Viewing posts from: July 2009

FSAs Cannot Be Altered Due to "The Economy"

Posted July 30, 2009 by admin

Flexible Spending Accounts – cannot be altered due to “the economy”

Patrick C. Haynes, Jr., Esq., LL.M.

Dependent Care FSAs are reimbursement accounts – you can take out what you put in (generally until you leave). And, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has approved an optional Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) spend-down rule – after you leave the employer (ER), you can still “spend down” your DCFSA balance until it is gone or the plan-year ends.


Employer’s Mandatory Health Risk Assessment Violates the ADA

Posted July 29, 2009 by admin

Employer’s mandatory Health Risk Assessment violates the ADA

Patrick C. Haynes, Jr., Esq., LL.M.

The EEOC (the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has issued an informal opinion letter that should an employer require an employee to complete an HRA as a condition of obtaining coverage, the EEOC would find that to be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “Does the requirement to participate in the [Clinical Health Risk Assessment (CHRA)] . . . to qualify for participation in the health plan constitute a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act?”


New IRS Guidance on the COBRA Subsidy

Posted July 28, 2009 by admin

New IRS guidance on the COBRA subsidy

The IRS’s website has an area that focuses on the COBRA Subsidy as it relates to Employers.

Once you navigate to that page, you’ll see the following introduction, followed by 4 subcategories.


COBRA: Answers for Employers: Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, certain individuals who are eligible for COBRA continuation health coverage, or similar coverage under state law, may receive a subsidy for 65 percent of the premium. These individuals are required to pay only 35 percent of the premium. The employer may recover the subsidy provided to assistance-eligible individuals by taking the subsidy amount as a credit on its quarterly employment tax return. The employer may provide the subsidy — and take the credit on its employment tax return — only after it has received the 35 percent premium payment from the individual.The four subcategories are:


DOL's Letter Interpreting New FMLA Regulations

Posted July 27, 2009 by admin

DOL’s Recent Opinion Letter Interpreting New FMLA Regulations

Trevor E. Gillette – Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

These regulations made a variety of changes (both procedural and substantive) to the previous regulatory scheme. However, as the regulations were so recently adopted, decisions interpreting these new regulations do not yet exist in significant numbers. Accordingly, when the Labor Department recently issued an Opinion Letter (FMLA2009-1-A) providing insight into the application of one aspect of these new regulations, notice was taken, especially since this Opinion Letter addresses the notice that an employer can require from employees requesting FMLA and an employer’s ability to require its employees to follow its established call-in procedures.


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