HHS Releases Bulletin that Extends Grandmothered Plans Through 2020
As background, in the fall of 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a transitional relief program that allowed state insurance departments to permit early renewal at the end of 2013 of individual and small group policies that do not meet the “market reform” requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and for the policies to remain in force until their new renewal date in late 2014.
Ready to Spark Joy in Your Office?
The hit Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has set off a wave of house organization, purging, and general tidying. Many thrift stores and donation centers report being overwhelmed with bags and boxes of items recently filling American’s homes. What, though, of the workplace? Should a similar wave of de-cluttering and cleaning be happening at desks and in cubicles across the country?
Practical Tips for Structuring Compliant Wellness Programs that Include Premium Incentives
This webinar will help employers understand how to structure wellness programs that include premium incentives.
Breaking the Silence to Improve Behavioral Health Conditions
Millions of Americans struggle with mental health and substance use (alcohol or drug) conditions, but often don't get the proper treatment or support they need.

EEO-1 Filing Deadline Has Been Extended!

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has extended the deadline for employers to submit EEO-1 Reports for 2018. The reports are now due by May 31, 2019.

What is the EEO-1 Report?

The EEO-1 Report is a federally mandated survey that collects workforce data from employers. The data is categorized by race, ethnicity, sex and job category. The EEOC uses this information to enforce federal prohibitions against employment discrimination and discriminatory pay practices.

The EEO-1 Report is an annual survey required under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act (Title VII). Under the law, employers with 100 or more employees and certain federal contractors must use the EEO-1 Online Filing System to submit employment data by March 31 every year. The EEOC extended the 2019 deadline because the federal government shutdown delayed the online system’s opening for 2018 reports. The EEOC expects the system to become available for 2018 submissions in early March 2019. 

What’s Next?

Employers should monitor the EEO-1 website for more information about EEO-1 filing requirements and about when the filing system will be open for 2018 Reports. In the meantime, employers filing EEO-1 Reports for the first time should register to receive a company login, password and further instructions from the EEOC.

If the preparation or filing of an EEO-1 Report would create undue hardship, an employer may send a written request for an exemption or for special reporting procedures to the EEOC. Employers may also obtain a one-time, 30-day extension of the EEO-1 filing deadline by emailing a request to the EEOC.

BLS Data on Worker Access to Family Leave in 2018 Now Available

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released a The Economics Daily (TED) report on civilian access to paid and unpaid family leave in 2018. These statistics provide insight into family leave benefits trends across the country. For this report, family leave included leave to care for family members, maternity and paternity leave.

Paid Family Leave Access

In March 2018, 16 percent of workers in the private sector and 17 percent of civilian workers had access to paid family leave. In the public sector, 25 percent of state and local government workers had access to this type of leave. Leave access varied by the size of the employer.

Unpaid Family Leave Access

In March 2018, 89 percent of civilian workers and 88 percent of private sector employees had access to unpaid family leave. Ninety-four percent of state and local government workers had access to this type of leave. As with paid family leave, access to leave varied by employer size.

For access to the BLS data, click here.

The Key to Employee Engagement

According to a Gallup poll, 70 percent of U.S. workers aren’t engaged at work. This statistic should alarm employers across the country, as low engagement means employees are not committed to their own success in the workplace, let alone the organization’s.

Investing in employee engagement might seem unjustifiable for a business that is focused solely on profits, as it might not recognize the benefits of engaged employees. One simple and cost-effective way that you can improve employee engagement at your organization is by improving and expanding your communications strategies.

Typical benefits and workplace communications can be bland and difficult to understand, but they don’t have to be. The key messages for each topic in an effective communications plan should be simple, relatable and actionable—and presented in a variety of content formats that you can use to communicate through multiple channels.

By implementing a multichannel communication strategy, where you use posters, emails, flyers and videos to communicate company and benefits information, your message will reach more employees. This will help employees feel more informed about your company, which, in turn, will improve their workplace engagement.

For more information on multichannel employee communications, contact Arista!

8 Ways to Better Time Management

Feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? It might sound strange, but you might want to slow your pace. When we try to operate at warp speed, we sometimes make more mistakes and often feel more stress.

Check out these tips to make the most of your time without pushing yourself too hard.

1. Log your time.

Take a week to track how you spend most of your time at home and at work. In particular, pay attention to time spent on social media and recreational screen time such as video games, TV and web video. The average Facebook user spends 20 minutes per day on the site. That can add up. At work, look at how much of your time is focused on dealing with email vs. getting things done.

2. Set limits.

Once you know where you’re spending your time, set limits for yourself. Look for apps that can let you set time limits for certain online activities. Or just use a timer to limit time writing emails or using social media.

3. Make clear goals.

Give yourself an easy way to set and track goals and tasks. Whether you have an online planner or just a written to-do list, update it every day.

4. Use your calendar.

Whenever you take on a new project, try to think right away about how long it will take and when you can spend that time. If you use a calendar like Outlook, schedule time to work on projects in advance.

5. Be mindful.

Practicing mindfulness can help you become more aware of how you are spending your time. And some research shows mindfulness can actually extend your perception of time as it passes.

6. Learn to say no.

For some of us, this can be really hard. If you care about your job, you want to please your co-workers and managers. So pushing back about a task can be difficult. But if a project or task is going to really overextend you, it’s worth having a conversation with your manager about your time. Likewise, in your personal life consider your time before committing to projects.

7. Find your focus.

Interruptions can disrupt your concentration. When you really need to concentrate on something, try to get yourself away from distractions, turn off any notifications and put away your phone.

8. Ask for help.

This can be another hard one for certain people. But sometimes a task or project might be easier for someone else at a given time. If you’re asking for help, be respectful and if possible offer to reciprocate if you can.