Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 9, 2020

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View COVID-19 News and Resources

[Guidance Overview]

HHS Eliminates Paperwork Burden of 1557

"The final rule eliminated the requirement to post the discrimination notice and taglines. The final rule also eliminated the requirement that the discrimination notice and taglines be included with all significant publications sent by the organization. This change will be a significant cost and administrative time saver for most entities."

Graydon

[Guidance Overview]

Colorado Expands Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act to Require Almost All Private Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave Benefits

"Beginning January 1, 2021, the [Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA)] will require employers with 16 or more employees to provide full-time employees with up to 48 hours of paid sick leave per year. Beginning in 2022, employers of all sizes will have the same mandate. The HFWA also requires employers to provide employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave upon the declaration of a public health emergency. The law also creates notice requirements for employers and allows employees to seek damages in the event of noncompliance."

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

California Restaurants Must Provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (PDF)

"In April, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20, requiring California employers in the food sector industry to provide certain workers affected by the pandemic wit h up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave.... The Executive Order is meant to cover individuals who work in certain food-related industries or in the retail food supply chain, including pick-up, delivery, supply, packaging, retail, or food preparation. This includes a broad range of workers such as grocery workers, restaurant and fast-food workers, workers at warehouses where food is stored, and workers who pick-up or deliver food items."

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Supreme Court Upholds Broad Exemptions to Contraceptive Mandate -- For Now

"The Court ruled that the government did have the authority under the ACA to adopt broad religious and moral exemptions to the contraceptive mandate and that the rules did not violate the APA (at least not yet). That ruling may come in the future because this litigation will continue. Attorneys general in Pennsylvania and New Jersey indicated they would continue to challenge the rules on an issue that was not previously decided: whether the rules are arbitrary and capricious under the APA." [Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, No. 19-431 (S. Ct. Jul. 8, 2020)]

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

Supreme Court Upholds Regulatory Exemptions to ACA's Contraceptives Mandate

"Under the November 2018 final regulations, the Departments' religious beliefs exemption is available to: [1] Nongovernmental employers and certain non-employer entities that sponsor health plans, such as association health plans (AHPs), unions, and sponsors of multiemployer plans. [2] Plans sponsored by nonprofit and for-profit organizations ... Although the Court's ruling would seem to clear the way for an expanded set of employers to invoke the exemptions, concurring opinions in the ruling underscore that this may not be the case." [Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, No. 19-431 (S. Ct. Jul. 8, 2020)]

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

[Opinion]

Bring Back Healthcare Planning

"Planning has been a dirty word in healthcare for decades. Competition is today's idol.... The consequence has been simultaneous excess and deficit in health infrastructure. Today, market forces dictate the life and death of American hospitals."

Physicians for a National Health Program [PNHP]

Benefits in General

Arbitration and Class Action Waivers Under ERISA

30 presentation slides. Topics: [1] ERISA framework; [2] Arbitration and class action waivers: recent decisions; and [3] Designing arbitration clauses for ERISA plans.

American Benefits Council

Protecting the Rights of Taxpayers Who Rely on IRS 'Frequently Asked Questions' (FAQs)

"Because FAQs aren't subject to thorough review, Treasury and the IRS may later decide some of them are wrong and change them. That is reasonable. But what about taxpayers who followed an FAQ and now find that: [1] the IRS is taking the opposite position on audit; [2] the IRS is imposing a penalty on the taxpayer for taking the position the FAQ had advised; and [3] the taxpayer can't locate the original FAQ because the IRS has changed it and removed the initial FAQ from its website? ... To protect the rights of taxpayers who follow FAQs, [the Taxpayer Advocate Service makes] the following recommendations: [1] The IRS should continue to use FAQs to provide timely guidance to taxpayers where appropriate.... [2] The IRS should include the versions and dates of each FAQ on its website or create an archive of obsolete or modified FAQs, including applicable dates, so that taxpayers can locate an FAQ that was in effect at the time they filed their returns."

[BenefitsLink note: Pages on the IRS website (and other government sites) are regularly archived by the Wayback Machine; prior versions of FAQs and other documents generally can be found there. The Wayback Machine is maintained by Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) organization unaffiliated with any government entity.]

Taxpayer Advocate Service, Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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