In a recent blog post, we discussed the legal issues associated with employer use of payroll debit cards in lieu of printed paychecks. We concluded that because of the lack of federal and state regulatory guidance on the issue, it was unclear whether employers could elect to pay wages exclusively through payroll debit cards.

Last week, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued Bulletin 2013-10 (pdf) on the subject of payroll card accounts.
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On December 28, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued long-awaited proposed regulations regarding the “shared responsibility” penalty provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). In addition to consolidating prior IRS guidance on the subject, the proposed regulations also contain some surprising interpretations of PPACA’s penalty provisions. Employers will likely be pleased by some of these interpretations and disappointed with others.
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The past couple of weeks have been busy ones for the Department of Labor (“DOL”), the Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) and the Department of Treasury (“DOT”) (collectively, the “Departments”). Since February 9, 2012, the Departments have issued two sets of final regulations and a Technical Release bulletin, providing some long-awaited guidance on a

On November 30, 2011, by a vote of 2-1, a bitterly divided National Labor Relations Board (Board) resolved to move forward with some, but decidedly not all, of the procedural changes it had proposed on June 22. While the Board’s Democratic majority referenced its desire to reduce “unnecessary, expensive, and time-consuming litigation for the Board and all parties,” the dissenting Republican Member, and most observers, have more accurately described the measure as another effort to shorten the time from the filing of an election petition to the date of the election. This would make it more difficult for employers to communicate with employees prior to the vote, and make it easier for unions to win more elections (although unions are already winning elections at a historically high rate of around 70%!).
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On March 24, 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued the final version of the regulations (pdf) implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).  The final regulations were modified as compared to the EEOC’s initial proposed regulations, and the changes to the regulations made will likely be welcomed by employers.  For more information from the EEOC on the

Today, Adam R. Long, Esq. of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC’s Labor and Employment Group issued an Employer Alert titled "Effective January 10, 2011, New GINA Regulations Will Impact Common HR Practices."

The Employer Alert discusses the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”), which prohibits the use of genetic information in employment decisions and restricts an

This post was contributed by Eric N. Athey, Esq., a Member in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.

As 2011 approaches, perhaps the biggest compliance issue for employers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") is whether it is advisable to retain "grandfathered" status for their health

This post was contributed by Eric N. Athey, Esq., a Member in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.

Our June 17, 2010 posting discussed the interim regulations on "grandfathered" health plan status under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") and the benefits of maintaining that status.  Grandfathered plans are

This post was contributed by Eric N. Athey, Esq., a Member in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, and Stephen R. Kern, Esq., a Member in the Employee Benefits Practice Group.

Many of the requirements in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") will have little meaning until federal agencies issue regulations that clarify the statutory language.  The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service are all charged with issuing regulations to implement the Act.  Since May, these agencies have issued a steady stream of interim regulations regarding a number of the Act’s requirements.  Most recently, on June 22, 2010, the agencies jointly issued interim regulations to implement what have been referred to as the "Patient’s Bill of Rights" provisions of PPACA.  The following provisions will take effect in plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010.

Preexisting Condition Exclusions 
PPACA prohibits a group health plan from imposing any preexisting condition exclusion ("PCE") on any individual under the age of 19. The age limit is eliminated for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. In the interim, HIPAA’s current PCE rules apply. The interim regulations accept the HIPAA definition of a preexisting condition as a health condition or illness that was present before an individual’s effective date of coverage in the health plan, regardless of whether any medical advice was recommended or received before that date. A PCE is any limitation or exclusion of benefits (including a denial of coverage) that applies to an individual due to the individual’s health status before the effective date of coverage under the health plan. A benefit limitation or exclusion is not a PCE, however, if it applies regardless of when the condition arose relative to the effective date of coverage. 


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This post was contributed by Eric N. Athey, Esq., a Member in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress established a $5 billion pool to serve as a temporary reinsurance program for employer health plans (insured and self-funded) that provide coverage