12 Ways to make Your in 2014! Table of Contents 12 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR AGENCYTHRIVE IN 2014! ................ 1 101 TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR WEB PRESENCE ..................................... 3 HOW TO CLAIM YOUR FREE GOOGLE+ LOCAL MOBILE LISTING . 3 HOW TO USE FACEBOOK FOR BUSINESS ...................................... 4 HOW TO CREATE M ARKETING VIDEOS .......................................... 4 7 QUESTIONS EVERY EMPLOYER WILL HAVE TO ANSWER ................... 6 SETTING REALISTIC GOALS FOR CSRS & PRODUCERS ..................... 8 ULTIMATE AUTO INSURANCE GUIDE 8 SPECIALTY BUSINESS CARDS FOR EVERY EMPLOYEE .......................... 8 UNDERSTANDING THE INSURANCE NEEDS OF SMALL BUSINESS ......... 10 HOW TO GET RICH IN YOUR NICHE 12 HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE ACA CONFUSION.................................. 12 HOW TO EVALUATE, BUY OR SELL AN INSURANCE AGENCY ............... 14 INDEPENDENT AGENT’S TOOL BOX14 FREE EMPLOYEE TIME CLOCK ...... 14
The 12 Days of Christmas, contrary to much popular belief, are not the twelve days before Christmas, but are the twelve days from Christmas until the 3 Wise Men arrived to present gifts to the baby Jesus. But at AccuAuto, the 12 Days of Christmas Freebies starts on December 13 and ends on Christmas Eve! Throughout the year we gather booklets and free software that can make your agency more efficient and more profitable. We will be posting our Top 12 Christmas Freebies for you on our Facebook Page at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA. Get the Free Password by registering for the 12 Ways to make Your http://12ways.eventbrite.com.
Employee / Employer Day 5: 7 Questions Every Employer will have to answer Day 6: Setting Realistic Goals for CSRs & Producers Day 7: Ultimate Auto Insurance Guide Day 8: Understanding the Insurance Needs of Small Business
Agency Management Day 9: How to Get Rich in Your Niche Day 10: How to Profit from the ACA Confusion Day 11: How to Evaluate, Buy or Sell an Insurance Agency Day 12: Independent Agent’s Tool Box
Marketing Day 1: A Guide to Creating a Digital Presence Day 2: How to Claim Your Free Google+ Local Mobile Listing Day 3: How to use Facebook for Business Day 4: How to Create Marketing Videos Page 1
Continued on page 3
Solutions for Very Hard-to-Place Risks An Excess and Surplus Lines Carrier 1-800-257-5590 www.primeis.com
How to Claim Your Free Google+ Local Mobile Listing “On
gave to me … A 31-page Booklet that can show you how to increase your online listing for free.” Available at December 14th
Marketing “On the First Day of Christmas, gave to me … 101 Tips that can help improve your online visibility.” www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA
A few years ago Google brought the World Wide Web into your back yard. They realized that folks were using the web to find local businesses. So Google now displays the top listings in whatever region searched. Properly optimized local search results are placed ahead of the ones that normally appeared at the top of the page. It didn’t take Yahoo and Bing too long to get on the same bandwagon.
101 Tips for Improving Your Web Presence
Available at th December 13
Try it and see what comes up. Go to your favorite search engine and type “insurance your city, state”. Did your agency show up on the first page? If not, your potential clients did not see it either.
How can your phone ring if they can’t find you or even know you exist?
Local Search is the new Yellow Pages. Speaking of Yellow Pages … What do you do with the Yellow Page book that is delivered to your office? If it’s not used for its original purpose, why not save a tree and stop the delivery?
Get the Free Password by registering for the 12 Ways to make Your http://12ways.eventbrite.com.
Link: www.YellowPagesOptOut.com Texas Connection
Continued on page 4 Page 3
How to use Facebook for Business
How to Create Marketing Videos “On
“On the Third Day of Christmas, gave to me …
gave to me …
A Guide for your Biz to use FB.” Available at December 15th
Promotional Videos for all the world to see.” on
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on December 16th
Increase “direct traffic” to the company’s website
Educate people about a product line
Develop a brand and communicate the company’s culture
Build inbound links to the company’s website
Recruit new employees
Demonstrate a diverse customer base
Build credibility with testimonials
Get the Free Password by registering for the 12 Ways to make Your http://12ways.eventbrite.com.
