Some of the statutes and regulations enforced by agencies within the Department of Labor require that posters or notices be posted in the workplace. The Department provides electronic copies of the required posters and some of the posters are available in languages other than English.
Please note that posting requirements vary by statute; that is, not all employers are covered by each of the Department’s statutes and thus may not be required to post a specific notice. For example, some small businesses may not be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act and thus would not be subject to the Act’s posting requirements. For information on coverage, visit the Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Business (elaws) Poster Advisor. You may also contact the Office of Small Business Programs, for assistance with these notice requirements.
To see a detailed chart of these requirements go to:
To obtain posters or for more information about poster requirements or other compliance assistance matters, you may contact the U.S. Department of Labor at (866) 4-USA-DOL.
Effective January 1, 2010, employers who sponsor group health plans now will be required to report and pay excise taxes for failing to satisfy certain federal group health plan mandates, unless timely corrected. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final regulations regarding new reporting requirements. Starting in 2010, employers (and certain third parties) must self-report and pay excise taxes for failing to comply with the following:
Affected parties must report the excise taxes on Form 8928, “Return of Certain Excise Taxes under Chapter 43 of the Internal Revenue Code.” Failure to file Form 8928 and pay excise taxes may lead to the imposition of penalties and interest. Form 8928 is available on the IRS Web site.
Employer Practice Points
Dipa N. Sudra of Davis Wright and Tremaine, LLP suggests;
Employers should have procedures in place to identify potential excise tax issues; and relevant employees, such as human resources personnel, should be familiar with the excise taxes noted above. Employers should consider creating checklists of potential excise tax violations and periodically review the checklists.
For example, employers should work with their advisors or COBRA administrators to ensure that there are no COBRA violations.
Employers must also ensure that relevant employees are familiar with recent changes, such as:
Group health plans are responsible for compliance with a number of federal laws governing issues such as continuation coverage and portability of health coverage. If a group health plan does not comply with applicable group health plan requirements, the employer maintaining the plan is subject to an excise tax. Employers are also subject to an excise tax if they do not satisfy comparable contribution rules for health savings accounts (“HSAs”) and Archer medical savings accounts (“MSAs”). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued final regulations on reporting and paying the applicable excise tax, which are effective January 1, 2010.
Group Health Plan Rules Subject to Excise Tax
Generally, an excise tax of $100 per individual per day will apply to violations of the following rules (“Group Health Plan Requirements”):
For violations of the comparable contribution rules for HSAs and Archer MSAs, the excise tax will generally be 35 percent of the amount contributed by the employer to the Archer MSAs or the HSAs of all employees within the applicable calendar year.
For more information got to the IRS Regs
Two separate bills have been introduced, one which is more expansive than the other. The smaller of the two bills is HR 3966, which would only extend the ARRA subsidy for involuntary terminations and loss of coverage occurring through June 30, 2010. However, the larger bill is HR 3930, and includes the following provisions:
Qualifying events with the 18-month COBRA period would be extended to 24 months for any termination of employment (voluntary or involuntary) or reduction of hours that occurred during the 21-month period starting on April 1, 2008, and ending on December 31, 2009. Further, if an individual’s COBRA coverage already expired before the law is passed, affected qualified beneficiaries would have a second election right to obtain the additional six months of coverage.
The ARRA subsidy would be extended for involuntary terminations and loss of coverage occurring through June 30, 2010. Further, all ARRA subsidies would continue for up to 15 months (current 9 months plus an additional 6 months under the proposal), but all subsidies would end by December 31, 2010 regardless of the new 15-month rule.
These bills have been introduced in the House and are currently in committee; however, they have not reached the House floor for a full vote. The Senators Brown and Casey have introduced S.2730 in the Senate, a bill which extends COBRA as would HR 3930, but would also increae the subsidy from 65% TO 75%. Stay tuned to the Health and Wellness as a Business Strategy blog for updates on these bills.
Updated information provided by Joanne Flora.
Governor David A. Paterson signed into law three Governor’s Program bills that will make health insurance more affordable and improve access to health care for New Yorkers. The first extends the period of time for COBRA coverage from 18 to 36 months; the second permits families to cover their young adult dependents through age 29 under their job-based insurance; and the third enacts a series of managed care reforms to make health insurance work better for consumers and permit timely access to necessary health services. The effective date of these changes is September 1, 2009.