G&A Partners expands with acquisition of Employer Advantage

HOUSTON – March 8, 2022 – G&A Partners announced today that it has acquired Employer Advantage, a Joplin, Missouri-based provider of human resource services. Employer Advantage is the 10th and largest acquisition that G&A Partners has completed in the past four years.

G&A Partners, a leading professional employer organization (PEO) and outsourced services provider, will gain more than 500 client companies and 11,000 worksite employees from across the U.S., along with 78 new corporate employees stationed in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Arizona. This acquisition will bring G&A’s current client base to more than 3,000 organizations with over 76,000 worksite employees.

“Employer Advantage had gained a reputation for providing exceptional service to its clients, some of whom have been with the firm since Lee Allphin first opened the business over 30 years ago,” said G&A President and CEO John W. Allen. “Lee has been a pillar in the community and in our industry. We have big shoes to fill as we build on his legacy and I am confident that our new clients will benefit from our expanded service offering and more robust technology. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to grow and expand into new markets in the Midwest. I’m delighted to welcome our new clients and staff to our G&A Partners family.”

As an essential part of the acquisition, G&A Partners will retain Employer Advantage’s leadership team and the entire staff. This will allow the firm to leverage long-standing relationships and make the transition as seamless as possible. Employer Advantage’s President and CEO, Jared Young, will continue in this role during the transition period and will also become G&A’s Chief Mergers and Acquisitions Officer.

“We could not be more excited about this transaction,” Young said. “I have known G&A’s leadership for years. They are people of high integrity, and I have always admired their business. When we started looking for a partner to help us continue our growth, G&A was a natural fit. Our companies align well culturally and operationally, and both our clients and our employees will benefit from the combination.”

About G&A Partners

G&A Partners, one of the nation’s leading professional employer organizations (PEO), has been helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses for more than 25 years. By delivering world-class services with trusted experts in HR administration, benefits, and payroll, clients now have the time and freedom they need to focus on what matters most—their employees, products and services, and their customers.

Headquartered in Houston, G&A Partners has offices located throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

Employer Advantage Holds Company-wide Food Drive, Collects 1.6 Tons of Food

Employer Advantage Holds Company-wide Food Drive, Collects 1.6 Tons of Food

AZ Food Donations
Employer Advantage recently held a food drive supporting local charities in each of the cities in which the company operates. Employees at the Kansas City, Mesa, Ariz., and Joplin, Mo., offices and one remote employee in Siloam Springs, Ark., collected 1.6 tons of non-perishable food for those in need.

To encourage teamwork and participation, Employer Advantage made the drive a friendly competition and divided employees among two teams: blue and orange, the company colors. Employees enjoyed the camaraderie, competition and giving back. Everyone felt like a winner!

The KC office’s donations went to the Catholic Charities Food Pantry in Overland Park, Kan. Donations from the Arizona office went to the C.A.N. Food Pantry at the Church of the Master in Mesa. The Joplin office’s donations went to Lion Co-Op (MSSU Food Pantry), Lafayette House and Watered Gardens in Joplin. Donations also went to Helping Hands Ministries in Carl Junction, Mo. Lastly, the donations from the remote employee in Arkansas went to the Manna Center in Siloam Springs.

emp

Employer Guidance | Minimizing Impacts of Rising Medical Insurance Rates

Employer Guidance | Minimizing Impacts of Rising Medical Insurance Rates

Predictions of rising medical plan rates are escalating as the need to ensure workplace safety and the costs associated with COVID-19 treatment continue to mount. The impact on company health insurance premiums can be astronomical—to the extent that the costs of plans could push some employers out of business.

What can companies do to minimize rising healthcare plan expenses?  

A properly designed and developed wellness program that takes coronavirus vaccine status into account is one of the most effective solutions businesses can enact to help protect themselves from soaring medical plan costs. As the current situation becomes a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” those inoculated against COVID-19 are largely seeing protections against severe illness, hospitalizations, and death—making higher premiums or a surcharge for those remaining unvaccinated a logical next step.

Such a program must comply with all Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) wellness program rules and reflect compliance with recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance related to vaccine accommodations.

Under a compliant program, an employer may condition an incentive in terms of the amount of employee premium contribution based on participation in a wellness program. Many employers are already familiar with such a system as it will resemble a smoking cessation program.

