A view into the latest Benefits and HR topics

Bonuses Paid by Third Parties Excluded From Regular Rate for Overtime Calculation Purposes

Authors: |September 10th, 2019|Compliance, Decision Making, Human Resources, In The Know|

Perhaps the most frequently violated provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act is that law’s requirement that non-discretionary bonuses be included in non-exempt employees’ regular rate of pay used for purposes of calculating overtime pay. On August 20, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that incentive bonuses paid to employees by third parties were [...]

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 New Compliance Tools

Authors: |August 14th, 2019|Administration, Compliance, Decision Making, In The Know|

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the launch of additional plain-language, user-friendly compliance assistance materials to help employers, workers, and other stakeholders understand their responsibilities and their rights under federal labor law. The Department's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) added a number of publicly available presentations to its website, covering topics such as the Fair Labor Standards [...]

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 [...]


Authors: |July 16th, 2019|Compliance, In The Know|

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance issuers and self-insured plan sponsors to pay Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute fees (PCORI fees). The fees are reported and paid annually using IRS Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return). The PCORI fees do not apply for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2019. Therefore, [...]

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 [...]

Planning For DOL’s Overtime Rules In A Tough Labor Climate

Authors: |June 18th, 2019|Administration, Compliance, Decision Making, Human Resources, In The Know|

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its proposed regulations on overtime that would render more than 1 million new workers eligible for overtime pay. Coupled with a historically tight labor market, this new rule has the potential to place even greater strain on employers already struggling to attract and retain new [...]

The Intersection of Workers’ Compensation and OSHA: Look Both Ways Before Crossing

Authors: |June 4th, 2019|Compliance, Human Resources, In The Know|

In many ways, workers’ compensation (WC) and the OSHA are very different. WC is a statutory compensation scheme designed to limit an employer’s liability in exchange for more expedient payment of medical expenses, wage replacement, and death benefits. Most of these individual state-based compensation acts were in place long before OSHA. OSHA compliance and related [...]