State Poster Requirements

This document provides direct links to the workplace posters employers are required to display under state law. These posters, including official translated versions, are created and updated by state agencies. Employers must also comply with all applicable federal posting requirements.

Employers must display required posters in a public place where employees can easily access them. While most posters apply to all employers within the state, some may apply to specific industries or employers. Employers can review each poster description to determine whether they are required to display that particular poster.

New and Updated Posters

  • Minimum wage poster (01/20)
  • Clean Indoor Air Act requirement
  • Workers’ Compensation Anti-fraud notice

All Employers

The following posters are required for all employers in Florida:

  • Anti-discrimination poster

English/Spanish

  • Clean Indoor Air Act: The person in charge of an enclosed indoor workplace may, at his or her discretion, post “NO SMOKING” signs as deemed appropriate.
  • Establishments where smoking is permitted may also be required to post signs.
  • Minimum wage poster (links are to the 2020 posters; earlier versions are available here)

EnglishSpanishHaitian Creole

  • Re-employment assistance program poster (unemployment compensation)

EnglishSpanish

  • Workers’ compensation notice

EnglishSpanish

  • Workers’ Compensation Anti-Fraud Notice

English

Employers that Receive Federal Financial Assitance

  • Equal opportunity notice: this poster should be printed on 8.5–by-14-inch paper. 

EnglishSpanishFrenchHaitian Creole

Employers that Hire Minors

The following poster applies to employers that hire underage workers:

  • Child labor laws

English

We hope you found this article helpful and informative. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. We are always here to help.

Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan

Each year, employee benefit plan administrators are generally required to file a return/report regarding the plan’s financial condition, investments and operations. The annual reporting obligation is generally satisfied by filing the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan or Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan, plus any required schedules and attachments. The Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) jointly developed the Form 5500 series to consolidate the main annual reporting requirements for employee benefit plans. 

The Form 5500 series is intended to protect the rights and benefits of plan participants and beneficiaries by assuring that:

  • Employee benefit plans are operated and managed in accordance with certain prescribed standards
  • Employee benefit plan participants and beneficiaries are provided with or have access to sufficient plan information

In addition, the Form 5500 series is an important compliance, research and disclosure tool for the DOL. It is also a source of information and data for use by other federal agencies, Congress and the private sector in assessing employee benefit, tax and economic trends and policies.

An employee benefit plan’s Form 5500 or 5500-SF must accurately reflect the plan’s characteristics and operations for the reporting period. An employee benefit plan administrator’s reporting obligations under the Form 5500 or 5500-SF will vary based on the type and size of benefit plan involved. For example, the administrator of an insured health plan will typically have significantly fewer reporting obligations than the administrator of a large pension plan.   

Helpful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about the Form 5500 Series

Am I required to file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for my employee benefit plan?

Administrators of ERISA employee benefit plans are required to file an annual Form 5500 or 5500-SF, unless a reporting exemption applies. More specifically, if you are the administrator of a profit sharing plan, stock bonus plan, money purchase plan, 401(k) plan, defined benefit plan, 403(b) plan or welfare benefit plan, you must file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the plan each year.

Certain welfare benefit plans are exempt from all or part of the Form 5500 series reporting requirements. For example, there is an exemption from Form 5500 series reporting for small welfare benefit plans (fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year) that are unfunded, fully insured or a combination of unfunded and fully insured. More information on which welfare benefit plans are exempt from the filing requirement is provided below.

The Form 5500 filing requirement does not apply to cafeteria plans based on the rationale that cafeteria plans are merely funding vehicles. However, a Form 5500 or 5500-SF is required for any component benefit plan that is an ERISA welfare plan (for example, health FSAs and dental, long-term disability, AD&D and group term life plans), unless an exemption applies.

To illustrate, assume an employer maintains a cafeteria plan to allow employees to pay their health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars. All ten of the employer’s employees participate in both the cafeteria plan and the underlying fully insured health plan. In this scenario, the employer does not need to file a Form 5500 for the cafeteria plan, and no reporting is required for the health plan because it falls under the Form 5500 filing exemption for small and fully insured welfare benefit plans.

As another illustration, assume the same facts, except that there are 250 employees participating in both the cafeteria plan and underlying fully insured health plan. In this scenario, a Form 5500 is not required for the cafeteria plan, but the employer must annually file a Form 5500, with all required schedules and attachments, to satisfy the ERISA reporting requirement for the health plan.