Here are the major requirements:

  • Surcharge must comply with wellness incentive limits that consider existing incentives to 30% (up to 50% for tobacco surcharges) of the total cost of employee-only coverage. Adding a new incentive could cause a plan to exceed the limit, which would require reducing or modifying other incentives to allow for a vaccine-related incentive.
  • Surcharge must allow employers to maintain compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Employer Mandate affordability rules. Non-tobacco-related wellness incentives must be treated as “not met” for purposes of determining ACA affordability. Adding a vaccine-related surcharge effectively increases the cost to employees and makes it more difficult to offer the coverage at an affordable contribution amount.
  • Consider time-of-year plan deadlines and health plan rules. If implemented mid-plan year, will employees be able to opt out if they experience a significant cost increase?
  • Make sure the wellness program follows state laws.
  • With booster shots on the horizon, ensure your plan considers what the definition of “fully vaccinated” will mean.

Some employers have considered limiting group health plan coverage to those that are vaccinated or limiting health plan claims for COVID-19-related illnesses to only those that are vaccinated. These suggestions would clearly violate HIPAA non-discrimination rules, and therefore should be avoided.

A carefully administered plan that maintains compliance with governing laws will help ensure not only the wellness of your workforce, but of your business.

Not currently an Employer Advantage client?

WE’D BE HONORED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A NEW PATH TO HR BLISS.

We don’t just give quotes—We provide strategic business proposals.

-Free strategic assessment of your business needs

-Quick and easy account setup and seamless transitions

-Urgent requests | Please Call: Toll Free 877.476.9520

Click here to see our other helpful “Blog for All Employers”

About Employer Advantage

A New Path to HR Bliss – Trusted for more than 30 years, Employer Advantage frees you from the administrative and compliance burdens of having employees so you can focus on your business success. Versatile enough for companies of all sizes, our unique service combines comprehensive management of your employee administration and compliance with the latest software solutions, tailored to meet your individual needs and company culture. Our full-service management of Human ResourcesPayrollHealth and Benefits, Workplace Safety and more, enhance your profitability while reducing the costs and risks associated with employment law compliance. We provide your employees with top-notch assistance and benefits that help you increase productivity, save time and money, and attract and retain a talented workforce. And for small and mid-sized businesses, we bring you economy of scale with access to Fortune-500-level benefits, specialty assistance, and savings that would not be possible to attain on your own. Headquartered in the Midwest and serving more than 500 companies and 10,000 worksite employees throughout the country, Employer Advantage is an IRS-Certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO) (CPEO). Experienced, certified, and trusted. www.EmployerAdvantage.com

EMPLOYER INSIGHTS | Finding, Hiring, Training, and Retaining Top Talent During the Pandemic

EMPLOYER INSIGHTS | Finding, Hiring, Training, and Retaining Top Talent During the Pandemic

Employment openings continue to skyrocket, with more than 10 million jobs needing to be filled — a significant increase from the 9.5 million job openings in May. In numerous industries and all over the country, businesses are struggling to not only find top talent, but employ enough staff to fill even entry-level positions.

Human resource personnel have become overwhelmed as businesses find themselves competing for the services of any given candidate. This has forced many employers to compromise recruiting criteria. Putting the proper hiring process on the back burner to make a quick hire can have negative impacts on your business and entire workforce culture.

So, what’s a business to do to be able to competently fill all staffing needs during this long-lasting hiring crunch?

Here Are Some Important Recruiting Practices We Suggest:

Look at your job openings through the eyes of potential employees. Most of us look at our business in a different light than job seekers. Employers tend to have a self-serving outlook when defining the job to potential candidates. Now is the time to be empathetic in remembering how it feels to have a fear of the unknown and the concerns and apprehensions that always accompany a new job. And remember that normal anxieties have been exacerbated during this time of COVID-19 uncertainty.

