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H.B. 279 Enrolled
This act modifies the Professional Employer Organization Licensing Act. The act amends
the financial filing requirements for professional employer organizations. The act provides
that employees of professional employer organizations are not exempt from applicable
licensure laws. The act provides standards for health benefit plans offered by professional
employer organizations. The act amends the procedure for refusing to renew the license of
a professional employer organization. The act amends the definition of unprofessional
conduct and makes other technical changes. The act provides for an immediate effective
This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
58-59-102, as last amended by Chapter 199, Laws of Utah 1999
58-59-302, as last amended by Chapter 199, Laws of Utah 1999
58-59-303, as last amended by Chapter 1, Laws of Utah 2000
58-59-308, as last amended by Chapter 199, Laws of Utah 1999
58-59-401, as last amended by Chapters 12 and 247, Laws of Utah 1994
58-59-402, as last amended by Chapter 199, Laws of Utah 1999
58-59-501, as last amended by Chapter 199, Laws of Utah 1999
58-59-502, as last amended by Chapter 199, Laws of Utah 1999
58-59-309, Utah Code Annotated 1953
58-59-310, Utah Code Annotated 1953
REPEALS AND REENACTS:
58-59-306, as last amended by Chapter 199, Laws of Utah 1999
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
Section 1. Section 58-59-102 is amended to read:
In addition to the definitions in Section 58-1-102 , as used in this chapter:
(1) "Adjusted net worth" means stockholder's equity determined in accordance with
generally accepted accounting principles, increased by the amount of obligations subordinated to
claims of general creditors with a remaining term to maturity in excess of three years, and mandatory
redeemable preferred stock with a remaining term to redemption in excess of three years and
decreased by assets shown on the balance sheet in the form of receivables, loans, advances or similar
types of assets receivable from owners, shareholders, partners or officers of the company and
decreased by intangible assets not acquired in an arm's length transaction. The owners of the PEO
may provide personal or corporate financial statements together with personal or corporate guaranty
agreements to supplement the "Adjusted Net Worth" of the PEO.
(2) "Board" means the Professional Employer Organization Board created in Section
(3) "Change in life count" means the percentage change in the number of lives on a health
plan from the beginning to the end of the run-out period.
regular employees from a professional employer organization.
(5) "Coemployee" means a person who is an employee of a professional employer
organization and of a client company.
employer organization and each of its employees who are employed for the purpose of being [
out as a professional employer organization, to [
person, or to receive any consideration for providing [
services or to expect payment of any consideration for providing [
(8) "Excess Reserves" means assets of a health benefit plan less all liabilities including
accrued liabilities of the health benefit plan as shown on a financial statement of the plan prepared
according to generally accepted accounting practices.
(9) "Medical trend" means the medical component of the most current Consumer Price Index
(CPI) 12 month change as of the last month that the run-out is calculated.
a professional employer organization and a client company in accordance with which the
professional employer organization [
coemployment relationship with the client company's employees.
agrees to employ a majority of a client's workforce where employer responsibilities for those
employees are in fact allocated between or shared by the professional employer organization and the
(b) The employer responsibilities are considered to be allocated between or shared by the
professional employer organization and the client whenever the agreement between the client and
the professional employer organization expressly provides for such allocation or sharing or whenever
a factual analysis of the client's business reveals such allocation or sharing.
(c) The term "professional employer organization arrangement" shall be liberally construed
so as to include any and all arrangements meeting the criteria for professional employer
organizations regardless of the term used.
(d) The following arrangements are not professional employer organization arrangements
for purposes of this chapter:
(i) arrangements wherein a person, whose principal business activity is not entering into
professional employer organization arrangements, shares employees with a commonly owned
company within the meaning of Sections 414(b) and (c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as
amended, and which does not hold itself out as a professional employer organization;
(ii) arrangements by which a person assumes responsibility for the product produced or
service performed by that person or his agents and retains and exercises primary direction and
control over the work performed by the individuals whose services are supplied under the
(iii) a temporary help arrangement, whereby an organization hires its own employees and
assigns them to a client to support or supplement the client's workforce in special work situations
such as employee absences, temporary skill shortages, seasonal workloads, and special assignments
and projects; provided, however, that the temporary help arrangement excludes arrangements where
the majority of the client's work force has been assigned by a temporary help organization for a
period of more than 12 consecutive months; and
(iv) any person otherwise subject to licensure under this chapter if, during any fiscal year of
the person, the total gross wages paid to employees employed by the person in this state during such
period under one or more professional employer organization arrangements do not exceed 5% of the
total gross wages paid to all employees employed by the person during the same period, and provided
further, that the person does not advertise or hold itself out to the public as providing arrangements
denominated as "professional employer" or "employee leasing" in this state.
oneself out by any means as a professional employer organization.