Continued on page 6
Premium Insurance Agency Website
Web Marketing Service
$35/month, $99 setup fee
$495 setup, $100/month
• Service descriptions • Online payment links • Contact info, contact form and location map • Up to 15 pages • Agency blog • Insurance information videos • Custom QR Codes • Links to social media and review sites to build your online reputation • Online quote forms • Agency staff photos and individual contact info • Optimized for mobile devices
• Create agency business listings for visibility with more than 10 of the biggest listing and social media sites: Facebook Business Page Twitter for Business Account Google Places Listing Bing Listing Yahoo Listing Yelp! Business Listing CitySearch Listing …and more! • Independent Agency blog for inclusion in your agency website Professional content added regularly Make your site interesting to customers, potential customers, and search engines • Inclusion as preferred agent in our online directory listing of local agents • Basic monthly analysis of online presence • Setup and monitoring of Google Ad Word campaigns based on a budget you specify
Elite Insurance Agency Website
Web Consultant Service
$60/month, $99 setup fee
$1995 setup, $250/month
• Includes all the features of the Premium Insurance Agency Website, PLUS: • Up to 30 pages of content • Custom design services for a unique look • Custom submission forms for your preferred lines • Online chat • Insurance Glossary • Multi-location interactive maps • Regular changes by our staff upon request • Optimized for mobile devices
AgencyThrive - Insurance Agency Internet Marketing & Social Media
Includes all the features of the Web Marketing Service, PLUS SO MUCH MORE: Elite Website included with Instant Auto Quote (where available) Weekly updates of Social media sites Includes Google Adwords campaign (no additional click charges) Monthly email blast to your customers upon request Monitoring of online reviews to protect your reputation Detailed monthly analysis of online presence Preferred placement on our directory listing site of local agents Monthly action plan to increase traffic and sales
• Managed Care • How to Choose the Right Insurance Plan Chapter 3: What Benefits Can I Offer to Attract and Retain Talented Employees? In this chapter, you will learn about: • The Traits the Best Employees Share • New Trends in Recruitment and Retention
Employee / Employer
• Rewards for Exceptional Performance • Types of Employee Benefits
“On the Fifth Day of Christmas, gave to me … What You Employee.”
Chapter 4: Making Benefits More Affordable You
In this chapter, you will learn about: • Health-Care Reform
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on December 17th
• Section 125 Plans • 401(k) Retirement Plans • Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) Chapter 5: How Do I Pay Employees Accurately and Handle Deposits, Returns, and Taxes? In this chapter, you will learn about: • Employee vs. Independent Contractor Classification • Paying Employees • Employee-Paid Taxes • Employer Tax Deposits • Tax Returns Chapter 6: How Do I Handle Employee Garnishments and Child Support? In this chapter, you will learn about: • Wage Garnishment • Employee Garnishment • Child Support
7 Questions Every Employer will have to answer
• Garnishments and Payroll
Chapter 1: What Do I Need to Know About Classification, Compensation, and Overtime Rules?
Chapter 7: What Do I Need to Know About Terminating Employees?
In this chapter, you will learn about:
In this chapter, you will learn about:
• The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
• Protecting the Company
• Employee Classifications
• Progressive Discipline
• Minimizing Pain for the Terminated Employee
• Regular and Overtime Rates
Get the Free Password by registering for the 12
Chapter 2: What Insurance Do I Need?
Ways to make Your http://12ways.eventbrite.com.
In this chapter, you will learn about: • Health and Health-Related Insurance
Continued on page 8
• Property and Casualty Insurance Texas Connection
“On the Sixth Day of Christmas, gave to me …
“On the Seventh Day of Christmas, gave to me …
“Tips on Setting Goals for an Employee.”
The Ultimate Quote Guide called M.O.P.F.I.”
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on December 18th
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on December 19th
Setting Realistic Goals for CSRs & Producers
Ultimate Auto Insurance Guide
So the next time y’all are sitting around waiting … and waiting … for the phone to ring, use some of that time to hammer out a list of target markets. There’s an old saying that “Birds of a feather flock together”. It is so true in our policyholders. Motorcycle policyholders hang out with other motorcycle enthusiast. Apartment dwellers swap stories with their neighbors. Construction workers start their days at Waffle House. Trick question: who in your office is the salesperson? Answer: Everyone!
So everyone should have business cards. And everyone should have business cards that specifically promote the lines that you have chosen to target market.
I’ll show you how to get FREE Specialty Business Cards for everyone in your office in the December th 18 Video.
The hardest part of creating a specifically targeted marketing program is figuring out just what markets you wish to target. Texas Connection
Continued on page 10 Page 8
LEADING THE WAY IN TODAY’S PERSONAL AUTO MARKET It takes drive, determination, and skill to win in one of the world’s most competitive racing series. These are the same attributes that have made GAINSCO one of the fastest growing insurers in today’s non-standard market. In addition to outstanding service, competitive rates, and an intuitive web site, we offer claims and customer service in Spanish and English. Call or go online today to learn more and apply to become an authorized GAINSCO agent.