Which welfare plans must file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF?

Must File:

  • Large funded plans
  • Large unfunded plans
  • Large insured plans
  • Large combination unfunded/insured plans
  • Small funded plans

Exempt from filing:

  • Small unfunded plans
  • Small insured plans
  • Small combination unfunded/insured plans
  • Unfunded or insured plans for certain select employees (management or highly compensated employees)
  • Employer-sponsored day care centers
  • Certain apprenticeship and training plans
  • Plans not subject to ERISA

Multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) that are required to file a Form M-1 (“Report for Multiple Employer Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming Exception (ECE)”) must file Form 5500 regardless of plan size or the type of funding (including small unfunded or insured welfare plans).

What is a small plan?

Small plans are those with fewer than 100 covered participants at the beginning of the plan year.

Who are covered participants?

Participants are covered by the plan on the earlier of: (1) the date the plan says participation begins; (2) the date the individual become eligible to receive a benefit; or (3) the date the individual makes a voluntary or mandatory payment.  Participants may include employees and former employees (for example, COBRA beneficiaries).

Covered dependents are NOT counted as participants when determining if a plan qualifies for the small plan exemption.

What is an unfunded plan?

Unfunded plans are those where benefits are paid solely from the general employer assets and not from plan assets in whole or in part. Participant contributions (except if accepted through a cafeteria plan) are plan assets under DOL regulations. Also, a plan that uses a trust or separately maintained fund to hold plan assets (or act as a conduit for the transfer of plan assets) is not unfunded.

What is an insured plan?

Insured plans are those where benefits are paid solely through insurance policies. Premiums must be paid directly by the employer from its general assets. Alternatively, premiums may be paid partly from an employer’s general assets and partly by participant contributions, which the employer forwards no later than three months after receipt.

Am I eligible to file a Form 5500-SF for my employee benefit plan?

Eligible small employee benefit plan filers may use the Form 5500-SF instead of the regular Form 5500. Form 5500-SF is a simplified annual reporting form. To be eligible to use Form 5500-SF, an employee benefit plan must:

  • Have fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year
  • Meet the conditions for exemption from the plan audit requirement
  • Have all of its assets invested in certain secure investments with a readily determinable fair value
  • Hold no employer securities
  • Not be a multiemployer plan
  • Not be required to file a Form M-1

How do I electronically file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for my employee benefit plan?

All Forms 5500 and 5500-SF, including required schedules and attachments, must be filed electronically using the DOL’s EFAST2 electronic filing system. Administrators cannot file paper annual reports by mail or other delivery service.

Under EFAST2, plan filers may choose to use either approved third-party vendor software or the DOL’s Web-based filing system (IFILE) to prepare and submit Forms 5500 or 5500-SF. Third-party vendor software typically offers more functionality than IFILE. For example, some third-party vendor software may support transmission of batch filings and may integrate with a plan filer’s system to automatically complete some of the required Form 5500 or 5500-SF information. IFILE can only transmit single filings, and it does not integrate with a filer’s system to help complete the annual report.

Plan filers must obtain EFAST2 electronic credentials to sign and/or submit the Form 5500 or 5500-SF, or to prepare a return in IFILE. In addition to the online resources noted above, plan filers may obtain assistance through the toll-free EFAST2 Help Line at 1-866-463-3278.

How many Forms 5500 or 5500-SF do I need to file?

For benefits provided by a single business entity, the number of annual reports to file depends on how many separate ERISA plans the plan sponsor maintains. A plan sponsor can determine how many separate ERISA plans it maintains by reviewing its employee benefit plan documents. For plan sponsors that are part of a controlled group, generally only one Form 5500 or 5500-SF is required for each employee benefit plan maintained by the controlled group. However, in a controlled group setting, consideration must be given to whether or not the funds contributed by controlled group members are available to provide benefits to all eligible employees of the controlled group.

Plan sponsors may decide to combine more than one type of ERISA welfare benefit into a single plan to consolidate annual reporting. The intention to combine benefits into a single plan should be reflected in the governing plan documents, such as a wrap document. If ERISA welfare benefits are combined into a single plan, the plan administrator would generally only be required to annually file one Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the plan’s benefits.

