2016 Labor and Employment Update is focus of Nemeth Law’s Raising the Bar series on Jan. 20

Detroit, Mich.-–-Dec. 29, 2016–Raising the Bar, an educational series raising employer awareness of current issues in employment and labor law and offered by Detroit-based management side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law, P.C., returns Jan. 20, 2016 with the annual labor and employment law update. The Jan. 20 presentation will review labor and employment law changes in 2015 and hot button compliance issues for the year ahead. Patricia Nemeth, founder of Nemeth Law, P.C., said 2015 was a milestone year.

“Over the past 12 months, the Department of Labor proposed changes to overtime regulations that will convert 4.6 million salaried employees to non-exempt employees eligible for overtime pay; the EEOC proposed new regulations that will govern employee wellness programs – ensuring their compliance with GINA and the ADA; and the Supreme Court decided cases on same sex marriage and religious accommodation” Nemeth said.

“The Court also addressed the vesting of retiree health benefits under a collective bargaining agreement,” Nemeth added. “That’s a far reaching list of changes. Up next is deciding cases on constructive discharge, class action certification, and whether public employees can be compelled to pay union dues. As 2015 ends and 2016 begins, changing labor and employment laws are definitely in the spotlight.”

Nemeth Law’s 2016 Labor and Employment Law Update will provide employers with practical tips and insights on navigating a swiftly changing labor and employment climate. Topics will include:
• Anticipated changes to overtime regulations and what employers should be doing now to prepare.
• Mandatory paid sick leave for government contractors.
• When insubordination is protected activity: 6th Circuit rules that vague threats against manager are protected by Title VII.
• Move over HIPAA and the ACA: wellness plans must also comply with GINA and the ADA.
• Watch your language: 6th Circuit rules that sloppy handbook language created FMLA coverage for uncovered employee; NLRB issues guidance for compliance.
• Who’s your employee? Developing theories of liability under the FLSA, Title VII and the NLRA for contingent employees, leased employees and franchisees.

Raising the Bar will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the Management Education Center, 811 West Square Lake Road, Troy, 48098. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. The program begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 11:45 a.m. The cost of the event is $75 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Pamela Perkowski at pperkowski@nemethlawpc.com or call 313.567.5921.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.
Nemeth Law specializes in arbitration, mediation, workplace investigations, employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation/training for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

McGraw Wentworth Survey Shows Health Benefit Costs Growing at 7%.

Employers, despite ACA, Making Modest plan changes.

Troy, Michigan – June 9, 2014 … Michigan employer health care costs are rising at an average of 7% after plan changes, up from 4% in 2013 and above national projections of 5.2%, according to a survey released today by McGraw Wentworth, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company. The 2014 Southeast Michigan Mid-Market Group Benefits Survey, now in its 11th year, benchmarks health benefits and cost trends for the current year – including key decisions pertaining to health reform – among 454 Southeast Michigan-based organizations with 100-10,000 employees.

“With a focus on talent retention, 89% of survey participants indicate they plan to continue offering health benefits to full-time employees despite the changes resulting from health care reform,” says Rebecca McLaughlan, managing director, McGraw Wentworth. “To manage the rising cost trend, organizations are increasingly using strategies such as consumer driven health plans, spousal surcharges, wellness, and newer avenues like telemedicine and health advocacy.”

Additional survey analysis highlights:
• Employers are deploying consumer driven health plans (CDHP) more frequently, with 38% offering CDHP as an option or the only plan choice. This is an increase of 9% over 2013 and 65% since 2010.
• Thirty-eight percent of local employers, more than double the national trend of 16%, are using spousal surcharges or excluding spouses who are eligible for coverage from other sources. Fifty-nine percent of employees elect dependent coverage for spouse and/or children.
• Seventy-nine percent of employers offer wellness plans, 46% of which offer the plan to both employees and spouses.
• Four percent of Southeast Michigan employers now include telemedicine as a care provider option, with 19% considering offering it in 2015.
• Health advocacy programs — assisting employees with claims questions, coordination of care, and navigating the health care system — are offered by 14% of participants with an additional 18% considering this tactic in 2015.