COMPETITIVE RATES & LOW DOWNPAYMENTS
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
BILINGUAL CUSTOMER SERVICE
ONLINE ENDORSEMENTS & REINSTATEMENTS
AGENCY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS
Who Regulates Insurance?
What Is Risk Management?
a Training Guide for a Business Policy.”
Risk Management Requires Leadership
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on th December 20
Resources For Risk Management
Loss Control And Insurance
Understanding the Insurance Needs of Small Business
Preventing Fire Losses
Reducing Vulnerability To Theft
Controlling Liability Risks
Managing Product Liability Risks
Risk Management For Information Technology
Reducing Motor Vehicle Risks
Insurance For Artisan Contractors
Insurance For Business Offices
Insurance For Business Offices
Insurance For Construction Contractors
Insurance For Farms And Ranches
Insurance For Food Service Businesses
Insurance For Home-Based Businesses
Insurance For Small Lodging Businesses
Insurance For Small Manufacturers
Insurance For Nonprofit Organizations
Insurance For A Professional Practice
Insurance For Real Estate Businesses
Insurance For Small Retail Stores
Insurance For Service Businesses
Role Of Property Insurance
Business Vehicle Insurance
Workers Compensation Insurance
gave to me …
BUSINESS INSURANCE INFORMATION The success of a business, whether it's a tiny enterprise run out of a basement or a large corporation, is largely dependent on hard work and ingenuity. However, no matter how industrious you are, one disaster can wipe out all your profits and even destroy your business. The key to making sure that all the effort and money you have invested in a business doesn't disappear when a disaster strikes is to protect it with the appropriate insurance. TABLE OF CONTENTS
What Insurance Should My Business Have?
Insurance For A Home-Based Or Very Small Business
Other Types Of Policies You May Need
Should I Buy A Package Policy?
What Is A Businessowners Policy (BOP)
How Much Insurance Do I Need?
How Can I Keep Premiums Down?
Working With Your Agent Texas Connection
Get the Free Password by registering for the 12 Ways to make Your http://12ways.eventbrite.com.
Continued on page 12
Agency Management “On the Tenth Day of Christmas, gave to me …
“On the Ninth Day of Christmas, gave to me … Targeted Marketing that’s so easy!”
A free way for referrals to come to me!”
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on st December 21
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on nd December 22 How to Profit from the ACA Confusion
How to Get Rich in Your Niche
Free E-mail Marketing Software Are you thinking of getting on board the Social Media Machine? Are you thinking about doing some online marketing in 2014? In many offices, Agents are being proactive and contacting their renewals ahead of time. A personal phone call is the best way to reach out and “touch” your client but if you don’t have the time or personnel to do that, why not consider sending an email or postcard? You haven’t been harvesting email addresses from your clients? Don’t worry…it’s only a fad. Seriously, today’s a good day to start collecting email addresses.
Get Rich in Your Niche U.S. Census Bureau is your source for population, housing, economic, and geographic data by city / town / county/ zip code. It will help you zero in on your niche! For example, I just checked and found that 30093 (Norcross, Gwinnett County, GA) has a 29.3% Hispanic population and 60.2% of the population in 30093 lives in apartments. If my niche was Hispanic population, that’s where I would concentrate my marketing strategy. http://factfinder.census.gov Texas Connection
Send a “thank you” email later in the day to folks who purchased (or renewed) a policy in your office. In the brief email, remind the client of how much they saved and reinforce the fact that your agency is there for them if they have any other insurance needs. Be sure to suggest the client forward the email to friends and family members they think might appreciate saving on their insurance. But don’t just send a plain e-mail. Jazz it up by using the templates in one or both of the free Online th Marketing Tools I’ll show you in the December 19 webinar. Continued on page 14
Check it out at www.SehMobile.com
gave to me …
“On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, gave to me …
Guidelines on How to Sell My Agency!”
The Best Ways to make More Money!”
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on rd December 23
Available at www.Facebook.com/TexasPIA on th December 24
How to Evaluate, Buy or Sell an Insurance Agency
Independent Agent’s Tool Box
Free Employee Time Clock Do you monitor employees’ hours?