What is the deadline for filing Form 5500 or 5500-SF?

Form 5500 or 5500-SF must generally be filed by the last day of the seventh month following the end of the plan year, unless an extension applies. For calendar year plans, the deadline is normally July 31 of the following year.

How can I obtain an extension for filing Form 5500 or 5500-SF?

A plan administrator may request a one-time extension of two and one-half months by filing IRS Form 5558 by the unextended due date of the Form 5500 or 5500-SF. If the Form 5558 is filed on or before the normal due date of the Form 5500 or 5500-SF, the extension is automatically granted.

In addition, an automatic extension for filing Form 5500 or 5500-SF until the due date of the employer’s federal income tax return will apply if: (1) the plan year and the employer’s tax year are the same; (2) the employer has been granted an extension of time for filing its federal income tax return to a date later than the normal due date for the Form 5500 or 5500-SF; and (3) the administrator maintains a copy of the application for extending the due date of the employer’s federal tax return. This automatic extension cannot be further extended by using Form 5558, and it cannot extend beyond a total of nine and one-half months following the close of the plan year.   

Am I required to file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF if the employee benefit plan was terminated during the prior year?

Yes. If an employee benefit plan was terminated last year, a final Form 5500 or 5500-SF is generally due on the last day of the seventh month following the date of the plan termination. The last annual report for a plan is called a “terminal report.” The terminal report cannot be filed until all the plan’s assets have been distributed or legally transferred, or all benefit liabilities under a welfarebenefit plan have been satisfied.

What is my employee benefit plan’s number?

The employer assigns the plan number. The plan number should appear in the plan’s summary plan description. Once a plan number has been used for a plan, it should not be used for any other plan, even if the first plan has been terminated. Generally, retirement plans are numbered sequentially from 001, and welfare benefit plans are numbered sequentially from 501.

Who do I contact if I have questions about completing Form 5500 or 5500-SF?

For answers to your filing questions, please contact your tax advisor or the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) at 1-866-463-3278. You may find answers to your questions by referring to the online resources noted above.

What are the penalties for not complying with the Form 5500 or 5500-SF requirements?

The DOL and IRS can assess penalties for noncompliance with the annual reporting requirements, including submitting incomplete Forms 5500 or 5500-SF or not filing Forms 5500 or 5500-SF by the due date. For example, the DOL has the authority under ERISA to assess penalties of up to $2,233 per day for each day an administrator fails or refuses to file a complete Form 5500 or 5500-SF.  

The penalties may be waived if the noncompliance was due to reasonable cause. The IRS can also impose civil penalties for noncompliance with certain Form 5500 or 5500-SF reporting obligations. In addition, ERISA provides for criminal penalties for willful violations of its reporting requirements.

The DOL typically sends a Notice of Intent to Assess a Penalty to notify filers of a proposed DOL penalty due to a late or incomplete annual return. The CP 283 Notice is sent to notify filers of a proposed IRS penalty due to a late or incomplete Form 5500, 5500-SF or 5500-EZ return.

What is the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) program?

The DFVC program was created by the DOL to encourage employee benefit plan administrators to voluntarily file overdue annual reports and pay reduced civil penalties. Plan administrators are eligible to use the DFVC program only if they make the required filings prior to being notified in writing by the DOL of a failure to file a timely annual report.

To use the DFVC program, plan administrators should take the following steps:

  • Complete the Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the year at issue, or the most current form available
  • Check box D of the Form 5500 or box C of the Form 5500-SF
  • Electronically file the delinquent Form 5500 or 5500-SF under EFAST2
  • Use the DFVC’s online calculator to determine the penalty amount and pay the penalty

Under the DFVC program, penalties can be paid online or by mail, although the DOL strongly encourages electronic payments.

Although the DFVC program only reduces the penalty amounts under ERISA, the IRS has also agreed to provide penalty relief where the conditions of the DFVC program have been satisfied.  Late filers of the Form 5500 series qualify for penalty relief from the IRS if they complete the following steps:

  • Complete the Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the year at issue, or the most current form available
  • Satisfy all of the DFVCP requirements;
  • File a paper form 8955-SSA with the IRS (no electronic filings);
  • Check the box on Form 8955-SSA, Part I, line C (Special Extension) and enter “DFVCP” in the description on line C; and
  • Mail the Form 8955-SSA and the delinquent returns to the IRS within 30 calendar days of the DFVCP filing.

