A view into the latest Benefits and HR topics

Employers Are Expected to Spend More on Health Care and Wellness in the Next Year

Authors: |September 17th, 2019|Benefits, In The Know, Workplace Wellness|

According to Optum’s Wellness in the Workplace study, more than 80% of employers plan to spend more on health care and wellness in the next year than in previous years. Health Care Spending The cost of providing employer-sponsored health care has been steadily increasing over the years. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average [...]

What Am I Doing Wrong? Common FMLA Mistakes

Authors: |August 27th, 2019|Benefits, Compliance, In The Know|

In a recent opinion letter, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division clarified its position on two points: (1) an employer may not delay the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave as FMLA leave, and (2) an employer is prohibited from designating more than 12 weeks of FMLA leave (or 26 weeks for military [...]

IRS Decreases ACA Affordability Percentage for 2020

Authors: |August 20th, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Human Resources, In The Know|

In the recently issued Revenue Procedure 2019-29, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reduced the applicable contribution percentage for the 2020 plan year. This percentage is used for purposes of determining whether an employer’s health insurance coverage is affordable under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). BACKGROUND Under the ACA, an applicable large employer will not be [...]

DOL Issues Guidance on Payroll Rounding, Overtime Calculations, and Certain Paralegals

Authors: |July 30th, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Decision Making, In The Know|

Employers looking for guidance on payroll rounding practices, classification of certain highly compensated paralegals, and calculating overtime where employees receive non-discretionary bonuses will be glad to know the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued three new Opinion Letters on those subjects. DOL Opinion Letters are issued by the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL [...]

New HRA Rules: What Employers Need to Know

Authors: |July 23rd, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Decision Making, In The Know|

Starting in 2020, employers will be able to offer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that work in conjunction with individual coverage or Medicare without running afoul of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) market reform rules. These individual coverage HRAs (ICHRAs) could be used to pay for out-of-pocket expenses, premiums for Medicare, or individual policies purchased through [...]

President Directs Agencies to Expand HSA and FSA Rules

Authors: |July 9th, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Decision Making, In The Know|

In an Executive Order issued on June 24, 2019, President Trump directed several agencies to address a number of health care related matters through regulation.  This post discusses Section 6 of the Executive Order, which takes aim at Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and medical expenses generally. Health Savings Accounts HSAs provide [...]

How Many Benefits are Included in the Calculation of Regular Rate? The World May Never Know

Authors: |July 2nd, 2019|Benefits, Decision Making, Human Resources, In The Know|

On March 28, 2019, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a lengthy and detailed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to revise the regulations governing how employers should calculate “regular rate” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Upon release, the DOL set a deadline for public notice and comment of May 28, 2019. However, citing the interest [...]

New Executive Order Attempts to Make Healthcare Prices More Transparent

Authors: |June 25th, 2019|Benefits, Communications, Decision Making, In The Know|

Anyone who has tried to shop around for hospital services knows this: It's hard to get prices in advance. President Trump signed an executive order Monday that he says would make such comparisons easier, and make the pricing process more transparent. The order directs agencies to draw up rules requiring hospitals and insurers to make public more [...]

Recommended Practices for Employer-Provided Meals and Snacks in Light of Recent IRS Guidance

Authors: |June 11th, 2019|Benefits, In The Know|

The IRS continues to aggressively audit how free meals and snacks offered to employees in many workplaces are treated for federal tax purposes. Recent IRS guidance in this respect is Technical Advice Memorandum 201903017 (the TAM) published this spring. The TAM, which includes both employer-favorable and IRS-favorable provisions, is essentially the first guidance on employer-provided meals and [...]

DOL Announces Statement of Temporary Non-Enforcement Following AHP Ruling

Authors: |May 28th, 2019|Benefits, Human Resources, In The Know|

The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) has released a policy statement and a Questions and Answers – Part Two (FAQ) in reaction to the district court for the District of Columbia’s ruling in State of New York v. U.S. DOL of Labor, which vacated a key part of the Department’s final regulations expanding the availability of association health plans (AHPs). [...]