(13) "Run-out" means claims paid during the six-month period at the fiscal year end of the
PEO for dates of service prior to that same six-month period, less amounts reimbursed or to be
reimbursed by a reinsurance carrier or reimbursements from any other source for such claims.
who is an employee of, registered for temporary assignment by, or otherwise associated with a
temporary help company that engages in the assignment of individuals as temporary full-time or
part-time personnel to fill assignments with a finite ending date to another independent entity.
or entity that provides temporary employees to fill assignments with a finite ending date to another
independent entity in special, unusual, seasonal, or temporary skill shortage situations.
statement less obligations subordinated to claims of general creditors with a remaining term to
maturity in excess of three years.
Section 2. Section 58-59-302 is amended to read:
58-59-302. Qualifications for licensure.
Each applicant for licensure as a professional employer organization shall:
(1) submit an application in a form prescribed by the division;
(2) pay a fee as determined by the department under Section 63-38-3.2 ;
(3) provide documentation that the applicant is properly registered with:
(a) the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code;
Workforce Services, for the purposes of Title 35A, Chapter 4, Employment Security Act;
(c) the State Tax Commission; and
(d) the Internal Revenue Service; [
accountant showing at least an adjusted net worth of $50,000 or 5% of total adjusted liabilities,
whichever is greater;
provide to the division, the [
defined in Section 16-10a-102 , the professional employer organization;
held by the professional employer organization; and
professional employer organization have education and experience in the conduct of business that
demonstrate a reasonable expectation that the professional employer organization will be managed
with the skill and expertise necessary to protect the interests of its employees, client companies, and
Section 3. Section 58-59-303 is amended to read:
58-59-303. Term of license -- Expiration -- Renewal.
(1) The division shall issue each license under this chapter in accordance with a one-year
renewal cycle established by rule. The division may by rule extend or shorten a renewal period by
as much as six months to stagger the renewal cycles it administers.
(2) At the time of renewal the licensee shall show satisfactory documentation [
Subsections 58-59-302 (1) through (4) and Sections 58-59-306 and 58-59-310 .
(3) Each license automatically expires on the expiration date shown on the license unless
renewed by the licensee in accordance with Section 58-1-308 .
Section 4. Section 58-59-306 is repealed and reenacted to read:
58-59-306. Financial filing requirements.
(1) A professional employer organization shall submit to the division:
(a) on a quarterly basis, a statement from an independent certified public accountant, that
all federal, state, and local withholding taxes, unemployment taxes, FICA taxes, workers'
compensation premiums, and employee benefit plan premiums have been paid; and
(b) on an annual basis, audited financial statements prepared by an independent certified
public accountant, in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices, that include a review
of the payment of all federal, state, and local withholding taxes, unemployment taxes, FICA taxes,
workers' compensation premiums, and employee benefit plan premiums.
(2) The audited financial statements required by Subsection (1) shall be adequate for the
state and its political subdivisions as long as:
(a) there are no qualifications given in the opinion that the CPA considers material enough
to question the stability of the PEO as a going concern; and
(b) the PEO complies with Subsection 58-59-302 (4).
Section 5. Section 58-59-308 is amended to read:
58-59-308. No guarantee.
By licensing and regulating professional employer organizations under this chapter, the state:
(1) does not guarantee any right, claim, or defense of any professional employer
organization, client company, [
(2) does not guarantee the financial responsibility or solvency of any professional employer
(3) does not waive any right, claim, or defense of immunity that it may have under Title 63,
Chapter 30, Utah Governmental Immunity Act, or other law.
Section 6. Section 58-59-309 is enacted to read:
58-59-309. State licensing provisions not exempted.
(1) Nothing in this chapter exempts a client of a PEO, nor a coemployee, from any state,
local, or federal license or registration requirement.
(2) Any individual who must be licensed, registered, or certified according to law and who
is a coemployee of a PEO and a client is considered an employee of the client for purposes of that
license, registration, or certification.
(3) A PEO does not engage in an occupation, trade, or profession that is licensed, certified,
or otherwise regulated by a governmental entity solely by entering into a professional employer
arrangement with a client company or a coemployee.
Section 7. Section 58-59-310 is enacted to read:
58-59-310. Health benefit plans.