How about a program that can also calculate hourly pay and keep track of overtime? Lastly, do you want it to be affordable? AccuAgents has your solution. This is a free time clock program that you can set up at your office. All you need is a computer to run it. You can set up to three employee accounts with the free edition. Each one can clock in and out as needed. You can set hourly rates for each employee and even make adjustments if mistakes occur. th
I’ll show it to you in the December 24 video. Get the Free Password by registering for the 12 Ways to make Your http://12ways.eventbrite.com.
A Service of your Agent and...
National Association of Professional Insurance Agents
lders’ rance policyho su in d o o fl y n on man ency ers the questio r use in your ag fo sw r an ye r fl ye is fl th d te ad -orien u can downlo : This consumer increasing?” Yo m ortcenter. iu m PIA Members re p ce om/floodsupp insuran .c d et o n o ia fl .p y w m w is w y minds, “Wh in required): e (member log er h te si eb w ’s from PIA
Why is my flood insurance premium increasing? E
ven though you purchase your insurance through an independent agent, your flood insurance is written by a federal entity called the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In July 2012, Congress passed laws that made major reforms to the NFIP. As such, rates are likely to increase to reflect the true flood risk of your property and many premium discounts that you may have received are being eliminated.
Does this affect me? Below are some of the most common reasons your premium may increase: • Change of ownership on the insured property • Lapse in flood insurance coverage • Increased risk of flood damage to property • Substantial damage to the insured property • Major improvements to the property
What types of premium discounts are being removed? The NFIP is taking immediate action to eliminate a variety of premium discounts. These include discounts for: • Non-primary residences • Severe Repetitive Loss properties (residential properties that have had four NFIP claim payments over $5,000 in which at least two payments exceed the market value of the building) • Business properties • Properties that have incurred major flood damage
Did You Know? • Floods happen in all 50 states and everyone lives in a flood zone • Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage • Floods are the #1 most common natural disaster in the United States • The average flood insurance claim is more than $35,000
Is there a way to save money and be properly insured? The best thing you can do is talk to your professional independent insurance agent about your coverage options and let them find solutions that fit your needs. Their knowledge and professionalism is your greatest asset.
Test Your Holiday Pay IQ – When to Pay, What to Pay Q&A By Robin Thomas, Managing Editor Do you know the answers to these common holiday pay questions, starting with do you have to provide paid holidays? What about for new employees? And if you require employees to work on holidays, do you have to pay overtime to those employees? Find out the answer to these common holiday pay questions. Q: We generally have provided paid holidays in the past, but do not have a formal policy and would like to put one in place. Are we required to provide paid holidays, and can we require new employees to complete an introductory period before becoming eligible? Also, can we require employees to work on holidays, and if so do we have to pay them overtime? A: Interestingly, absent a collective bargaining agreement or other contract providing paid holidays, federal law does not require you to pay nonexempt employees for holidays that they do not work. Most organizations, though, do offer a limited number of paid holidays to create employee goodwill. According to the Society for Human Resource Management 2013 Benefits Survey, 97% of responding employers provide paid holidays to their employees. (Download free Holidays model policy including HR best practices and legal background .) Regarding new employees, you most likely can exclude them from holiday pay during the introductory period. As with paid holidays generally, if there is no collective bargaining agreement or other contract specifying that new employees are eligible for holiday pay, then it is up to your organization’s policy. Many employers exclude new employees from certain benefits granted to longer-term employees until completion of the introductory period (typically three months). However, new exempt employees should not be covered by this policy and should receive pay for holidays even if they have not completed the introductory period. (As a reminder, the Department of Labor (DOL) regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provide that the following categories of employees are exempt from the overtime and minimum wage requirements of the FLSA: (1) bona fide administrative, executive, or professional employees; (2) workers employed in outside sales; (3) highly skilled computer-related employees; and (4) certain “highly-compensated” employees.) Although the DOL regulations implementing the FLSA do not specifically address unpaid holidays, they do provide that an employee will not be considered paid “on a salary basis” if deductions are made “for absences occasioned by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business.” Unpaid holidays generally are considered the type of absence “occasioned by the employer.” Texas Connection
According to a DOL Wage & Hour Opinion Letter dated 5/27/99, the DOL indicated that an employee will not be considered to be paid on a salary basis if deductions from the employee’s predetermined compensation are made for absences occasioned by the employer, such as being closed on certain holidays, or the operating requirements of the business. Further, the regulations recognize only a limited number of instances when an employer may make deductions (or “dock”) for absences of a full day or more without jeopardizing the exemption and thus incurring overtime liability. But, holidays do not fall under any of those exceptions, so exempt employees should be paid for those days. You also may require employees to work holidays according to the operating needs of the organization since paid holidays are a discretionary benefit (and assuming no collective bargaining agreement or other contract prohibits this work). We recommend that employers’ holiday policies should include language that indicates employees may be required to work on holidays. For example, our HR Matters Tools and Resource Center, Policy Manual, includes the following provision in the model Holiday policy in Chapter 503: “The Company may schedule work on an observed holiday as it considers necessary. Normally, work on an observed holiday will be paid as if the day were a regularly scheduled work day. Employees will be given the option of receiving additional pay for the day or a “floating” holiday that may be taken, with the prior approval of their supervisor, at another time during the year.” Note that you generally are not required to pay nonexempt employees overtime, or time and one-half, for holiday work unless the employee has already worked 40 hours in the week or to provide a paid floating holiday at a later point. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires you to pay overtime to nonexempt employees at time and one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours actually worked over 40 in a single workweek. Accordingly, you will owe nonexempt employees who work on holidays overtime only if the employees end up working more than 40 hours because they are working on the holiday. So, for example, if an employee has worked four 10hour days (40 hours) and then works on a designated holiday that same week, then the employee should receive overtime for all of the holiday work hours. But, if the employee works four 8-hour days (32 hours) and then works an additional eight hours on the holiday, for a total of 40 hours worked in the week, then that employee is not entitled to overtime for the holiday work hours. (Note, however, that a limited number of states, such as Rhode Island, require payment of at least time and one-half for employees who work on certain holidays, so be sure to check state law, too.)
