure work is evenly distributed among employees.
  • Discuss results of any performance monitoring with the employee and provide recommendations for future performance improvements.
  • Recognize obvious stressful situations and do something about them to reduce the stress.
  • Seek feedback from employees, and be responsive.
  • Under all circumstances, avoid harassment.
Stress. Doctors know what it means and employees are learning fast. Stress is one of the fastest-growing causes of Workers' Compensation claims in the country.

There are at least three types of mental stress that can be compensable Workers' Comp claims:

    1. Physical-mental claims - An employee sustains a physical injury from an accident at work, such as an object falling on him or her. The employee then develops emotional problems either from the extent of the injury or the duration of the recuperation period.

    2. Mental-physical claims - An employee experiences a sudden or gradual emotional jolt that results in a physical injury, such as a heart attack. This is what is commonly referred to as "job stress" but it can take some unusual turns.

    Exa

Are credit reports still a good tool for hiring decisions?

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner AdvanceHR

A recent survey of 544 human resource professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) confirms that the use of credit checks in the hiring process is still commonplace -- although somewhat on the decline. "Good riddance" would be the response of employee advocacy groups, who complain that the practice gives employers an excuse to kick people when they're down.

"Credit checks exclude qualified applicants — including people whose credit was damaged as a result of medical debt, divorce, layoffs, predatory lending, identity theft, or other events beyond their control — from the employment they desperately need," maintains to Amy Traub, an analyst for Demos, a policy research group.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Discourages Credit Checks

Perhaps more importantly, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also frowns on credit checks and related investigations. The following statement appears on this page of EEOC's website: "Inquiry into an applicant's current or past assets, liabilities, or credit rating, including bankruptcy or garnishment, refusal or cancellation of bonding, car ownership, rental or ownership of a house, length of residence at an address, charge accounts, furniture ownership, or bank accounts generally should be avoided because they tend to impact more adversely on minorities and females."

The EEOC does concede that such inquiries can be justified in some situations however. "Exceptions exist if the employer can show that such information is essential to the particular job in question," the Commission states.

Current Employer Practices

So what are current employer practices with regard to credit checks in the hiring process? Following are some highlights of SHRM's latest survey, which may reassure the EEOC that employers aren't going overboard.

  • 47 percent of surveyed employers do use credit checks as part of their employment process for at least some job candidates. In a survey two years earlier, that proportion was considerably higher -- 60 percent.
  • Few (13 percent) of surveyed employers use credit checks for all job candidates (19 percent reported doing so in a 2004 SHRM survey).
  • Of employers using credit checks today, almost none (2 percent) order a credit check prior to an interview with the job candidate. Most (58 percent) do so after making a contingent job offer, and one-third do so following the interview.
  • Employers' top reasons for using credit checks include "to reduce/prevent theft and embezzlement or other criminal activity (45 percent), "to reduce legal liability for negligent hiring" (22 percent) and "to assess the overall trustworthiness of the job candidate" (19 percent).
  • Most organizations that use credit checks focus on job applicants' credit history over the past 2-7 years.
  • Turning up negative information on a job candidate doesn't always doom a job applicant to being rejected; 20 percent of surveyed employers report having hired them despite a bad credit report.
In keeping with that last result, the SHRM data suggests employers don't consider credit reports the final arbiter of a job candidate's credentials. For example, 64 percent of employers say "in certain circumstances" they give job candidates with bad credit reports the chance to explain the results of the negative report, before they make a hiring decision.