The survey cites 103 top-performing organizations, both union and non-union, as TrendBenders™ that successfully kept their two-year average benefit cost increases at or below 2.5%. TrendBender™ organizations keep costs down with strategies like offering a CDHP plan and contributing to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) at a higher rate, incorporating health advocacy, telemedicine and outcomes-based wellness programs with greater prevalence.

The survey tracks health care reform-related trends including:
• Similar to 2013, 89% of Michigan employers plan to offer health care coverage to full-time employees in 2015 and 2016, rather than pay the penalties for discontinuing coverage.
• More organizations are offering coverage to employees currently working 30 hours or more per week, increasing from 59% in 2013 to 74% in 2014.
• Private exchanges are not gaining traction with participating employers; none offer plans via a private exchange. Fifteen percent are considering the option for 2015.
• With the introduction of the public exchanges, 46% of employers are considering moving their plan design closer to the plans offered on the exchanges.

“Employers made their best effort to adapt to and comply with the shifting regulatory environment while developing their health plan strategy for 2014. With more changes anticipated in the future, executive leadership will need to closely examine the compensation, cost and culture impact of their decisions,” says Katy O’Brien, account director with McGraw Wentworth and survey leader. “There is no one simple answer.”

The McGraw Wentworth Mid-Market Group Benefits Survey is the largest of its kind with 545 midsize organizations participating, including 454 southeast Michigan employers. Data for municipalities and school districts is analyzed separately. The survey has a 3.9% margin of error.

Sponsored by McGraw Wentworth, survey results are shared with participants in June. For information, contact Ryan Bowers at (248) 822-6231 or visit mcgrawwentworth.com.

McGraw Wentworth, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, is an award-winning group benefits consulting and brokerage firm based in Troy, Michigan. The company counsels clients on how to structure their group benefit programs and provides strategic planning, utilization review, benefit design, employee communications, compliance assistance and related services. The firm is supported by Marsh & McLennan, the premier global provider of advice and solutions in risk, strategy and human capital. Follow McGraw Wentworth on twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Annual Survey Underway to Benchmark Michigan Benefits Trends, Employers’ Response to Health Care Reform

Insight into cost management, spousal coverage, and wellness trends will help participating employers plan for 2015.

Troy, Michigan, January 20, 2014 – McGraw Wentworth, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, has launched its 11th annual Southeast Michigan Mid-Market Group Benefits Survey. The free survey will provide employers and human resources professionals with trend data to understand how their peers adapted to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to guide their 2015 employee health care benefit strategies.

More than 550 southeast Michigan organizations are expected to participate in the 2014 Mid-Market Survey, which includes new data points to reflect the changes in employer-sponsored health care. The resulting analysis will:

• Provide insight into how Michigan organizations modified their plans to address the policies and practices required by ACA.
• Identify whether employers modified or plan to modify workforce strategies due to the “play or pay” employer penalty, implementation of which was delayed to 2015.
• Highlight the use of defined contribution plans, private exchanges and public marketplaces.
• Examine the use of cost control strategies such as consumer driven health plans (CDHPs), telemedicine, and spousal coverage.
• Review PPO, HMO and CDHP plan deductibles and co-pays set by Southeast Michigan employers.
• Track the growing interest in and usage of wellness and disease management programs.
• Identify actions taken by TrendBendersTM, high-performing organizations that have kept average cost increases below trend over the past two years.

“The ACA has had a profound impact on employer-provided health care and more changes are still to come. The survey results, available within the same year of data collection, will help Michigan employers adapt their workforce and benefits strategies accordingly for 2015 and beyond,” said Rebecca McLaughlan, Managing Director, McGraw Wentworth. “This data is also helpful for Michigan employers that are competing to recruit and retain talent in a rebounding economy.”

