FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is a PEO?


A professional employer organization (PEO) is a company which contractually assumes and manages critical human resource and personnel responsibilities and employer risks for its small to mid-sized businesses by establishing and maintaining an employer relationship with worksite employees.




Are PEOs recognized as employers?


The Internal Revenue Service acknowledges that a PEO may be the employer for federal income and unemployment taxes. Seventeen states provide some form of licensing, registration, or regulation for PEOs. Moreover, many states statutorily recognize PEOs as the employer or co-employer of worksite employees for purposes of workers' compensation and state unemployment insurance taxes.




What is the difference between employee leasing and a PEO arrangement?


Although many still view these two staffing arrangements as the same, they are, in fact, quite different. The term "employee leasing" means different things to different people and has been, and continues to be, used in many diverse contexts. The confusion surrounding this terminology is one reason NAPEO has been active in defining and distinguishing the PEO concept; however, many commentators, regulators, and statutes use the terms interchangeably. The genesis of employee leasing envisioned a transfer of certain responsibilities from a client to the employee leasing company and spawned the concept of "fire, hire, and lease back," which does not occur in a PEO arrangement. Some would define employee leasing as a supplemental, temporary employment arrangement where one or more workers are assigned to a customer for a fixed period of time, often for a specific project. This concept creates little long-term equity or investment between the worker and customer (much like leasing a car for two years and knowing that you are using it for a specific need but not building any long-term equity). A PEO arrangement however, involves all or a significant number of the client workplace employees in a long-term, non-project related, employment relationship. The PEO assumes the employer responsibility for employment tax, benefit plans, and other human resource purposes. Through the use of a PEO relationship, client companies make a long-term investment in their workers, because the PEO provides health insurance, retirement savings plans, and other critical employee benefits for their worksite employees.




What is the difference between temporary staffing services and a PEO arrangement?


A temporary staffing service recruits employees and assigns them to clients to support or supplement the client's workforce in special work situations, such as employee absences, temporary skill shortages, or seasonal workloads. A PEO contractually assumes and manages employer responsibilities for all or a majority of a client's workforce. Industry ratios identify the PEO arrangement as a long-term relationship with nearly 90% of our clients and worksite employees remaining with the PEO for a year or longer. Worksite employees participate in the PEO's full range of employee benefits including, health, dental, and life insurance, vision care, and retirement savings plans.




Who uses a PEO?


The average client customer of a PEO is a small business with 16 worksite employees, though larger businesses also find value in a PEO arrangement. These small business customers include every single type of business from accountants to zoo keepers and every profession in between including doctors, retailers, mechanics and more.




How does a PEO arrangement work?


In the relationship among a PEO, a worksite employee, and a client company, there exists a co-employment relationship in which both the PEO and client company have an employment relationship with the worker. The PEO and client company contractually allocate some and share other traditional employer responsibilities and liabilities. The PEO assumes responsibility and liability for the "business of employment" such as risk management, personnel management, human resource compliance, and payroll & employee tax compliance. The client company manages product development and production, marketing, sales, and service. The PEO assumes and establishes an employment relationship with the worksite employee and provides a complete human resource and employee benefit package.




Why would a small business use a PEO?


Small business owners want to focus their time and energy on the "business of their business" and not on the "business of employment." As businesses grow, most small business owners don't have the necessary human resource training; payroll and accounting skills; knowledge of regulatory compliance; or backgrounds in risk management, insurance and employee benefit programs to meet the demands of being an employer.




Does the small business owner lose control of his or her business?


As co-employers, the PEO and small business owner become partners in the employment of their workers. The client retains ownership of the company. As co-employers, the PEO and client contractually share or assume employer responsibilities and liabilities. The PEO assumes most responsibilities and liabilities associated with a "general" employer. The client usually retains those rights and responsibilities associated with "special" employers. The PEO assumes a real and factual employer role. PEOs are responsible for payroll and employment taxes, maintaining employee records, reserve the ultimate right to hire and fire, and have the authority to resolve employee disputes. By shifting these responsibilities to the PEO, the client gains more command of the "core" revenue generating aspects of their business.




Who is responsible for the employee's wages and employment taxes?


PEOs assume responsibility and liability for payment of wages and compliance with all rules and regulations governing the reporting and payment of federal and state taxes on wages paid to its employees. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes the PEO as the employer for federal income and unemployment taxes, and case law affirms the principle that the PEO is responsible for payroll taxes.




Does a PEO arrangement impact a collective bargaining agreement?


PEOs work equally well in union and non-union workplaces. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recognizes that, in co-employment relationships, worksite employees may be included in the client employer's collective bargaining unit. Where a collective bargaining agreement exists, PEOs fully abide by the agreement's terms. PEOs endorse the rights of employees to organize, or not organize, according to standards of the NLRB.




Can some employees have direct deposit and others a paycheck?


Certainly. You have the option of offering your employees a "paperless" check via direct deposit or payroll card. Or if they prefer, we can print out a physical check and stub and have it delivered to your office.




Do you handle my taxes?


If you would like us to. StaffPro automatically calculates, deducts, pays and files all taxes including federal, state and local. Once we have your payroll data, we'll handle the tax calculations, deductions and filings. We then deposit them into the appropriate government accounts. It's that simple.

StaffPro is an authorized IRS e-file for Business Provider.




Can I track employees' hours/salaries to different departments?


Yes. We can handle a range of job classifications levels that allows you to report payroll information for different departments, divisions and/or locations. This enables you to get a handle on labor expense allocations.





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