Employer Penalty Alert for Reimbursing Employee Health Coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, there are restrictions that generally penalize the use of employer arrangements to subsidize or reimburse employees for individual health insurance policies. Many business owners hoped their plans that reimburse employees on an after-tax basis (instead of on a tax-free basis) wouldn't be treated as employer plans subject to the penalty. Those hopes were recently dashed after U.S. Department of Labor made statements on its website.

U.S. Supreme Court Weighs in on Definition of an Employee Workday

In many jobs, it takes time for some of your employees to get prepared between the time they walk in the door, and when they get down to the business at hand. The same can be true when there's a gap between the time when they stop working, and when they can actually hit the parking lot. Should they be paid for those transition periods? The answer: It depends on what they are doing during those intervals. Read on for details.

Does Your Company's Holiday Policy Pass Muster?

If your business is like most respondents to a recent survey, your employees will have Thanksgiving off again next year, with pay. The average number of paid holidays that full-time employees can expect next year is ten, according to the survey. But how do you arrive at the right number? Which days off to choose? And how do you avoid claims of religious discrimination? Read on for some ideas.

Highlights of the Mental Health Parity Act

The law may have passed back in 2008, but for many employers its provisions are just about to kick in. Regulations implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act were issued a year ago and took effect for employee benefit "plan years" beginning on or after July 1, 2014. That means if your benefit plan corresponds to the calendar year, you'll need to be ready to meet the regulations in about one month. Here's a summary of some of the rules.

Paying Employees to Buy Health Coverage? Know the Ground Rules

It's an understandable response to the Affordable Care Act to simply throw in the towel and give your employees some cash to buy health coverage on their own. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as that. The U.S. Department of Labor has just tackled that topic in its most recent round of "frequently asked questions," surrounding the implementation of the health care law. Here are some highlights of the latest guidance.

Monitoring Employees: What’s Allowed? What Makes Sense?

As an employer, you have a broad mandate to keep tabs on your employees' activities. Indeed, the breadth of your latitude might surprise you. But it doesn't always make sense to push that freedom to the limits permitted by law. While monitoring is important, so is morale, so you are wise to strike a balance between being watchful ... and being perceived as Big Brother. Here's more.

Is Your Workplace Psychologically Healthy? Should You Care?

There's much more to having a healthy workforce than the absence of employees who commit hostile acts or poison the well. The American Psychological Association is on a mission to arm employers with insights about what it takes to achieve a psychologically healthy workplace -- and the benefits of achieving it. Here's what the group has to say.


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