Personnel Concepts Publishes Video ‘Compliance 101: Beyond Posting Requirements’

Joining our series of videos aimed at clarifying various labor law and employment compliance issues and workplace concerns, we are proud to offer our latest production — “Compliance 101: Beyond Posting Requirements.

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Click on image to view the video.

For a business to be in compliance with all relevant state and federal laws and regulations requires more than just a poster or two in the break room. Various records need to be maintained, forms submitted to watchdog agencies, personnel trained, policies and procedures put into place — and more.

This is where Personnel Concepts comes in as your Trusted Compliance Partner.

Click on the image or the link above to view the video and discover how to be in full compliance.

Also, you can VIEW OUR VIDEO COLLECTION ONLINE


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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NLRB Chair Praises the Role of Rulemaking

In an era when deregulation seems the order of the day, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman John Ring (a Trump appointee) seems to be swimming against the administration’s tide, arguing that more regulations — at least from the NLRB — are called for.

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John Ring, NLRB Chair

The NLRB has already announced it is working on a joint employer definition rule, which it tried to do unsuccessfully in a case it heard (which was later thrown out due to a conflict of interest). Now, Chairman Ring has his regulatory eyes glued on other controversial legal decisions from the Obama era, including the use of employer property for union organizing and other activities.

Ring made his pronouncement about rulemaking while speaking this week at the American Bar Association’s 12th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference.

“I have been a big proponent of rulemaking for many years,” Ring told conference attendees. “I think [it] allows us to address areas of the law in a more holistic way.”

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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EEOC Reports Uptick in Harassment Reports

Protect your business and keep your workplace safe from tension and conflict, view our video on “Workplace Harassment Investigations” today.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) responded to a significant increase this past fiscal year in calls, emails and online inquiries concerning potential discrimination claims and high demand for its new Respectful Workplaces Training Program, the agency reported today.

eeoc-sexual-harassment-lawsuits-on-the-riseThe increased demand is reflected in more than 554,000 calls and emails to the EEOC and more than 200,000 inquiries concerning potential discrimination claims. The launch of a nationwide online inquiry and appointment system as part of the EEOC’s Public Portal resulted in a 30 percent increase in inquiries and more than 40,000 intake interviews.

“Many people in thousands of workplaces around the country depend every day on the work of the EEOC. I am proud to say that the EEOC met the increased demand for our expertise, for information and training, and for strong enforcement to combat all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment,” said Victoria A. Lipnic, acting chair.

Other fiscal year 2018 highlights include:

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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DOL Issues Four New Opinion Letters

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced today that it has issued four new opinion letters that demonstrate its commitment to providing meaningful compliance assistance to help employees understand their rights and ensure employers have the tools they need to comply with federal labor law. The letters address compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other laws.

The opinion letters issued today address:

  • Application of section 7(k) to nonprofit, privately-owned volunteer fire departments
  • “Reasonable relationship” between salary paid and actual earnings
  • Application of section 13(a)(3) to a pool management company
  • Dual jobs and related duties under section 3(m)

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Google Responds to Protests with New Sexual Harassment Policy

Google employees worldwide — some 20,000 of them — staged a walkout this past Thursday over what they saw as a lack of fairness and transparency in dealing with issues of sexual harassment, and now Google has responded.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai

CEO Sundar Pichai today sent a memo to employees at all locations, acknowledging that “we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that,” adding:

Going forward, we will provide more transparency on how we handle concerns. We’ll give better support and care to the people who raise them. And we will double down on our commitment to be a representative, equitable, and respectful workplace.

The “comprehensive action plan” he then announced includes provisions for making “arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims” (arbitration was previously mandatory); for providing “more granularity around sexual harassment investigations;” for “revamping the way we handle and look into your concerns;” and for updating and expanding “our mandatory sexual harassment training.”


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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CMS Cracks Down on Obamacare Subsidy Verifications

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a proposed rule, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): Exchange Program Integrity.”

