A number of recent California appellate decisions reveal hidden traps that may ensnare employers in administrative proceedings involving employee claims for unemployment or workers-compensation benefits. Such proceedings typically appear routine and uncomplicated. Nonetheless, missteps in handling those routine and relatively low-risk claims can greatly increase an employer’s exposure to liability in a separate civil action alleging wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or similar claims.
Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace is set to begin on October 1, 2013. While many employers believe the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) were put off a year for them, many provisions still apply now.
By no later than October 1, 2013, most employers must distribute a notice of coverage options to their employees. For new hires after October 1, 2013, the notice of coverage options must be provided to the employee within 14 days of their start date. This notice form should be added to all new hiring packets.
By: James Kachmar
When one or more of your key employees leaves to join a competitor and begins soliciting your customers, one of your strongest weapons under California’s trade secret laws is the ability to obtain an immediate temporary restraining order to stop your former employee and his or new employer from unlawfully competing against you. Many trade secrets cases can be won or lost at the early TRO/preliminary injunction stage. However, it is imperative that employers act fast to protect their rights or they may find that their trade secret case is weakened. Employers may, when faced with departing employees who are soliciting their customers, take a wait and see approach to determine the amount of damage and whether it is worthwhile to hire an attorney to pursue the matter in the court system. While this may make sense from a business approach, it can adversely impact the employer’s remedies should it eventually decide to pursue a lawsuit.
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