Health Care Costs Top HR Concerns

January 21, 2011 ( – In a recent poll, 80% of HR professionals surveyed said health care costs and requirements are their top concerns for 2011.

Of the 850 HR professionals surveyed by Business and Legal Reports (BLR) in late December, 47% said their top concern going into the new year is possible new Fair Labor Standards Act recordkeeping requirements for exempt employees. Forty-five percent cited increasing investigations by the Department of Labor (DoL) , Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Internal Revenue Service.  

In spite of the concern over health care costs, more than half of respondents (55%) said they have not initiated any workplace wellness programs at their companies in the past couple of years. Twenty-two percent reported they have initiated wellness programs and the health of their workforces have improved, while 23% indicated they have initiated such programs, but the health of their workforces have not improved.  

BLR noted that the DoL stated in its Spring 2010 Regulatory Analysis that it would be proposing a new requirement that employers perform a written classification analysis on every exempt employee outlining why the employee is exempt. Employers would have to provide a copy of the analysis to each exempt employee and keep a copy in their records.  

Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported they only have 25 exempt employees or less, while 32% have 26 to 100 exempt employees.  However, 2% of respondents would have to perform such an analysis on 5,000 or more exempt employees, and 5% would have to do so for 1,000 to 5,000 exempt employees.  

The survey also found that a quarter of respondents have caught employees negatively blogging about their companies or mentioning them in an inappropriate manner on a social networking site.  

The complete survey responses are here.