Continued on page 18
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013 /09/23/fake-reviewscrackdown/2854963/?hq_e=el&hq_m=1617004&hq_l=1 4&hq_v=a744b6822b
Test Your Holiday Pay IQ Continued from page 16 As an aside, if you voluntarily pay a premium of time and one-half (the equivalent of overtime) for work on a holiday, the FLSA regulations generally allow you to credit this extra compensation towards any overtime that might actually be earned in the same week. (Download free Holidays model policy including HR best practices and legal background.) Similarly, if a nonexempt employee works 40 hours in a week and then takes a paid holiday, you do not owe the employee overtime if he has not actually worked over 40 in a single workweek. Thus, in calculating actual working hours for a nonexempt employee, you do not have to count any paid time off in the overtime calculation if the employee did not perform any work during the time off. So, even if a nonexempt employee works a full 40-hour workweek and also takes a day of paid holiday and is paid for 48 hours that week, the employee is not entitled to overtime pay since he did not actually work more than 40 hours in the workweek. YOU CAN TRUST PPS Information provided in HR Matters E-Tips is researched and reviewed by the HR experts at Personnel Policy Service as well as employment law attorneys. However, it is not intended as legal advice. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate legal or other professional advice.
GEICO Success Highlights Advertising Dollars vs. Agent Commissions Debate Direct writer GEICOâ€™s success in auto insurance sales is due to spending dollars on effective advertising rather than on agents, according to recent research from analysts at Nomura Equity Research, which notes that GEICO has overtaken Allstate to become the nationâ€™s second-biggest auto insurer while agency-writer Progressive is losing ground in the personal auto insurance race. Read the rest of the article at: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2013/ 10/22/308779.htm
The editorial content in Texas Connection is valuable information but as always you should do your own due diligence and evaluation. The content is meant to be for informational purposes only and does NOT warrant an endorsement by the Texas Professional Insurance Agents in any form or fashion
Interested in using an article from HR Matters E-Tips on your Web site or in a newsletter? Please contact Robin Thomas, Managing Editor of Personnel Policy Service, Inc., to request permission. You can contact her by email at email@example.com. Please note that the information in every issue of HR Matters E-Tips is the original, copyrighted work of Personnel Policy Service, Inc., and is protected under U.S. copyright laws. As such, you may not reprint or publish in any format any article or portion of article from HR Matters E-Tips without the express permission of Personnel Policy Service, Inc.
Undercover crackdown on phony online reviews Online reviews are getting to be an important part of your marketing strategy. More and more potential clients check you out online before they decide to do business with you. You should encourage your policyholders to post reviews. Some folks are taking a few shortcuts and paying for glowing reviews.
Use Facebook More Effectively with this Manual
Christmas Word Search Words associated with Christmas are hidden in the puzzle. Can you find them all? CARDS
Whether you’re new to Facebook or just want to use it more effectively for your business, this manual will help you learn to use some of the platform’s more advanced functions. It’s designed to help you optimize your business’s Facebook presence, show you how to set up and maintain your Page for success, and teach you how to use apps to build a powerful presence on Facebook. The Facebook Maintenance Manual includes: • How (and Why) to Convert a Facebook Profile to a Page • Facebook Admin View • How to Change a Page’s Name • Why It’s Important to Assign Admin Roles and Establish Rules • How to Choose Whether You Post as the Page or as Yourself • How to Customize Status Updates • Tips for Better Timeline Posts • How to Choose the App Provider that will Give Your Facebook Page Super Powers • How to Manage Your Timeline Apps • How to Make the most of Your Facebook Page’s Cover Photo • Facebook Maintenance Schedule th
I’ll give it to you in the December 15 video. Get the Free Password by registering for the 12 Ways to make Your http://12ways.eventbrite.com.
