DOL Issues Final Rules for Association Health Plans

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The Department of Labor in June issued its final rules for expanding employers’ access to association health plans, a move that could result in some increases in premiums for other plans, including Affordable Care Act-compliant small group health plans. The rule in its essence allows more small businesses and self-employed workers to band together to buy insurance. The final rule is part of the Trump administration’s plan to encourage competition in the health insurance markets and lower the cost of coverage. It does that by broadening the definition of an employer under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to allow…
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DOL Abandons Overtime Rule, Asks Court to OK Salary Threshold Concept

| posted in Blog

If you remember, the Department of Labor last December was slated to implement a new white-collar overtime rule, but after business groups appealed, a federal judge in Texas issued an order temporarily blocking it days before it was due to take effect. The DOL had been continuing work on appealing the ruling but now that the Trump administration is in charge, the agency dropped its defense of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rule. The rule would have required employers to pay overtime to workers who make less than a new threshold of $47,476, regardless of their title. So…
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DOL Withdraws Guidance on Independent Contractors

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The Trump administration has withdrawn guidance issued by the Department of Labor under President Obama that had tightened restrictions on joint employment and independent contractors. The move may give only the semblance of respite though, because the enabling regulations are still in place and so is established case law on the subject. The move only affects guidance that the DOL had issued to clarify regulations that were also codified during the last administration. In other words, for now the regulations remain in place and if the administration wants to tackle those, it would have to start from scratch in the…
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Countdown to New Overtime Exemption Rules

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If you have not yet done so, now is the time to start preparing all of your accounting and payroll systems for the onset of the Department of Labor’s new overtime exemption rules. The final regulation changes the salary level that must be met before an employee can be exempt from overtime if they satisfy the “duty requirement,” meaning they have to be engaged in certain “white collar” jobs, like management. The White House estimates that some 4 million workers who are currently considered “exempt” from overtime pay of time and a half for working more than 40 hours in…
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A Guide to The DOL’s New Overtime Regulations

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The Department of Labor has more than doubled the salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476, which means anyone earning less than that must be eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week. The increase equates to a minimum salary of $913 per week, compared to the current $455 per week – or $23,660 a year. This means if you employ someone who is currently an exempt manager and they earn less than $47,476, they will be non-exempt starting Dec. 1, unless you give them a raise. If they work more than 40 hours a week,…
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Federal Agencies Stepping up Audits. Here’s What They Are Looking at

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As the Affordable Care Act takes hold further, government agencies are stepping up their audits of health plans across the country. With many employers still unclear over exactly what they need to do to fully comply with all of the sections of the ACA – from providing affordable insurance to reporting on their plans – the risk is great that you may be found not in compliance at least in some area. There are a number of government entities that are responsible for auditing employer health plans, and they all have different areas of responsibility: Department of Labor (DOL) •…
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Independent Contractor Classification Clarified amid Crackdown

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

On July 15, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an administrator’s interpretation regarding the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act with respect to the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. The new interpretation is required reading for any business that uses independent contractors to any degree – often or seldom. It’s also important as the government continues to crack down on companies that misclassify their employees as independent contractors, most recently evidenced by the decision that Uber drivers are employees, and not independent contractors. The interpretation came after a ruling by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office that a…
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