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String Theory

If I were to state the obvious, that PEO compliance is complex, you would be justified in replying, “No kidding, Sherlock!”

Just as any sleuth worth his or her salt has to gather, piece together, and make connections between seemingly disparate clues to reveal the truth, so do PEO operators as they seek and compile information to keep their companies and those of their clients compliant with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

In the PEO world, there is much information to collect, understand, connect, and translate into practice and policy, and it is constantly changing:

  • The complicated federal and state patchwork of laws and regulations governing HR and benefits:
    • Sexual harassment and pay equity;
    • Paid family and sick leave; and
    • Retirement benefits.
  • Business regulation:
    • Joint-employer status and independent contractor standards; and
    • Wage and hour litigation, overtime regulations, and exempt/non-exempt classifications.
  • Litigation and enforcement:
    • Litigation trends that foretell the direction of things to come; and
    • Immigration audits.
  • State trends:
    • Developing policy to address differing state laws and regulations; and
    • Tracking issues in the states to keep compliance efforts up to date.
  • Evolving areas of the law:
    • Marketplace contractors, i.e., companies in the gig economy.

We hope this feature provides what you need to strengthen your PEO’s compliance program.

Know More


Risk Management

Can Machines Think?

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have been envisioned and then deployed over the last 100-plus years. Robots were the very first version of AI, appearing in the first science fiction books coming out in the late 1800s. The ability to recreate human thought, emotion, and action has been fantasized about since that time. The realistic concept of teaching a computer (machine learning) was facilitated by the dreamers who envisioned the ability of computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. How can the actions and thought processes of a human be learned and then acted upon? Can a machine bring more concise conclusions and predictions than a human?


Tapping into New Markets

Untapped and underserved markets are prime real estate for small and mid-size PEOs willing to branch out and capitalize on these opportunities. When you have a well-established, successful PEO service model and a goal of expanding into a new niche or underserved market, how do you decide how and where to invest your time and resources? How can you find your way to great prospects and establish a client base in a new area or within a new niche market or vertical?

Start-up Guide

Why Do PEO Start-Ups Succeed (or Fail)?

How the demographic of new start-up PEOs has evolved over time is interesting to me. In yesteryear, the typical profile of a new start-up PEO operator was a PEO veteran who had learned the trade on the sales, operations, or finance teams of established PEOs. This was followed by a growing trend of new entrants emerging from other market verticals such as insurance brokers, payrolls, and staffing companies. Some say that the era for new start-up PEOs has come to an end with the accelerating wave of PEO consolidation, with the distance between the small and the large getting greater, with an increasing advantage to economies of scale. Is this the reason that start-up PEOs sometimes fail?


Inside Word

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away… Barron L. Guss

Each month I’m charged with writing a thought-provoking column on a PEO-related topic. Well, after reading my ramblings below, you might say to yourself, “What a stretch,” and you might be right! I recently had a heartwarming experience that actually renewed my faith in mankind. Now that I’ve got your attention, my son Zachary and I attended the Star Wars fan convention—“Celebration 2019”—in mid-April at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.

NAPEO Notebook

The Continuing Matter of Form 5500 Patrick J. Cleary

Every crisis has an unmistakable arc. It starts with a drip, followed by more drips until it develops into a flood. So it was last month: A member company emailed me somewhat urgently to tell me he had received a Notice of Rejection (NOR) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) pertaining to his Form 5500 filing. That was the first drip. In the days to follow, we heard from dozens of members who had received similar letters from the DOL, giving them 45 days to file amended Form 5500s—with customer lists—or face substantial penalties. We turned our attention to this. It’s been all-consuming since then.

Up Front

NAPEO’s 2019 White Paper Will Focus on ROI of PEOs Kerry Carruthers

For NAPEO’s 2019 white paper, to be unveiled in September during our Annual Conference & Marketplace in Austin, Texas, economists Laurie Bassi and Dan McMurrer are endeavoring to calculate once and for all the specific return on investment (ROI) of using a PEO. We’ve heard from many of you over the years that this is a “holy grail” of sorts that would be a boon to PEO sales and marketing efforts, so we are excited to be able to show the real numbers behind the PEO value proposition.

Capitol Comment

Developments on the Form 5500 Filing Front Thom Stohler

Since late February, NAPEO has been working on the issue of Form 5500 filing, when the Department of Labor (DOL) sent Notice of Rejection (NOR) letters to PEOs that redacted or sent under separate cover the employer participants in their health, welfare, and pension plans on their 2016 Form 5500 filings.

Legal Q&A

The Latest on Joint Employer Status Farrah L. Fielder, Esq.

Q. My PEO continues to stress over developments surrounding the joint employer issue. It seems like there is always something going on: Browning-Ferris, not Browning-Ferris, Browning-Ferris again, some rulemaking at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and now there’s another rulemaking at a different agency? What’s the latest, and how will it affect my business?

PEO Index

Index Trends Down Due to Tight Labor Market John Slavic

The PEO employment index shows a downward slope, indicating the continued difficulties in hiring qualified people for open positions. Currently, there are 1.7 million unfilled job openings in the U.S. economy.

PEOs in the Community

The Nextep Charitable Foundation Chris Chaney

Just over a year ago, Brian Fayak and his team at Nextep founded a nonprofit organization to facilitate the company’s long history of serving its community. The Nextep Charitable Foundation represents a deep commitment to helping others that runs through the company’s culture and its people.

The Big Picture

Businesses on the Frontlines in the Fight Against Opioid Misuse Thomas J. Donohue

One. Trillion. Dollars.  That’s the estimated cost of the opioid crisis on the U.S. economy, a number expected only to rise in the future. 

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