Letters to the Editor Want to comment on something you read in Texas Connection? Comments & Observations are welcome to be sent to eddie@PIATX.org. If you wish to remain anonymous, just say so. I have yet to betray a confidence. Bill Murrey sent this to me and suggested I pass it on. May I make the same suggestion to you …? Isn't it amazing that George Carlin - gross and mouthy comedian of the 70's and 80's – has been given credit for writing something so very eloquent ... and so very appropriate in these trying times?
A wonderful George Carlin:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes...... These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when Texas Connection
you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete. Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. HOW TO STAY YOUNG 1...... Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her. 2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. 3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil's workshop.” And the devil's name is Alzheimer's. 4. Enjoy the simple things. 5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. 6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. 7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever...... Your home is your refuge. 8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. 9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is. 10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. If you don't send this to at least 8 people.... who cares? ………….. Attributed to George Carlin
A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard & probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge. "We'd like to see the president," the man said softly. "He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped. "We'll wait," the lady replied. For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't, and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted. "Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they'll leave," she said to him! He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, and he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple. The lady told him, "We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus." The president wasn't touched. He was shocked.
"Madam," he said, gruffly, "we can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery." "Oh, no," the lady explained quickly. "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard." The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard." For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it cost to start a university? Why don't we just start our own? " Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the university that bears their name, Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about. You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them. ---- A TRUE STORY by Malcolm Forbes "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did." "But people will never forget how you made them feel."
Why Do Agency Management Systems Cost So Much? QuikFuzion asked the same question. After all…computers, hardware, software and broadband costs have all dropped over the years….so why do the agency management systems keep increasing in price? Let’s face it….some of the large agency management system vendors have been bought and sold so many times over the years, it’s really hard to keep track who really owns them anymore. Every time they are sold again, the new buyer wants to increase revenue. You guessed it! Just keep raising the prices to the agencies again. At what point, is enough is enough?
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policy including HR best practices and legal background.) You also are required to inform applicants and employees with seeing and reading disabilities of their rights under the various federal laws. Further, if you employ a significant number of employees whose primary language is not English you should consider posting notices in both English and any other language or languages commonly used by your workforce. If you have received advertisements from any of the many companies that provide compliance posters for a fee, you should note that the federal posters are available free of charge from the federal agencies referenced below. In addition, most states provide their posters at no cost as well, typically from the state department of labor or similar agency.
Do You Have the Right Workplace Posters? By Robin Thomas, Managing Editor
A useful tool that the federal Department of Labor (DOL) provides is the elaws FirstStep Poster Advisor, available online at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/posters.htm. This tool asks you a series of questions to determine your organization’s nature and size to help you determine what federal posters you should have in your workplace.
Just about every workplace is required to display several federal and local posters in order to comply with multiple employment laws. But, you don’t have to buy most of them. Find out which posters you need for your workplace, where you can get them, and where they should be placed.
Seven Federal Posting Requirements
If you are like most employers, you probably have bulletin boards that contain several official looking notices to your employees. But, are you sure you have all the right posters? Federal laws alone require you to post about a dozen different notices, though fortunately, many are provided as part of a consolidated poster. And states often require you to put up between two and six (and sometimes even more) notices in addition to the federal requirements. To help you comply with these posting requirements, HR Matters E-Tips has compiled a list of the federal posters required. In this week’s E-Tips, you will learn about the basic notice posting requirements and get a synopsis of seven federal laws’ that require posting. Next week’s E-Tips will address six more federal laws that require notices, one poster law on hold indefinitely, resources for state posters, and the consequences of failing to post the notices.
The following is a list of seven of thirteen federal laws describing the notices you must post and how to obtain copies of the posters. (The other six will be discussed in next week’s E-Tips.)
Poster Requirement Basics Many federal and state laws require you to post certain notices in the workplace that inform employees of their rights under the laws and direct them to the proper agency for further information and complaint procedures. These notices should be posted in conspicuous places on your premises where notices to employees and job applicants for employment are customarily posted (unless otherwise specified) and must be accessible to disabled individuals. Examples of “conspicuous places” include personnel offices, employee bulletin boards, employee break areas, and wherever else you normally post notices.
