The third annual Division of Labor and Industry's (DLI) Employment Rights & Safety Forum was held on March 19, 2014 at Towson University. The Forum has a history of providing Maryland's workforce with all of the must-knows in compliance, safety, and employment law regulations. This annual event includes dynamic sessions lead by DLI staff and other industry professionals.

As the HRi representative at the Forum, Business Development Manager, Michael Leaf noted that "over two hundred attendees visited our exhibit and as the only outsourcing company in attendance, it created a unique platform to discuss our services.

It really was an interesting day. I spoke with a number of exceptional people – in particular, Erwin A. Burtnick, COL, USA (Ret.) who volunteers with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in support of USERRA compliance and Jeff Trice from the DLLR Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning who invited us to discuss HR-related items during their quarterly meetings."

Tim Schaffer had the pleasure of introducing the 2013 Honoree of the Year, Irene "Yia Yia" Magafan, at the Hospice of Queen Anne's 11th Annual Gala. Tim and his wife are involved with the organization through volunteer work and sponsorship opportunities.

Last year Chef Yia Yia donated a live auction item - an authentic Greek banquet for ten which included a selection of Greek wines for pairing with the various courses. This dinner that she creates and prepares fresh, from scratch ended up being the most highly sought after item! In fact, it was so well-received that she was asked to donate the item again.

A previous winning bidder of the Greek banquet said, "The evening was an absolute ball. Yia Yia prepared a truly memorable Greek dinner!"

Alison-Lalla-2Our 401(k) Administrator, Alison Lalla, attended the Annual Slavic 401(k) Compliance Course in Boca Raton, FL on February 5th and 6th. 

The course covered many topics including:

  • Use of Forfeiture Funds. Attendees reviewed Revenue Ruling 84-156 which states "forfeitures may be used to pay for administration expenses and/or future employer contributions to a 401(k) plan." 
  • Plan Mergers. This topic focused on the length of time it typically takes when merging plans, what to expect during blackout periods, and how to explain the transition to plan participants.
  • Non-Discrimination Testing. During this session, attendees reviewed ACP/ADP tests as the tests determine whether the highly compensated employees are benefiting more than the non-highly compensated employees and how the determination is calculated.

Alison frequently attends these continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on new regulations. She finds the "401(k) conferences to be valuable because it's important to be current on any developing guidelines so I can assist our plan participants to the best of my abilities. And holding them in Florida in February helps!"

Our Sales & Marketing Department received additional training this week – on how to use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool! On Monday, February 24th, Julie, Michael and Rachael attended a half-day workshop called "Maximize LinkedIn: The Class" in Annapolis, MD. 

The workshop was held by Sandler Training and taught them how to use LinkedIn for proactive prospecting in an effective and efficient manner to reach their target audience. Our Client Development Manager, Julie Harvey, pointed out a number of tips she learned, including:

  • Developing a plan to spend 30 minutes twice a week prospecting on LinkedIn
  • Using your standard business email (not your LinkedIn one) to send InMail and Connection Requests
  • Professional and appropriate interaction was encourage and appreciated by those in the LinkedIn community (in other words, don't spam people)