Generational Workforce

By Brittany Wilkey – Employco Human Resources

With the average age of retirement slowly increasing – whether due to financial needs, personal reasons, or simply because the average lifespan is also increasing – it isn’t uncommon to see organizations employing four to five generations at the same time.  Managing and recruiting such an extensive range of age groups can be difficult, but understanding a little bit about the wants and needs of each group can help both employers and employees maintain a cohesive workplace. Continue reading

Grieving Employees

Did you know that the average time an organization provides to employees for bereavement leave is 4-7 days, though the actual grieving process can take two years or more? Grief impacts not only the employee, but also the rest of the organization, as productivity and workplace relationships can also suffer when an employee is dealing with loss.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help an employee cope with the grieving process:

  • As part of Employco’s group insurance, UnitedHealthcare offers participants access to their Employee Assistance Program, which can help employees receive free counseling.
  • We can provide group training sessions for employees and/or your management team on how to respond when an employee is coping with loss.

Employco can also help you by going over the different options for making bereavement leave or general policy adjustments at your organization.

Worker’s Compensation

Effective August 10, 2016, some employers – particularly those in high-hazard industries – will be required to submit electronic forms providing details on workplace injuries for publication on OSHA’s website. Additionally, OSHA released new guidelines regarding post-incident drug testing requirements, hoping to increase injury reporting by lowering employees’ fear of retaliation.

Coincidentally, Travelers recently released data compiling the top 5 workplace injuries over the last 5 years. Those injuries include:

  1. Strains and Sprains (30%)
  2. Cuts or punctures (19%)
  3. Contusions (12%)
  4. Inflammation (5%)
  5. Fractures (5%)

Approximately 32% of the top injuries are caused by material handling, such as lifting or carrying, and 16% are caused by slips, trips, or falls. Knowing the top injuries, as well as the causes, can help organizations better train employees on how to avoid injuries. For assistance with training or OSHA compliance, please contact Employco.

Cost of Healthcare

Question: What do a 2016 Ford Escape and the annual cost of family healthcare have in common? They’re both $25,000!

A recent Milliman healthcare study found that the cost of healthcare for a typical American family of four covered by an average employer-sponsored PPO medical plan is $25,826 per year.

Milliman’s Key Findings:

  • The cost has more than tripled since its value of $8,414 in 2001
  • This year’s increase (4.7%) is the lowest rate since 2001, but is still well above the average increase in household income
  • Prescription drugs is the most rapidly growing component

Employee benefits programs, such as group medical plans, are an important component of Employco’s overall portfolio that helps to level the playing field for our clients. Using our large volume buying power to negotiate with benefit providers, we offer a benefits package that allows clients to compete with large corporations. Please let us know if you have any questions about employee benefit plans, including the plans provided in Employco’s portfolio.

Transgender Equality

It has been a little over one year since Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, announced a change to her name and appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair.

With only around 0.3% – 3.0% of the U.S. adult population identified as transgender, employers may mistakenly believe that it’s not an issue worth their time. However, since the transgender population and legal compliance issues are growing, proactive employers are preparing for a transgender workforce.

Legislative Guidance:

  • Transgender employee discrimination is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and under several state laws.
  • OSHA and the Department of Labor released a “Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers” that requires companies to allow their employees to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

Recommendations:

  • Modify your employee handbook, policies and training to include transgender in the list of protected classes
  • Engage transgender employees in an “interactive process” to discuss their preference on the use of bathrooms, name, email address, pronouns and company announcement, if any

To listen to Employco’s recent podcast on transgender equality in the workplace, please click here. Contact us for help with your employee handbook, policies or employee training.