January 2016 Newsletter
Integrated Outsourced HR Services Tailored to your Needs
Dear (Contact First Name), 

Welcome to HR Knowledge's January 2016 Newsletter! Our goal is to keep you up to date with important HR and regulatory compliance information, news and events. We want this newsletter to be a valuable resource for you so we encourage all of our readers to provide comments, suggestions, and feedback. 

HR Knowledge, Inc.

HR Knowledge Officially Opens New Location!

HR Knowledge, an integrated human resources service that offers HR, payroll and benefits services to approximately 300 clients with a concierge-level approach, celebrated the doubling of their space with a ribbon-cutting at their new location at 15 Berkshire Road in Mansfield last week.

Approximately 150 people turned out to congratulate HR Knowledge Partners Jeff Garr of Mansfield and Ken Bettenhauser of Sudbury.  The company also received congratulations from Massachusetts State Representatives Elizabeth Poirier and Jay Barrows, who attended the event and presented the partners with an official proclamation from the House of Representatives.  Mansfield Selectman Jess Aptowitz, who also works with State Senator James Timilty as his District Policy and Budget Director, attended and presented an official proclamation from the Senate on behalf of the Senator, who was unable to attend.

In addition, Mansfield Town Manager Bill Ross and Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kara Griffin both congratulated the firm on its growth and the positive work environment they have fostered.

New Year and New Minimum Wage Increases for 2016

As we prepare for your first payrolls of 2016, we would like to make you aware of state minimum hourly wage changes for 2016.  In most of these states, the new minimum wage rates will apply as of January 1, 2016, while increased minimum wage rates in a few states will take effect later in 2016. If you are a multi-state employer with operations outside of Massachusetts, it is important to know that many states provide annual increases to the State Minimum Wage based on the U.S. Consumer Price Index and inflation.

2016 Transit Rate Increased to 

$255 per Month

On December 17, 2015, The U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes" (PATH) Act. The Senate approved the measure on December 18th, folding it into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, and President Barack Obama signed the omnibus bill into law that same day. 

As of Friday, December 18th, a law restoring parity to pre-tax parking and transit deductions for commuter plan members has been signed by the President. This is retro-effective January 1, 2015, and the legislation has made this parity permanent moving forward.
Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Law: Are you in Compliance?

By now you are probably aware that last year, Massachusetts voters approved a new sick leave law that went into effect on July 1, 2015. Many employers took advantage of the so-called "safe harbor" provision in the law and the implementing regulations that allowed them to delay full implementation until January 1, 2016, as long as they complied with certain general provisions of the law. This safe harbor expired on January 1, 2016 - so employers that relied on the safe harbor rules should have put in place new policies to comply with the sick leave law and distributed those policies to their employees before December 31, 2015.  

Health Insurance Update for 2016

What can we expect to happen with health care trend in 2016?

While medical plan costs are expected to rise modestly, the big health care cost driver next year will be prescription drugs. In fact, cost trend rates for drugs are expected to reach double digits, according to the 2015 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey.

The good news is that breakthroughs in prescription drugs during the past few years have made a tremendous impact for millions of people. But the downside is that these drugs come with huge price tags.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Reporting Provisions

IRS Guidance Announces Automatic Extension of Filling Deadlines for ACA Information Reporting 

This notice extends the due dates for the 2015 information reporting requirements, both furnishing to individuals and filing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for insurers, self-insuring employers, and certain other providers of minimum essential coverage under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), and the information reporting requirements for applicable large employers under section 6056 of the IRC. 

Action Required: Employment Law Poster Updates

At HR Knowledge, we are continuously monitoring the ever-changing labor law environment to help keep companies compliant with federal and state posting requirements. This year, over 25 states and municipalities raised their minimum wage rates; many states have also made additional changes to other mandatory workplace notices concerning unemployment, workers' compensation, and family and medical leave. Make sure your business has the most up-to-date mandatory posters required by both the federal and state governments.
Join Us for Our Upcoming FMLA Matters Webinar on February 11th

Join HR Knowledge and TASC for a dive into the complexity of The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) compliance. There's a way to guarantee compliance with this federally mandated program and to streamline the process at the same time. FMLAMatters is doing both for more and more employers. Shift your FMLA administration to FMLAMatters and lighten the workload on your already overburdened Human Resources Department. *For companies with more than 50 employees, FMLA guarantees eligible employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually due to certain family reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or serious health condition for themselves or a family member.

