Tag Archives: health insurance

Don’t Be Snake Bit. Make Sure the COBRA Notices You Use Are Correct.

Ver la versión en español aquí Using a vendor for your COBRA compliance does not mean you are safe from claims. The employer bears ultimate responsibility for complying with COBRA. It appears that Pepsico and Lockheed may be about to learn this lesson.  Both were sued recently in Hillsborough County for failure to send proper … Continue Reading

Dave & Buster’s Settlement – Busted! But Not So Fast….

Ver la versión en español aquí The Dave & Buster’s restaurant chain recently settled a class action lawsuit claiming it violated ERISA’s “discrimination” rules by reducing hours of various employees to cause them to lose eligibility for the company’s group health plan. After over three years of litigation in the Southern District of New York … Continue Reading

Nothing to Sneeze at: Chemical Sensitivities, Bed Bugs, Zika and Flu Shots

Ver la versión en español aquí I recently spoke at the SHRM 2018 Annual Conference & Exposition in Chicago. My topic was  “Health Issues are Nothing to Sneeze at: Chemical Sensitivities, Bed Bugs, Zika and Flu Shots.” SHRM had over 18,000 attendees. It was a great opportunity to discuss some of the legal issues employers face when … Continue Reading

Covering Summer Interns Under Your Employee Benefit Plans – You Can’t Just Forget About Them

Ver la versión en español aquí It is prime time of the year for hiring “interns.” They usually are high school, college or even graduate students looking for work experience. Certain interns may be unpaid (the analysis of whether interns must be paid is an important issue but beyond the scope of this blog post). … Continue Reading

Morale Makes Money: How Starbucks Raised the Bar(ista)… Again

Ver la versión en español aquí Last week, the CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, announced the ‘Partner and Family Sick Time’ benefits for all of Starbucks’ U.S. employees. Starbucks is giving employees a number of additional perks, including increased wages, stock grants, six-week paid parental leave for non-birth giving parents and five days of paid … Continue Reading

EEOC Wellness Plan Controversy: All’s Well That Ends Well?

Ver la versión en español aquí Earlier this month, the EEOC and Orion Energy Systems settled a case pending in a Wisconsin federal court in which the EEOC alleged that the company’s wellness plan violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This case goes back to the spring of 2009 when an employee was forced … Continue Reading

What’s in YOUR COBRA Notice? Insufficiencies Could Drain Your Wallet

Ver la versión en español aquí SunTrust Banks learned an expensive lesson about COBRA compliance recently. It was sued for failure to send proper COBRA election notices after employees terminated employment. SunTrust’s agent for COBRA notice purposes, Xerox HR Solutions, actually sent timely COBRA notices to the former employees.  But two former employees/plaintiffs claimed that … Continue Reading

New Law Widens Insurance Options for Eligible Small Employers

Ver la versión en español aquí A new law passed by Congress reinstates the ability of eligible small employers to reimburse employee paid premiums to purchase individual health insurance policies. The law reverses the application of huge penalties that would have applied to such reimbursement actions under the IRS’ interpretation of the Affordable Care Act. … Continue Reading

Don’t Forget About ACA Compliance with Staffing Firm Service Agreements

Ver la versión en español aquí  Applicable large employers – those with 50+ full-time employees (ALEs) – under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) must satisfy the law’s “employer mandate,” meaning that they may be assessed penalties for: Failing to offer minimum essential coverage to full-time employees and their dependents Offering eligible employer-sponsored coverage that is … Continue Reading

So Boring but So Important – Vendor Service Agreements

Ver la versión en español aquí You just finished the torture of the RFP process for a new vendor for your benefit plan (doesn’t matter what kind of plan – 401(k), group health plan, section 125 plan, stock purchase, etc.). You carefully compiled all the information from the 100-page responses, checked the references, asked pointed … Continue Reading

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Improper Extension of Benefits After Termination of Employment

Ver la versión en español aquí You’ve always treated your employees fairly, even when the relationship doesn’t work out and you have to let the employee go or when you’ve had to terminate employees due to downsizing. Often, you agree to continue the employee’s benefits for a few months during a severance period. You know … Continue Reading

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It! New FMLA Forms are Here!

Ver la versión en español aquí I have good news for you! The U.S. Department of Labor has finally released revised notices and forms for use with employee leaves under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  More good news: the new docs have a new expiration date – May 31, 2018.   The revised notices/forms include … Continue Reading

An EGGcellent Employee Benefit or a Degrading Message?

Ver la versión en español aquí Surveys are conducted periodically to compile lists of “best employee benefits.” Those lists have included items such as: free lunch (yes, there is such a thing for some lucky employees); fully-paid insurance premiums; gym membership and fitness classes; flexible schedules, including 4-day workweeks; telecommuting options; transportation subsidies; paid maternity … Continue Reading

Health Care Reform – Business as Usual (For Now)

Ver la versión en español aquí Much publicized court cases in the last several weeks make us wonder whether the federal Health Care Reform law will survive. We leave the answer to that question to the U.S. Supreme Court. For now, employers should adopt the “business as usual” approach and continue to prepare for implementation … Continue Reading

New Florida Law on Data Security Breaches

Ver la versión en español aquí The Florida Information Protection Act went into effect on July 1. The law imposes notification requirements on any business that acquires, maintains, stores or uses personal information when that business suffers a breach of security, i.e., unauthorized access of data in electronic form containing personal information. The statute’s definition … Continue Reading

Employers’ Obligations Under Florida’s Medical Marijuana Laws Hazy

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed SB 1030 today.  This law now makes it legal for qualified patients in Florida to take low-THC cannabis in liquid form to treat certain seizure disorders, such as epilepsy and muscle spasms, and for cancer.  While SB 1030 will likely not have a huge impact on day-to-day operations in the … Continue Reading

It’s Summer: How to Treat Your Interns Under the ACA

It is prime time of the year for hiring “interns.” With the Affordable Care Act’s “pay or play” rules scheduled to go into full swing next year for large companies (50+ employees), employers have to know how to treat interns. The federal tax code imposes special taxes on large employers if their employees receive premium … Continue Reading

EEOC Focuses on Plethora of Legal Issues Raised by Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

On May 8, 2013, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a meeting with representatives from employers, advocacy groups and insurance providers to discuss issues raised by employee-sponsored wellness programs in the context of the Americans With Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act as well as age, national origin, race and sex discrimination. … Continue Reading

FMLA Update: Revised Regulations, a New Poster and a New Certification Form

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) published revisions to certain regulations for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a new poster and a new certification form.  The following highlight key issues for employers with regard to the revisions. New FMLA Poster.  The DOL revised its FMLA poster, also referred to as the “General Notice”, effective … Continue Reading

Appeals Court Says ADA’s Safe Harbor Provision Permitted Medical Examination and Disability-Related Inquiries for Wellness Program Tied to Group Health Plan

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Florida, ruled on Monday that Broward County’s wellness program, which required employees to undergo a biometric screening and fill out a health assessment questionnaire, did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The ADA generally prohibits medical examinations and disability-related inquiries unless job-related and … Continue Reading
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