DOL to Increase On-Site FMLA Investigations

The Department of Labor (DOL) is ramping up on-site investigations of company Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) practices in an effort to uncover systemic abuse, including refusing to authorize leave and discouraging employees from taking FMLA leave. In confirming the new emphasis, Branch Chief Helen Applewhaite of the DOL called 2014 a "pivotal year […]

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House Republicans to Sue President to Enforce ACA Letter of the Law

In a move related to what they see as President Obama's continual flouting of the Constitution, House Republicans have voted to sue the president in federal court over the changes his administration made to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without the authorization of Congress.  The focus of the lawsuit will be the Shared Responsibility Provision […]

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McDonald’s a Joint Employer with Franchisees, NLRB General Counsel Proclaims

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel has investigated charges alleging that McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC, violated the rights of employees as a result of activities surrounding employee protests. The Office of the General Counsel found merit in some of the charges and no merit in others. […]

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IRS Releases ACA Employer Reporting Forms But Not Instructions on How to Use Them

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released draft versions of the forms that employers with 100-plus employees must begin using in 2015 to show compliance with the employer shared responsibility and minimum essential coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Employers with 50-99 employees must use them (when finalized) beginning in 2016. Draft instructions […]

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Wow, a $1,020 Penalty for Not Having Family Health Insurance!

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is responsible for assessing and collecting penalties on individuals and families who lack health insurance, has now capped the 2014 penalty for individuals at $2,448 and at $12,240 for families of five or more. This, of course, depends on income and family size. The basic fine for not having […]

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DOJ to Require Closed Captions on All Movie Theater Films

The Attorney General today signed the Department's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to revise the department's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) title III regulation to require movie theaters to exhibit movies with closed movie captioning and audio description, to require theaters to provide notice to the public about the availability of these services, and […]

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HHS Says Consumers Will Receive $330M in Health Insurance Refunds This Year

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today predicted that consumers will receive $330 million in health insurance premium refunds this year because insurers will exceed profits and administrative expenses allowed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Created through the ACA, the 80/20 rule, also known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule, requires […]

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Recall of Seattle’s $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage Fails

Two signature-gathering efforts to place a referendum on the ballot to eliminate Seattle's mandated new $15-an-hour minimum wage have failed. Needing 16,510 voters' signatures to make the ballot, an effort by business group Forward Seattle qualified 14,818 signatures out of 18,929 obtained. Save Our Choice fared even worse, garnering only 455 valid signatures. In June, […]

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GAO Sting Operation Finds Obamacare Honors 11 of 12 Fake Applications

The Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a sting operation on Obamacare during the health insurance sign-up period that ended March 31  and announced that 11 of 12 fake applicants are still to this day covered with subsidies. "The federal marketplace approved coverage for 11 of our 12 fictitious applicants who initially applied online, or by […]

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Plans That Drop Contraceptive Coverage Must Send Out Notices

The Department of Labor (DOL) is requiring closely held companies that drop contraceptive services from their health plans to inform their employees in writing within 60 days of the decision. The vehicle for doing this is the Summary Plan Description (SPD) for the health plan, which would have to disclose the elimination of coverage and […]

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