IN THIS ISSUE:
diversity awards luncheon a huge success
Welcome to our third 2009 edition of our e-newsletter, RESOURCES. We are excited to produce this exciting forum for the communication of issues pertinent and relevant to HR Professionals.
We hope you enjoy the newsletter. It can only get better with your input and comments. If you have any articles for inclusion, comments or requests, please email them to Barry Lippold with the subject: "Resources Article" to: email@example.com.
SNHRA hosted their 6th annual Diversity Awards Luncheon at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino on March 10, 2009.
Companies that initiated or maintained a Diversity program, demonstrated a significant contribution towards diversity, demonstrated outstanding efforts to promote an environment free from bias and discrimination in 2008, were eligible for diversity awards.
This year SNHRA started a new tradition by introducing the Oya Award. This coveted OYA Award represents Oya (pronounced Oh-yah), the Goddess of Change. In Africa, Oya is the Yoruban Goddess of weather, especially tornadoes, lightning, rainstorms and transformation.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car - 1st Place in Recruitment
Perini Building Company - 1st Place in Executive Leadership
The Signature at MGM Grand - 1st Place in Strategic Planning
The Signature at MGM Grand - Coveted Oya Award
Congratulations to The Signature at MGM Grand to be the first receipient of the Oya Award for their extraordinary universal leadership in Diversity!
Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners of the 2009 Diversity Awards!
Check out the 2009 Diversity Awards Luncheon photo gallery.
The 2009 Mixer/Vendor Fair was a huge Success!
The Mixer/Vendor Fair was held on Thursday February 19 at the beautiful Canyon Gate Country Club.
With the attendance of more than 130 people, the vendor fair was a prime environment for social and business interaction. There were 23 vendors from across Nevada that participated this year. The Mixer/Vendor ended with the raffle of a prize from each vendor; leaving 23 of the attendees going home with some very nice prizes.
Here are a couple images from the Mixer/Vendor Fair to see the full gallery click here!
By: Patrick H. Hicks and Jeanine Navarro. Patrick H. Hicks is Founding Shareholder of Littler Mendelson’s Las Vegas and Reno offices. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeanine Navarro is an Associate in Littler Mendelson’s Las Vegas office. She can be reached at email@example.com.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or "the Act"), the stimulus legislation signed on February 17, 2009, by President Obama, contains sweeping revisions to the group health plan continuation coverage provisions contained in the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). The new provisions impose additional burdens and hidden costs on the vast majority of employersponsors of group health plans.
The key concept contained in the new COBRA provisions involves the creation of a new "qualifying event" that provides a 65% COBRA premium subsidy for eligible, involuntarily terminated employees (and their covered dependents). The subsidy is effective on and after the date of enactment (February 17 or for "monthly period of coverage" plans, March 1, 2009). The Act requires the employer to "front" the subsidy by collecting only 35% of the applicable COBRA premium. The employer is then reimbursed from the employer's quarterly federal payroll tax transmittals for the 65% COBRA premium subsidy (or with a direct payment, if payroll tax transmittals are insufficient). It is unclear how the subsidy will work when employers are already subsidizing COBRA premiums. Further guidance on the actual application of the subsidy will need to be provided.
Subsidy-Eligible Individuals Under the Act
A subsidy-eligible employee must otherwise be eligible for COBRA coverage (which means that the "gross misconduct" exclusion will still apply), and must have been involuntarily terminated on or after September 1, 2008, but on or before December 31, 2009 (and become eligible for COBRA coverage during that period). If the election period had already expired on the Act's effective date, the employer is required to provide a COBRA notice and a new 60-day election period to any subsidy-eligible former employee who did not elect COBRA. The effective date of such coverage would be the enactment date of the new law (February 17). However, for purposes of determining the maximum COBRA period, the COBRA "qualifying event" is the date coverage is lost on account of the employee's termination of employment.
The period of noncoverage may not be counted toward any pre-existing condition exclusion. The "retroactive" COBRA notice must be provided within 60 days after enactment of the new law. Any denial of eligibility (such as a gross misconduct determination) will be subject to expedited review under the auspices of the Department of Labor (DOL).
Refunds for Subsidy-Eligible Individuals Who Paid Full Premiums
Any subsidy-eligible former employee who is paying full COBRA premiums when the law is enacted also will be entitled to the subsidy commencing as of the date of enactment (or for "monthly period of coverage" plans, March 1, 2009). The employer will be required to refund the excess (retroactive to the enactment date) or provide a credit in future premium payments for the employer maintained overpayment (to be made up within six months). Of course, the employer will be entitled to recoup these amounts from quarterly payroll tax transmissions.
Employer Notice Requirements
The Act requires employers to amend COBRA notices to inform all individuals who become eligible for COBRA between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009, of the following:
This notice may either be incorporated into other COBRA materials explaining election rights or be sent with other COBRA materials as a separate notice. The notice requirement becomes effective April 18, 2009, and the DOL has been directed to issue a model notice for employer use by March 19, 2009.
The ARRA became effective February 17, 2009, and, technically, COBRA provisions must be immediately revised to reflect the subsidy. However, the ARRA contains a grace period of two full COBRA billing periods subsequent to the Act's effective date within which to commence the subsidy, provided appropriate premium credits (or refunds) are provided in subsequent periods.
