Category Archives: Labor Relations & Employment Law

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Attention Employers: Action Required Before Having Employees or Contractors Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements

In May, President Obama signed the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 into law, the details of which we reported in a recent Akerman Practice Update. The Act allows companies for the first time to bring trade secret theft claims under federal law. One of the many important provisions of the law that employers should not overlook is … Continue Reading

Extension of ACA Reporting Deadline is Welcome News to Employers

On December 28, 2015, the IRS announced in Notice 2016-4 that the deadlines for complying with the new reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) will be temporarily extended for purposes of 2015 coverage. The original and updated deadlines are provided below:

  • Deadline for Providing the Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to Individuals
    • Original Deadline: February 1, 2016
    • New Deadline:
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New Rules Would Amend COBRA Notification Requirements to Include ACA Alternatives

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has proposed new rules that would revise an employer’s notification requirements under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (“COBRA”) to align them with Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) provisions already in effect.

Under COBRA, group health plans must provide a general notice of COBRA rights to each covered employee and spouse at the … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Expands Protections to Whistle-Blowers and Weakens Hospital Peer Review Systems

The recent decision by the California Supreme Court in Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals, No. S205568 , 2014 WL 655995 (Cal. 2014) may significantly weaken the efficacy of hospital peer review proceedings in California and may have implications for hospitals in other states. The court held that a physician is not required to exhaust peer review proceedings before … Continue Reading

Health Flexible Spending Accounts – Modification of “Use It or Lose It” Rule

Many employers offer health flexible spending account arrangements (“Health FSAs”) through cafeteria plans to their employees.  Historically, Health FSAs have been subject to a “use it or lose it” requirement, meaning that any unused amounts in a Health FSA at the conclusion of a plan year or at the conclusion of a grace period (if any) must be forfeited by … Continue Reading

Can Employer Who Has Granted Employee’s FMLA Request Dispute Employee’s FMLA Eligibility?

An employee sends an email to her manager requesting FMLA leave to care for her father “while he deals with issues surrounding his terminally ill brother.”  The supervisor writes back, “Approved,” and the employee takes leave.  Neither the FMLA nor the employer’s FMLA policy allows leave to care for a terminally ill uncle.  Based on the employee’s absence, the employer … Continue Reading

Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Extended to Certain Direct Home Care Workers

Home health care workers and companions employed by agencies will no longer be exempt under federal overtime laws beginning in January 2015. As a result of the Department of Labor’s adoption on September 17, 2013 of a Final Rule revising its regulations to eliminate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemption for agency-employed direct care workers, home health agencies will … Continue Reading

Healthcare Employers Beware: OSHA Campaign Is Targeting You

On July 16, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it is launching a campaign that aims to protect healthcare workers from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) related to patient handling.  While this campaign expressly targets the District of Columbia and three nearby states, it is part of a broader campaign by OSHA, unions, and health worker advocates to … Continue Reading

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