The PBGC may provide certain penalty relief for delinquent annual returns/reports filed for Title I plans where the conditions of the DFVCP have been satisfied.

We hope you found this article helpful and informative. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. We are always here to help.

Cyber Security for Small Businesses

High-profile cyber attacks on companies such as Target and Sears have raised awareness of the growing threat of cyber crime. Recent surveys conducted by the Small Business Authority, Symantec, Kaspersky Lab and the National Cybersecurity Alliance suggest that many small business owners are still operating under a false sense of cyber security.

The statistics of these studies are grim; the vast majority of U.S. small businesses lack a formal internet security policy for employees, and only about half have even rudimentary cybersecurity measures in place. Furthermore, only about a quarter of small business owners have had an outside party test their computer systems to ensure they are hacker proof, and nearly 40 percent do not have their data backed up in more than one location.

Don’t Equate Small with Safe

Despite significant cybersecurity exposures, 85 percent of small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a data breach. This disconnect is largely due to the widespread, albeit mistaken, belief that small businesses are unlikely targets for cyber attacks. In reality, data thieves are simply looking for the path of least resistance. Symantec’s study found that 43 percent of attacks are against organizations with fewer than 250 employees.

Outside sources like hackers aren’t the only way your company can be attacked—often, smaller companies have a family-like atmosphere and put too much trust in their employees. This can lead to complacency, which is exactly what a disgruntled or recently fired employee needs to execute an attack on the business.

Attacks Could Destroy Your Business

As large companies continue to get serious about data security, small businesses are becoming increasingly attractive targets—and the results are often devastating for small business owners.

According to a 2017 study by the Ponemon Institute, the average annual cost of cyber attacks for small and medium-sized businesses was over $2.2 million. Most small businesses don’t have that kind of money lying around, and as a result, nearly 60 percent of the small businesses victimized by a cyber attack close permanently within six months of the attack. Many of these businesses put off making necessary improvements to their cyber security protocols until it was too late because they feared the costs would be prohibitive.

10 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks

Even if you don’t currently have the resources to bring in an outside expert to test your computer systems and make security recommendations, there are simple, economical steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling victim to a costly cyber attack:

  1. Train employees in cyber security principles.
  2. Install, use and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used in your business.
  3. Use a firewall for your internet connection.
  4. Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as they become available.
  5. Make backup copies of important business data and information.
  6. Control physical access to your computers and network components.
  7. Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace make sure it is secure and hidden.
  8. Require individual user accounts for each employee.
  9. Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software.
  10. Regularly change passwords.

In addition to the listed tips, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides a tool for small businesses that can create and save a custom cyber security plan for your company, choosing from a menu of expert advice to address your specific business needs and concerns. It can be found at www.fcc.gov/cyberplanner.

Your Emerging Technology Partner

A data breach could cripple your small business, costing you thousands or millions of dollars in lost sales and/or damages. Contact Morris & Reynolds Insurance today. We have the tools necessary to ensure you have the proper coverage to protect your company against losses from cyber attacks.

Health Insurance Mandates

State health insurance mandates are laws regulating the terms of coverage for insured health plans. Mandates can affect various parts of health insurance plans as follows:

  • Benefit mandates require health insurance plans to cover specific treatments, services or procedures.
  • Provider mandates require health insurance plans to pay for services provided by specific health care professionals. Often, provider mandates are in the form of nondiscrimination mandates that require coverage only if the health plan already reimburses services within the scope of the health care professional’s practice.
  • Person mandates require health insurance plans to cover specific categories of people.     

Additonal mandates for health plans exist at the federal level. For example, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires non-grandfathered health plans in the small group and individual markets to provide coverage for certain items and services designated as “essential health benefits.”  Health plan sponsors and issuers should work with their advisors to determine how to comply with applicable federal and state mandates.

This Employment Law Summary contains charts outlining Florida’s benefit, provider and person mandates for group health insurance policies (referred to as “plans” throughout this document).

Benefit Mandates

Provider Mandates

Person Mandates

State Resources

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Website

Florida Statues
Text of Florida’s laws is available here.

We hope you found this article helpful and informative. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. We are always here to help.

