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Employment Matters Blog

Staffing Firms, Educational Organizations, and Breaks-in-Service under the Affordable Care Act Employer Shared Responsibility Rules: Proposed Changes under Notice 2015-87

Posted in ACA Compliance Series, Affordable Care Act, IRS

In Q&A format, recently issued Notice 2015-87 addresses a number of pressing issues that have arisen under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including that law’s employer shared responsibility rules, information reporting requirements, and insurance market reforms, among others. Q&A 15 of the notice addresses, and proposes changes in, the rules governing breaks-in-service involving staffing firms that place contract and temporary workers with educational organizations. This post explains the proposed changes and examines their impact on staffing firms that provide employees to educational organizations.

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The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Electronic Backbone—The AIR System

Posted in ACA’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers Series, Affordable Care Act, IRS

By Alden Bianchi and Kendra Strickland

For the last half of 2015, we spent a good deal of time explaining the Affordable Care Act reporting requirements that applied to carriers and large employers. A compilation of these posts, which generally address the content of the ACA reporting requirements, is available here. This post examines the how of ACA reporting. In particular, it provides a primer on the electronic filing system—referred to as the Affordable Care Act Information Return System (AIR)—that the IRS has developed and deployed to facilitate the submission of reporting data to the government.

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Fifth Circuit Rejects Employee’s FLSA Off-the-Clock Claim; Highlights Importance of Overtime Authorization and Reporting Policies in Off-the-Clock Cases

Posted in DOL, Employer liability, FLSA, Minimum Wage and Overtime, Off-the-Clock, Wage and Hour Issues

The Fifth Circuit recently sided with an employer in an off-the-clock overtime case where the employee failed to comply with her employer’s overtime approval and reporting policies.  For employers, this decision highlights the importance of implementing overtime authorization and reporting policies to defeat these claims.

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Zika Virus: Appropriate Workplace Responses

Posted in ADA, Discrimination & Harassment, Discrimination Laws, EEOC, Employer liability, PDA, Sick Leave, Title VII

The Zika virus has been the topic of much discussion and anxiety for many weeks.  The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now issued travel warnings for more than two dozen countries in the Caribbean, Central America and South America and cases have been reported in at least 13 states and Washington, D.C.  This anxiety has, not surprisingly, crept into workplaces, including those with employees that travel to the affected areas.  This post addresses some of the employment issues raised by the Zika virus.

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Subsidizing Student Health Insurance With Stipends – New Agency Guidance and Relief

Posted in ACA Compliance Series, Affordable Care Act, Healthcare, IRS

On February 5, 2016, the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the Departments) issued guidance addressing the application of market reforms and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to student health coverage, and providing temporary transition relief from enforcement by the Departments for non-compliant employers.

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NJ High Court Declines to Review “Borgata Babes” Case, Effectively Doubling Down on Appellate Court’s Acceptance of Atlantic City Casino’s Stringent Rules on Grooming, Dress and Weight Gain

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Gender, Sexual harassment

“They’re beautiful.  They’re charming.  And they’re bringing drinks.  She moves toward you like a movie star, her smile melting the ice in your bourbon and water.  His ice blue eyes set the olive in your friend’s martini spinning.  You forget your own name.  She kindly remembers it for you.  You become the most important person in the room.  And relax in the knowledge that there are no calories in eye candy.  Part fashion model, part beverage server, part charming host and hostess.  All impossibly lovely…On a scale of 1 to 10, elevens all…The memory of their warm, inviting, upbeat personalities will remain with you long after the vision has faded from your dreams.”

Do we have your attention yet?

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The EEOC’s Proposed Revisions To The EEO-1 Report Could Create Legal and Administrative Headaches For Employers

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, EEOC

The EEOC unveiled its proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) last month.  With the revisions, the EEOC hopes to gather additional data to help better discern pay discrimination.  However, the revisions could also create additional administrative burdens for employers and unintended legal consequences.

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Health and Welfare Plans: Big Compliance Burdens, Big Penalty Exposures

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Healthcare, IRS

Health and welfare have been around for a long time, and they are ubiquitous.  Employees have come to expect medical, dental, life, and other insurance as part of their benefits packages.  Employers offer coverage in order to reward employees, attract the best talent, and now, under the Affordable Care Act, avoid penalties.  Historically, these plans posed few regulatory concerns for employers, despite that the applicable laws and regulations have become increasingly complicated with each passing decade.  With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, however, the applicable legal and regulatory concerns have reached a tipping point.  The burdens of compliance and the penalties for non-compliance are now more ominous than ever.  This post examines the compliance environment of health and welfare plans generally and group health plans in particular.

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Will Peyton Manning Have a Storybook Ending or Will SuperCam Prevail? Tuah the Orangutan picks the Panthers while the Unemployment Statistics side with the Broncos….and Some Other Super Bowl Tidbits for Employers.

Posted in Employer liability, Unemployment

monkeyWe are back with our annual Super Bowl prediction post.  As noted in prior years, people are increasingly making their predictions based on two indicators: unemployment rates and the whims of Utah zoo animals.  They each have pretty good track records.  An orangutan predicted seven straight Super Bowls correctly and the city with the lower unemployment rate has won 21 of the last 27 Super Bowls.

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Adventures in Joint Employment: the Browning-Ferris Saga Continues with an Appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Posted in Collective bargaining, D.C. Circuit Court, NLRA, NLRB

Last week, Browning-Ferris Industries, the California-based waste management company, appealed two decisions issued by the National Labor Relations Board related to the definition of joint employer.  Its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit represents just the latest chapter in an ongoing saga that began with a momentous ruling by the NLRB this past August.  The outcome of this appeal could have serious implications for affected companies, workers and other stakeholders.

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