Spotlight on Employers Resource


Since 1985, Employers Resource has been working with clients to develop long-term solutions for administrative business needs. Based on four simple core values, the company has built a reputation for quality work, long-term relationships, and integrity. Services include human resources, payroll, benefits, compliance, workers’ comp, safety management, and more. Employers Resource has served clients in all fifty states and maintains eight regional service centers, guaranteeing personalized service designed to meet the specific needs of each client they serve.

We asked Employers Resource to comment on some common questions we receive from business owners:

1.  Are you able to provide me more affordable health insurance than I can find on my own?

Emp Resource: Yes and no.  You can get the same rates we can from a given carrier, but, we can offer a more strategic approach to your benefits plan that can result in lower overall costs.  Using tools like Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts we can often give your employees better (first dollar) coverage while bringing down your insurance cost by adjusting your deductible.

2.  Can I customize my benefit packages?

Emp Resource: Absolutely.  That’s the core of our approach.  We never tie you to just one or two carriers.  We can show you ANY plan designs from ANY carrier so you know your plan is the best for you, not us.

3.  What does it take to get an employee up and running on your service? How does your onboarding process work?

Emp Resource: In the initial onboarding meeting, we try to meet with all employees at once.  (It’s not required, but it’s more efficient.)  In that meeting we explain our role and then discuss all the new perks and benefits they will receive by becoming part of the Employers Resource family.  Once they fully understand all the benefits, we focus on getting all the needed paperwork to set up each employee’s file.  

These forms include the W4, State Withholding, I-9, benefit elections, employee information sheet, etc.  This meeting usually takes about one hour.  Once you are a client, we will provide you with all the necessary forms needed for future new hires.  There is also an electronic portal new hires can use to complete their forms.

4.  You talk about the employee self-service offering; why is this a benefit to me or my employees? Why do I care?

Emp Resource: Employees appreciate having easy online access to things like pay check stubs, benefit election data, W2’s etc. When they can easily access this information themselves, they don’t have to bother you or your administrative staff! Everyone wins.

5.  How much interaction is there between the PEO and the actual workers? Does a liaison come to my office?

Emp Resource: This depends on the client’s needs.  We are there for the initial onboarding meeting.  We also often come to the client site during the open enrollment period for benefits. Other than that the interaction is mostly around employees calling us regarding payroll and/or benefit questions.  Each account is assigned a Client Service Coordinator that helps with these types of requests.  The CSC also works directly with the client on things like handbook development and legal updates.

6.  If my employees have an issue, who do they talk to?  Do they contact the PEO directly or does everything have to go through me?

Emp Resource: This is based on your preference.  We want to take as much of the load off our client as possible, but some clients like all issues going through them.  We can work with you either way.

7.  How much liability goes to the PEO vs the business owner if there is a legal action against the company (sexual harassment, wrongful termination, etc.)? How much assistance do you provide in settling these disputes and at what cost to me?

Emp Resource: The client is ultimately the party named in a legal action such as sexual harassment or wrongful termination. Employers Resource clients have very little to worry about regarding these issues. We are unique in that we institute an “Alternate Dispute Resolution” program with all employees. This program prevents employees from using the court room to threaten their employer. Disputes must be settled via a fast and fair process of Mediation, and then if the dispute can’t be settled there, they move to binding arbitration.

This program protects “good” employees who have been victims of things like wrongful termination, while also protecting the employer from bad employees who are just out to try to win a settlement. We see this most often in employees that were just terminated. They want to get even and threaten the employer with a bogus lawsuit. Our program eliminates this threat.

8.  Does the PEO have an in-house lawyer that I have access to for consultations? Is there an additional fee for this?

Emp Resource: Yes, we do have in-house counsel and there is no fee associated with our clients being advised by them.

9.  Who handles state unemployment taxes and claims? Do I have to do anything, and what is the extent of my involvement?

Emp Resource: We collect and forward all state payroll taxes on behalf of our clients.  While we handle the claim process, including disputing claims, our clients are often needed for the actual hearings.

10.  I’ve read about losing control of certain aspects of my business if I go with a PEO. What specifically can I not do, or will I need PEO approval to do, once I sign up?

Emp Resource: This is an unfortunate misconception about going with a PEO.  The fact is, business owners gain MORE control over their business after going with a PEO.  When they are free from having to deal with so many “transactional” tasks around the employment of their people, they are able to step back and see their business in a new way.  They can focus more on the “big picture” and the larger issues.  

This is just one reason why small businesses that use a PEO are far less likely to fail.  NAPEO has an excellent study available online that supports this fact.  As for what you “can’t” do with a PEO, it’s really just all the same things you shouldn’t do if you were not with a PEO.  Keep all your required insurances and licenses in place, don’t misclassify employees for workers compensation, don’t pay employees “under the table” etc.

11. What, specifically, is the PEO able to do without my consent?

Emp Resource: We can terminate the relationship if a client violates the terms of our agreement. This is rare.

12. You talk about training and development offerings, what kind of training are you talking about? In what areas and is it via online, onsite, classroom, etc?

Emp Resource: Via our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) your employees will have access to a large database of trainings on topics ranging from professional development, to health and wellness, and even identity theft resources.  These are online and easy to access.  Some trainings we will do on-site.  These are when a client has a special need or requirement for trainings like Sexual Harassment, Workplace Violence or a Safety related training.

13. How do you assure me you have remitted my state and federal taxes?

Emp Resource: We are audited throughout the year by an independent CPA firm.  They verify that we have processed all payroll taxes properly and then verify with the IRS that the taxes have been paid.  These audits are available to our clients upon request.

14. What makes Employers Resource unique?

Emp Resource: Our founder and CEO George Gersema founded the concept of “co-employment” which all PEO’s use today. Before this, the model was called “employee leasing.” So in our 30 years we’ve actually shaped what PEOs are today. We are privately held and don’t have to answer to Venture Capital partners or anyone else who only cares about profit. Also, our Alternate Dispute Resolution program is unique in the PEO industry. While a few PEOs have followed our lead in offering an ADR program, no other program is as beneficial for the client as ours.

We are in full compliance with the National Arbitration Act and use the National Arbitration Forum to handle all our disputes. Unlike other programs, our arbitration agreement cannot be undermined by ANY state law. Lastly, we renew over 95% of our clients year to year. Many of our clients have been with us over 20 years! You see similar tenure in our staff. From sales to service most of our employees have been with us for over 10 years. That stability is a reflection of how we care for our clients and each other.

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