Ban the Box Predicted to Save Ex-Cons in the Job Market

Ban the Box Predicted to Save Ex-Cons in the Job Market


As president Obama’s term is winding down there are some topics that he still has to share his opinion on. Focusing on changing whatever else is left. Jobs for old prisoners that have been released recently is a hot topic right now.


Ex-Cons in the Job Market

There is no bigger turn off for employers than seeing a criminal record on a resume. That is a red flag and usually means the interview is over right away before it even gets started. Employers won’t even give the person a chance to explain the reasoning for going to prison. Sometimes that is not fair considering the circumstances. On the contrary, it can be even harder to stay out of prison when you can’t obtain a job.

Some cities and states are way ahead of this problem by breaking up the cycle.

Obama is working on his “ban the box” policy for all federal agencies. The goal is to prevent employers from being able to ask about criminal record information. If they want to ask those types of questions then they must wait until the later stages of hiring. This guarantees that they can’t discriminate right away.


ban the box

Along with resisting temptations to incarcerate prisoners, Obama is teaching us how simple it is to get over discrimination. The “ban the box” proposition is currently accepted by nineteen states and one hundred cities. They also come in different shapes and sizes. Some just simply delay the point at which employers can ask about criminal history. Others say that you can’t see that information until you are ready to hire.

Several federal agencies have already put the wheels in motion.

Some agencies are using the delay feature for many of the HR departments. It has been recommended to wait until later on in the hiring process and actually take into consideration the circumstances of the prisoners sentencing. Obama is working to put the recommendations in writing and turn them into regulations.


federal agencies

It is also important to consider that his regulations are limited. After all we are a democracy with separate powers and not a dictatorship. His rulings aren’t going to cover federal contractors where many prisoners will turn to for low wage jobs. While the delay process can be beneficial, waiting for government to extend a conditional offer is practically not applicable. Obama’s propositions are simply to fix the obstacle that ex-offenders have to face preventing them from doing anything with their life outside of prison.

Having a criminal record for any reason is currently the biggest obstacle that ex-cons have to tackle.

Trying to fit back into society after living in a dark hole for years is tough. How does an ex-con know how to act? They have no idea how society has changed. That can’t support a family or friend let alone themselves without a stable job. Convicted men seem to have the worst odds in their favor. Roughly thirty-three percent of all convicted men between 25 and 54 are not employed. Some are claiming that mass incarnation is the main cause of labor force decline.

If for any reason ex-cons are able to get a job right out of prison. That is only half the problem. Next you have to be able to keep a job. That is a lot harder than you may think. There is a lot of competition and people with clean records that are going to try to work harder and out beat the ex-con.

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Serving Prison time

It turns out that being in prison is also going to lead to other factors that could prevent job hiring. You see being in prison is only one-third of the problem. When you are in prison you are doing everything, but getting a better education and valuable job experience. This is critical in the current market. With more individuals trying to enter the market there is more competition. It is all about having the right credentials.

All the civil rights acts we have passed don’t do anything to help protect those convicted. In fact there is pretty much nothing that is stopping employers from discriminating against them. Now it is easier than ever to check out a potential employee’s history with the internet.

“Ban the box” is definitely going to help those convicted get a job.

This legislation gives the employers a chance to actually meet the individual and get to know them. You can’t make judgments right off the bat. Maybe the individual is a really nice person that just got caught in a bad situation. You have to be somewhat forgiving for that. This basically allows for a fresh start for ex-cons.



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Five Kinds of Clients to Avoid for Long Term Success

Five Types of Clients to Stay Away From


Types of clients

Types of clients


The truth of the matter is that many entrepreneurs are simply desperate to find new clients. The only way to grow your business and to increase your bottom line is to constantly expand your client base, but this can often be easier said than done. When you are running a service based business, the challenge is compounded because you are not pushing new products on customers, you are in a sense basically selling yourself. Chances are you might be excellent at what you provide customers, but terrible at the same time selling yourself.

Chances are in this scenario you have already bought into the belief that every client is a good client. If you want to continue to grow your business without stalling out constantly, consider these five types of clients to stay.


The Scamming Client

The Scamming Client

1. The Scamming Client

This name simply implies that this particular type of client has every intention of getting your service without having to spend any money for it. You fawn all over this client because of all their big promises of future work or connections they say they have, and you fall into the trap of providing them a sample of your services before they lay out any money. Usually the conversation will go along the lines of, “If we like your service, we have plenty of work to give you”. Soon after they receive your service or product, you never hear or see them again. If a new client appears to have cash-flow concerns or is hesitant to sign any written agreements, take a pass and focus on clients who are serious about compensating you for your hard work.


