Employers should be planning ahead for the January 1, 2014 implementation of the “Employer Shared Responsibility” provisions of the Affordable Care Act. That is because the average number of workers a company employed during 2013 will determine whether an employer is a “large employer,” and must offer minimum levels of health insurance to its employees, for 2014. The Internal Revenue Service has now issued a 144-page proposed rule and added a “Q&A” section to the IRS website (found here) geared toward explaining how it will decide whether an employer is required to offer affordable health insurance and what levels of coverage must be provided.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 is constitutional. The decision came down in the cases entitled, National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius, No. 11-393 (June 28, 2012), Department of Health and Human Services et al. v. Florida et al., No. 11-398, and Florida et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services et al., No. 11-400). There, the 5 to 4 majority decided that the law is constitutional as an exercise of Congress’ power to tax, despite the congressional record stating it is not a tax. In California, where statutes that say “penalty” are later determined by courts to be “wages” these types of word games come as no surprise.
Continue Reading SCOTUS Hands Employers Huge Health Care Obligations
Question: An employee is out on FMLA leave to care for her newborn baby. Before her leave ends, she notifies her employer that she actually does not intend to return to work. Does the employee still have any restoration rights? Can the employer recover any health care premiums they paid during the employee’s FMLA leave?
An employer’s ability to have disputes with employees resolved by arbitrators instead of courts had some ups and downs in recent days. One of those developments suggests that employers should review and perhaps revise their arbitration agreements to keep them enforceable in state court. The other development indicates that arbitration agreements will continue to be treated favorably by federal courts.
laborDriving across the San Francisco Bay Bridge still provides one of the most beautiful views of any City I have seen in the United States. However, once off the bridge, you witness business owners besieged by a Frankenstein type laboratory of unfriendly employment laws. There is little doubt in my mind that, but for the view from the bridge, San Francisco would be Barstow, with nary a business in sight due to anti-employer laws. While these awful employment laws are good news for surrounding employer friendly counties, such as San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, and Contra Costa, we must remain vigilant to ensure these toxins do not get dumped in the Bay to spread like the plaque they are.
Continue Reading San Francisco: Incubator for Bad Employment Laws