Trump Issues Executive Order to ‘Fix’ Obamacare

As anticipated, President Trump today signed an Executive Order that, once fully implemented, will give consumers new options for health insurance and expand employer-funder Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The executive action orders the Department of Labor (DOL) to look into ways of expanding Association Health Plans (AHPs) that can sell policies across state lines and […]

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Recent FLSA Overtime Settlement Outside of Court Definitely Not the Norm

The Department of Labor (DOL) and the courts themselves have generally hewed to the ruling in the 1982 case of Lynn's Food Stores, Inc. v. the United States  that the "substantive rights" afforded by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cannot be bargained or negotiated outside of court except by the DOL. Such "substantive rights" […]

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EBSA Creates New Consumer Web Page for Benefits Assistance

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has created a new consumer assistance Web page that provides easy access to useful information and allows users to submit questions and complaints about health and retirement plans electronically. "Helping retirement and health plan participants find answers to questions about their benefits and providing assistance […]

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In Its First Test, DOL’s Internship Standard Loses in Court

Calling the Department of Labor's Fact Sheet #71—"Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act"—"a poor method" and "overly rigid and inconsistent," the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a for-profit nursing home that relied in part on interns to run its operations. The Labor Department issued a six-factor test to […]

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DOL Seeking Comments on Electronic Disclosure Rules

Under a 2002 electronic safe harbor rule, benefit plan administrators can use electronic delivery methods for summary plan descriptions, benefit statements, administrative forms, annual notices and the like. However, the safe harbor places various restrictions on the use of electronic delivery. For instance, merely posting the information on an intranet site is not deemed sufficient, […]

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PPACA Compliance Deadline Extended on Claims Procedures

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury keep extending the compliance deadline of a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) affecting non-grandfathered health insurance plans. PPACA originally set the deadline for Jan. 1, 2011, but before that date even rolled around, it was extended to July 1, 2011. […]

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DOL Creates Web Portal for Comments on Existing Regulations

The Department of Labor (DOL) has created a Web tool to solicit public commentary on "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review," the Obama initiative issued on Jan. 18, 2011. The new portal is for comments on existing DOL regulations and reporting requirements, with the goal of streamlining and simplifying. The DOL announcement gives these guidelines: In […]

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EBSA to Hold Hearings on PPACA Automatic Enrollment Mandate

The Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) will hold public hearings on April 6 to discuss the automatic enrollment provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). PPACA inserts a provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requiring businesses with 200 or more employees to automatically enroll all employees into a health plan, […]

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New DOL-ABA Hot Line Makes It Easy for Employees to Sue

 Beginning next Monday, the Department of Labor (DOL) will be setting up a hot line so complaint filers whom the DOL is too busy to serve can call a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and seek legal redress over wage and FMLA issues. The partnership between the DOL and the ABA springs from […]

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EBSA Imposes New Requirements on 401(k) Fee Transparency

In the wake of a spate of high-profile employee class action lawsuits on excessive 401(k) fees, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has jumped into the fray with the publishing of a final rule of the transparency of fees and expenses associated with 401-(k)-type retirement plans. Plan administrators will now have to provide detailed, plain-language […]

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