  • Know who you are: Before you think about who you need to hire, step back and think about who you are as a company. Oftentimes, businesses make the mistake of putting off defining core values for a day far in the future. Defining your values now is key to growing your business for the long term. Ask yourself four questions: What is our mission, what do we value, how are we different, and how does that translate to being a great place to work?
  • Recognize what the best employers do: What does your competition pay for the positions you are looking to hire in your own organization? Is your benefits package competitive? In today’s climate, benefit plans such as medical and dental insurance are a “must have” in attracting and retaining top talent. Retirement plans such as a 401 (k) and paid holidays are also considered a given.
  • Involve current team members: Have you surveyed your employees for input and evaluated their satisfaction with pay and benefits? The answers to all these questions define company culture and provide a roadmap to the kind of people you can attract, develop, and retain. Most candidates take their cue from employees they meet.
  • Take care of your existing employees first: A recent survey by Monster.com reported that more than 90% of surveyed workers are considering changing jobs or even their industry. Another resource is to periodically review reputable outside employee surveys to fine tune and update your culture, benefits, and perks to employees. Ensure your pay and benefits packages aren’t only competitive for the new hires you wish to attract, but for the current workforce you wish to keep.
  • Make it a great experience: Translate the great work experience of your workforce into a great candidate-hiring experience. Standardize the process by removing barriers to applying. Eliminate the cumbersome job applications where job seekers need to re-enter information on their resume or create a login without help. Whatever you can do to make it easy for candidates to apply, do it. Candidates can see quality in a company with standard procedures. Having a standardized hiring process is one of the core advantages of using an applicant-tracking system. By running every candidate through the same hiring workflow, you teach hiring managers best practices, help remove potential bias and subjectivity, and give candidates a consistently positive experience with your company.
  • Always be hiring: The wrong time to start hiring is when you needed a person in the door yesterday. By always keeping a lookout for top talent, you build a hiring pipeline. When you’re in a bind, you have someone to call without jumping into the recruitment process and waiting for new job board applicants.
  • Hire like you sell: A great sales leader builds processes, sets goals, and holds people accountable for results. These processes and goals pave the way for those results. Treat your hiring process like your sales process: form a compelling offer, qualify prospects, follow up quickly and regularly, define the process, and track results.
  • Quality matters more than quantity: It’s great to see 100-plus applicants apply to your job. It’s less exciting when none of them are qualified candidates. While volume in hiring can be helpful, it’s more effective to attract candidates who would be a good fit, even if they are fewer in number. Don’t “settle” if you have reservations or out of desperation.
  • Use the latest tools and techniques:

A) Exploit all avenues to reach candidates through emails, websites, and social media as well as traditional print, radio, and TV spots where applicable.

B) Try an employee before offering a permanent position. Be open to the idea of allowing candidates to work remotely where possible. This can be beneficial to your company and the candidate – after all, both of you wish to find the perfect fit before making a long-term commitment.

C) Don’t be afraid to outsource. As a Profession Employer Organization (PEO), Employer Advantage leans on our sister company, Hire Advantage, for quality recruiting and staffing solutions for our many clients with hiring needs.

Not currently an Employer Advantage client?

WE’D BE HONORED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A NEW PATH TO HR BLISS.

We don’t just give quotes—We provide strategic business proposals.

-Free strategic assessment of your business needs

-Quick and easy account setup and seamless transitions

-Urgent requests | Please Call: Toll Free 877.476.9520

Click here to see our other helpful “Blog for All Employers”

About Employer Advantage

A New Path to HR Bliss – Trusted for more than 30 years, Employer Advantage frees you from the administrative and compliance burdens of having employees so you can focus on your business success. Versatile enough for companies of all sizes, our unique service combines comprehensive management of your employee administration and compliance with the latest software solutions, tailored to meet your individual needs and company culture. Our full-service management of Human Resourcespayrollhealth and benefits, workplace safety, and more enhance your profitability while reducing the costs and risks associated with employment law compliance. We provide your employees with top-notch assistance and benefits that help you increase productivity, save time and money, and attract and retain a talented workforce. And for small and mid-sized businesses, we bring you economy of scale with access to Fortune-500-level benefits, specialty assistance, and savings that would not be possible to attain on your own. Headquartered in the Midwest and serving more than 500 companies and 10,000 worksite employees throughout the country, Employer Advantage is an IRS-Certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO) (CPEO). Experienced, certified, and trusted. www.EmployerAdvantage.com

EMPLOYER GUIDANCE | OSHA Updates Workplace Safety Guidelines in Midst of Delta Variant Surge

EMPLOYER GUIDANCE | OSHA Updates Workplace Safety Guidelines in Midst of Delta Variant Surge

Even in the best of times, compromised safety in the workplace is often a root cause of the failure of many businesses. Risk Management should always be a major consideration of the leadership of any company.

A huge backstop to protect a business when accidental injury or illness occurs is Workers’ Compensation insurance. Rates charged by insurance companies are impacted by the safety issues of each company and its compliance with OSHA guidelines, even when not mandatory. Mandatory OSHA standards include requirements for PPE, respiratory protection, sanitization, protection from bloodborne pathogens, and OSHA’s requirements for employee access to medical and exposure records.

