FTC, HHS Propose Rules, Seek Comments on Electronic Health Records

April 22, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Does your organization offer or plan to offer employees online or electronic personal health records (PHRs)? Can employees enter their personal health information into online programs that help them evaluate and improve their health, such as weight loss applications?

If you’ve answered yes or if your organization provides electronic PHR programs to others, you should be aware of proposed rules on the topic from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The extent to which employees will embrace new health information technologies and wellness-type applications (and to which your organization may save on health-related expenses) may depend on their faith in the security of sensitive health information.

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EEOC Releases Proposed GINA Regulations

March 03, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

On March 2, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) officially released the proposed regulations under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). GINA is intended to protect employees from discrimination by employers, employment agencies, labor unions, and insurers based on genetic information.

The proposed regulations are designed to implement and provide further guidance on the legal requirements under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which bars the use of genetic information in the context of employment. The EEOC has requested public comments on the proposed regulations, but must receive all remarks on or before May 1, 2009.

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Republicans Race to Preempt EFCA with the Secret Ballot Protection Act

February 26, 2009 - by: HR Hero 1 COMMENTS

Republicans renewed the fight to preserve secret-ballot elections in union organization campaigns on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 by introducing the Secret Ballot Protection Act (SBPA) in both houses of Congress. The SBPA is a counter to the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

The Employee Free Choice Act has recently been the subject of many debates, especially during the presidential campaign. EFCA would drastically change current labor laws and enable a majority of employees to form a union by signing petition cards (the “card-check” process). Under EFCA, an employer would no longer be able dispute the card-check process through a secret-ballot election.

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EEOC Seeking Comment on Proposed GINA Regulations

February 26, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is in the process of finalizing regulations implementing the employment provisions of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, signed into law in May 2008, prohibits discrimination by health insurers and employers based on people’s genetic information. The EEOC is to issue regulations by May 21, 2009, implementing Title II of GINA, the part that prohibits the use of genetic information in employment, prohibits the intentional acquisition of genetic information about applicants and employees, and imposes strict confidentiality requirements.

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New I-9 Form Delayed for 60 Days

February 02, 2009 - by: HR Hero 5 COMMENTS

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a 60-day delay in implementing the new Form I-9 for employment eligibility verification for new hires.

The new I-9 forms were to take effect February 2, but a seemingly last-minute decision was made on January 30 to delay implementation of the I-9 forms and their accompanying rules. The delay comes in response to a January memorandum from President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. In that memorandum, Emanuel directed all federal agencies to put a freeze on certain unimplemented federal regulations, recommending that these regulations be subject to a 60-day hold for further agency consideration.

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Reminder about OSHA Posting Requirement

January 26, 2009 - by: HR Hero 2 COMMENTS

It’s time to post your Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Form 300A, the summary of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred last year. Unless you have 10 or fewer employees or fall within one of the industries normally excused from the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (OSH Act) recordkeeping and posting requirements, you’re required to post OSHA Form 300A (not the OSHA 300 form/log) annually from February 1 to April 30. A complete list of exempt industries in the retail, services, finance, and real estate sectors is posted on OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov.

The OSHA Form 300A summary must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2008 and were logged on the OSHA 300 form. Additional information about your annual average number of employees and total hours they worked during the calendar year also is required to help the agency calculate incidence rates. Even if you had no recordable injuries or illnesses for 2008, you still must post the OSHA Form 300A, listing zeros on the total line. All summaries must be certified by a company executive.

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Categories: Federal Regulations / OSHA

New E-Verify Rule for Federal Contractors Delayed

January 09, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Update: E-verify deadline moved to September 2009

Federal contractors have been given at least a temporary reprieve from the E-Verify regulations that were set to go into effect January 15. Under the plan, the contractors would be required to begin using the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services E-Verify system to ensure that their employees are eligible to work in the United States.

Several business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed a lawsuit last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland seeking to have the court rule that the E-Verify regulations are unconstitutional. The court immediately ordered the U.S. government and the business groups to confer by next Monday to see if some compromise could be reached regarding the January 15 effective date. The parties have agreed to postpone the effective date to February 20. In the meantime, they will present their legal arguments to the court, which is expected to rule before February 20 on whether the regulations can withstand a constitutional challenge.

New Employment Laws and Regulations Going into Effect

December 31, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

While the world has been focused on the U.S. and global economic meltdown, a historic presidential election, and staggering unemployment numbers, some pretty significant changes have been made in federal employment laws and regulations with most going into effect in just a few weeks. A recent issue of HR Hero Line includes a roundup of those laws and regulations including:

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HHS Regs Offer Protection for Health Care Providers’ Moral Beliefs

December 19, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

In a remarkably last-minute fashion, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued final regulations protecting health care providers who withhold medical care based on conflicting moral beliefs.

The rule, which covers federally funded health care providers, takes effect January 18, 2009 — the required 30 days after its under-the-wire December 19 publication. The provisions of the rule are intended to: read more…

Categories: Federal Regulations

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