In January of 2016, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will begin to directly impact businesses with between 50-99 employees. While health insurance rates have been impacting business owners since the start of the ACA several years ago, those companies with 50-99 employees haven’t had to offer healthcare or face a fine. That’s changing in a couple of months.
The interesting thing about the ACA is that the very people it is supposed to help, low income workers, seem to be the ones least interested getting their healthcare, even when it’s offered by their employers.
A couple of weeks ago, prefaced by an op-ed piece written by President Obama, the Department of Labor issued new directives on overtime rules. As with most government regulations, however good the intention, the result on small business owners will be a creation of “additional costs and record-keeping headaches” according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
In January of this year, the Federal Government began enforcement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for those employers with 100 or more employees. Next year, those employers with 50 or more employees will have to begin compliance with the law as well.
In a recent article on workforce.com, HR managers in large companies talked about the difficulties in compliance when it comes to calculating hours. What was troublesome for them was people who took unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Re-employment Rights Act or even jury duty and how those hours would be calculated in determining healthcare eligibility. Because of that, “60 percent of large companies with more than 1,000 employees indicated that they aren’t prepared for penalty management under the ACA.”
A few months ago, I wrote an article about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Specifically, I wrote about how the EEOC ruled in favor of government regulations treating an employee’s pregnancy no differently than it treats a worker’s comp injury.
Well, the Supreme Court recently weighed in on this topic in a case between UPS and former employee Peggy Young.
Wow, that’s a lot of letters. What does this all mean?
Over the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been contending that their reach expands beyond unionized workers. On March 18th, the NLRB General Counsel, Richard Griffin, released a 30-page report providing guidance to attorneys and HR professionals on what he believes is not a legal rule for an employee handbook under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
In short, Mr. Griffin’s report proposes major changes under which the NLRB believes it can apply its rules.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has begun commission meetings under its new chair, Jenny R. Yang, this month. The newest commissioner was also sworn in at this time bringing the board back to its full strength of five members.
This month, they have also begun hearings on workplace harassment. What they have learned from experts in the field is that workplace harassment is still a major problem.
So you have that “bad apple” employee that you have to get rid of. He’s a pain in your side. Your management team spends an inordinate amount of time dealing with him and frankly, his co-workers don’t like him either. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
When letting an employee go for cause, you need to make sure that you’re protecting yourself from the liability of:
- An unemployment claim that will drive your unemployment insurance up, cutting into your margins or putting you in a competitive disadvantage with your competitors
- A potential discrimination lawsuit filed by the employee
- A possible violation of either the FMLA or ADA that will have the federal government breathing down your back
How do you avoid these pitfalls? As with all things, there’s an easy way and a hard way.
We have all heard the phrase, “there are two types of people in the world. Those who… and those who…” The blank spot is usually then filled in with whatever point someone is trying to make.
In the world of business, you can make a strong case that the old adage that holds truest is “those who are union and those who are not”.
Well, many “who are not” maybe counting down the days to when they will be.