Stay on Top of Legislative Changes

DMEC Legislative UpdatesCompliance with rapidly changing state and federal laws is a challenge for employers across the country. For more than 20 years, DMEC has been monitoring and reporting on decisions and developments that impact absence, disability, and return to work programs.

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Archives

California Expands Upon Lactation Accommodation Requirements

November 3, 2018California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1976, expanding California employer obligations respective to employee lactation accommodation.

Expanded Paid Leave Benefits Coming to California Employees

October 31, 2018Currently California employees who wish to receive pay during leave for a qualifying exigency would need to use their own accrued vacation or paid time off hours. However, beginning Jan. 1, 2021, an employee can apply for wage replacement benefits from the State of California Paid Family Leave insurance program during such a leave.

A Dozen Paid Sick Leave Laws Disappear

October 29, 2018The Garden State passed the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law last May; it went into effect on Oct. 28, 2018. A provision of that law nullifies the thirteen municipal PSL laws that had been passed in the state, for a net reduction of twelve PSL laws.

Paid Sick Leave on its Way to Albany County

October 26, 2018Albany County (NY) will likely become the fourth county in the nation to adopt a paid sick leave law. The only question is when it will be adopted. The Law Committee of the County Legislature held a public hearing earlier this week on an amended proposed Albany County Paid Sick Leave Act.

FMLA Leave for Chronic Health Conditions

October 9, 2018When an employee takes medical leave, treatment by a healthcare provider is often assumed, and the frequency of doctor’s visits is rarely scrutinized. The Pennsylvania federal court’s recent decision in Watkins v. Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh alerts us that this is not always a wise approach.

Another Court Decides That Extended Leave is Not Reasonable

October 5, 2018In Easter v. Arkansas Children’s Hospital, an employee was unable to work after exhausting her FMLA leave but she had an appointment to be evaluated by a specialist less than a month later. The employer denied the additional leave and terminated her employment. The Court held there was no violation of the ADA.

November 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

October 3, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for California, Delaware, Florida, New Mexico, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia.

Westchester County Enacts Sick Leave Law

October 2, 2018On Oct. 1 Westchester County, New York enacted an Earned Sick Leave law, becoming the third county nationwide to do so. Montgomery County, Maryland, and Cook County, Illinois also have enacted paid sick leave laws. The Westchester County law is effective in 180 days.

Department of Labor Issues Updated FMLA Forms

September 11, 2018On Sept. 4, 2018, the Department of Labor issued new FMLA notices and certification forms. The change was procedural in nature; no substantive changes were made to the forms.

FMLA Eligibility and Remote Workers

September 10, 2018With the increasing trend of telecommuting employees, it is not uncommon for a company to have small numbers of employees working from remote locations in various states. It is important that employers understand how FMLA eligibility is determined for remote workers.

Michigan Lawmakers Adopt Paid Sick Leave Initiative

September 7, 2018On Sept. 5, Michigan lawmakers adopted the paid sick leave initiative that otherwise would have been presented to voters in November. The GOP-controlled Senate and House adopted the initiative by wide margins.

September 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

September 5, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for Louisiana, New York City, San Fransisco, Tennessee, and Texas.

Railroad Insurance Act Preempts Massachusetts Paid Sick Leave Law

August 22, 2018The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) preempts the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (MESTL) in its entirety as it applies to interstate rail carriers, according to a recent decision by a Massachusetts federal district court.

More Paid Sick Leave Turbulence in Texas

August 21, 2018The Texas Legislature convenes in January 2019. It is widely anticipated that the legislature will consider a bill to prohibit political subdivisions from enacting a leave law. If enacted, such a law would likely negate both the Austin and San Antonio ordinances.

August 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

August 16, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for California, Louisiana, Maryland, New York City, South Carolina, and Vermont.

July 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

July 6, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for California and Illinois.

