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Barb Rand

Recent Posts by Barb Rand:

EEOC Issues [Somewhat] Clearer Rules for Wellness Programs

BARB RAND
Compliance Advisor at HNI

The EEOC recently issued new proposed rules regarding non-discrimination requirements for wellness programs. 

If the proposed rules are adopted, the standards for non-discrimination held by various federal agencies/statutes will be better aligned and there will be opportunities for additional wellness program innovation without the threat of federal penalties. However, there remain areas where compliance requirements are unclear or conflict with one another. 

Topics: HR / Employee Benefits

Freezing Credit: Advising Affected Employees After the Anthem Breach

BARB RAND
HNI Compliance Advisor

The personal information of millions was compromised by the recent privacy attack on insurance carrier Anthem. Anthem has created a website dedicated to providing information about the cyber attack; click here to check out AnthemFacts.com.

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing

ACA Employer Reporting Requirements for 6055 & 6056: Finalized Forms Released

BARB RAND
HNI Compliance Advisor

The final versions of the forms and instructions for ACA employer reporting requirements now are available.

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits

6 Steps to Prep for 6055 & 6056 ACA Employer Reporting Requirements

BARB RAND
HNI Compliance Advisor

The IRC Section 6055 and 6056 reporting requirements, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, are putting employers' data-management skills to the test.

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits

A Crash Course in 6055 and 6056 Reporting on Your Benefits

BARB RAND
HNI Compliance Advisor

Some employers are facing two new reporting requirements this year mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits

5 Essential Tips for Creating and Signing Contracts

BARB RAND
Compliance Advisor 

Being capable and confident in the process of creating and signing contracts is essential for all business owners. You know a lot about your business, but you may feel intimidated by the ins and outs of a legal agreement.

Relax (well, not too much, because there is a lot at stake!) mastering contracts is within your grasp! The following tips will put you and your company on solid ground with every contract that comes across your desk:

1.) Get Each and Every Contract in Writing

This almost goes without saying… almost. While verbal agreements technically are legally binding, you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where the future of your company is riding on a “he-said-she-said” legal dispute.

Legal battles are costly and time-consuming — and they get even more expensive in the absence of a formal contract. Once you have a strong contract created, you can use it as a template for future agreements and cut down on the time this process takes. 

2.) Call in the Big Guns if Necessary

If your contract is very large in scope or has significant risks associated with it, get a lawyer to help navigate the fine print. For important transactions, consider the potential consequences and whether it is worth making the investment in outside help. (Heck, it could be worth your peace of mind!)

3.) KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid

Legalese is rarely necessary. Drawing up contracts in plain English that you and your business partners and customers understand will make the process less stressful for everyone. And it will make it easier to catch any gaps in the arrangement.

This commitment to open and clear communication goes a long way toward improving relationships. Transparency, in the form of simple language, builds trust.

4.) Have an Escape Plan

While it’s not fun to think about when you’re in the “honeymoon” stage of signing a new client or deal, there is always the possibility that agreements won’t go as planned. (There's a good chance they're thinking about this, too, so don't feel too bad.)

When a deal sours, you'll be looking for a way to legally exit the relationship with minimal pain and expense. In customer agreements, you also should consider including a clause on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to keep disputes out of court.

On the flip side, if the deal turns out better than expected and you want to extend it, it's smart to include renewal options, price guarantees, and other such protection language in the original document.

5.) Do Your Homework

The process of creating and signing contracts can be intimidating. It is important to continually educate yourself about what to do and what to look for in your arrangements.

Build a contract cheat sheet of legal terms. Lean on a trusted legal advisor who can cut through jargon. Review the sort of deals you regularly make and develop boilerplate contracts. Pay attention to legal disputes and decisions in your industry. These tactics are empowering and will save you headaches in the future!

What's your favorite contract tip? Have any "wish I would have known" stories to share? Please sound off in comments!

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Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing

Latest IRS Forms Add to Health Care Reform Requirements for Employers

BARB RAND
Compliance Advisor

There are two more health care reform requirements for employers to be aware of: IRC Section 6055 and IRC Section 6065. (IRC stands for Internal Revenue Code.) These filings aren't due until the beginning of 2016 (for coverage offered in 2015), but collecting the data you need to complete the forms will require some legwork that you can prepare for now by implementing new processes or HR technology.

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits

Don't Get Busted with 'Guilty' Incentive Based Wellness Programs

BARB RAND
Compliance Advisor

Getting in trouble with the law is pretty much the last thing on someone’s mind when starting a wellness program, right? Of course!

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits

What Employers Should Know About the Ruling on the Obamacare Health Insurance Subsidy

BARB RAND
Compliance Advisor

An appeals court ruling this week on who gets an Obamacare health insurance subsidy could have a significant impact on employers — if the decision withstands the inevitable challenges from the Obama administration.

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits

Compliance Alert for Employers: New Look for 2 COBRA Notices

BARB RAND
Compliance Advisor

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently put together some FAQs related to the Affordable Care Act, along with offering new model COBRA notices. The Feds changed the COBRA general notice, which is provided when someone is initially covered, and the COBRA election notice, which is given to participants who experience a COBRA-qualifying event.

Topics: Construction Transportation Safety / Compliance Manufacturing