Abusive Clients

Abusive Clients

2. The Abusive Client

To the dismay of many business owners, there are in fact many potential clients who have little or no respect for you and your business. These customers are not only a drain on your time, they are a drain on your resources too. They are constantly requesting lower pricing even though they have zero buying history with your company. They are constantly waiting until the last minute to cancel any meetings, or they arrive late when they are scheduled to meet with you. If you have a contract with them, they will try everything possible to change the terms of the agreement without increasing the money due for those services. The bottom-line is they do not respect you, so you should not waste your resources on them.


The Sponge Client

The Sponge Client

3. The Sponge Client

Here is a client that will quickly drain you of your energy each day, often right at the onset of doing business. The sponge client doesn’t want to pay for your services, they feel that you should be providing it for free to them because they are giving you valuable experience in your industry. They expect you to show up to their company and provide your service to their staff, helping them to become better employees, and building up your skills at the same time. The key to identifying this type of client is seeing they expect free things from you right from the beginning. While it might be fine to offer free services occasionally to certain clients, this needs to be of your choice, not theirs. Try to stop being lured into giving anything away for free until you have an established relationship or they will come to expect it free forever.


The Clueless Client

The Clueless Client

4. The Clueless Client

The clueless client are the most challenging for business owners because they demand the most attention, then complain each time things do not meet their expectations. They demand you hold their hand throughout the entire ordering process, they make several changes along the way, and they are always disappointed in the end result. The reason they are disappointed is because they made so many changes they forgot exactly what they wanted in the first place. You are expected to be a mind reader and simply cannot win in the end regardless how much time or effort you put into the project. Their requirements are constantly changing, and your efforts are better spend elsewhere.


The Unreliable Client

The Unreliable Client

5. The Unreliable Client

The unreliable client expects the end result of the product to be exactly what they envision in their mind, but they are often unwilling to give you the time to be able to study data needed to make the project a success. When you find yourself constantly requesting information to complete the project and are met with a stone wall, your company wastes valuable time asking time and time again for the information needed to complete the task. The longer you wait, the closer the deadline approaches, until finally you either don’t deliver a completed project or one the client is unhappy with.

If you are trying to grow your business and encounter any of these types of clients, it is in your best interest to focus your efforts on more productive and responsive clients.

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This thought-provoking Human Resource article was provided by Tracksmart, a leader in technology for small companies.

Pause for a second and consider how you manage your workers’ attendance issues and vacation accruals. What’s your preferred strategy? Is using employee time and attendance software? What about paper products you’ve been using for years? Is there someone you’ve outsourced your HR operations to? With the day to day hassles of running a business, modern day entrepreneurs and managers are shifting to using web-based employee time clock software to simplify much of the ongoing chores involved in dealing with staff time tracking management. Leave a comment below to let us know your opinions on this technology please.

FATCA Extension of Deemed Compliant Status Offered to Certain Countries

Extension of “Deemed Compliant” Status for Countries Associated with FATCA


Included with the passage of the HIRE Act of 2010, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act has a strict requirement that states that foreign financial institutions are required to report the financial holdings of all United States taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in a hefty penalty that could be as high as 30 percent of the U.S.-based income for those individuals. With a considerable penalty possible for non-compliance, financial institutions receive some pressure to comply.

Tax Compliant

Tax Compliant


On the other hand, some individuals, including London Mayor Boris Johnson who holds dual citizenship status, have stated that they have no intention to comply with this law. While some foreign countries are deemed compliant with this regulation through the U.S. Treasury Department, the fact is that others may benefit from a new extension that has been granted by the IRS in this area. The extension may decrease the burden associated with reporting holdings by U.S. taxpayers held in other countries.

How the IRS Is Dealing With Objections

The objection of the London Mayor to this rule is just one of many that the Internal Revenue Service is being bombarded with. In an effort to deal more efficiently with the objections and to overcome some of the most significant objections that have been made, the U.S. Treasury Department has been actively working to streamline and simplify this process for many parties involved.

Through intergovernmental agreements negotiated by the Treasury Department, 19 different countries could transfer tax information to the IRS under their existing agreements and treaties, and this would effectively decrease the burden on many taxpayers and financial institutions. Many other countries may also benefit from this type of agreement for compliance, but they have not yet acted on the offer extended by the IRS or the U.S. Treasury Department.




A Limited Time Offer

While many existing agreements and treaties are already in place, not every country that could be impacted by the FATCA has signed an intergovernmental agreement, or IGA, to establish the deemed compliant status. The IRS and Treasury Department recognize that the FATCA can be burdensome to comply with, but it is nonetheless important in what it accomplishes. Because of this, the IRS and Treasury Department recently issued a joint statement with Announcement 2014-38.

