KeyHR is the KEY to Your Success
How successful could you be if you could focus on what you do best? It’s a question worth asking. And we not only HAVE the answer… We ARE the Key!
KeyHR is aligned with preferred provider companies to offer new and innovative ways to meet out clients’ payroll, employee leasing, benefits and insurance needs.
Our relationship with these companies helps business owners reduce costs, save time, optimize their workforce, increase revenue and minimize risk. If your company needs to save money, address compliance issues, improve efficiencies and increase productivity, we have the solutions.
If your company needs to save money, address compliance issues, improve efficiencies and increase productivity, we have the solutions and the key to your success.
Trust Key HR to provide you with…
- Access to more service providers than any other business of our kind
- Specialists in every area of Human Resources
- Solutions for companies at all stages of development – from startups to fully mature
- A firm commitment to stay current on the laws that affect your industry and business
- Savings from 20 to 40 percent off your bottom line
- It could be one of the smartest business decisions you ever make!
April Economic Outlook:
When Mood Matters More Than Metrics
- Things you want and need cost more than they did a year ago. Some of those price increases might be temporary, but some may not. Think about how you can adjust in the short term so you can still reach your goals in the long term.
- Headlines tug on your emotions. But how you feel isn’t necessarily the best guide for what you should do, especially when it comes to saving and spending.
Real talk about gas prices Inflation has been top of mind for months. But lately it’s gas prices that have a lot of people unnerved. Headlines over the past few months have breathlessly charted the upward trajectory of crude oil costs. Unrest has experts questioning the security of supplies. A lot of people use gas prices as a key personal economic indicator. Nearly everyone needs fuel, so when there’s a startling bump, that internal narrative often turns into, Things must be headed in the wrong direction— for my budget and the country. But is the uneasiness (and, in many cases, anger) justified? To run an errand, shuttle kids to activities, return to work, and plan a trip all cost more because gasoline costs more. When you spend more in one essential category, you must tighten in another. So, yes: Gas is stealing more of your budget right now. But, gas isn’t as expensive as it could be—the data says so.
Your wallet: We’ve talked a lot about the power of single data points to prompt quick decisions. The stock market gyrations over the last couple of months, many in response to geopolitical events, would give anyone data whiplash. It’s good to be informed about events and economic pressures. What’s less helpful is adjusting your long-term strategy from day-to-day. That means staying invested instead of pulling out in a panic when the markets hop on a roller coaster ride. One thing you can do today? Check your investor personality and align your investment mix accordingly.
The emotional economy Economists generally define a recession as a months-long decline in key data points including real gross domestic product, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. Nearly overnight in March 2020, the U.S. economy jumped into a recession because of lockdowns. But the U.S. economy in 2022 is nowhere near recession territory, with strong job growth and low unemployment. In fact, in 2009 in the throes of the Great Recession, unemployment was 10%.Today it’s 3.8%.Why, then, do most Americans— a full 51%—believe we’re in a depression or recession? Emotions. Both sides of the aisle see cause, real or imagined, for concern.
While overall optimism made some rebounds in 2021, the consumer confidence index, which measures economic sentiment, unemployment, and savings capacity, has turned swiftly down of late, even as the business index has held mostly steady.This is even while consumer spending continues to beat expectations. It’s a weird economic moment: We feel bad about the state of the economy, but we’re spending like we feel good.
Your wallet: Respond, don’t react, says Winston: “It’s rare that anything good comes from a knee-jerk reaction.” Your reality is built on solid fundamentals of saving and spending, including a budget you can live with and building a robust emergency fund.
How to Resolve A Pay Dispute
Errors happen, even with payroll, but speed is of the essence in correcting them to avoid further eroding worker trust and risking litigation. The steps for correcting pay disputes will vary depending on whether the error is an overpayment or underpayment or if the disputes involve legal matters.
For example, some disputes involve whether an employee worked overtime, worked through lunch, failed to punch in or out, or was asked to work off the clock, she noted. Technology may illuminate the truth, as well. For more complicated situations, such as a commission dispute, an employer may have to research the contracts, identify the people who worked on a deal and find out any relevant facts that may influence whether the commission is owed.
“Pay disputes can escalate quickly and motivate employees to seek out an attorney,” Wicks cautioned. “Responding quickly, maintaining good communication and ensuring the employee is paid correctly can avoid that outcome.”
“Ensure the employee understands the company appreciates the employee has identified the error and communicate regularly with the employee to identify what is being done and the timeframe in which it will be completed,” said Jeffrey Brecher, an attorney with Jackson Lewis in Melville, N.Y.
He recommended that the employee explain in writing exactly what the complaint concerns, so those who are investigating it understand the issue.
“If the employee complains to a manager, who then relays the issue to HR, who then contacts payroll—by the time the person actually investigating it receives the message, there could be misunderstanding [of] the issue, like the game of telephone,” he said.
If getting the employee to explain the problem in writing isn’t an option, have the person receiving the complaint put the issue in writing and have the employee confirm that the issue has been correctly identified.
“The employer should ask the employee for any documents the employee has corroborating the employee’s claim,” said Jo Bennett, an attorney with Schnader in Philadelphia. “The employer should pull all payroll records the employer relied upon in paying the employee, including but not limited to: timekeeping records, requests for paid time off and, to the extent possible, badge-in/badge-out records.” The documents needed may differ depending on whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt.
If the employee was right about a paycheck being an underpayment, “let them know that you will be fixing the error and when they will be paid,” Wicks said.
“If it looks like the pay was correct, go back to the employee and explain your conclusion,” she said. “If the employee disagrees, ask if they may have made a mistake or if there is additional information that might alter your conclusion.”