Credit Reports in Perspective

As noted, most employers that use credit reports use them only when filling certain kinds of jobs. Almost all (87 percent) use them for jobs "with fiduciary and financial responsibility" involving handling money and accounting matters,

Lessons of success from Michigan’s dynamic commercial retail real estate economy! Monday on the Business Next audio seminar

Business Next host Michael Rogers reports from the International Council of Shopping Centers Michigan Idea Exchange in Dearborn. West Michigan commercial real estate broker Earl Clements talks about the small business impact of Cabela’s new store in Grandville; Michael Anderer, Senior Real Estate Representative for one of American’s great national small business franchise success stories – 7-Eleven – talks about their aggressive Michigan expansion strategy; Robert Donohue Jr., Main Street Coordinator for Oakland County, explains how small businesses play a vital role in making sure main streets are successful; site selection expert Mike Deighan of O’Keefe & Associates talks about how small businesses can learn a lot about site selection by watching what big retailers are doing in their community; Paul Magy, a commercial real estate attorney for Clark Hill, explains the importance of building a team of experts to help advance your entrepreneurial success and John Heiney, executive director of the Birmingham Principal Shopping District, talks about how PSDs can help the growth and prosperity of downtown small businesses.

Listen Monday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.  

Steven Strauss: The Annual Summertime Biz Quiz

1. Who said, “You don't understand. I want to be surprised. Astonish me, sport. New info, don't care where or how you get it, just get it.”
A. Howard Hughes (The Aviator)
B. Charles Foster Kane (Citizen Kane)
C. Rod Tidwell (Jerry Maguire)
D. Gordon Gekko (Wall Street)

2. In the great James Cavell book about the beginning of trading in Hong Kong, Tai-Pan, Tai Pan means
A. Ruthless warrior
B. Supreme leader
C. Cunning trader
D. Unwanted foreigner

3. Who starred in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying?
A. Ricardo Montalbán
B. Ricky Ricardo
C. Joel Fleishman
D. Joel Grey

4. What Makes Sammy Run is a book and play about
A. Backstabbing and success on Wall Street
B. Backstabbing and success in Washington
C. Backstabbing and success in Hollywood
D. Backstabbing and success at Wal-Mart

5. Who said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”
A. Bill Gates of Microsoft in Pirates of the Silicon Valley
B. Steve Jobs of Apple in Pirates of the Silicon Valley
C. Andy Grove of Intel Pirates of the Silicon Valley
D. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook in The Social Network

6. Who said, “I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?”
A. Joe Pesci in Goodfellas
B. Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver
C. Marlon Brando in The Godfather
D. Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins

7. The business book classic, Barbarians at the Gate, was about
A. The leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco
B. The feared Japanese business threat of the late ‘80s
C. How to deal with bad employees
D. Financial incompetence

8. “______ is the enemy of Great” 
A. Good
B. Laziness
C. Complacency
D. Mediocrity

9. What is the subtitle of Timothy Ferris book The 4 Hour Work Week?
A. How Anyone, Anywhere Can Live The Life Of Their Dreams
B. Work Smarter, Not Harder
C. Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
D. It’s Not Who You Know, It’s What You Do That Counts

10. What did architect Howard Roark do to begin the book The Fountainhead?
A. Kill himself
B. Give an incredibly long, boring, self-serving, one-sided, egomanical speech
C. Laugh
D. Vomit

11. Who wrote Winning?
A. Charlie Sheen
B. Jack Welch
C. Jack Black
D. Conrad Hilton

12. In what movie was this said: “You're right, I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in . . . 60 years.”
A. Citizen Kane
B. Wall Street
C. The Hudsucker Proxy
D. Trading Places

13. Who said, “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.”
A. Bruce Wayne
B. Richie Rich
C. Tony Montana 
D. Joe Montana

14. What character did Rodney Dangerfield play in Caddyshack?
A. Millionaire Al Czervik
B. Judge Elihu Smails
C. Entrepreneur Carl Spackler
D. Wiseguy Ty Webb

15. What movie did this quote come from: “Lesson number one: Don’t underestimate the other guy’s greed.”
A. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
B. Scarface
C. Casablanca
D. There Will Be Blood

16. Speaking of There Will Be Blood, what was the name of the oilman played by Daniel Day Lewis?
A. Daniel Plainview
B. Anton Chigurh
C. Daniel Wellstone
D. Father Mulcahey

17. In It's a Wonderful Life, Banker George Bailey has four children. What is the name of the youngest?
A. Tommy Bailey
B. Janie Bailey
C. Zuzu Bailey
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