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Marc Baker and Wolter vanDoorninck, owners of EPB&B

Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker has been covering businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest for over 60 years.  We have a diverse team of insurance professionals.  With both specialists and generalists on our staff, we have the ability to insure any type or size of business risk.

 

We're an independent agency, which means we can choose from a wide variety of insurance companies to find the one that best fits your needs.  Choose any of the categories below to hear more about what we can do for you.

  


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Ever wonder what differentiates an independent contractor from an employee? There has been a trend over the past years towards employers hiring "independent contractors" instead of employees. However, the IRS recently announced it will be increasing scrutiny of sole proprietorships that provide only one 1099R for independent contractors who receive $35,000 or more during the year. The rationale behind the IRS’ thinking is that these independent contractors would be classified as employees based on the 11 criteria described below.

Behavioral Control


Facts that show whether the business has a right to direct and control how the worker does the task for which the worker is hired include the type and degree of the following:

 

1. Instructions the business gives the worker. An employee is generally subject to the business' instructions about when, where and how to work. All of the following are examples of types of instructions about how to do work:

  1. When and where to do the work
  2. What tools or equipment to use
  3. What workers to hire or to assist with the work
  4. Where to purchase supplies and services
  5. What work must be performed by a specified individual
  6. What order or sequence to follow


2. Training the business given to the worker. An employee may be trained to perform services in a particular manner. Independent contractors ordinarily use their own methods.

Financial Control


Facts that show whether the business has a right to control the business aspects of the worker’s job include:

 

3. The extent to which the worker has unreimbursed business expenses. Independent contractors are more likely to have unreimbursed expenses than employees.
4. The extent of the worker's investment. An employee usually has no investment in the work other than his or her own time. An independent contractor often has a significant investment in the facilities he or she uses in performing services for someone else.
5. The extent to which the worker makes services available to the relevant market. An independent contractor is generally free to seek out business opportunities. Independent contractors often advertise, maintain a visible business location and are available to work in the relevant market.
6. How the business pays the worker. An employee is generally guaranteed a regular wage amount for an hourly, weekly or other period of time. This usually indicates that a worker is an employee, even when the wage or salary is supplemented by a commission. An independent contractor is usually paid by a flat fee for the job.
7. The extent to which the worker can realize a profit or loss.

Type of Relationship


Facts that show the parties’ type of relationship include:

 

8. Written contracts describing the relationship the parties intended to create. This is probably the least important of the criteria, since what really matters is the nature of the underlying work relationship, not what the parties choose to call it. However, in close cases, the written contract can make a difference.
9. Whether the business provides the worker with employee-type benefits, such as insurance, a pension plan, vacation pay or sick pay. The power to grant benefits carries with it the power to take them away, which is a power generally exercised by employers over employees. A true independent contractor will finance his or her own benefits out of the overall profits of the enterprise.
10. The permanency of the relationship. If the company engages a worker with the expectation that the relationship will continue indefinitely rather than for a specific project or period, this is generally considered evidence that the intent was to create an employer-employee relationship.
11. The extent to which services performed by the worker are a key aspect of the regular business of the company. If a worker provides services that are a key aspect of the company's regular business activity, it is more likely that the company will have the right to direct and control his or her activities.

Finally, the IRS announced its plan to audit the first 6,000 employment tax audits, and small business will be their audit target. The IRS will start examining 2,000 companies every year over the next 3 years. The IRS will utilize its audit findings to target a select group of businesses and aggressively audit their payroll tax and refine estimates to close the tax gap. IRS audit agents are specially trained to audit employment and payroll tax for the audited businesses.

Employers across Oregon are encouraged to use award programs, trainings, and other special events to promote workplace safety and health during Safety Break for Oregon on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.

Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) coordinates the one-day event, designed to raise awareness and promote the value of safety and health in preventing on-the-job injuries and illnesses.

The theme for this year’s Safety Break, “Team up for workplace safety,” encourages employees and management to work together on safety and health concerns. The result of this cooperation can lead to fewer injuries and reduced workers’ compensation costs for employers.

Companies planning to participate will be entered to win one of three $100 pizza luncheons when they sign up online before May 1. The prizes will be given to participating companies as part of a random drawing. The Oregon SHARP Alliance is sponsoring the contest.

We're the best insurance agency in the Pacific Northwest to work for, period.

 

In business since 1960, we have grown to be one of the largest independently owned agencies in the Pacific Northwest.  Our growth has been largely due to the right mix of leadership, support and education.   We believe in educating our producers and support staff on a continuous basis in order to keep pace with the ever changing industry of insurance and finance. To that end, we have provided in house continuing education for licensed staff and we also support the pursuit of designations such as CIC and CISR.

We also believe that it is important to provide our employees with superior benefits including medical, dental, long term disability and life. We also offer a 401k package as well as excellent vacation benefits for qualifying employees.

Health Net, Michael's, Microsoft X-Box.  You don't have to look far to find major corporations who have become the victims of data security breach. 

Think about it.  What is in your file cabinet right now?  Tax records?  Payroll information?  And what's on your computer system?  Financial data from your suppliers?  Credit card numbers from your customers?  To a busy marketer, those documents are an everyday part of doing business.  But in the hands of an identity thief, they're tools for draining bank accounts, opening bogus lines of credit, and going on the shopping spree of a lifetime - at the expense of your company, your employees and the customers who trust you.
 
Sophisticated hack attacks make the headlines, but many security breaches could be prevented by common sense measures that cost companies next to nothing.  That's why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business, a plain-language handbook with practical tips on securing sensitive data.  Whether you work for a multinational powerhouse or a start-up, a sound information plan is built on these five key practices:
 
1) Take Stock.  Know what personal information you have in your files and on your computer. Understand how personal information moves into, through,, and out of your business and who has access - or could have access to it.
 
2) Scale Down.  Keep only what you need for your business.  That old business practice of holding on to every scrap of paper is "so 20th century".  These days, if  you don't have a legitimate business reason to have sensitive information in your files or on your computer, don't keep it.
 
3) Lock it.  Protect the information you keep.  Be cognizant of physical security, electronic security, employee training, and the practices of your contractors and affiliates.
 
4) Pitch it.  Properly dispose of what you no longer need.  Make sure papers containing personal information are shredded, burned or pulverized so they can't be reconstructed by an identity thief.
 
5) Plan ahead.  Draft a plan to respond to security incidents.  Designate a senior member of your team to create an action plan before a breach happens.
 
Many insurers are now offering coverage for data security.  If you are interested in learning more about data security or getting a quote on data breach coverage, call our office today (503) 227-1771 or visit us online at www.epbb.com.  

No business ever knows when Oregon OSHA is coming to do an inspection.  That’s because it’s against the law to give prior notice.  Even though employers don’t know that the inspection is coming, there are a few things they can do to make the inspection process go smoother.

 

All Oregon OSHA compliance officers carry ID and will present it, along with a business card, when they begin an inspection.  The compliance officer will collect basic information about the company, which may include how many workers are at the location and details about the type of work done.  Next, the compliance officer will conduct a walk-through of the facility and look for hazards that could cause an injury or accident.

 

In cases of extreme danger, a work site or piece of equipment can be “red tagged”, which prohibits the employer from continuing to work with the equipment or at the location.  But most commonly, a compliance offer will ask an employer to correct a hazard on the spot or set an abatement date.  Serious violations carry a penalty of $300 and correcting the violation before the end of the visit can reduce the penalty by 30%.

 

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