October 2015 - Employee Benefits I AP Benefit Advisors

Employees + Allergies = Accommodation

A Baltimore, Maryland-based company is facing an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit for having failed to accommodate an employee with a severe peanut and tree nut allergy. In this case, the allergy could result in anaphylactic shock or death. The employee had requested the company supply her with vinyl gloves to handle items at […]

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2016 Limits for 401(k), HCFSA, Parking/Transit & Same-Sex Marriage Guidance

    Update 12/23/2015 Congress’ Consolidated Appropriations Act permanently increases the combined limit for transit and vanpooling benefits provided under a qualified transportation plan, making it equal to the limit for qualified parking benefits. (That equivalence is often referred to as “transit parity.”) The increase is retroactive and applies to any month after 2014. Transit […]

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Paid Leave for Federal Contracts

On September 7, 2015, President Obama ordered paid leave for federal contractors and subcontractors. Federal contracts may earn a maximum of seven days paid sick leave each year. The workers can earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours that they work. This law will also allow workers to […]

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Is Attendance an Essential Job Function?

Employers have found the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to be a painful compliance pill to swallow. Regulations include a voluminous list of conditions that may be considered disabilities and recent emphasis has changed from determining if a disability exists to whether the accommodation is reasonable. Even workplace attendance has come under fire as an […]

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IRS Increases PCORI/CERF Fee Again

PCORI Fees With the release of IRS Notice 2015-60,  the IRS provided the adjusted applicable dollar amount for the next filing of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute fee [Research Fee, PCORI or CERF (Comparative Effectiveness Research Fee)]. The adjusted dollar amount for will increase to $2.17 from plan years November 1, 2015 through October 1, […]

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Obama Administration Interested in Reducing Self-Insurance

Self-insurance – the practice of employers assuming the financial risk to provide health care benefits to their employees – seems to be under the scrutiny of the Obama Administration as they are more interested in endorsing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance exchanges. With self-insurance, employers are able to tailor their benefits based on […]

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President Obama Signs the PACE Act

Last week the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) announced that both chambers of Congress passed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act with anticipation of President Obama signing off. The wait is over – President Obama signed the PACE Act on October 7, 2015. Prior to the PACE Act, the definition of small group market […]

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Stop Employees from Sharing Trade Secrets

A filtered picture … 140 characters … an emoji or two … #simplehashtag … boom!  Your secret is out and already liked, commented on and shared before you even have a chance to lookup what a #hashtag means! Social media makes it just that simple for anyone to spread a trade secret or confidential information that you […]

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ACA Documents and Requirements Review

Employers Prepare! With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in full force, now is the time for employers and plan sponsors to comply with documentation and distribution rules. Failure to comply may result in costly penalties! 1. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) Companies often assume the insurance carrier will provide the SPD or mistake the insurer’s benefits booklet for […]

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