The Dangers of Uber and Other Ride-Sharing Apps

Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services can make it easy to get a quick car ride or make some extra income, and they’re only becoming more popular. In fact, in the cities where these platforms are available, taxi ridership has declined anywhere from 10%-30%. However, the convenience of ride-sharing isn’t without risks. Most ride-sharing businesses are in the early stages of development, and the popularity, risk management and compliance issues they’re facing are all in uncharted territory.

How the Apps Work

Each ride-sharing service has its differences, but they all operate under the same basic concept. Almost anyone can be a driver for these services, but each one has different minimum standards for screening drivers and their vehicles. Passengers can then see available drivers and make a request for a ride through an app on their smartphones.

Most apps display the driver’s route and estimated time of arrival, in addition to the driver’s name, photo and vehicle information. The ride-sharing service then takes a cut of the fare, typically between 20%-25%, for each ride a driver completes.

These apps are convenient for passengers who need a ride and for drivers looking to supplement their income. Still, they’re not without flaws. For example, it can be hard to determine what regulations or local laws each service and its drivers need to follow, what insurance coverages apply to them and who is considered liable in the event of an accident.

When Insurance Kicks In

Since ride-sharing drivers use their vehicles for both business and personal purposes, the ride-sharing services have to clarify when drivers are covered by different types of insurance.

When a driver is not accepting rides, his or her personal auto insurance is the primary coverage. When the driver turns the app on, but has not yet accepted a ride, ride-sharing services generally offer contingent liability coverage if the driver’s personal auto insurance does not offer protection. When a passenger is picked up, the service’s policy is the primary policy until the end of the ride.

State Involvement

Unlike taxis, which are regulated on a city-by-city basis and have to follow specific guidelines, ride-sharing services haven’t had to adhere to the same strict regulations. However, this is beginning to change—some states are enacting laws to set standards and insurance requirements for ride-sharing. Additionally, upcoming court decisions will help determine who will be held liable for ride-sharing accidents in the future.

Driver Risks

Some ride-sharing companies provide liability insurance for their drivers in excess of their personal liability coverage. However, this doesn’t mean that drivers have insurance coverage for all of their risks.

Drivers can be dropped by their insurance company if they engage in a commercial activity on a personal auto policy. As a result, drivers need to be honest about how they intend to use their vehicles when they obtain insurance. If a driver fails to indicate the intention to drive for commercial purposes, the insurer could not only deny claims, but also drop the driver from the policy entirely.

However, some insurers have created hybrid policies that allow drivers to switch between personal and commercial coverage.

Passenger Risks

When a passenger gets into a car arranged by a ride-sharing app, he or she automatically agrees to a number of terms and conditions. If the driver gets into an accident and the passenger is hurt, there’s no guarantee that the driver’s insurance company or the ride-sharing service will pay for damages.

For example, a driver’s personal insurance company may decide that he or she was driving for profit and, for that reason, isn’t required to pay any medical bills. The passenger would then need to take the driver to court for damages, which can be a costly and time-consuming process. On the other hand, passengers can approach taxi companies directly regarding liability and other safety issues.

Safety is also a concern for both drivers and passengers. A driver never knows the type of person about to get into the back seat. Likewise, a passenger only knows how reliable a driver is from the information a ride-sharing service shares about the driver on its app. 

Tips for Passengers

Using a ride-sharing app is generally a safe and reliable method of transportation, but there are safety risks to consider. Keep these safety tips in mind when using ride-sharing services:

  • Share your trip details with a friend or family member in case a ride goes unexpectedly. Some apps allow you to share your route and driver information.
  • Before you get in the car, check that the driver’s photo, name and license plate match what’s listed on the app. Never enter a car with a driver who offers you a ride and claims to be with a ride-sharing service.
  • Never share any personal information that the driver doesn’t need to complete the ride. This includes phone numbers, as ride-sharing apps typically anonymize their passengers’ phone numbers to protect their privacy.
  • Always wear your seat belt. If the car you’re riding in doesn’t have one or appears to be unsafe, instruct your driver to pull over and cancel the ride.
  • Report any unsafe driving on the ride-sharing app immediately.

While ride-sharing services evolve to meet the safety needs of drivers and passengers, insurance companies are taking different approaches to claims. Contact us at 305.238.1000 to discuss your auto insurance coverage and make sure you’re always protected.