Trucking companies are planning to make employees contribute more to health-care plans, implement wellness plans and take other steps in response to the Affordable Care Act, Transport Capital Partners said.
Only 8% of carriers said the law will not change their business.
Citing its August survey, TCP said wellness programs, health-savings accounts and using more independent contractors have become increasingly popular responses to ACA since the group first conducted the carrier survey in 2011.
Small carriers were more likely to report adverse effects from the health-care law than large carriers, with 30% of small companies considering dropping health-care coverage for employees compared with 10% of large carriers.
”Smaller carriers are at a disadvantage to find and retain drivers if they cannot compete with the health packages offered by larger carriers,”
TCP Partner Richard Mikes said in an Oct. 1 statement that announced the report.
The health-care law, also known as Obamacare, will require most companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance to workers.
By Transport Topics
We recently came across an interesting article that touches on the many challenges that fleet operators face today. In the article it stated that todays employee/employer environment is a “plaintiff attorney’s bonanza”. Any employee can sue their employer for whatever reason, whether it is justified or not, and the company has to defend. In addition, there were statistics about the EEOC and how they are attacking the trucking industry. There have been recent landmark decisions where:
- A trucking company beats an EEOC claim, and;
- The judge criticizes the EEOC, but;
- Millions of dollars are spent in the legal defense
What is wrong with this picture and how can a small to medium size company navigate EEOC compliance and regulatory compliance while still facing the day-to-day challenges of drivers, DOT compliance, hours of service, fuel increases, etc? The answer…these companies need to be able to employ the same tools and advantages that larger companies have. How does your company do that?
Outsource as many functions as you can especially those that could have a financial impact that would damage your business.
There are programs that small to medium size companies can implement to mitigate or eliminate these risks. The first would be to engage a partner that can take on many of the challenges small to medium size companies face and not all are the same;
- Choose a financially secure partner
- A majority of their business is in transportation, and;
- They have a proven track record
Look at the core services they offer and match them to your needs such as:
- Human Resources Administration
- CSA and DOT support and compliance
- EEOC compliance
- Safety, recruiting, and retention
- Appropriate employee discharge procedures
- Worker’s Compensation and claims administration
- Legal compliance and employee issues
- Unemployment claims
- State Department of Labor claims
- Wage garnishments
- Federal wage and hour claims
- IRS payroll audits, and;
- Wrongful termination actions etc.
- The right partner puts your employees on their payroll but you still have complete control, but;
- They become the legal W2 employer, and;
- As such, they provide a layer of insulation from regulatory compliance issues as well as claims;
That doesn’t mean your exposure is eliminated but it does mean that you now have access to professionals that are much more experienced in labor relations, employee issues, CSA compliance, OSHA, etc. Plus it frees a company to focus on their business; increasing profitability and reducing operating expenses. It also offers the benefits of Affordable Care Act compliant health insurance and Worker’s Compensation insurance at a lower cost. In reference to the DOT and CSA compliance, you will have “experts” on your team to help navigate the complex world of compliance. Not to mention the recent hours of service changes. If you are with the right partner, you will have access to a safety team that can compete with any of the larger companies including providing training, meaningful safety meetings, mock audits, etc., and will monitor your drivers to ensure the things that should be done. In addition, each time an employee is hired or terminated, the burden of liability is on your outsource partner to properly hire and discipline the employees.
In essence, a company utilizing this type of service has access through their partner to safety and recruiting resources, insurance, and human resources departments including a great labor lawyer.
In closing, anyone that is keeping up with the news knows that we are in unchartered waters with respect to employee liabilities. Employees are filing lawsuits at will, and the expense is not coming out of their pocket because attorneys are willing to take a percentage of the settlement. Whether you have considered an outsourcing partner or not, you must understand the importance of having a paper trail when that employee lawsuit hits your desk, and hopefully you have an experienced attorney that can guide you in these matters.
- Posted by jhudson
- On October 31, 2013
- 0 Comments