Sometimes the employee won’t agree that they were paid correctly even if there is concrete evidence that they were. “If so, try to understand why that is and determine whether there’s a mutually satisfactory way to resolve the situation. This is particularly important if the employee is saying they worked, but the manager disagrees.”
Managers make mistakes or may not realize an employee has been working. “Either way, you need to get to the bottom of it and make sure that the employee is paid correctly,” she said.
If there was an underpayment, “the employer should immediately make sure the error is corrected and communicate the correction to the employee,” Wicks said. This may require an extra paycheck to be issued.
She added that, “The paystub should also be corrected to ensure that the employee is provided with the corrected information and the business records are accurate.”
Wicks noted that if an employer uses a third-party payroll company that says a corrected paystub can’t be issued, “you should question whether that is true and work to get a corrected or supplemental paystub issued.”
Employers may generally recoup overpayments under federal law, Bennett said. “But employers often must meet certain conditions under state law before deducting wages from an employee to recoup an overpayment,” she said.
If there was an overpayment, the employer should ask the employee if a deduction of the overpayment from their next paycheck would cause a financial burden, according to Adam Gordon, co-founder of PTO Genius in Miami. “It’s possible the employee may have already spent the additional amount,” he noted. “If they did, try to arrange installments that you both agree on.”
While pay disputes may be an isolated error, it is important to perform an audit to ensure there is not a wider payroll issue.
“Find the root cause of the error quickly, then determine what other mistakes may exist and if more employees could be impacted,” Boelte said.
In addition to periodic spot checks of payroll, “employers should review a random sample of several employees’ payroll checks to determine whether the issue impacts one employee or more,” Bennett said. “Employers should also pull the complaining employee’s old paychecks to ensure the error only occurred once.”
How Data Can Bring Clarity to Health Plan Management
Recently, on a 6:25 a.m. flight from seat 3A, I overheard the captain and first officer reviewing their preflight plan, checking their instruments and all the data points available to make the best decisions on how to get us to our destination quickly and safely.
What the heck does this have to do with employee benefits? I’ll tell you: If you aren’t using data to guide your clients, you are flying blind.
With health benefits being the second or third largest item on an employer’s P&L statement, some advisers are crashing hard. Those who allow carrier rates and pricing to dictate the direction of a client’s strategy are failing to be a good steward. As the “captain” of your client’s health benefits program, you need to be using data to help guide your approach, strategic direction and advice, as well as the foundation of the commutation and education to their employees.
Think about it — if you asked your flight pilot how the day looked for flying, and he hadn’t bothered to check the weather, you’d probably be worried. For advisers, not embracing (or demanding) data from carriers can be just as worrisome.
As experts in our field, it’s up to advisers to not just fulfill our roles as “captain,” but also serve as risk managers for our clients. Creating strategies, solutions and programs grounded with data can make an immediate impact on the health of their population and quality of the benefit being offered. It also will lower costs for both employers and their employees.
Here are a few ways you can use data to guide employers through clear skies.
Get a bird’s eye view
Using Rx data as basic as the employer’s Top 25 Report can help grant an employee or family member access to a Manufacturer Assistance Program or an opportunity to source medication through an International Purchasing Program. Both will allow an employer to save 70- 80% on specific medication while eliminating 100% of the cost for an employee or family member. Most of these medications are north of $70,000 in annual cost for the employer, and employees are typically hitting their deductibles and out of pocket (OOP) maximums. This hits home for me. My family filed bankruptcy because of just one medication, Revlimid, while my dad was battling cancer when I was in high school.
Build a loyalty program
As a 12-year Executive Platinum Member on American Airlines, I do anything possible to stay on AA, because I get perks: free upgrades to first-class, early boarding, free checked bags and my own customer service line.
In the benefits world, the use of data can allow you to understand where employees and their families are accessing healthcare, and research the cost and quality of the most used facilities and providers. In turn, this will help you build an incentive-based plan design, encouraging participants to access the highest quality providers and facilities.
This is a winning strategy: Cost and quality have an inverse relationship in healthcare; focusing on steerage to the highest quality will lead to lower costs. Enhancing an employer’s value proportion improves recruitment and retention of great employees.
Most flyers would rather take a direct flight vs. having a layover. Why? It’s more efficient, and often cheaper!
Using an employer’s data can help build a direct contracting relationship with a local provider or facility, which allows you to waive the OOP cost for that member while creating a more advantageous situation for that provider or facility. Average health plans have a $1,669 deductible while the average U.S. employee has less than one month’s rent in their bank account. This creates a challenge for both the facility and member.
Using the data can help you frame out the value of a direct relationship with the facility to create a situation where each of these three stakeholders benefits. Employees get free healthcare, the employer saves money and the facility does not have to chase any OOP costs. Everyone wins, but only if you start with data.
So, would you let a pilot fly blind? Of course not! Then why are you guiding employer clients with little to no data? This single advancement in your agency can add tremendous value for your clients and their employees, while also allowing you to demonstrate why you are different. A data-driven approach will produce significantly better results and allow them to provide their No. 1 asset, their employees, a better benefits program for less cost.
The Only Thing That Will Change is Your Bottom Line
Worker’s Compensation is a critical business issue. If you haven’t thought much about it, chances are it’s costing you too much – and if an incident happens, it can cost you a lot more.
KeyHR will work on your behalf in dealing with premiums, claims, regulators and injured workers to ensure the best possible outcomes for your business, your employees, and your bottom line.
Let us help you eliminate surcharges, premium deposits, audits, modifiers and sometimes down payment & lower overall workers’ compensation cost in all facets of coverage.
Our PEO Services offered include:
- Workers’ Compensation
- Human Resources
- Risk Management
To get more information on a PEO click here: http://keyhro.com/peo
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This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.
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- On April 19, 2022
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