If a PEO offers any self-funded or partially self-funded health benefit plan, the PEO shall:
(1) use a third-party administrator licensed by the Utah State Insurance Department;
(2) hold all self-funded or partially self-funded plan assets, including participant
contributions, in a trust account;
(3) provide to the division a list of the trustees of the plan;
(4) provide to the division a statement from a certified actuary that:
(a) the plan maintains stop loss insurance that:
(i) has an aggregate stop loss provision; and
(ii) has a specific attachment point on an individual person, per plan year, in an amount not
greater than $60,000 if the plan has 500 covered coemployees, $90,000 if the plan has between 501
and 1000 covered coemployees, $125,000 if the plan has over 1000 covered coemployees, and
$250,000 if the plan has more than 1000 covered coemployees and the plan has in reserves 100%
of the statutory liability, except that the limits of the attachment points shall increase annually by
twice the percentage of the medical trend beginning with the licenses given or renewed in the year
(b) the plan has at least 50% of its statutory liability held in the plan trust within two months
of the license renewal date where the plan's statutory liability is calculated as the run-out multiplied
by the change in life count multiplied by the medical trend;
(5) provide to the division a statement from a certified actuary indicating the run-out, the
change in life count, the medical trend, and the statutory liability of the plan, where the plan's
statutory liability is the run-out increased by the change in life count, then increased by the medical
(6) provide an audited financial statement evidencing that the PEO's plan has excess reserves
of at least 50% of its statutory liability held in the plan trust as of the end of the fiscal year of the
PEO, and if the excess reserves are not met, the PEO may supplement the proof that it has come into
compliance with the requirement.
Section 8. Section 58-59-401 is amended to read:
58-59-401. Grounds for denial of license and disciplinary proceedings.
(1) If at the time of renewal, a PEO fails to comply with the requirements of licensure for
any reason, the division may put the PEO on probation until such time as the PEO comes into
compliance with the licensure requirements or 90 days from the license renewal date, whichever
comes first. If the PEO fails to cure any default within 90 days of the license renewal date, the
division may refuse to renew the license of a licensee.
(2) The division may refuse to issue a license to an applicant, [
or private reprimand to a licensee, and issue cease and desist orders in accordance with Section
Section 9. Section 58-59-402 is amended to read:
58-59-402. Court intervention.
If a professional employer organization is operating without a license [
division may file a complaint in district court asking for[
considered appropriate by the court.
Section 10. Section 58-59-501 is amended to read:
58-59-501. Unlawful conduct.
Unlawful conduct includes:
(1) engaging in practice as a professional employer organization without a license;
(2) offering an employee a self-funded medical program, unless:
(a) the program provides its benefits under an employee benefit plan that complies with 29
U.S.C. Sec. 1143 et seq.; and
(b) the program is maintained for the sole benefit of [
(3) misrepresenting that any self-funded medical program it offers is other than self-funded;
(4) offering to its employees any self-funded or partially self-funded medical plan without
delivering to each plan participant a summary plan description that accurately describes terms of the
plan, including disclosure that the plan is self-funded or partially self-funded;
(5) providing [
term, or condition that is not contained in a clearly written agreement between the professional
employer organization and client company;
(6) any willful, fraudulent, or deceitful act by a licensee, caused by a licensee, or at a
licensee's direction, that causes material injury to a client company or [
coemployee of a client company;
(7) failing to maintain or ensure that client companies maintain in full force and effect
required workers' compensation insurance on all [
Utah law pursuant to Section 34A-2-103;
(8) failing to pay in a timely manner any federal or state income tax withholding, FICA,
unemployment tax, employee insurance benefit premium, workers' compensation premium, or other
obligation due and payable directly as a result of engaging in business as [
(9) failing to comply with federal law regarding any employee benefit offered to an
Section 11. Section 58-59-502 is amended to read:
58-59-502. Unprofessional conduct.
Unprofessional conduct includes:
appropriate form and content as required under this chapter;
or officers, or in its principal business address or change in any responsible manager of the
professional employer organization who has signatory authority over company funds within ten days
after the change;
amount exceeding $5,000 of any of the following obligations: any federal or state income tax,
withholding tax, FICA, unemployment tax, employee insurance benefit premium, or worker
compensation premium; and
the division for that event:
(a) the sale or transfer of a majority of the [
employer contracts of the licensee;
(b) the sale or transfer of a majority of the physical assets of the licensee;
(c) the sale or transfer of more than 25% of the ownership interest of a licensee by any means
including the sale, transfer, or issuance of a member interest in a limited liability company, the sale,
transfer, or issuance of a member interest in a partnership, the sale, transfer, or issuance of a
ownership interest in a licensee in any other manner other than the sale or transfer of publicly traded
shares of a corporation affected through a public exchange or market; and
(d) entering into one or more contracts, other than [
agreements with [
to any person or persons in amounts which in total exceed the equity of the business for payment of
service provided to or for the licensee.
Section 12. Effective date.
If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this act takes effect upon
approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah Constitution
Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto, the date of veto
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