Frequently Asked Questions

What is a PEO?

A PEO provides integrated services to effectively manage critical human resource responsibilities and employer risks for clients. A PEO delivers these services by establishing and maintaining a co-employer relationship with the employees at the client’s work site and by contractually assuming certain employer rights, responsibilities and risk. A PEO provides relief from the burden of employment administration.

A wide range of personnel management solutions through a team of professionals.

Improved employment practices, compliance and risk management to reduce liabilities.

Access to a comprehensive employee benefits package, allowing clients to be competitive in the labor market.

Assistance to improve productivity and profitability.

Who uses Harbor America?

We have many businesses that cross a wide spectrum of services. You will find small, medium and large businesses in trades such as construction, manufacturing, professionals, telemarketing centers, engineers, retailers, restaurants and much more; all benefiting from the services provided by Harbor America.

How does a PEO arrangement work?

Once a client company contracts with Harbor America, we then co-employ the client’s worksite employees. In the arrangement, a worksite employee and a client company enter into a co-employment relationship in which the client company and Harbor America have an employment relationship with the worker. We then share and allocate responsibilities and liabilities. The client company retains responsibility for and manages the day-to-day activities and supervision of the employee. Harbor America and you, the client, will share certain responsibilities for employment law compliance.

Is Harbor America recognized as an employer at the state and federal level?

Yes. Harbor America operates in most 50 states. Many states provide some form of specific licensing, registration, or regulation. We are licensed and registered where required and comply with all regulations. These states statutorily recognize Harbor America as the employer of record or co-employer of worksite employees for many purposes, including workers’ compensation and state unemployment insurance taxes. The IRS has accepted Harbor America’s right to withhold and remit federal and state income and unemployment taxes for worksite employees.

Why would a business use Harbor America?

We help your business GROW 7-9% FASTER*
(Note, the sources for this information are: *Professional Employer Organizations: Keeping Turnover Law and Survival High | McBassi & Company | 2014)

Since December 2004, employment at small businesses using a PEO has grown more than 7% faster than at small businesses overall, according to the Intuit Small Business Employment Index.

We help your business HAVE 10 TO 14% LOWER EMPLOYEE TURNOVER*

The average overall employee turnover rate in the United States was approximately 42% per year, based on 2012 data. It is 28 to 32% for companies that used PEOs for at least four quarters.

Historically, 50% LESS LIKELY TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS*

Business that use PEOs are approximately 50% less likely to fail (permanently go “out of business”) from one year to the next when compared to similar companies in the population as a whole. The overall business failure rate among private businesses in the United States as a whole is approximately 8% per year, based on 2012 data. It is approximately 4% per year for those companies that used PEOs for at least four quarters.

Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) provide human resource services to their small business clients—paying wages and taxes and providing compliance assistance with myriad state and federal laws and regulations. In addition, PEOs often provide workers with access to 401(k) plans, health, dental and life insurance, dependent care and other benefits not typically provided by small businesses. Between 2 and 3 million people are covered by a PEO arrangement.

Business owners desire to focus their time and energy on the “business of their business” and not on the “business of employment.” As businesses grow, most owners do not have the necessary human resource training – payroll skills, the knowledge of regulatory compliance, or the backgrounds in risk management, insurance and employee benefit programs – to meet the demands of being an employer. Harbor America gives small to medium clients access to many benefits and employment amenities they would not have otherwise.

Do our clients lose control of their businesses?

No. The clients retain ownership of their companies and control over the operations. As co-employers, Harbor America clients will contractually share or allocate employer responsibilities and liabilities. Clients will continue to have shared responsibility for worksite safety and compliance. Harbor America will be responsible for the payment of collected payroll administration and state and federal employment taxes.

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

A temporary staffing service recruits and hires 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. These workers are traditionally only a small portion of the client’s workforce.

Harbor America does not supply labor to worksites. They co-employ existing full-time and part-time workforces and provide services and benefits to both the worksite employer and the employees.

How many Americans are employed in a co-employment PEO arrangement?

According to the National Association of Professional Employers (NAPEO), it is estimated that 2-3 million Americans are currently co-employed in a PEO arrangement. The average PEO has grown more than 20% per year for each of the last six years, according to a survey of NAPEO members.

How will you be able to control costs and help grow the bottom line for their clients?

Through the economy of scale, client companies are able to realize lower employment costs and increase the business’s bottom line. Business owners will have the extra time to grow the business and focus on revenue producing activities. Clients are able to take advantage of technology that would otherwise prove costly and time-consuming.

How do employees benefit from a PEO arrangement?

They are able to participate in finding benefits through our private benefits exchange, ancillary life insurance, dental, vision and others.

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

Harbor America will assume the responsibility and liability for payment of wages and compliance with the rules and regulations governing the reporting and payment of federal and state taxes on wages paid to its employees. We will report income and handle withholding, FICA and FUTA.

Who is responsible for workers' compensation?

Harbor America is recognized as the employer of record for the purposes of providing workers’ compensation.

Is Harbor America licensed in all States they conduct business?

Yes. In each of the states that require licensing and registration, Harbor America complies with mandatory requirements.