Mid-size employers with 100-10,000 employees in southeast Michigan — including manufacturing, technology, service, government, education and not-for-profit organizations — benefit from the extensive survey analysis. Participants are invited to attend a free, accredited seminar to receive the results and analysis, along with a tailored report benchmarking their organization against industry peers and the entire dataset. All data will be confidential. Interested organizations can contact Ryan Bowers at (248) 822-6231 or visit mcgrawwentworth.com

McGraw Wentworth, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, is an award-winning group benefits consulting and brokerage firm based in Troy, Michigan. The company counsels clients on how to structure their group benefit programs and provides strategic planning, utilization review, benefit design, employee communications, compliance assistance and related services. The firm is supported by Marsh & McLennan, the premier global provider of advice and solutions in risk, strategy and human capital. Follow McGraw Wentworth on twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Plante Moran Spring 2013 webinar series to focus on critical business topics

Southfield, Mich. — March 18, 2013 – Plante Moran, the nation’s 11th largest public accounting and business advisory firm, has announced its spring webinar series with topics that focus on critical and timely business issues. There is no charge to participate in the webinars, which are approved for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit and are part of a continuing series of educational webinars launched by Plante Moran in 2009.

This spring’s topics cover a broad range of business and tax issues for organizations and executives, including:

  • Three webinars on critical decisions for businesses related to healthcare reform
  • Changes to the Fair Value Measurement standards caused by updates to ASU 2011-04
  • Utilizing business intelligence to gain a competitive edge
  • Disaster recovery planning: lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy
  • Top trends in state and local taxes in 2013 and beyond
  • Making the HR department a strategic partner in your company
  • Tax strategies for the high-income individual
  • A captive insurance company could offer tax savings

For a complete listing of the webinar schedules and registration and CPE information, please visit http://www.plantemoran.com/perspectives/webinars/Pages/home.aspx.

About Plante Moran
Plante Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting and wealth management services. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois, with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India. Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work. For more information, visit plantemoran.com.

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Plante Moran 2013 Franchising Outlook Reveals Steps Necessary for Success This Year

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – March 12, 2013 – Plante Moran, one of the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, today announced the release of its 2013 outlook for the franchising sector. The Plante Moran Franchising Outlook assesses the current role of franchising in the economy, and opportunities and challenges for franchisors this year.

“Our 2013 outlook offers perspective on the positive traits of franchising systems and how the sector is well positioned for growth despite the uncertainty of today’s corporate world,” said Mark Fleischer, partner and franchising group leader at Plante Moran. “While we predict the 2013 economy to remain sluggish, the information we provide around key events and how to navigate them will better enable our franchising clients to succeed.”

According to a 2012 survey conducted by International Franchise Association (IFA), eight out of 10 franchisors predict expansion in 2013. In support of this goal, the 2013 Plante Moran Franchising Outlook helps reaffirm franchising is a business model that works despite the uncertain economic environment.

Additional policies and business models uncovered in Plante Moran’s report that can lead to success for 2013 are as follows:

  • Stay true to the needs of your customers by offering services and products for specific demographics
  • Plan now for the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its healthcare requirements for individual franchisees once the “pay for play” mandate is enforced
  • Search for alternatives to traditional financing apart from banks such as a Small Business Loan (SBA) or an online match-making site that pairs borrowers with lenders

Entrepreneur Magazine has published a “Franchise 500” list for more than 30 years. Companies on the list added 19,197 franchise units between 2011 and 2012, almost doubling the previous year’s growth. Entrepreneur and the IFA also report anticipated revenue growth in franchising for 2012 at 4.9 to 5.2 percent, which is:

  • On par with the middle market, according to data from the National Center for the Middle Market
  • Impressive when compared to the forecasted 3.5 percent rate of growth for the S&P 500, according to Bloomberg

In addition to Plante Moran’s perspective, the report includes contributions from additional industry experts, including the National Center for the Middle Market, University of Michigan Professor Francine Lafontaine, and Melanie Bergeron, an officer of the IFA and Two Men and a Truck board chair. To access the full Plante Moran 2013 Franchising Outlook, please visit http://www.plantemoran.com/perspectives/outlooks/Documents/franchising-outlook.pdf

About Plante Moran
Plante Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting and wealth management services. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India.

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