CBO: $194 billion deficit increase if key ACA subsidies end in 2017

August 16, 2017 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Jennifer Carson

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers to offer plans with reduced deductibles, copayments, and other means of cost-sharing to certain people, depending on their income, who purchase plans through the ACA marketplaces. In turn, insurers receive federal payments arranged by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to cover the costs they incur because of that requirement.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have estimated the effects of terminating those payments for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). In particular, the agencies analyzed what would happen if it were decided by the end of August 2017 that CSR payments would continue only through the end of this calendar year.

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Missouri right-to-work law set to take effect

by Bob Kaiser, Daniel O’Toole, and Jeremy Brenner

Missouri’s right-to-work law will take effect on August 28. The law was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Eric Greitens in February.

Here are some key provisions of the law: read more…

Miscimarra announcement called ‘great loss’ but ‘no reason to panic’

August 11, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

NLRB logoNational Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair Philip Miscimarra’s reported decision to leave the Board when his term expires on December 16 rather than allow himself to be considered for another term has probusiness Board watchers looking ahead and lamenting the loss of his contributions to NLRB decisions.

Kevin C. McCormick, an editor of Maryland Employment Law Letter and chair of the labor and employment section at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P. in Baltimore, said he was surprised by the news. He called Miscimarra’s coming departure a “great loss” but “no reason to panic.”

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Tip-sharing law set to take effect in New Hampshire

by Jim Reidy

A New Hampshire law set to take effect September 3 makes clear that employees who receive tips may pool their tips and share them with coworkers who don’t receive tips. For example, restaurant servers will be free to share tips with hosts and hostesses.

Even though Senate Bill 37, which was signed by Governor Chris Sununu on July 5, allows tip sharing, employers won’t be allowed to require employees to participate in a tip-sharing arrangement, just as employers may not require employees who receive tips to share tips with each other now. Employees must participate in tip-sharing arrangements voluntarily and “without coercion.”

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UAW’s effort to unionize Mississippi Nissan workers fails

by Martin J. RegimbalMartin Regimbal 1 column

Workers at the Nissan auto plant in Canton, Mississippi, rejected a unionization effort by the United Auto Workers (UAW) on August 3-4, leaving intact the union’s record of unsuccessful organizing attempts at foreign-owned auto plants in the South.

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Employer-friendly changes on the way for Missouri’s antidiscrimination law

by Daniel K. O’Toole

Changes seen as making the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) more “employer-friendly” are set to take effect on August 28.

One of the changes will eliminate individual liability for supervisors and specify that only employers may be held liable for discrimination. The previous law allowed employees alleging discrimination to sue both the employer and any supervisory employee who allegedly discriminated against them.

Also, the new law excludes any entity that is owned or operated by a religious organization from the definition of “employer.” The change will presumably exclude from suit, for example, entities such as religious charities or hospitals operated by religious orders. Under previous law, entities were exempt if they were owned and operated by a religious order, which became a difficult standard to meet.

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New immigration bill called radical and not proemployment

August 04, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Immigration snipThe new immigration bill President Donald Trump touts as a way to “restore our competitive edge in the 21st century” calls for cutting immigration levels in half over a decade and creating a points-based system that favors highly educated and skilled immigrants with English ability over those with family in the United States. The bill may never become law or undergo significant changes, but its current form is drawing criticism from some in the employer community.

Although the bill, dubbed the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, seeks to reward immigrants who have in-demand job skills, it’s “not a pro-employment bill,” according to an attorney who works with employers in need of foreign workers.

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New bill latest effort to tackle definition of joint employment

July 28, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

NLRB logoThe definition of “joint employment” may be heading for another turnaround. Legislation introduced in Congress on July 27 takes aim at a 2015 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that raised the ire of many in the business community, especially employers that work with franchisees, contractors, and staffing agencies.

The NLRB’s 2015 Browning-Ferris decision broadened the joint-employment standard so that a business that exercises only indirect control over another employer’s workers still can be considered a joint employer for purposes of collective bargaining. The new bill introduced in the House—dubbed the Save Local Business Act—seeks to clarify the joint-employment standard and provide relief to businesses that are in a relationship with another employer.

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DOJ says Title VII doesn’t apply to sexual orientation discrimination

July 27, 2017 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Sexual orientation flag snipThe U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in a case in which an employee claims his employer violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against him based on his sexual orientation.

The DOJ’s brief asserts that Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination does not extend to discrimination based on sexual orientation. The DOJ’s position is in stark contrast to the position taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which says discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Title VII.

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Senate agrees to consider healthcare bill

July 26, 2017 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

On July 25, after much back-and-forth in the Senate and the dramatic return of Senator John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, the Senate agreed to open debate on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski joining all Senate Democrats in voting against the debate, Vice President Mike Pence stepped in to break the tie and get the legislation on the table.

Soon after, however, a vote on a version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) failed by a count of 43-57.

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