1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Title VII requires employers with 15 or more employees to post a notice stating that the employer may not discriminate in any aspect of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In addition, the notice should give the address of the enforcement agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to contact for further information or to file a complaint. The EEOC provides a free copy of a notice that meets Title VII’s posting requirements to all employers who request it, as does the Department of Labor (DOL). The notice consolidates into one poster all of the posting requirements of Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Executive Order No. 11246, the Rehabilitation Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, and the Equal Pay Act. Copies of the consolidated poster may be obtained from the DOL’s Web site at http://www.dol.gov/compliance/topics/posters.htm . Alternatively, you can obtain posters from the EEOC’s Web site at http://www1.eeoc.gov/employers/poster.cfm Continued on page 28
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The GINA’s notice requirements are incorporated into the consolidated poster provided by the DOL and EEOC. (See #1, above). 5. Executive Order No. 11246. The Executive Order requires employers with federal contracts of $10,000 or more to post a notice which states that the employer may not discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. In addition, the notice should state that the employer must take affirmative action to ensure that all applicants and employees receive “equality of opportunity.” The notice also must give the address of the enforcement agency, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), to contact for further information or to file a complaint. The Executive Order’s notice requirements are incorporated into the consolidated poster provided by the DOL and EEOC. (See #1, above.)
Do You Have the Right Workplace Posters? 2. Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA requires employers with 20 or more employees to post a notice stating that the employer may not discriminate against a job applicant or employee in any aspect of employment because that individual’s age is 40 or over. In addition, the notice should give the address of the enforcement agency, the EEOC, to contact for further information or to file a complaint. The notice requirements for the ADEA are included in the consolidated poster provided by the DOL and EEOC. (See #1, above). 3. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires employers with 15 or more employees to post a notice which states that the employer may not discriminate against qualified disabled job applicants or employees in any aspect of employment because of their disability. The notice also should state the employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the employer. In addition, the notice should give the address of the EEOC, the agency that enforces the ADA, to contact for further information or to file a complaint. The ADA’s notice requirements are incorporated into the consolidated poster provided by the DOL and EEOC. (See #1, above). 4. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The GINA requires employers with 15 or more employees to post a notice which states that the employer may not refuse to hire an applicant, or discriminate against any employee, with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of genetic information. The notice also should state that the GINA prohibits employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information about an applicant or employee or their family members and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information. In addition, the notice should include a definition of the term “genetic information.”
6. Rehabilitation Act. The Act requires employers with federal contracts of $10,000 or more, or that receive any federal financial assistance, to post a notice which states that the employer may not discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of their disability and that it will take affirmative action to employ and advance qualified disabled individuals who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job. In addition, the notice should give the address of the enforcement agency, the OFCCP, to contact for further information or to file a complaint. The Rehabilitation Act’s notice requirements are incorporated into the consolidated poster provided by the DOL and EEOC. (See #1, above.) 7. Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. The regulations implementing the Act require employers with a federal contract of $25,000 or more before December 1, 2003, or a federal contract of $100,000 or more on or after that date, to post a notice stating that (1) the employer may not discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of their status as disabled veterans; veterans who have served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; veterans who, while serving on active duty participated in a U.S. military operation for which a service medal was awarded; or recently separated veterans; and (2) that it will take affirmative action to employ and advance these veterans. In addition, the notice should give the address of the enforcement agency, the OFCCP, to contact for further information or to file a complaint. The Act’s notice requirements are incorporated into the consolidated poster provided by the DOL and EEOC. (See #1, above.)
Continued on page 30
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Do You Have the Right Workplace Posters? Continued from page 28 1. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The OSH Act requires employers with one or more employees to post a notice which states that the employer has an obligation to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious harm to employees and to comply with all applicable safety and health standards under the OSH Act. The notice also should state that employees may file a complaint with the nearest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office and may not be terminated or discriminated against for filing a complaint or for exercising their rights under the OSH Act. Employers may obtain free copies of the required notice from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Web site. The OSHA notice also is available on the OSHA Web site . 2. Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA). The EPPA requires private employers engaged in or affecting commerce to post a notice which states that the employer may not require job applicants or employees to take polygraph examinations, may only request that they take the examination under certain limited circumstances, and may not discriminate against them based on the results of the examination or because of a refusal to take the examination. In addition, the notice should inform job applicants and employees about their rights if they agree to take a polygraph examination, describe the penalties for violating the EPPA, and give the address of the DOL to contact for further information or to file a complaint. Employers can obtain free copies of the required notice from the DOL’s Web site here. 3. Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 requires all employers to provide notice of the rights, benefits, and obligations of covered employees and employers under USERRA to persons entitled to those rights and benefits. Specifically, the poster explains USERRA’s antidiscrimination and retaliation provisions, military leave reemployment rights, and health insurance continuation during military service. It also provides information on how to make a complaint, as well as contact numbers for the DOL’s Veterans Employment and Training Service. Employers can meet the notice requirements by posting the DOL-provided notice “Your Rights Under USERRA” where employee notices are customarily placed. Employers can obtain copies of the required notice from the DOL’s Web site or from the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service online . 4. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers engaged in commerce or the production of goods for commerce to post a notice which explains the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime, child labor, and training wage requirements and the penalties for violations.