To combat the latest Coronavirus Delta variant surge, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued updated workplace guidance that heavily aligns with the latest COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We believe a critical step in workplace safety is to keep up to date with the latest guidelines.

Updated OSHA Recommendations for Employers:
  • Implement methods to facilitate and encourage employee vaccination.

OSHA recommends providing employees with paid time off to get vaccinated and paid time off to recover from any ill side effects of the vaccine. OSHA also suggests employers consider adopting policies requiring workers to get vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing – in addition to mask wearing and physical distancing if they remain unvaccinated.

  • Instruct infected workers, unvaccinated workers who have had close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, and all workers with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home from work.

Fully vaccinated individuals who have a known COVID-19 exposure should get tested three to five days after the exposure event and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days (or until they receive a negative test result). Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately, and if negative, tested again in five to seven days after their last exposure (or immediately if symptoms develop). OSHA expects all absentee policies to be non-punitive and that employers will promptly eliminate policies that might encourage workers to come to work sick.

  • Implement physical distancing in all common areas where unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers may be present.

OSHA believes a key way to protect workers is to require physical distancing in the workplace – generally this means at least six feet. However, as workplace conditions may require employees to work close to one another and/or customers for extended periods of time, employers may consider limiting the number of unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees in one place at any given time. Employers should consider transparent barriers, flexible schedules, allow remote/telework, rotate/stagger shifts, deliver services remotely (e.g., phone, video, or web).

  • Provide workers no-cost face coverings or surgical masks as appropriate.

OSHA’s guidance mirrors that of the CDC by recommending even fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in public indoor settings, noting that fully vaccinated people may desire to wear masks in public indoor settings regardless of a community’s level of transmission. OSHA reiterates that workers should wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth. Workers who are outdoors may opt not to wear face coverings unless they are at risk. Regardless, employers should support employees who continue to wear a face covering, especially when working closely with others.

  • Educate and train workers on their COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in languages they understand. Employers should train managers on how to implement their COVID-19 policies.

Training should include basic facts about COVID-19, including how it is spread and the importance of physical distancing (including remote work), ventilation, vaccination, use of face coverings, hand hygiene, and workplace policies and procedures to protect workers from COVID-19 hazards. In addition, employers should implement a means of tracking which (and when) workers receive this information. 

  • Suggest or require unvaccinated customers, visitors, or guests to wear face coverings in public-facing workplaces, such as retail establishments.

All customers, visitors, or guests should wear face coverings in public, indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. This could include posting a notice or otherwise suggesting or requiring individuals wear face coverings, even if no longer required by your jurisdiction.

  • Maintain workplace ventilation systems.

As COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors, improving and maintaining ventilation systems are key points of control. A maintenance program can be used as part of a layered strategy to reduce the concentration of viral particles in indoor air (and consequently reduce the risk of transmission to unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers in particular). Key measures include ensuring HVAC systems are operating in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications, conducting regularly scheduled inspections and maintenance, maximizing the amount of outside air supplied, installing air filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13 or higher where feasible.

  • Perform routine cleaning and disinfection.

This is especially important if someone who has been in the facility within 24 hours is suspected of having COVID-19 or is a confirmed COVID-19 case. In those situations, OSHA recommends following the CDC’s cleaning and disinfection recommendations.

  • Record and report workplace COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Under OSHA’s recordkeeping standard, employers are required to record work-related cases of COVID-19 illness on OSHA’s Form 300 logs if the following requirements are met: (1) the case is a confirmed case of COVID-19; (2) the case is work-related; and (3) the case involves one or more relevant recording criteria (e.g., medical treatment, days away from work). Likewise, employers must follow the requirements when reporting work-related COVID-19 fatalities and hospitalizations.

  • Employers should implement protections from retaliation and set up anonymous methods for workers to raise concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.

Employers should ensure workers know whom to contact with questions and/or concerns about workplace safety and health, and that there are prohibitions against retaliation for raising workplace safety and health concerns or engaging in other protected occupational safety and health activities. This could be accomplished by using an employee hotline or other method for workers to voice concerns anonymously.

If you are unfamiliar with the world of workplace safety and need more information, Employer Advantage is here to help keep your business safe.

Not currently an Employer Advantage client?

WE’D BE HONORED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A NEW PATH TO HR BLISS.