Paid Sick Leave Turbulence in Texas

June 15, 2018Austin passed its PSL ordinance in February, the first PSL law in the South. Last month, PSL advocates in San Antonio submitted signatures to support their effort to have voters decide in November whether to enact a PSL ordinance.

June 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

June 11, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for California, Georgia, Kentucky, and Nevada.

Duluth Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

June 1, 2018On May 29, The Duluth (MN) City Council passed an Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, requiring employers to allow employees to accrue an hour of leave for every 50 hours worked. The ordinance is effective in January 2020.

Court Confirms Minneapolis Sick Leave Ordinance Not Enforceable

May 23, 2018Last week, a court upheld the Minneapolis paid sick leave ordinance, but ruled that it is only enforceable against employers within the city’s limits.

May 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

May 9, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming.

New Jersey Adds Paid Sick Leave, Cancels Thirteen Municipal PSL Ordinances 

May 4, 2018On May 2, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made the Garden State the tenth in the nation to enact a paid sick leave (PSL) law and also canceled 13 municipal PSL laws within the state.

IRS Issues Guidance FAQs Regarding the Paid Family Leave Federal Tax Credit

April 23, 2018This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued FAQ guidance regarding the employer tax credit for paid family and medical leave. As a reminder, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Act) provides a tax credit to employers that voluntarily offer paid family and/or medical leave to employees.

Preparing for Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave

April 19, 2018By the end of this year, employers with employees in the state of Washington must be ready to comply with last summer’s newly-enacted paid family and medical leave law. Since the law’s passage, Washington has been busy fine-tuning the program and providing updates.

Paid Sick Leave Update: 1st Quarter 2018

April 6, 2018The vast and complex patchwork of paid sick leave (PSL) laws expanded in the first quarter of 2018 with the addition of a state law in Maryland and a local law in Austin, Texas. The patchwork now has more than 40 laws: nine state laws, the District of Columbia, two county laws, and about 31 municipal laws.

March/April 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

April 5, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for Missouri, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

New Jersey May Become Paid Sick Leave State Number Ten

March 12, 2018With a new Democratic Governor who supports a paid sick leave law (PSL) and solid Democratic majorities in both legislative chambers, New Jersey is poised to become the tenth state to enact a paid sick leave law.

New Guidance for the New York Paid Family Leave Payroll Deduction

March 12, 2018The ever-moving target that is the New York Paid Family Leave law has shifted yet again. New York State regulators confirmed that employers do not need to cap the weekly employee payroll deduction for PFL at .126% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage.

A Paid Sick Leave Revival in Westchester County, NY

March 10, 2018The Westchester County Board of Legislators is considering a paid sick leave (PSL) bill that is substantially similar to the bill introduced but not passed last year. The proposed Earned Sick Leave Law has the typical PSL architecture.

Paid Leave Can Contribute to an Employer’s Bottom Line

February 23, 2018Rarely do human resources professionals and employment lawyers contribute to an employer’s bottom line. But the new federal tax credit for employer-provided paid family and medical leave offers a unique opportunity to do just that and help reduce your company’s tax liability.

Austin Plants Paid Sick Leave Flag in the South

February 16, 2018On Feb. 16, the Austin City Council passed a paid sick leave ordinance, the first jurisdiction in the South to ever do so. It is effective Oct. 1, 2018 for employers with more than five employees. For smaller employers, it is effective Oct. 1, 2020.

New York Paid Family Leave – One Month Check Up

February 14, 2018The New York Paid Family Leave law has been in effect for over a month, yet reports indicate that many New York employers are not prepared for the operation requirements of the law. The basics of the law shouldn’t be news to employers with employees in New York.

Airline Group Challenges Washington Paid Sick Leave Act’s Application to Flight Crew

February 13, 2018The Washington State Paid Sick Leave Act as applied to pilots and flight attendants is unconstitutional and preempted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act, according to a complaint filed last week in federal court by the Air Transport Association of America.

Changes to ERISA’s Disability Claims Regulations Coming Apr. 1

February 9, 2018New handling regulations for ERISA disability claims will go into effect on Apr. 1, 2018, the Department of Labor has announced. The agency confirmed that the regulations are final, without changes.

