Are Summer Dress Codes Unfair to the Trans Community?

Employment expert explains how companies can ensure their dress codes are equitable for all

With summer temperatures climbing, employees are looking for ways to keep cool while in the office. But what happens when office dress codes are biased towards the cis community?

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert, says, “Summer dress codes present a big issue for many companies. This is a particularly important to discuss as June is Pride Month, and many dress codes are seen as transphobic.”

So how companies create a comprehensive and equitable dress code for men and women, including those in the LGBTQIA community?

Here, employment expert Wilson outlines the important steps that companies of every size should take:

  1. Don’t use gender-specific language in your company policies. “For example, instead of saying ‘Women should not wear miniskirts’ or ‘Men must wear a tie’ simply state ‘No miniskirts’ or ‘Business professional attire required.’ Don’t assume that all of your employees identify as cissexual or that they all dress according to specific gender stereotypes.”
  2. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. “If you allow your female staff to wear dark nail polish and edgy hair styles like pastel dye, then realize that is setting a precedent for the entire office. This means that all of your employees, including transwomen or men or those who identify as non-binary, will expect to have equal rights when it comes to expressing their fashion tastes. If you want to limit such expressions of individuality, then make a policy that only light nail polish is allowed and that no extreme hair colors or styles are permitted.”
  3. Send out a reminder at the start of each season. “As the weather gets warmer, more people are going to start reaching for open-toed shoes and sundresses,” says Wilson. “Now is the best time to send out a mass email to your staff with clear and concise instructions about summer dress.”

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Is the Debt Worth the Degree?

Employment expert weighs in on how Skilled Workers fare Vs. College Grads

The average college student will graduate with $37,172 in debt. College grads generally make around $50,000 once they enter the job market (if, of course, they can find employment.) This causes many people to wonder: Is university for everyone? Would entering a skilled trade be a smarter choice for many young adults?

“We have this idea in our society that a college degree is the gateway to financial freedom and success, says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “But the statistics don’t necessarily bear that out. Most college grads end up moving home after graduation to live with their parents, and it takes several months or more for them to find a job. In many cases, that job won’t be in their field of interest, and these young people end up spending a good chunk of their paycheck paying off their hefty student loans.”

In contrast, Wilson says that skilled trade workers make $50,000 a year (similar to a new college graduate’s annual salary), and they have around $2,500 in student loan debt as opposed to $37,000.

Wilson says, “Getting a 2-year degree can be a very smart move for many Americans. Baby boomers are retiring in droves, and as they do so, they will be leaving many of their jobs in skilled trades like carpentry and electrical work. Companies will need trained workers to replace this staff, and those few that can fill these positions will be in high demand. Alternatively, a college graduate with a degree in communications will be competing with millions of other equally qualified and motivated young people with similar degrees.”

So does Wilson think a college degree is not worth the debt?

“It really depends on your goals,” says Wilson. “Some careers certainly will require a 4-year degree. However, the reality is that we need skilled workers in this country, and companies are willing to pay good money to get that. Some will even pay for your training…meaning you can actually get paid to learn invaluable job skills that will look good on your resume no matter what career you end up choosing.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

The Age Penalty in the GOP Health Bill: Will Seniors be Stuck with a Bigger Bill?

Group employment insurance expert weighs in

Many Americans are upset that older people are going to face a ‘age penalty’ under President Trump’s healthcare plan, but not everyone sees the situation as problematic. In fact, some experts think that it won’t be the unfair cost that Americans fear it will be.

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and group employment insurance expert says, “For many years, insurers have been able to charge older people higher premiums, as it is understood that they will generally have higher health costs and require more doctor’s visits. This reality has been folded into insurance costs for older people for a significant period of time, so President Trump’s so-called age penalty won’t be changing things too much. The only difference is that Obamacare only allowed insurers to charge older folks three times as much as they what they would charge other people for the same coverage, whereas President Trump’s plan allows for them to charge up to five times as much.”

Still, Wilson doesn’t believe that this means that millennials will be getting a free ride, as he explains that President Trump’s  “continuous health insurance coverage incentive” will hit younger people the hardest.

“Younger people are disproportionately likely to suffer a lapse in insurance coverage,” says Wilson. “And President Trump is asking that people who drop in and out of the insurance market be faced with penalties for doing so. This continuous coverage incentive applies to anyone who opts to go without insurance for longer than 63 days and then desires to resume coverage. The idea is that young people can’t cherry-pick when they want insurance, leaving older folks stuck with a hefty bill.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

The Truth About Health Insurance Penalty Within the American Health Care Act

Group health insurance expert weighs in

The American Health Care Act is President Trump’s answer to President Obama’s hotly-debated Affordable Care Act. While many political experts are excited about the new plan, others wonder if the proposed penalty is similar in nature to the dreaded Obamacare penalties, which many complained laid an undue financial hardship on those least able to foot the bill.

Rob Wilson, group health insurance expert and President of Employco USA, says, “President Trump’s plan is exciting for employers for many reasons, including the removal of the taxes, the mandate penalties and the subsidies that were a cornerstone of Obamacare. As for the new proposed penalty, it only applies to anyone who opts to go without insurance for longer than 63 days and then desires to resume coverage.”

The purpose of this penalty, Wilson explains, is to keep people from dropping in out and of the market. However, it also allows for healthy individuals to opt not to buy a healthcare plan if they so desire.

