Today’s post is by Karen Connor, our VP of Business Development.

Conference Eating 101: Keep your beverages full-size and your food tiny. The calories don’t count that way.

COATS had the opportunity to network this past week at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Palm Springs, California with a group of wonderful people from a unique organization, TempNet.

What is TempNet? In their own words: “Established in 1978, TempNet is an association of independently owned and operated temporary staffing companies, and allied providers to the industry. TempNet is the premier association of dynamic, independent staffing firms in exclusive territories. Members form a nationwide alliance of industry leaders offering education, best practices, business support and camaraderie.”

This unique organization allows Associate members and Members to collaborate during conferences twice yearly. It is a welcoming environment as there are no competing agencies, allowing members to exchange information freely. I suggest to any independent agency looking for education, partnership and a social outlet to consider TempNet. These people know how to work hard and play hard!

The highlighted and most discussed topic was the ever-anticipated Affordable Care Act and its impact on all staffing agencies. Ed Lenz, ASA Senior Counsel discussed the latest information regarding the American Staffing Association’s impact on legislation, followed by a panel discussion with Mark Lam from the Assurance Agency  and Aaron Lesher, with Essential StaffCARE. The main takeaway was that while there is still much to be determined, diligent planning must begin now. Review available regulations and talk with your current insurance provider to see if your organization is going to PLAY or PAY.

COATS allows agencies to review their full-time equivalent employees via the Benefit Eligibility Report based on a yearly date range and the required 1,560 hours for a full time equivalent (FTE). This number will be the number of employees who would either be eligible to PLAY and take advantage of your agency’s minimum essential coverage (MEC) plan or the same number of employees would be the current total your agency would need to PAY regarding the penalty. The set amount of $2,000 per year per employee has been set and is not deductible. Once state marketplaces are more defined, MEC plans are described and regulations are outlined, COATS will be creating a number of reports for administrative tracking. STAY TUNED!

The highlighted and most social night was the Turtle Games. Congratulations to Region 5!  The Iron Chef competition had all 5 regions of TempNet compete against one another regarding taste, marketing and customer service. After being a member since 1997; this was one of my most favorites – FOOD! 🙂

Based on my varying chilly and warm, intriguing and relaxing days in Palm Springs, I’m already looking forward to March 12-15 in St. Pete’s Beach with the Florida Staffing Association. See you there!

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