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Author: Melinda Sherwood. Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 22, 2000. All rights reserved.
PEOs: Outsourcing Human Resources
At the end of the day, the last thing a small business
owner wants to worry about is the thornier aspects of running a business,
such as creating a sexual harassment policy or navigating the labyrinthian
state and federal laws regarding family and medical leave. Nonetheless,
ignoring human resources can have devastating professional and legal
Recognizing this, many businesses are now outsourcing their human
resources departments to professional employer organizations, or PEOs,
that provide top-notch medical benefits and handle risk management
and employee training, says Steve Rosenthal
(800-260-6663), a Woodbridge-based PEO. "Last year we grew 35
percent, and this industry is growing at 25 percent, which makes it
one of the fastest growing industries in the country," he says.
On Thursday, March 24, at 8:30 a.m. EPIX is holding a seminar explaining
the role of the PEO in small to medium-sized businesses at Forsgate.
The program features Allen Silk
on Lenox Drive, who discusses "The Employer’s Bill of Rights."
how PEOs like EPIX can "Attract and Keep the Best Employees."
Extensis, another Woodbridge-based PEO, is also holding a seminar.
This one entitled "Big Solutions for Today’s Small Business,"
will explain how its organization handles human resource functions
for businesses and is set for Wednesday, March 29, at 8:30 a.m. at
the Holiday Inn. Call 732-602-3789.
Not only do PEOs take the human resources burden off of the small
business owner, they generally bring better compensation packages
to the table for employees. PEOs can use their volume to negotiate
with some of the top health benefits providers. "By putting a
bunch of employees on our payroll, it gives us the leverage to go
into the marketplace and negotiate better benefits and reduced costs,"
says Rosenthal, who has a business degree from Fairleigh Dickinson,
Class of 1986, and worked at ADP, the payroll service, before he started
his own full-service human resources firm. Tapping into his bar mitzvah
money, he started EMI in 1990, and then merged with a PEO in Tampa,
Florida, to form EPIX.
EPIX not only provides businesses with tax support and benefit that
include prescription and dental plans as well as 401Ks, it also has
work site trainers who help businesses manage safety and compliance
issues related to heavy lifting, asbestos, and working in closed environments.
Those are the kind of benefits that employers can ultimately leverage
to get better employees, says Rosenthal. "When we allow a small
business person to have a benefits package comparable with the Fortune
500s, it makes them more attractive," he says. "Years ago,
it used to be salary, but a lot has changed. Most people are really
concerned about their benefits."
Don’t be verbose when you file an international patent,
warns William J. Burke
and licensing at the Sarnoff Corporation. "The translation costs
are quite significant. Do a full and complete disclosure, but you
will be paying by the word."
Burke speaks on "Patenting and Licensing of Technology in the
International Field," on Thursday, March 23, at noon at the Nassau
Club, for a meeting of the International Trade Network. Cost: $40.
Formed in 1995 the International Trade Network is comprised of executive
level decision makers from leading regional manufacturing and service
companies and other organizations aiming to globalize central New
"The flip side of being too long and prolix is not giving a complete
enough disclosure," says Burke. "There is a happy balance."
A graduate of Boston College, Burke has a PhD from Tufts, went to
New York Law School, and has been at Sarnoff for more than 30 years.
He will review the field of international patents, talk about how
to implement a business strategy, discuss costs, and tell about the
general situation in different countries.
One popular method of filing internationally is to use a "patent
corporation treaty." This can buy time before you have to pay
for the translations. "It allows you to file in the United States
and designate a number of countries throughout the world," says
Burke. A year and half later, after your patent has been examined
in English and you have assessed the competition abroad, you can choose
individual countries in which to file. As Burke says, "You have
a time period where you can see what the patent office responses are
and make a decision whether to spend the big money."
Filing internationally in one country could cost $10,000 over the
life of a patent. "It’s not for the faint of heart," says
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