I am the owner of Employers Options, and I have been in business on Maui for more than 25 years. Employer Options is a full service employment agency offering permanent placement, temporary help, payroll services and human resource assistance.
Someone at the state Department of Labor has made the determination that I am also a PEO (Professional Employment Organization) because we offer payroll services to some clients. I received a letter in March asking my company to register as a PEO. The requirements for a PEO license include a $250,000 bond and an annual financial audit by a CPA. This was a law that was passed during the last year of Gov. Linda Lingle's administration.
Apparently, Sen. Roz Baker and the two largest Mainland-owned PEOs felt that our industry needed further regulation, additional fees and outrageous bonding requirements (which led to SB2424). Even with strong opposition to this bill, including Rep. Joe Souki, the bill is now at Gov. Abercrombie's office awaiting his signature.
There are many aspects of this bill that have serious flaws, but the most serious problems are the bonding and reporting provisions. As a small business owner, I will be required to post a bond from somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. Neither I nor any other small PEO could find a bonding company in Hawai'i or the Mainland that is willing to underwrite the original required bond of $250,000--much less the $500,000 or $1 million.
I am asking for your help to get this piece of legislation vetoed. I am asking that you contact Gov. Abercrombie's office and request that he veto SB2424.
Please support small business in Hawai'i. It is my industry that is affected now, and yours could be next. We all want essentially the same thing: To profitably operate our businesses in the free market and contribute to society. SB2424 is an egregious attempt to prevent this. We need your voices. We need your kokua. Please support our efforts to stay in business.