Confusion Runs Rampant as Millions Pay Obamacare Penalty

7.5 million Americans were required to pay a penalty last year due to not having health insurance. This is a higher number than the government predicted, and many worry it is a sign that the country is not prepared for Obamacare.

Rob Wilson, CEO of Employco USA, says “The Affordable Care Act is causing issues across the board. Not only did the IRS collect $1.5 billion dollars in penalty fees from hardworking Americans, but many people also were confused about filling about their tax forms. Taxpayers who paid a penalty to the IRS should have claimed an exemption on their tax forms, but thousands and thousands did not, simply because they were not informed. As a result, they overpaid the government on their taxes.”

Additionally, about five million Americans claimed no health insurance status on their forms, leaving the government struggling to find out how to categorize these folks. “We don’t know how millions of Americans in this country are able to pay for healthcare, or if they are receiving healthcare. It’s scary business.”

Critics Challenge Netflix’s Paternal Leave Plan 

The pros and cons of Netflix’s game-changing family leave.

Netflix recently announced that they will offer one year of paid leave for mothers and fathers after they have a child. Microsoft made similar changes to their paternal leave by offering 12 weeks of paid time off for parents. (Currently, America is one of the few developed nations that doesn’t mandate paid time off for new parents.)

Rob Wilson, CEO of Employco USA, says, “Many people are criticizing Netflix because they feel the plan is too open-ended. People have the option to come back when they desire (within a year’s time), but many employees say that they will feel pressured to come back sooner in order to protect their position and their upward mobility. No one wants to be the employee that takes a full year if everyone else is taking just a few months or less. Women might especially feel this pressure as they often have to work twice as hard to earn promotions and raises.”

Wilson says that majority of Employco’s clients follow the FMLA guidelines and provide 12 weeks of time off, although this time is not paid.

“Most of these companies do not offer paid leave, but they do offer short term disability insurance through our office which has no waiting period if purchased during open enrollment,” he says. “In most cases, employees use a combination of vacation/PTO and short term disability in order to survive those early days of parenthood. It’s not a perfect system, but things continue to improve as more people aren’t afraid to broach this topic with their employers and ask for what they need.”

What College Kids Need to Know about Part-time Jobs

Nearly 4 out of 5 college students have a job, with most spending almost 20 hours a week working along with attending classes. However, being a student and an employee can certainly be a strain, not to mention, competition for jobs on campuses can be fierce.

Rob Wilson, CEO of Employco USA, says, “Most college kids need to work in order to help pay the bills. However, it’s a shame that so many get jobs that won’t be helpful to their careers in the long run, or jobs that don’t pay them fairly for their time.”

Here are Wilson’s top tips for how college students can make the most of part-time work:

1)   Think outside the quad. “A job on campus might seem ideal,” says Wilson, “You can be close to classes and see your friends. However, campus jobs don’t generally pay well, and you will be competing with thousands of others kids. If you have transportation options, I suggest looking off campus.”

2)   Don’t just look for “fun” places to work. “Yes, being a barback at your favorite bar would be cool,” says Wilson. “But it’s not exactly going to impress any future employers down the road. Look for jobs that have cache in the field you want to break into, even if you have to start at the bottom, such as working in the mail room at your city newspaper if you want to be a journalist.”

3)   Don’t stop at the Campus Career Center. “Your career center probably has some options for students looking for work,” says Wilson, “But I think students should go even one step further. Find a temp agency that can help you look for part-time work. Not only will they help you find jobs, they can help you work on your resume and perfect your interview skills.”

4)   Be professional. “People sometimes hesitate to hire college students because they picture an Animal House personality,” says Wilson. “Make sure that you dress professionally (ditch the college uniform of jeans and pjs), and that your social media doesn’t reflect poorly on you.  Look at your TA’s and grad students in your field. They dress the part and hence come off as more confident and capable.”

5)   Don’t be afraid to intern. “Taking a job for little or no pay can seem crazy,” says Wilson, “But, trust me, it might be the smartest thing you can do for your future. Gaining real world experience and collecting valuable contacts will make a world of difference when you finally graduate.”

Why Small Businesses Could Suffer under Changes to United States’ Employment Laws

A recent study from Duke University found that employment laws which protect employees from being fired affect small businesses to a much greater extent than large businesses. This is because these employee protection laws leave plenty of room for loopholes, loopholes which large companies can easily utilize to their advantage.

Employment expert and CEO of Employco USA Rob Wilson explains, “Under employee protection laws in places such as Europe, employees are kept safe from being fired under certain circumstances. This means small business owners are forced to keep them on and pay their wages. However, large companies can often sidestep this law by shunting employees off to new locations or rearranging their staff—a luxury a small firm cannot afford.”

Both Wilson and the study researchers conclude that implementing such employee protection laws in the United States could wreak havoc on small businesses.

Wilson says, “Companies large and small have already suffered under recent changes to employment laws. From Obamacare to the minimum wage to proposed changes to overtime, employers are facing new financial strain every day.”