FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT MODEL FORMS
The Department of Labor has provided updated model forms to use in administering Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leaves of absence. Although use of the old model forms was set to expire this past February, the DOL had allowed their continued use, pending the release of these new forms. Be sure that you are using the correct, updated model forms, or that your own customized forms reflect the needed information, especially regarding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
- Compliance Bulletin: DOL Updates Model FMLA Forms #123008
- US Dept of Labor website Wage & Hour Division FMLA links
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition Form WH-380-E
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition Form WH-380-F
- Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities Form WH-381
- Designation Notice Form WH-382
- Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave Form WH-384
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Service member for Military Family Leave Form WH-385
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave Form WH-385-V
OUT-OF-POCKET MAXIMUM REQUIRED FOR NON-GRANDFATHERED PLANS
An annual limit for employee health sharing on essential health benefits is required for non-grandfathered health plans under the Affordable Care Act. Effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, the ACA’s ‘self-only’ out-of-pocket maximum must apply to all individuals, including those with family coverage. For 2016 plan years, this amount is $6,850. This is an especially difficult issue for high-deductible health plans. Please contact Touchstone if you need more assistance than the information below provides.
- Health care Reform Legislative Brief: Embedded Out-of-Pocket Maximum for Family Coverage #123021
- US Dept of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, May 8 letter Self-only Annual Limitation on Cost Sharing FAQs
- US Dept of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXVII) FAQs updated May 27, 2015
OUTSOURCING COBRA ADMINISTRATION
In-house administration of tasks related to continuing health coverage under the rules of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 can be time-consuming and legally tricky. Many plan sponsors choose to outsource these responsibilities to vendors who have focused expertise. This article provides some guidance on what you might want to consider in determining if outsourcing COBRA is the right move for your organization.
- HR Insights: COBRA Administration Outsourcing #122615
- US Dept of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration COBRA links
- US Dept of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration An Employer’s Guide to Group Health Continuation Coverage under COBRA
SPECIAL ENROLLMENT RIGHTS
In addition to initial and annual enrollment opportunities, employees have the right to revise their health plan elections under certain circumstances. These ‘special enrollment’ rights were set in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The article below provides helpful detail on the many aspects of following these rules, especially describing which events trigger special enrollment rights.
- Legislative Brief: HIPAA Special Enrollment Rights #113335
HELP FOR ORGANIZING JOB INTERVIEWS
This 36-page manual can assist you in organizing your responsibilities related to interviewing potential employees. It advises you of important legal considerations, provides an overview of the interview process (including preparation, best practices, and appropriate questions), covers pre-employment testing, and guides you through candidate evaluation and making the hiring decision. In addition, it includes checklists and samples which are especially helpful if you are delegating some responsibilities.
- HR Toolkit: Interviewing #122987
STATE EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATES
Our library of state employment law summaries has been recently updated with several entries on Workers’ Compensation (Colorado and New Jersey) as well as on Chicago’s new minimum wage law and an overview of LOAs under Maine law. Please contact Touchstone if you would like to see more articles on a specific state.
- Colorado Workers’ Compensation – Employer Responsibilities #123185
- Colorado Workers’ Compensation – Employer Penalties #123184
- Colorado Workers’ Compensation – Employee Eligibility #123183
- Colorado Workers’ Compensation – Employee Benefits #123182
- Colorado Workers’ Compensation – Claims Process #123181
- Illinois: Chicago Minimum Wage Laws #122820
- Maine: Employee Leave Laws Overview #122033
- New Jersey: Workers Compensation – Claims Process #122362
- New Jersey: Workers Compensation – Employer Penalties #122364
- New Jersey: Workers Compensation – Employer Responsibilities #122365
- New Jersey: Workers Compensation – Employee Benefits #122432
- New Jersey: Workers Compensation – Employee Eligibility #122438
POPULAR WELLNESS TOPICS
The following articles discuss several popular wellness topics that you might want to include in your own employee newsletter, or distribute as given: the use of non-traditional workstations, the health benefits of sunlight, the FoodKeeper app from the Department of Agriculture, swimming, and the dangers of cataracts.
- Live Well, Work Well Newsletter: June 2015 #113199
- HR Insights: Standing and Treadmill Desks #123014
SUPREME COURT DECISION
On June 1 the U.S. Supreme Court spoke clearly that an employer may not consider religious accommodation as a factor in denying employment. The significant impact for employers is that the court has established a lower standard for proving discrimination; the law no longer requires that discrimination be proved by demonstrating the employer’s actual knowledge of the need for an accommodation (e.g., that an accommodation has been requested), but merely that the employer assumed an accommodation would be requested.
- Compliance Bulletin: Supreme Court Rules on Abercrombie Religious Discrimination Case #123148