This proposal, CMS says, would safeguard taxpayer dollars by ensuring that people are accurately determined eligible for premium subsidies they receive through the Exchange.  In addition, to better align federal regulations with statutory requirements and congressional intent, the rule proposes that issuers must send a separate bill and collect separate payments for the portion of the consumer’s premium attributable to certain abortion services for which public funding is prohibited.

“This administration is committed to making sure taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  “Maintaining a high level of program integrity on the Exchange is essential, including ensuring that premium tax credits only go to those who are eligible for them. This proposed rule represents CMS’ commitment, consistent with the law, to continuously improve and strengthen oversight over the programs we administer on behalf of the American taxpayer.”

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Whither the Lawsuit Against Obamacare?

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of Ft. Worth, Texas, heard arguments two months ago over a Texas-led coalition’s contention that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) is no longer constitutional now that the individual mandate has lost its “tax-like” monetary penalty.

aca-on-trial-for-its-lifeBut the judge has yet to rule, though in the past — when hearing cases against Obamacare and an Obama-era rule on gender-neutral bathrooms in schools — it took him less than two weeks to issue injunctions.

“Why hasn’t he ruled yet?” asks Tim Jost, ACA expert and professor emeritus at Washington and Lee School of Law. “I suspect that he is waiting until the election is over because the last thing Republican candidates need right now is another reminder that they are trying to get rid of preexisting-conditions protections.”

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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EBSA Proposes Automatic 401(k) Transfers Upon Job Loss or Change

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is seeking public commentary on a proposal to allow for the automatic transfer of 401(k) funds into an IRA or into another company’s 401(k) when a worker loses or changes jobs.

Frequently, employees leaving their current place of employment with account balances in the company’s 401(k) plan either take a distribution of their retirement savings or move the account into an IRA. The same outcome often occurs with small retirement accounts when a company terminates its 401(k) plan.

According to the agency, an auto-portability program would improve asset allocations by consolidating small retirement savings accounts, eliminate duplicative fees for small retirement savings accounts, and reduce leakage of retirement savings from the tax-deferred retirement saving system.

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NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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Three Red States Approve Medicaid Expansion

Three states that are considered mostly Republican-leaning (aka “red states”) approved the expansion of Medicaid at the ballot box Tuesday. Idaho, Nebraska and Utah all said yes, while Montana rejected permanent Medicaid expansion after embracing the program in 2015.

Utah was one of three states where voters approved Medicaid expansion on Tuesday.

Idaho voters gave the largest measure of support to their ballot measure, with 61 percent saying “yes.” Utah came in at 54 percent favorable, followed by Nebraska at 53 percent. As a result, some 325,000 additional Americans will now be covered by Medicaid, which was expanded (optionally, by state) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Montana “no” vote follows the state’s earlier expansion, which added some 129,000 citizens to the ranks of Medicaid, but funding has run out, so voters put the kibosh on the program by a vote of 55 percent to 45 percent in Tuesday’s election.

Three other states saw their governorships shift from Republican to Democrat hands, so Medicaid expansion could well occur in the future in Kansas, Maine and Wisconsin. In Maine, where voters approved expansion in 2017 but the governor rejected its implementation, incoming governor Janet Mills, a Democrat, will likely carry out the voters’ wishes.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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First Week (3 Days) of ACA Enrollment Nets 371,676 Enrollees

In week one of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment for 2019, 371,676 people selected plans using the HealthCare.gov platform. As in past years, enrollment weeks are measured Sunday through Saturday.  Consequently, week one was only three days long this year – from Thursday to Saturday.

Every week during Open Enrollment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will release enrollment snapshots for the HealthCare.gov platform, which is used by the Federally-facilitated Exchanges, the State Partnership Exchanges, and some State-based Exchanges. These snapshots provide point-in-time estimates of weekly plan selections, call center activity, and visits to HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov.

The final number of plan selections associated with enrollment activity during a reporting period may change due to plan modifications or cancellations. In addition, the weekly snapshot only reports new plan selections and active plan renewals and does not report the number of consumers who have paid premiums to effectuate their enrollment.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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