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Top 5 OSHA Changes for 2016

Posted by on January 11, 2016


The last year of President Obama’s administration is fast approaching and 2016 looks to be a busy time for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as it attempts to finalize significant rulemakings and guidance documents.

Here are the top five OSHA changes to look out for in 2016.


After years of lobbying from OSHA to increase the penalty amounts, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law on Nov. 2, 2015. Section 701, “Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015,” requires OSHA to increase its civil penalties for the first time since 1990. Under the act, a one-time “Catch Up Adjustment” will occur in 2016 and yearly increases based on the Consumer Price Index will occur each year after that. To effectuate these changes, OSHA will adjust the civil monetary penalties through an interim final rule next year. The increased penalty adjustment must come into effect by Aug. 1, 2016.


Webinars begin at 11:00 AM Central Standard Time unless otherwise indicated. Click the link to register and include Cobbs Allen as the BAN firm that invited you. 

January 13, ACA Update & Reporting Requirements, Stacy Barrow, Esq.

This webinar provides an update on recent events and regulatory guidance under the ACA, along with an overview of the ACA’s new reporting requirements for 2016.

Click to register


January 20, Hiring the Right People: Best practices for Recruiting and Talent Management, Bobbi Kloss

In this competitive marketplace does your organization have what it takes to attract and retain top talent? Learn best practices to implement within your organization for its total rewards strategy.

Click to register


January 27, Complying with HIPAA's Privacy Rule, Stacy Barrow, Esq.

This webinar explains an employer’s obligations under HIPAA’s Privacy Rule and satisfies HIPAA’s training requirement.  All staff members who use or access “protected health information” as part of their job duties should attend.

Click to register

I-9s Overwhelming You? Cobbs Allen Can Help

Posted by on January 5, 2016


Serving the needs of our clients is our purpose and to meet these needs, Cobbs Allen has developed a suite of core client services. We leverage our unique and comprehensive knowledge to help clients with the challenges of their business.

How confident are you in your organization’s I-9 files? Are you prepared for an unexpected audit? In a 2015 court ruling, an event planning company was fined $605,250, the largest amount ever ordered at the time, for failure to thoroughly complete I-9 paperwork for its employees. The majority of the violations included the employers’ failure to sign Section 2 of the I-9. 

If you have never conducted an internal review or if it has been several years since the last internal review, our HR Consultants can assist in completing an internal review for a sample of your current employees’ I-9s. A typical review will include an onsite assessment of the current files, a detailed report of the findings, and recommendations to correct any errors.  

For more information about these services, Human Resources Consulting or other Client Services, contact your Cobbs Allen Human Resources Consultant or visit our website

Compliance Corner: ACA Reporting Deadlines EXTENDED for 2015

Posted by Tracy Leeth on December 28, 2015


Great news!  The IRS extended the deadlines for IRC Sections 6055 and 6056 ACA reporting of health coverage and full-time employment status.  Per Notice 2016-4, the extended deadlines are as follows:

  • March 31, 2016 -- Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to Individuals
  • May 31, 2016 (if not filing electronically) and June 30, 2016 (electronic filing) -- Forms 1095-B, 1095-C, 1094-B and 1094-C to IRS

Happy Holidays from Cobbs Allen!

Posted by on December 23, 2015



(Birmingham, AL)  Birmingham-based risk management and insurance brokerage, Cobbs Allen announced their recent addition of the private equity and family office practice group. In conjunction, the firm announced that Carl Hess joined Cobbs Allen as Vice President, Private Equity and Family Office Group. 

Hess comes to Cobbs Allen with a wealth of experience in the industry after spending the last seven years working as a chief investment officer for a closely held family office. In this position, he was responsible for the vetting and selecting of third party managers of equity, hedge fund, private equity, and real estate investments.

The firm's president and chief operating officer, Bruce Denson, Jr. said, "Carl is an excellent addition to Cobbs Allen as he brings both experience and enthusiasm for the private equity practice group. We have built a unique business plan focused on the enterprise risk of a private equity group and the unique service needs of a large family office. Carl's experience in both spaces is a valuable asset to our clients."

Hess joins Cobbs Allen as they continue their commitment to provide more experienced and knowledgeable industry-specific practice groups. He commented "I joined Cobbs Allen because it is a vibrant company with a solid reputation led by inspirational men and women. I am excited to partner with Bruce Denson, Jr. and the entire Cobbs Allen team to deliver unique capabilities to private equity firms and family offices. Together, we understand the opportunities and challenges specific to these markets."


Small businesses have a false sense of security when it comes to cyber threats, revealed a recent survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the computer security firm Symantec of 1,015 small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners and operators.[i] When asked how safe their company is from cyber-attacks, 76% of respondents said “very safe” or “somewhat safe.”

Yet, 87% said that they have no written Internet security (cyber liability) policy, and 69% said they don’t even have an informal Internet security policy. Furthermore, an astonishingly small 14% of those surveyed said their firm has a written plan in place for keeping the company secure from cyber-attacks.

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