Hamilton Headlines
July 26, 2016

EEOC Proposal for Salary Data Collection

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) has a proposal to collect data about employees' pay on the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) for employers with 100 or more employees starting in 2017. 

The EEO-1 is a well-established, annual report. Every year by September 30th, most federal contractors and other private employers (with at least 100 employees) tally and report their employee numbers for one pay period by job category and then by sex, race, and ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino). 

The current proposal would build on the existing reporting structure to collect from employers the number of workers within 12 specified pay bands.

This pay data collection proposal expands on and replaces an earlier plan by the Department of Labor (DOL) to collect similar information from federal contractors. 

The pay data would help the EEOC and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at DOL improve enforcement of federal pay discrimination laws and support employers' voluntary compliance with those laws.  

Employers would continue to submit the EEO-1 to the Joint Reporting Committee at EEOC, which would process the data and share it with OFCCP.

DOL: The Overtime Rule

In 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to update the overtime regulations to reflect the original intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to simplify and modernize the rules so they're easier for workers and businesses to understand and apply. 

The department has issued a final rule that will put more money in the pockets of middle class workers - or give them more free time.

The final rule will:
  • Raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year), ensuring protections to 4.2 million workers.

  • Automatically update the salary threshold every three years, based on wage growth over time, increasing predictability.

  • Strengthen overtime protections for salaried workers already entitled to overtime.

  • Provide greater clarity for workers and employers.
The final rule will become effective on December 1, 2016, giving employers more than six months to prepare. 

The final rule does not make any changes to the duties test for executive, administrative and professional employees.   

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Marketplace Exchange Subsidy Notices-Appeal Process

What is a Marketplace Exchange Subsidy Notice?

The Federal Marketplace-as well as some state-based marketplaces-recently started issuing notices to employers who had one or more employees qualify for subsidized health coverage. The Marketplace Exchange Subsidy Notices disclose that the employee was not offered affordable minimum essential coverage (MEC), and therefore found eligible for a premium subsidy.

Who does this include?

Applicable Large Employers (employed 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees in the prior calendar year) are now subject to Employer Shared Responsibility provisions and liable to pay a penalty if affordable health plan coverage is not offered to all full-time employees.

What do I do if I receive a notice?

You have 90 days from the date of issue to appeal if you determine the employee's eligibility for a premium subsidy was made in error because you offered qualifying health coverage which met MEC, minimum value requirements, and was affordable.

If you determine the notice does not accurately reflect the situation (i.e. the employee is part-time and does not qualify for health coverage) you would not need to submit an appeal. However, the only method to dispute the information in the notice is to file an appeal.

How do I file an appeal?

Appeals can be filed by completing an Employer Appeal Request Form. It is recommended you also include supporting documentation as to why the employee should not have received the premium subsidy.

Full Story

HHS Final Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

The non-discrimination final rule issued by the Office for Civil Rights in May became effective July 18, 2016.  

This rule helps covered entities understand their legal obligations under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities. 

The rule requires a grievance procedure and compliance coordinator for entities with more than 15 employees, and the posting of non-discrimination notices and taglines that alert individuals with limited English proficiency to the availability of language assistance services

Furthermore, covered entities are required to post the taglines in at least the top 15 non-English languages spoken in the State in which the entities are located.

DOL Increase Penalties for ERISA Compliance Violations 

  The DOL announced increased penalty amounts for ERISA violations after November 2, 2015, that are assessed after August 1, 2016. Inflation adjustments to these penalties will now be announced annually (no later than January 15).

An interim rule was published July 1, 2016 noting the penalty inflation catch-up amounts.

The catch-up inflation adjustments will apply to penalties DOL assesses after August 1, 2016, if the associated violation occurred after November 2, 2015. (Violations that occurred on or before November 2, 2015, and assessments made on or before August 1, 2016, will be subject to the old penalty amounts in effect prior to the inflation catch-up adjustment).

Please note that Hamilton Insurance does not provide legal advice, and this does not constitute advice of any kind for any 
particular situation. Instead, this is intended as non-comprehensive general information serving as a starting point for further 
discussion. Please contact your tax and/or legal advisors for information about how these issues affect you.  
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H amilton Insurance , a top ranked independent broker in the Washington DC/Metropolitan Area and the nation, has over 35 years of experience in providing insurance brokerage, risk management and employee benefit solutions. It represents a full suite of commercial, health & welfare, and personal insurance solutions, supported by risk compliance and group benefit administrative services. 

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