New York State Department of Labor has released proposed regulations under its recently enacted Wage Deduction Law. The Law, which went into effect in November 2012, permits employers to deduct certain amounts from employees’ wages, including deductions to recover wage overpayments, for repayments of employer loans, and to provide for the payment of items such as gym memberships, parking or mass transit passes and day care, among many other items. The proposed regulations, accessible here, focus on authorized deductions for the benefit of the employee and deductions for advances and overpayments.
New York City Passes Earned Sick Time Act; Expects to Override Mayor Bloomberg's Threatened Veto Yet Again
As expected, the New York City Council has passed the Earned Sick Time Act, which, if enacted, will require most City employers to provide job-protected sick leave, whether paid or unpaid, to the more than 1.6 million employees who currently do not receive this benefit. As with the recently-passed unemployment discrimination law, the Earned Sick Time Act passed with an overwhelming majority and we expect the Council to override any Mayoral veto.
The IRS announced it is nearing completion of a five year long compliance project involving tax-exempt colleges and universities. The project, which began with questionnaires to 400 randomly-selected institutions, focused on reporting of executive compensation and unrelated business income. The IRS’s findings provide warning to all non-profit colleges and universities regarding their process to establish and report executive compensation.
A majority of US employers offer some sort of wellness program designed to reduce the cost of health insurance and healthcare costs, and to improve the health and well-being of employees. However, unless care is taken, even well-intentioned wellness programs may violate federal law.
Today, the U.S. Court Court for the D.C. Circuit struck down a rule proposed by the NLRB that required employers to post workplace notices describing employees' rights to form a union or face a possible unfair labor practice charge. You can read the decision, National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB, or click here for a summary of the decision posted at Workplace Prof Blog. Click here for links to our earlier posts on this topic.
Staffing Industry Compliance with the Employer Shared Responsibility (aka "Pay-or-Play") Provisions of the Affordable Care Act: Five Questions
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”), the federal government, state governments, insurers, employers, and individuals all share responsibility to make affordable health insurance coverage widely available. The rules that apply to employers — referred to as the “employer shared responsibility” rules — build on the existing private employer-based health insurance system. The employer shared responsibility rules apply to “applicable large employers,” which include employers with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees. The vast majority of staffing firms fit this description.
For a high-level analysis of how the Act impacts staffing firms, click here to read an advisory written by my colleague, Alden Bianchi, and Ed Lenz, Senior Counsel to the American Staffing Association.
Mintz Levin's Health Law practice hosts periodic webinars, focusing on various health care-related topics of interest. Our next webinar, which will be of interest to readers of this blog, will focus on strategies for minimizing the risk of being subject to whistleblower actions. Attorneys from our Health Care Enforcement Defense,Class Action, and Employment, Labor & Benefits practices will discuss how to establish an effective qui tam avoidance program. Preventing Whistleblower Actions: Customizing an Effective Qui Tam Avoidance Program will be held on May 22nd from noon to 1:00 pm EST. Click here to register. We hope you can join us!
On April 29, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced an initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. The initiative, announced through a press release and a memorandum sent to all of OSHA’s regional administrators, directs field inspectors to assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the OSH Act.
A recent Massachusetts court decision upheld efforts by staffing companies and workers compensation insurers to close a loophole that allowed staffing-firm employees injured at a client company both to collect workers compensation benefits and to sue the company where they were hurt. Please click here to read a blog entry I wrote for the AIM (Associated Industries of Massachusetts) Business Insider blog.
Recently, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Hire Dynamics, a staffing firm (click here for the EEOC press release). According to the complaint, after a Hire Dynamics employee filed a charge of discrimination against one of its clients, the staffing firm retaliated by failing to give the employee any further job assignments or opportunities. As this case highlights, it is important that staffing companies and their clients work together to comply with applicable fair employment practice laws.