Impact on Employers
While the reimbursement of the subsidy appears to make these provisions cost-neutral to the employer, it, in fact, does not. In general, COBRA beneficiaries have significantly worse experience than active employees as a group – primarily because of the cost of COBRA coverage, but also because former employees with high medical expenses may be less likely to obtain other coverage as quickly as healthier (often younger) former employees. While the subsidized coverage may be more attractive to those former employees with less expectation of high medical expenses, the fact remains that laid-off employees have limited resources and purchasing medical care may be of lower priority to those with less claims experience, even at subsidized rates. In addition, the retroactive election period (of at least 60 days) afforded to those who were laid off on or after September 1, 2008, and who did not originally elect COBRA, is likely to lead to elections of coverage by those who did not expect high medical bills when they were laid off but who have developed serious medical conditions in the interim. Thus, we expect that the pattern of higher-than-average COBRA experience will continue.
What Should Employers Do Now to Comply with the COBRA provisions?
Employers should take steps to ensure timely compliance with the provisions of the ARRA. First, individuals should be identified who are eligible for the subsidy (i.e., those who were involuntarily terminated beginning September 1, 2008). Second, if an employer maintains another same-cost or lower-cost plan, the employer should determine if it will offer eligible individuals the choice of that plan (or plans) or the coverage normally made available to COBRA-eligible individuals. Third, the employer must also decide how affected individuals will be notified of this new law, particularly whether a notice will be provided imminently or whether the employer will wait to provide the notice after the DOL issues a "model notice." Finally, the employer's payroll processes must be reviewed and changed to meet the requirements of the new law.
Q: How did you hear about SNHRA?
From another SNHRA member.
Q: When did you join SNHRA?
Q: Why did you join SNHRA?
To be able to network with others in the Las Vegas human resource community.
Q: How has membership with SNHRA improved your job or your business?
Morgan Consulting Resources is an executive search firm specializing in the health care industry. Since most of my recruitment had been outside of southern Nevada and mainly over the telephone, I wanted to meet people face to face. I missed that interaction.
Q: What is your role with your company?
I'm an executive recruiter and one of the principals of Morgan Consulting Resources, established in 1995. I joined Morgan in 2000 and prior to that I was with Sierra Health Services for 15 years with my last position as VP of Workers' Compensation.
Q: What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Matching not only the right experience and skill set of a candidate to the employer, but also the ability to fit into the employer's culture. This is one of the challenges in recruitment. We can find people who look great on paper, but the question may be, for example, whether they can work in a very fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment or a more process driven environment. One of the most recent challenges with our current economy are the real estate issues. Candidates don't want to carry two mortgages if they relocate for a new job and can't sell their home. Working through these challenges are what make my job fun!
Q: What hobbies or interests do you have (outside of work)?
Just took up skiing seriously this year with my husband and son who are snowboarders. I'm now hooked and see us driving to Brianhead, UT a few winter weekends each year with family and friends. We also enjoy the beach and always plan a snorkeling vacation in the summer.
Improving education in southern Nevada is a high priority for me. I've been involved with the PTA and with other organizations who also strive for that goal.
Q: What do you do to unwind from the stressful work week?
Spend lots of time at Borders and Barnes and Nobles.
Q: What are some of your favorite restaurants in the Valley?
When we dine out, we stay near our home in Henderson, so it's usually Cheesecake Factory or one of the nice restaurants at Green Valley Ranch. The Creperia at the Paris Hotel has the best banana's foster crepes in the world! That's my favorite since I love every dessert on the planet.
Q: Do you have a famous (or not-so-famous) quote or saying you'd like to share?
I always like the quote (not sure who said it) "contact before content". When you approach others to convince them of something, you should always remember to make that personal contact first. Whether it's in sales or just personal life, it is critical to make a connection with the individual. This usually leads to a better result in terms of what you are trying to accomplish.
This code is specific to our region and can be used to receive a discount on SHRM membership. The code (CHPWD) is specifically for "First Time" SHRM national members and when used; a $15 dollar discount will be deducted from the national membership base rate of $160.00. This code is used to track the growth in our region so be sure to use this code(CHPWD).
SNHRA is hosting its yearly HR101 Bootcamp on April 14, 2009 at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino. This is a special event that will directly follow the breakfast meeting.
HR101 will feature some of today's top HR professionals including:
Cynthia Adams, SPHR, Jennifer Martinez of Konami Gaming Inc, and Mary Beth Hartleb of PRISM HR Consulting.
Our Boot Camp will feature some of the following topics:
HR Management Roles & Responsibilities - HR Plays a Pivotal role in:
The Solo Practitioner:
Ethics for the HR Professional:
HR Technology/Outsourcing options for HR departments:
Your Legal Responsibilities:
Dont miss out and RSVP today!
11 Reasons to Go to Work Naked
1. Your boss is always yelling, "I wanna see your butt in here by 8:00!"
2. Can take advantage of computer monitor radiation to work on your tan.
3. Inventive way to finally meet that hottie in Human Resources.
4. For Guys: "I'd love to chip in, but I left my wallet in my pants."
5. For Girls: "To stop those creepy guys in Marketing from looking down your blouse.
6. You want to see if it's like the dream.
7. You can add "Exotic Dancer" to your exaggerated resume.
8. People stop stealing your pens after they've seen where you keep them.
9. Diverts attention from the fact that you also came to work drunk.
10. Gives "bad hair day" a whole new meaning.
11. No one steals your chair.
Courtesy of http://officejokes.resourcesforattorneys.com
We hope that all of our Members and Friends find the articles contained within R E S O U R C E S useful in your HR environment.
Many thanks to all of you who responded to our requests
for articles and research for this newsletter.
If you have anything you wish to contribute to the next issue, please do not hesitate to email Barry Lippold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Newsletter: 2009 Edition 3