We don’t just give quotes—We provide strategic business proposals.

-Free strategic assessment of your business needs

-Quick and easy account setup and seamless transitions

-Urgent requests | Please Call: Toll Free 877.476.9520

Click here to see our other helpful “Blog for All Employers”

About Employer Advantage

A New Path to HR Bliss – Trusted for more than 30 years, Employer Advantage frees you from the administrative and compliance burdens of having employees so you can focus on your business success. Versatile enough for companies of all sizes, our unique service combines comprehensive management of your employee administration and compliance with the latest software solutions, tailored to meet your individual needs and company culture. Our full-service management of Human Resourcespayrollhealth and benefits, workplace safety, and more enhance your profitability while reducing the costs and risks associated with employment law compliance. We provide your employees with top-notch assistance and benefits that help you increase productivity, save time and money, and attract and retain a talented workforce. And for small and mid-sized businesses, we bring you economy of scale with access to Fortune-500-level benefits, specialty assistance, and savings that would not be possible to attain on your own. Headquartered in the Midwest and serving more than 500 companies and 10,000 worksite employees throughout the country, Employer Advantage is an IRS-Certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO) (CPEO). Experienced, certified, and trusted. www.EmployerAdvantage.com

 

EMPLOYER AID OPPORTUNITIES | It’s Not Too Late for Businesses to Get Much-Needed Coronavirus Relief

EMPLOYER AID OPPORTUNITIES | It’s Not Too Late for Businesses to Get Much-Needed Coronavirus Relief

By Lee Allphin, Employer Advantage Founder and Chairman of the Board

As part of Employer Advantage’s comprehensive suite of HR management and outsourcing services (HR, Payroll, Health & Benefits, Safety, and more), we are assisting our clients in determining their best path during, and after, the Coronavirus pandemic. Please contact us if you would like assistance with any of your Employee Administration and Compliance responsibilities: Info@EmployerAdvantage.com | 877.476.9520

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be an endless sea of variant waves crashing down on businesses’ ability to stay afloat. Even employers that were able to take full advantage of the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which ended May 2021, are now facing various financial burdens resulting from the severity of the Delta variant. For businesses that missed or were unable to get PPP forgivable loans, this next wave could prove to be the one to capsize any chance of survival.   

Here’s What Businesses can do: 

On a federal level, the Small Business Association (SBA) is continuing to be a lifeline for businesses that know to take advantage of the many programs made available to them.

On July 27, 2021, the SBA announced it had granted 10,000 venues more than $7.5 billion through its Shuttered Venue program, which distributes grants to venues in the nation’s 50 states and U.S. territories.

According to the SBA, there is still funding available to eligible applicants:

SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET to provide technical assistance with the SVOG application portal and can be reached at 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, 1-800-877-8339.

The SBA also offers a whole host of COVID relief options that businesses can explore to determine eligibility:

SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to provide entities with individual guidance on their applications. Applicants can find a local resource partner via a zip code search at http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance.

We also highly encourage businesses to leave no stone unturned in checking with their local and state agencies to determine if any grants or funding are available to them.

Not currently an Employer Advantage client?

WE’D BE HONORED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A NEW PATH TO HR BLISS.

We don’t just give quotes—We provide strategic business proposals.

-Free strategic assessment of your business needs

-Quick and easy account setup and seamless transitions

-Urgent requests | Please Call: Toll Free 877.476.9520

 

Click here to see our other helpful “Blog for All Employers”

About Employer Advantage

A New Path to HR Bliss – Trusted for more than 30 years, Employer Advantage frees you from the administrative and compliance burdens of having employees so you can focus on your business success. Versatile enough for companies of all sizes, our unique service combines comprehensive management of your employee administration and compliance with the latest software solutions, tailored to meet your individual needs and company culture. Our full-service management of Human Resourcespayrollhealth and benefits, workplace safety, and more enhance your profitability while reducing the costs and risks associated with employment law compliance. We provide your employees with top-notch assistance and benefits that help you increase productivity, save time and money, and attract and retain a talented workforce. And for small and mid-sized businesses, we bring you economy of scale with access to Fortune-500-level benefits, specialty assistance, and savings that would not be possible to attain on your own. Headquartered in the Midwest and serving more than 500 companies and 10,000 worksite employees throughout the country, Employer Advantage is an IRS-Certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO) (CPEO). Experienced, certified, and trusted. www.EmployerAdvantage.com