Free copies of an approved notice may be obtained from any local office of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division; by writing to the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20210; or by visiting the DOL’s Web site or here. 5. Equal Pay Act. The Act requires employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce to post a notice which states that the employer may not discriminate in the payment of wages to women and men who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment. The Act’s notice requirements are incorporated into the consolidated poster provided by the DOL and EEOC and may be obtained from the DOL’s Web site . Alternatively, you can obtain posters from the EEOC’s Web site . 6. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires employers with 50 or more employees, and all public agencies and schools, to post a notice that explains employees’ rights and the employer’s obligations under the FMLA, including: when leave may be taken under the FMLA; which employees are eligible for leave; requirements for advance notice and medical certification of the need for FMLA leave; benefits during FMLA leave; reinstatement rights; and prohibited employer actions. In addition, the notice must provide information concerning procedures for filing complaints of violations with the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division. Employers can obtain free copies of the required notice from the poster page on the DOL’s Web site or here . NLRB Poster Requirement Invalidated One notice that employers do not have to post at this time is a notice to employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final rule in November 2011 requiring all employers to post notices to employees, in conspicuous places, informing them of their NLRA rights, together with NLRB contact information and information concerning basic enforcement procedures. (The NLRA generally applies to most employers regardless of number of employees and protects employees' right to form unions and engage in concerted activities regarding the terms and conditions of employment.) The rule has been controversial because the NLRA statute does not specifically require the posting and because of penalties imposed on employers that did not comply. A failure to post the notice would toll (or delay) the normal six-month statute of limitations for NLRA claims, and if the failure to put up the poster was "knowing and willful," this failure to post would be considered evidence of an "unlawful motive" if an unfair labor practice is filed against the employer. The poster requirement originally was meant to take effect November 14, 2011, but then was delayed as a result of legal challenges to the rule. Continued on page 32
Do You Have the Right Workplace Posters? Continued from page 30 The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declared the rule invalid in National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB, No. 12-5068 (D.C. Cir. May 7, 2013) and found it to be a violation of free speech rights and the NLRA statute. In addition, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in NLRB v. Chamber of Commerce, No. 12-1757 (4th Cir. June 14, 2013), determined that the NLRB exceeded its authority by issuing the poster rule and upheld the 2012 decision by a lower federal district court in South Carolina. The court found that the NLRA did not provide the NLRB with either explicit or implicit authority to issue a notice posting rule. Most HR and legal experts expect these decisions to put an end to the NLRB posting requirement, though the NLRB could appeal the decisions to the Supreme Court. State Posting Requirements Most states also have notice-posting requirements to alert employees about their rights under state employment discrimination, wage and hour, safety, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation laws. For example, California requires employers to post multiple notices, including wage, hour, and working conditions information, safety notices, workers’ compensation information, employment discrimination and specific harassment information, family and pregnancy disability leave notices, and unemployment compensation information. New York mandates several posters, including ones addressing discrimination, the use of criminal conviction records, wage and hour, job safety, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, and smoking in the workplace. And Ohio requires employers to notify employees of their rights regarding employment discrimination, wage and hour, and workers’ and unemployment compensation. Accordingly, you should consult your state notice posting requirements to ensure compliance. The DOL provides a list of state departments of labor and similar agencies online . Post Notices to Avoid Penalties Most employment laws require posters to ensure that employees understand their rights under these laws. And, while it is unlikely that a government representative will come into your workplace just to check your posters, the issue likely will arise if you were being audited for another reason or if a complaint has been filed against your organization. So, if you do not comply, you may find yourself subject to fines and legal claims that employees were not adequately notified of their rights. For example, failure to post certain notices may extend the period in which an employee may file a charge with the EEOC. Accordingly, you can avoid penalties and legal claims by reviewing your posters on an annual basis to make sure they are up-to-date.
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