Maryland Healthy Working Families Act: A PSL-4Step Analysis

February 8, 2018The Maryland General Assembly last month overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the Healthy Working Families Act (HWFA).

February 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

February 6, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for Hawaii, Michigan, Vermont, and West Virginia

Supreme Court Asked to Review Decision Rejecting EEOC’s Inflexible Leave Policy

January 23, 2018A petition for certiorari was filed last week in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., the Seventh Circuit decision rejecting the EEOC’s position that an “inflexible” or “maximum” leave policy violates the ADA.

Turning the Paid Sick Leave Page to 2018

January 19, 2018As we turn the paid sick leave (PSL) page to a new year, the vast and complex patchwork of PSL laws consists of more than 40 laws: nine state laws, the District of Columbia, two county laws, and about 30 municipal laws.

January 2018: New State & Local Posting Requirements

January 10, 2018Review the new state and local posting requirements for Alaska, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.

December 2017: New State & Local Posting Requirements

December 6, 2017Review the new state and local posting requirements for California, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington.

7th Circuit Court Case Addresses Leaves as ADA Accommodations

November 25, 2017A recent court case addressed the question of whether a leave of absence can be a reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The case is Severson v. ... Read More

October and November 2017: New State & Local Posting Requirements

November 14, 2017Review the new state and local posting requirements for Idaho; Michigan; Connecticut; Maryland; Miami Beach, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New Mexico; Ohio; Washington; and Wisconsin.

Employer Mandate Penalties Under the ACA Are Coming Soon

November 14, 2017The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued answers to new frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding employer penalties under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These penalties apply to applicable large employers ... Read More

November 2017: State and Local Law Update

November 8, 2017One of the most difficult things for human resource and absence management professionals to do is to keep up with changing state and local laws. Below is a brief summary ... Read More

Regulatory Changes to the ACA

November 6, 2017Now that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are on hold, the Trump Administration is in the process of making a number of regulatory changes. The ... Read More

New Laws in California

October 28, 2017AB 168: Salary History This bill prohibits employers from relying on the salary history of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer employment or what ... Read More

IRS Announces a Number of 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustments

October 20, 2017The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Revenue Procedure 2017-58 and Notice 2017-64, which announce a number of cost-of-living adjustments for 2018. The Internal Revenue Code provides that various dollar ... Read More

Trump Administration Will Halt Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

October 13, 2017The White House has announced that it will discontinue cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have already sued to block this action. Under ... Read More

President Issues Executive Order on AHPs, STLDI, and HRAs

October 12, 2017President Trump has signed an executive order intended to allow individuals and small businesses to buy health insurance across state lines and bolster access to association health plans (AHPs). The ... Read More

IRS Releases Draft 1095-C and 1094-C Forms and Instructions

October 2, 2017The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released draft forms and instructions for reporting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for calendar year 2017, which will be due in 2018. In ... Read More

Changes Coming to Small Group Premiums for Children

September 29, 2017New regulations will take effect January 1, 2018 that will affect the premiums for covered children and employees under the age of 21. This change will make administration even more ... Read More

Disasters Should Prompt Employers to Plan for the Next

September 28, 2017Many employers are focused on helping employees impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. These disasters, plus the earthquakes in Mexico should prompt employers to prepare for the next disaster, ... Read More

The TrumpCare Zombie is Dead (for now)

September 28, 2017After three Senate Republicans said they would not vote for the latest version of the repeal-and-replace bill, the leadership decided not to hold the vote that had been planned. A ... Read More

Sponsors of Drug Plans Must Provide Notices Prior to October 15

September 7, 2017Sponsors of group health plans that cover prescription drugs must provide Medicare Part D creditable (or non-creditable) coverage notices prior to October 15th, the start date of the Medicare annual ... Read More