When an employer hires a remote employee, how should the employer complete the Form I-9?

Do we really need an employee handbook?


Perk of the Month!
HR Knowledge Clients receive discounted ticket prices at Cranmore Mountain!

Click here to purchase tickets, and use promo code
HRKNOW16 to receive discount. 

Please email perks@hrknowledge.com for additional information. 


If you or someone you know is seeking employment then you're in the right place! HR Knowledge not only is seeking qualified and talented people to join our staff but also for our clients. Please view our current job openings!

HR Knowledge and Our Clients Are Hiring!

Win the War for Talent by Using Our Outsourced Recruitment Method: Hiring Process Management (HPM)

Our Hiring Process Management™ (HPM)™ methodology embraces the full range of tasks involved in recruiting - from crafting the job description to candidate acquisition, vetting and selection, and even negotiating the employment offer. As companies increase their productivity to meet business goals, the demand for talent also increases. The process of identifying, recruiting, and screening new employees is multi-faceted and complex. Hiring the wrong employee can be detrimental to your company's employee morale, productivity, and bottom line.

Let our experts help you find and hire the right candidate. Our HPM service will relieve the burden of evaluating prospective employees and give you the confidence that you are hiring the best talent for your organization, in a cost-effective and timely manner. Whether you are looking to reduce hiring costs, expand your workforce, or a combination, HR Knowledge is a reliable and qualified partner that bridges the gap between your workforce needs and the best talent your industry has to offer.

HR Advice When You Need It

Are you a full-service client with an HR question?
Please contact your Client Account Manager who is readily available to assist you.

Not a client of HR Knowledge but have an HR question?
Our HR team provides expert, practical human resource guidance to business of all sizes. To learn more, please send us an email.
Charity Spotlight

The Rotary Club of Mansfield and their major sponsor, Pediatric Dental Care of Mansfield, once again helped put smiles on the faces of hundreds of needy kids this holiday season. 2015 marked the 23rd Annual Toys for Tots Drive to collect and deliver thousands of toys to our area's disadvantaged children.  The campaign is part of a national effort sponsored by the United States Marine Volunteer Corps. Each year, one half of the toys collected go to the West Side Benevolent Circle for families in Mansfield. The other half go to the Marine Corps to be distributed to charitable organizations in Southeastern Massachusetts that register their needs with the Marines.

Our CEO & Founder, Jeff Garr has been a Rotarian for more than 16 years and is a Past President of the Mansfield Rotary. The Mansfield Rotary leads the distribution effort for Southeastern MA for more than 22 years.  More than 70 local businesses and groups participate in the drive by hosting colorfully decorated boxes that are used as receptacles for collecting donated toys. Thanks to these businesses and the support of their employees and customers, the Rotary Club was able to collect over 81,100 toys since 1993 to make the holidays happy for less fortunate children. Last year alone the drive raised more than 4,100 new toys, bicycles and scooters and this season they raised and delivered 4,000.

To learn more about the Rotary Club of Mansfield, click here.
HR Knowledge, Inc. 
15 Berkshire Road | Suite B
Mansfield, MA 02048
P 508.339.1300 | F 508.339.1349
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About HR Knowledge, Inc. 

Founded in 2001, HR Knowledge, Inc. is a privately funded company that provides Integrated Outsourced HR Services tailored to your needs. Our full array of human resource offerings includes managed payroll, employee benefits administration, and HR consulting and support services, such as training, compliance, and Hiring Process Management™, our specialized recruitment service that covers everything from finding and screening candidates to onboarding new employees. Our major markets are fast-growing small- and medium-sized businesses, many of which are venture-capital-backed; foreign companies expanding into the states; and certain key education markets including charter schools and nonprofit enterprises. Partnering with HR Knowledge can reduce your administrative costs, minimize your legal risk, help you find and develop talent, and free you up to focus on your core business.