“Part of the problem with Obamacare was that it forced people to buy coverage even when they did not need it or use it,” says Wilson. “Under President Trump’s plan, people can opt to buy insurance only when they actually need it. Even if a person were to take a penalty for not buying insurance and retaining it, it would still amount to less under The American Health Care Act than Affordable Care Act, so Americans still save big.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Tips to Combat Poor Productivity and Absenteeism During March Madness

basketball-2022861_1280Recent statistics reveal that March Madness has become more popular than ever before, thanks in large part to the worldwide betting that takes place. Over 60 million people are expected to fill out brackets this year, with an estimated $10 million being put on the table. However, there is another cost which people may not expect: a downturn in employee productivity.

“March Madness can be a drain on a company’s time and resources,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends Expert and President of Employco USA. “With millions of Americans filling out brackets and managing their bets, you can bet that employee productivity takes a hit during this time of year.”

In fact, research shows that lost wages caused by employee distraction and poor productivity during March Madness could amount to losses of up to $1.9 billion!

Wilson says, “Between filling out brackets, researching picks, watching the games, and then calling in sick or skipping work due to game days or hangovers, you are looking at a sharp downturn in employee performance. Luckily there are some ways you can manage this common nationwide issue.”

Wilson offers these tips:

Offer computers for personal use. “Make sure that you are keeping a close eye on your employees’ Internet usage,” says Wilson. “Any time employees have free, unfettered access to the Web, you are going to be looking at a decrease in employee productivity. Here’s an alternative: Offer your employees one to two computers for personal use during their breaks. Make sure the computers are in a public area and have a sign-in sheet to ensure that everyone will get a fair chance to use the computers and that people do not use them for extended periods of time. That way, if anyone needs to check their personal e-mail or use the Internet on their lunch break, they don’t need to use their official work computers.”

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Employco USA names Gerri LeCompte vice president

Gerri LeCompteA human resource and employment solutions firm, Employco USA promoted an employee to vice president of payroll services.

In this new position, Gerri LeCompte will be helping the firm as it stays on the cutting edge of payroll technology to take on more business.

“Gerri has been an integral part of our team – overseeing payroll operations for our clients. Within the trade show sector, Gerri saw the need for processing union fringes and the opportunity to set Employco apart from the competition. Gerri’s dedication to our clients is what our company strives for,” said Rob Wilson, CEO, Employco.

LeCompte attended St. Xavier University for Liberal Studies, with a focus in Business and Accounting. She has worked with notable firms, such as Hinckley Springs and National Van Lines. She started work at Employco as a payroll clerk in 1999. A year later she took on a roll that focused more on client/union contract maintenance, benefit payments, and audits. And, in 2002 she was promoted to payroll supervisor. She has seen much growth and positive change over the last 18 years with the company and is excited to step into her new position.

“I am honored to have been entrusted with such an important role within the company. I look forward to helping Employco rise above the competition in quality of service as we continue to grow in our industry.”

LeCompte has been married for 16 years and lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two children, ages 8 and 10. She is very involved in her children’s school and sport organizations, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her free time.

For more information, please contact Rob Wilson at (630) 286-7345 or rwilson@employco.com.

What Small Businesses Need from President Trump

Employment trends expert reveals ‘Small Business Wish List’ for the President

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, the Index of Small Business Optimism increased by 11 points this past quarter, rising to its highest point since December 2004. It’s easy to see that small businesses are very hopeful about a Trump presidency.

Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, says, “Many small business owners are backing Trump and feeling cheered about the country’s economic future.  However, there are several things that the President needs to do in order to fulfill this optimism.”

Here, Wilson shares his “Small Business Wish List” for President Trump:

Small Business Wish List to President Trump

Replace Obamacare and include the following changes: Wilson says, “Small business owners need Trump to remove the mandate on individuals and employers, as well as reduce the amount of governmental oversight including the elimination of Forms 1094 and 1095. He should also allow employers to change employee eligibility back to 40 hours per week. And this is crucial: He needs to open up interstate insurance sales, as well as cancel the  Cadillac tax.”

Establish 6 weeks of paid family leave benefit (maternity and paternity). Wilson says, “The new leave could require the same eligibility as FMLA (i.e., employee must work at least 1 year with 1,250 hours worked at worksite with at least 50 employees within 75 miles).”

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Why President Donald Trump Will Raise the Minimum Wage

Employment trends expert explains why Pres. Trump will certainly raise the minimum wage

trumpNot many people expect that President Trump will raise the minimum wage. In fact, during the primaries, he famously declared that American wages were already “too high.” However, he later declared that he believes the issue should be left to the states, implying that he would not make any federal changes to the minimum wage as president.

However, Rob Wilson, president of Employco USA and employment trends expert, believes otherwise, saying, “The minimum wage has not changed on a national level since July 2009. Meanwhile, the cost of living has continued to increase, so we are certainly due for a change. While his opponent Hillary Clinton was vocal about seeking $15/hr for the federal minimum wage, President Trump will certainly not go anywhere near that high.”

Instead, Wilson believes that he will likely move the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50, in a slow progress towards a goal of $10 an hour.

“I do believe that President Trump will raise wages during his presidency, but it is far from the top of his to-do list. Hence, I would expect it to be a number of years before minimum wage employees will see their paychecks make any notable increase.”

Wilson closes by saying, “Employers should begin making preparations now for a higher minimum wage. Although the change will be incremental, previous minimum wage experiments in cities such as Seattle have shown the devastating impact that minimum wage hikes can have for both employers and employees.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.