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Northwest OH Legal Blog

Monday, December 5, 2016

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT—STILL ALIVE AND KICKING


AFFORDABLE CARE ACT—STILL ALIVE AND KICKING

UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 21, 2016

PLANS MUST STILL COMPLY WITH ACA REPORTING RULES FOR 2016

The Affordable Care Act’s “employer shared responsibility provisions” require that certain employers (called applicable large employers or ALEs) must either offer “minimum essential coverage” that is “affordable” and that provides “minimum value” to full-time employees (and their dependents) or potentially be prepared to remit an employer-shared responsibility payment to the Internal Revenue Service(“IRS”).  These employer shared responsibility provisions are sometimes referred to as “the employer mandate” or “the pay or play provisions.”  Many employers fall below the ALE threshold number of employees and, therefore aren’t subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions.  However, those multi-employer health and welfare plans or ALEs that fall under these complicated shared responsibility provisions must file reports with the IRS on a timely and accurate basis to prove they are in compliance with current Affordable Care Act regulations.  Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Prescription Coverage Under Workers Compensation


When someone suffers a workplace injury, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is required to reimburse the worker for all medical treatments related to his or her workplace injury. This includes medications necessary to treat all allowed conditions. But like everything else in Workers Compensation, prescription coverage is a process.

Prescriptions are managed by a third party called OptumRX. Prescriptions can be filled at your local pharmacy as long as it is BWC certified.
Read more . . .


Thursday, November 10, 2016

United States Department of Justice Files Criminal Charges against Taft-Hartley Funds’ Contributing Employers for Mail Fraud


The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has filed a criminal complaint (United States v. Christopher Thompson, Kimberly Thompson, Air Quality, Inc. and AQE, Inc., Cause Number 1:16-cr-10014, District Court of Massachusetts) against the owners of two delinquent employers, Air Quality, Inc. (“Air Quality”) and AQE, Inc.
Read more . . .


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Beneficiary Designation Review Time


            As practitioners, we encourage plan participants, trustees and plan administrators to constantly spread the message that beneficiary designation forms should be reviewed annually and updated to make it perfectly clear who should inherit pension plan annuities, 401(k) balances and even death benefits.  We advise that plan sponsors place written reminders on plan websites, quarterly statements and communications’ materials mailed annually in addition to announcements made during enrollment and union meetings.  But it seems that, despite our best efforts to remind participants to review and when necessary, change who they name as beneficiaries on their retirement accounts, life insurance policies and pension plans, they either never fill out forms, forget to update forms when their lives change or don’t get the proper signatures on their forms to begin with.

            So why does it really matter whether these beneficiary designations are ever completed or updated after a marriage, divorce or other life-changing event?  It matters for several reasons actually.  Primarily, if participants do not complete any beneficiary designation, the plan administrator must follow the written rules of the retirement plan or group life insurance policy and designate the “default” beneficiary as the one who will receive the assets upon the participant’s death.
Read more . . .


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Workers' Compensation Claims Against Self-Insured Employers


In every Workers’ Compensation claim, it is important for the injured worker to know the difference between the two types of employers in the Ohio Workers’ Compensation system: State-Fund Employers and Self-Insured Employers. In particular, the injured workers should be aware of the differences if the employer is self-insured.

Remember, the Workers’ Compensation system is an insurance by which employees are compensated for medical benefits and lost time due to a workplace injury. State fund employers pay premiums to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), which in turn pays benefits and handles the initial processing of the employer’s Workers’ Compensation claims. In contrast, the self-insured employer itself is responsible for paying Workers’ Compensation benefits, and it handles the initial processing of the claim.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Court Rules that Employer’s Wellness Program is Voluntary Under Americans With Disability Act But Finds Possible Retaliation And Interference


A federal district court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin has ruled in favor of an employer in an action brought by the EEOC under the Americans With Disabilities Act against an employer who implemented a wellness program requiring employees to take a health assessment to participate. The case is EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., No. 14-CV-1019 (E.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Internal Revenue Service Issues Guidance Regarding Waiver of 60-Day Rollover Requirement


In Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Procedure 2016-47, the IRS announced that a taxpayer who fails to meet the 60-day requirement for indirect rollovers from retirement accounts may make a written self-certification to an individual retirement account (“IRA”) trustee or a plan administrator that the rollover contribution satisfies one of 11 specific reasons listed in the IRS Revenue Procedure 2016-47 for excusing the missed 60-day deadline.

The trustee or administrator may rely on the taxpayer’s self-certification, subject to verification if the taxpayer is audited.  The certification must match the sample in the appendix of IRS Revenue Procedure 2016-47 word for word or be “substantially similar in all material respects.”  To qualify for relief from the 60-day requirement, the IRS must not have previously denied relief to the taxpayer for the rollover in question, and the taxpayer must have missed the 60-day deadline for one of the following reasons:

  1. The financial institution receiving the contribution or making the distribution to which the contribution relates made an error. 
  2. The distribution check was misplaced and never cashed.
    Read more . . .


Friday, September 30, 2016

THERE’S MORE TO THE NEW NON-DISCRIMINATION RULE


MEANINGFUL ACCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This comprehensive rule prohibits discrimination in health coverage based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex. Some of the provisions incorporate federal non-discrimination policies.  These provisions incorporate existing federal non-discrimination policies intertwined with some new protections.

Access for Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

While the spotlight in the media regarding these new protections has been on the prohibition of sex discrimination which now includes gender identity discrimination in its definition, other very significant anti-discrimination provisions are included in the expansion of Section 1557 of the ACA.
Read more . . .


Friday, September 23, 2016

Proposed Legislation Would Allow Workers’ Compensation Benefits for First Responders


As part of their job, first responders are often subject to traumatic experiences. Sometimes the effects can be long-lasting, and several first responders suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) because of their experiences. One would think that because they experience PTSD as a result of their job duties, they would be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits for treatment of the condition and the lost time that results. Unfortunately, Ohio Law does not provide such compensation in most cases.

PTSD is a psychiatric condition.
Read more . . .


Friday, September 16, 2016

EMPLOYERS ARE SUBJECT TO NEW OVERTIME RULES BEGINNING DECEMBER 1, 2016


Employers have until Dec. 1, 2016 to implement changes pursuant a new Department of Labor Rule that significantly adjusts overtime Rules and increases the salaries of employees who are eligible for overtime pay.  The changes are pursuant are pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers.

What employers are covered?

Generally, employees of organizations with at least $500,000 of business or gross sales in a year are covered by FLSA. In addition, employees of certain entities are covered by the FLSA regardless of the volume of sales or business done.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fidelity Investments Prevails in ERISA Float Litigation


A recent federal appellate court decision highlights the need for ERISA fiduciaries to evaluate the treatment of a particular type of interest called “float income” to ensure compliance with ERISA.  In In Re Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation, No. 15-1445, 2016 U.S. App.
Read more . . .


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With an office located in Toledo , OH Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. serves clients throughout northwest OH with various legal matters. Areas of service include Allen County, Ashland County, Auglaize County, Crawford County, Defiance County, Erie County, Fulton County, Hancock County, Hardin County, Henry County, Huron County, Lucas County, Marion County, Mercer County, Morrow County, Ottawa County, Paulding County, Putnam County, Richland County, Sandusky County, Seneca County, Van Wert County, Williams County, Wood County, Wyandot County.

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