This announcement stated that the “deemed compliant” option for FATCA compliance will be extended to countries until December 31, 2014. The countries must have an IGA in place and in full effect before this date in order to benefit from the deemed compliant status option available.

Limited Time Offer

Limited Time Offer


Other Extensions Possible

While some have stated that the extension for the deemed compliant option is firm and must be complied with, others have stated that the IRS and the Treasury Department may continue to be willing to negotiate and to sign an IGA after this date if there is true motivation and desire by the country to do so.

The fact is that there are approximately 64 countries that have tentatively agreed to an IGA on this matter but that have not yet pulled the trigger and moved forward in executing the IGA. While the deadline may have been issued in an effort to motivate some of these slower-moving governments to pull the trigger and to make the passage or approval of the IGAs a priority, the purpose of the deadline is not to limit the ability of these countries to obtain a deemed compliant status.

What Financial Institutions Should Do

For financial institutions located in these foreign countries, it is important to note that the IRS and the Treasury Department have already granted one extension in this area. While it is reasonable and likely to expect another extension to be granted or for exceptions to be made if necessary, the fact is that there is no firm requirement by the IRS or the Treasury Department to do so.

Financial Institutions

Financial Institutions


Therefore, it is certainly in the best interest of the governments that have verbally committed in this area to act quickly to ensure that they will be deemed compliant with the outstanding regulations.

Proof of a Willingness to Comply

After the December 31 deadline, the IRS and the Treasury Department are not necessarily obligated to agree to an IGA with other countries. While they may still be able to do so, it is reasonable to expect any exceptions or extensions going forward beyond this date to be granted to governments that are showing an active desire to approve the IGA.

It is true that the approval of an IGA in some countries may be slower than the approval process in other countries, and governments that are struggling with a slow process may be more willing to be granted an exception than those that are delaying or dragging their feet intentionally due to other factors or issues.

Approval Process

Approval Process


While there is some benefit to the United States to continue to keep the FATCA in place, the fact is that this is not a popular piece of legislation. Because the IRS and the Treasury Department recognize how unpopular and burdensome the act is to carry out, it has been lenient in allowing a deemed compliant exception to the FATCA legislation.

All IGAs regarding this legislation must be in place before December 31. If not, there is no requirement for the Treasury Department or the IRS to make an exception and to pass an extension of this exception.

Hopefully, this article was informative. As a side note, when filing your tax forms this year, consider the amount of time and hassle involved in filing, printing, and mailing out 1099’s and W-2 forms to workers and contractors.  Those hours could be better spent generating or serving clients, instead of managing paper forms.

A more effective solution is to file 1099 and w-2 forms with a provider who does all of the grunt work for you. More specifically, a service that manages the printing and delivery of the forms to individual recipients.  If you need to file 1099 online, check out They not only do your e-filing safely and securely, but they print and deliver your tax forms so you can spend time on what drives your business.  Check out their explainer video for more details.

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Some Highlights Of Using an HCFA CMS 1500 Form

There are several docs that you need to file at a medical billing facility

They can end up extremely difficult to decipher. The CMS 1500 is definitely the most essential document for requesting insurance repayments. Starting off, the document was labelled the HCFA 1500, but has since been named CMS 1500. The name was derived from the Center of Medicare & Medicaid. Generally, this is the form necessary for payment requests from State Medicaid Agencies.


Surgeries typically require insurance filings via the CMS 1500

Surgeries typically require insurance filings via the CMS 1500

This usual doc is used in claims requests by suppliers and/or non-hospital establishments

These forms have to be forwarded in less than a year from the date of service.  Since the form contains a specific type of ink, you can’t just download or photo-copy it. The tech used to scan the filled out docs at payer’s end is classified as OCR – or Optical Character Recognition. Almost all the time, if the ink is inferior quality on the form, scanning difficulties pop up. Getting your forms filed without errors necessitates using the exact document – ink specification – and the necessary information.


Patients usually use medical insurance for most procedures.

Patients usually use medical insurance for most procedures.

Two keys to ensuring your submissions don’t return denied

First use only the most current doc. And make sure the ink is exactly what is required. If you forget these guidelines, delayed disbursements are almost sure to result. If you wait excessively to file the right document, you probably won’t be reimbursed for your services. The point here is – when using this form, you should get it from a reliable provider. This will ensure on-time insurance payments, keeping your cash-flow where it should be.

Thanks for reading this article. Please share any thoughts in the comments box below. For those managing a doctor’s office, and filing patient claims, is running a special on the cms 1500 version 02/12 at the moment. Personally, I prefer to purchase cms 1500 02/12 forms for my practice from a manufacture (like they are), instead of a re-seller who doesn’t guarantee their product. Even if you prefer using software to file your claims, they offer software for that as well.

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