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May 2017 HR news & updates
for Small/Mid Business
Consultstu LLC delivers fractional HR support  to growth oriented small/mid businesses, and provide customized solutions to meet each companies' budget and needs. Our team assesses and supports your HR needs for compliance, cost control and HR effectiveness. Stay up to date with the latest HR, risk management, safety, recruiting and benefit news.
OSHA Announces delay in compliance with new Silica Regulation; begins Sept 23, 2017

Washington DC - On April 6, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to construction companies. The delay is intended to allow for additional time to develop training and education materials for covered construction industry employers.  The new permissible exposure limit imposes obligations on construction companies to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as identified in Table 1. Other requirements include exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training. Keep checking with the OSHA website for more news and resources.
IRS "Pay or Play" Letters and Proposed Penalties for 2015 ACA coverage coming in 2017 

In early April, the Treasury Department announced its "Assessment on the Efforts to Implement the Mandate under the Affordable Care Act."  The government agency will use its systems in place to identify employers that are potentially non-compliant Applicable Large Employers (ALE) and calculate the penalties for not offering minimum essential coverage.  The IRS has been developing the software since July 2015.  The implementation is scheduled for May 2017. In addition, employers that offered coverage that did not meet the minimum value or affordability requirements will also see penalty letters in 2017.  Read more from the IRS.
What's the latest on medical marijuana?

Tallahassee, FL- I t's officially "go" time for the Florida Legislature to finally reach an agreement over the future of medical marijuana in Florida. The Senate bill is headed for a vote after some amendments were added last week. One amendment would require doctors to check the Compassionate Use Registry to verify patients weren't "doctor shopping," or seeing multiple doctors to get several prescriptions for medical marijuana. Read the latest.
What's new? USCIS has redesigned the Green cards and EAD documents

Washington DC - Starting May 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency will issue new green cards and employment authorization cards.  The new documents, designed to combat counterfeiting, will feature a photo on both sides, new background images and embedded holographic images.  The individual's signature will no longer be displayed.  Employers will still be able to accept existing versions of Green cards and EADs for purposes of the I9 and E-verify.   See what the new cards look like after they go into circulation.
Waffle House sued for using "shady" background check firm and violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

In the Middle District of Florida, a group of Waffle House applicants have filed a lawsuit alleging the company did not follow Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to provide proper disclosures prior to taking adverse action, and using an offshore company that provided slipshod consumer reports for cheap and maintained no policies or procedures for ensuring FCRA compliance. Read more of the details and find out what background screening company they used.
Customer Service Managers at Fifth Third Bank settle overtime lawsuit

In March, a federal judge approved a class action settlement involving hundreds of customer service managers at Fifth Third Bank in Ohio.  Employees alleged that the managers mostly performed duties that are non-exempt in nature, including working on the teller line, greeting customers in the lobby, taking information for loan applications and answering customer inquiries.  They also sold banking products, opened and closed accounts, pulled daily reports and counted/balanced cash drawers. The settlement amount is $1.1 million.  Review the wage and hour definitions of exempt positions to avoid these lawsuits.

What is a "one time change of physician" under Florida's workers' compensation law?

Under Florida's workers' compensation statute 440.13(2)(f), upon written request, the carrier shall give an employee the opportunity for one change of physician during the course of treatment for any one accident. Once requested and within 5 days of receipt, the carrier shall authorize an alternative physician who shall not be professionally affiliated with the previous physician. If the Employer/Carrier fails to respond within 5 days the claimant is free to select the physician of their choosing.  The written request can happen at various times, including in the PFB (petition for benefits), but the request should be readily apparent, unobscured, and unambiguous to advance the purpose of putting the company and carrier on notice of the request. Read more
Stuart Charlson | Consultstu LLC | 727-350-0370 | info@consultstu.com | www.consultstu.com