As discussed in our last webinar, in late January the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its much-anticipated 563-page final omnibus rule regulating protected health information.
As promised, here’s a guide to what employers really need to know. Read more…
Whoa! What’s that new line item on my W-2? Is that taxable?
Employers are starting to field questions like these from their employees. That’s because employees are having their eyes opened to the actual cost of their employer-provided health care benefits.
Some employees have seen the value of these benefits before in company-wide communications or total compensation statements. Now, as part of the Affordable Care Act, all employees are seeing what their employers pay for their health care coverage.
It’s easy to understand why employees are shocked. they’ve been as removed from the cost of health care as most of us — including doctors and other providers. Read more…
By Eric B Meyer
Before going any further, allow me to wish a happy belated 20th birthday to the Family and Medical Leave Act, the FMLA.
What can I say? I plumb forgot. Next year, to celebrate the big 2-1, drinks are on me
For today, we’ll do an FMLA post in tribute.
A few weeks ago, I posted FMLA Requests: 3 Essential Factors For Every HR Pro to Remember, one of which was to have a publicized attendance rule and enforce it. Read more…
By Jessica Cook
On Monday, April 1, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting FY 2014 H-1B cap-subject petitions for employment starting on October 1, 2013.
What is the H-1B cap?
There is an annual cap on the number of new H-1B petitions available each year. The law allows for 65,000 new H-1B visas to be issued annually, and an additional 20,000 visas are available to foreign workers with an advanced degree from a U.S. academic institution. Because there is a cap on the number of available visas each year, employers interested in hiring foreign workers in an H-1B status should take advantage of the April 1 filing opportunity. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
An employer must accommodate the sincerely-held religious beliefs of its employees unless the employer demonstrates that doing so would cause undue hardship for the business.
Undue hardship?!? What the heck is that? And how can you make sure that your managers are prepared to address — let alone spot — these issues when they arise.
In June 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it had sued a Rent-A-Center store in Washington, D.C. because Rent-A-Center had allegedly violated federal law when it failed to accommodate a store manager’s religious beliefs and then fired him because of his religion. Read more…
“People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.” — Thomas Sowell, economist and social theorist.
“Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings.” ― George Will, American columnist and commentator.
Meetings may just be the bane of our workplace existence.
I don’t mean events like professional conferences; those generally represent valuable educational experiences. No, I refer to those self-proliferating time-wasters that bring co-workers together to discuss ways to maximize team productivity, but instead accomplish the exact opposite. Read more…
Flu season has hit early and hard this year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the current outbreak could be the worst in a decade. Things are so bad that states such as New York and Massachusets have declared public health emergencies.
All of this has prompted a debate about paid sick days. While it might seem like a no-brainer that sick people should stay home, for the 40 percent of workers who can’t even earn paid sick days, staying home hardly seems like an option. In fact, those without a paid sick leave option are most likely to be exposed to — and potentially share — infectious diseases such as the flu. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
I was reading this federal court opinion over the weekend. It involves a disability-discrimination claim brought by a deaf man who applied to become a lifeguard at a county pool, but didn’t get the job because the county thought his disability would compromise swimmer safety.
Plus, the town was not convinced that it could accommodate the deaf applicant because it couldn’t be 100 percent certain that he could safely be on the lifeguard stand alone, without someone constantly by his side.
Folks, I’m guilty. Read more…
Now that Congress has mostly averted falling off the fiscal cliff by penning The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, some employees may have a false sense of confidence that the Act only will impact the wealthy.
The message we are hearing is that the middle class has been spared from a tax increase, but that’s not necessarily true. Your employees will have an unpleasant surprise with their first paycheck of the New Year in 2013 since the temporary reduction of 2 percent on the employee portion of the Social Security tax that we’ve had for the past two years was allowed to expire.
As of January 1st, the tax increases back to 6.2 percent on the first $113,700 of earned income. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Here are three (3) easy ways to tackle FMLA issues, without having to call someone like me.
Employee gets open-heart surgery, no FMLA
I was reading this case the other day about an employee who needed to take time off to have open-heart surgery. She inquired about leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and her employer provided her with several FMLA forms, including “Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities,” “Request for FMLA Leave,” and “Certification of Health Care Provider.” Read more…