September 2017: State and Local Law Update

September 5, 2017One of the most difficult things for human resource and absence management professionals to do is to keep up with changing state and local laws. Below is a brief summary ... Read More

July, August, and September 2017: New State & Local Posting Requirements

September 4, 2017State & Local Posting Requirements July 2017 Maryland Maryland has updated the ‘Workers’ Compensation Notice’ English and Spanish posting that all employers statewide are required to display to their employees. ... Read More

GovDocs Federal Contractor Posting Guide

August 21, 2017Employers with federal contractors in the U.S. are required to post a variety of specific labor law postings. However, many employers don’t understand which contractors these postings are required for. ... Read More

CBO Estimates Impact of Ending Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

August 16, 2017The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that ending cost-sharing reductions would increase medical insurance premiums for silver plans in the marketplaces by 20%. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers ... Read More

It is Too Early to Declare TrumpCare Dead

July 31, 2017Some people are calling efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dead after a shocking turn of events in which three Republican Senators voted against a bill ... Read More

Departments Issue Mental Health Parity Guidance and Draft Form

July 28, 2017The 21st Century Cures Act required the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury to solicit feedback from the public on how the disclosure request ... Read More

July 2017: State and Local Law Update

July 26, 2017One of the most difficult things for human resource and absence management professionals to do is to keep up with changing state and local laws.  Below is a brief summary ... Read More

California Employers Need to Prepare for Higher SDI Benefits

July 17, 2017California employers need to start preparing to deal with increased state disability insurance (SDI) benefits in 2018. Return-to-work programs will become more important than ever because employees may have less ... Read More

Senate Leadership Unveils Revised Health Bill

July 14, 2017Senate Republicans have released a revised version of their healthcare bill. Overall, it is similar to the earlier version of their repeal-and-replace bill.

Uncertainty Continues to Plague Individual Health Insurance Market

June 29, 2017The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a map of 2018 projected Health Insurance Exchanges participation based on the known issuer participation public announcements through June 9, ... Read More

Republican Senators Release Healthcare Proposal

June 26, 2017Senate Republicans have released their version of a health care reform repeal and replace bill, which they call the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Five Republican Senators have already stated ... Read More

Will California Really Enact a Single-Payer Plan?

June 21, 2017The California State Senate has passed S.B. 562, the Healthy California Act, which would create a single-payer plan in California. While it has passed its first major milestone in the ... Read More

Supreme Court Expands Definition of Church Plans

June 16, 2017The United States Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that employee benefit plans established by church-affiliated organizations are church plans exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA generally ... Read More

Mega-Mergers Blocked—What’s Next?

June 12, 2017Federal judges have blocked the proposed mega-mergers of CIGNA with Anthem and Humana with Aetna. Rumors are now abounding about what might happen next.

Conflicting Reports on ACA Repeal Bill

June 7, 2017There are conflicting reports coming out of Washington, D.C. regarding whether the parliamentarian of the United States Senate has said that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the ... Read More

Wisconsin Employer Resolves EEOC Case Involving Wellness

June 6, 2017The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that it has resolved its suit against Orion Energy Systems, a Manitowoc, Wis., lighting company, challenging a wellness program under the ... Read More

June 2017: State and Local Law Update

June 2, 2017One of the most difficult things for human resource and absence management professionals to do is to keep up with changing state and local laws.  Below is a brief summary ... Read More

10th Circuit Holds Employee with FMLA Experience to a High Standard

May 25, 2017The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit says that the more an employee exercises rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the more it will ... Read More

CBO Releases Cost Estimate for the AHCA

May 24, 2017The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have completed an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the ... Read More

Cost-of-Living Adjustments Announced for HSAs and Affordability

May 23, 2017In Revenue Procedure 2017-37, the Internal Revenue Service announced the inflation adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). For calendar year 2018, the annual limitation on contributions to an HSA ... Read More

HIPAA Update

May 22, 2017There have been a number of developments in recent months regarding privacy and security under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Additionally, recent ransomware attacks should serve as ... Read More