Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 24, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconNew York State Permanent Sick Leave Law Takes Effect on September 30, 2020

"[A]ll New York State employers will now have to provide NYPSL to their employees.... [L]arge employers in New York City and Westchester County may have to increase the amount of sick/safe time that they provide. Unlike New York State's paid sick/quarantine leave legislation, which was passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic ... the NYPSL requirement addresses a different and broader range of covered reasons for taking sick leave and has permanent effect." Icon to read more

Davis & Gilbert LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconReminder to New York Employers: Paid Sick Leave Goes Into Effect on September 30

"[S]tarting September 30, 2020, employees in the state of New York will begin accruing sick leave at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours worked. We are still awaiting guidance from the State on key issues, such as coordination with the New York City and Westchester County sick leave laws, the impact of frontloading leave on carryover, and managing sick leave during the last quarter of 2020." Icon to read more

Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconDistrict of Columbia Expands COVID-19 Leave Through October 9, 2020

"The temporary expansion of the DC Family and Medical Leave Act to provide D.C. employees up to 16 weeks of unpaid, job-protected 'COVID-19 leave' has been extended through October 9, 2020. The D.C. Office of Human Rights has published an updated notice reflecting the extended effective date, which employers 'must post and maintain ... in a conspicuous place and transmit it to employees working remotely.' ... [S]hould the Mayor extend the declared COVID-19 public health emergency beyond October 9, 2020, this leave expansion will likely be extended again." Icon to read more

Proskauer

[Guidance Overview]

Major Changes to California Family Rights Act

Article includes a summary table of CFRA before and after SB 1383 amendments, which are effective January 1, 2021. Icon to read more

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

PHSA COBRA Claim Dismissed for Lack of a Remedy

"The employer did not dispute that it had violated COBRA but argued that the employee's requested relief was statutorily barred under the Public Health Services Act (PHSA) ... The court acknowledged that the statute might allow the employee to seek payment in the form of equitable restitution if the employer held money or property that belonged to him. But, in this case, the employee made no such allegations; rather, he requested money damages to cover expenses he incurred from third parties. Such a remedy is not equitable relief, the court concluded, and thus is not available under the PHSA." [Loizon v. Evans, No. 18-2759 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 3, 2020)] Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconWorkplace Weight Management in the New Normal

36 pages. "Employers can play a key role in guiding employees to prevent, manage and treat weight issues, whether onsite at an organization or in a work-from-home environment.... [This] guide is designed to provide you with a better understanding of the causes and consequences of unhealthy weights, guidance on choosing and implementing a range of interventions, and insight into innovative solutions employers are using today." Icon to read more

Northeast Business Group on Health

HIPAA Business Associate Pays $2.3 Million to Settle Breach

"CHSPSC LLC has agreed to pay $2,300,000 to [OCR] ... and to adopt a corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the [HIPAA] Privacy and Security Rules related to a breach affecting over six million people. CHSPSC provides a variety of business associate services, including IT and health information management, to hospitals and physician clinics indirectly owned by Community Health Systems, Inc., in Franklin, Tennessee." Icon to read more

Office for Civil Rights [OCR], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Opinion]

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge to ACA on November 10, With or Without a New Justice

"In a purely legal sense, the law's opponents have the better argument.... The better practical argument lies with PPACA's proponents.... [In] a practical sense, why do you need a mandate to make this program fiscally feasible if the federal government is ultimately going to make insurers whole and pay any form of required bloated premiums to keep the system afloat?" Icon to read more

Benefit Revolution

[Opinion]

Annual Dilated Eye Exams Should Be Integral -- Not Supplemental -- to Employee Medical Plans (PDF)

"A benefit plan that includes regular dilated eye exams as a preventive service -- with no co-pay or deductible charge -- lowers barriers to detecting a host of serious conditions early enough to prevent or diminish their impact. This includes conditions that threaten the eyes directly, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration, as well as those with broader impact on overall health, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, and various cancers." Icon to read more

American Optometric Association

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Publishes Proposed 'Independent Contractor' Rule

"The rule would give businesses additional clarity in using economic reality factors when determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Many state laws follow different standards, and the tests used by other federal agencies, such as the [IRS], and under other federal laws are different as well. So businesses should be aware of the law in the jurisdictions where they operate and be sure to analyze these issues under all applicable laws." Icon to read more

Ballard Spahr LLP

[Guidance Overview]

DOL's Proposed Rule Provides Framework for Employers to Classify Workers as Independent Contractors

"The DOL's newly proposed regulations are intended to provide clarity to employers by adopting a simplified model framework for determining independent contractor status under the 'economic realities' test. The economic realities test, which often has been used by courts deciding worker classification issues, generally considers whether a person performing services for a potential employer as an independent contractor truly operates his or her own independent business that is not economically dependent on the employer." Icon to read more

Duane Morris LLP

Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2020

"Private industry workers: ... Medical care was available to 27 percent of workers in the lowest 10th percent wage category and 94 percent of workers in the highest 10th percent wage category had access to this benefit. Sixty-seven percent of workers in an establishment with less than 100 employees had access to paid sick leave and 88 percent of workers at establishments with 500 or more employees had access to paid sick leave.... State and local government workers: Seventy-six percent of workers participated in defined benefit plans.... Eighteen percent of workers participated in defined contribution plans and employee contributions were required for 69 percent of these workers.... Medical care and retirement benefits were not available to 1 percent of primary, secondary, and special education school teachers and 99 percent of these workers had access to both benefits." Icon to read more

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]

Employers' Sense of Responsibility for Employees' Financial Wellness Increased Significantly Over the Last Decade (PDF)

28 pages. "62% of employers feel extreme responsibility for their employees' financial wellness, up from 13% in 2013. 83% of employers believe financial wellness tools lead to greater productivity.... 67% of eligible employees contribute to their Health Savings Account (HSA). 47% of employers are promoting workplace wellness with established diversity and inclusion programs." Icon to read more

Bank of America

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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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