Archive for Employer News’ Category


Oct

13

2018

The 80s Are Back, According to the NLRB | Houston Benefits Advisors

On September 14, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced in the Federal Register a proposed rule to return its joint-employer standard to its 1984 standard — a standard that stood until 2017. It’s returning to the days of Footloose dancing, Sixteen Candles high school sweethearts, Karate Kid champions, and the principle that a joint-employer of another’s employees applies only if: The employer possesses…

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Oct

10

2018

Medicare Part D Notices Due Oct. 15 | Houston Employee Benefits

Are you an employer that offers or provides group health coverage to your workers? Does your health plan cover outpatient prescription drugs — either as a medical claim or through a card system? If so, be sure to distribute your plan’s Medicare Part D notice before October 15. Purpose Medicare began offering “Part D” plans — optional prescription drug benefit plans sold by private insurance…

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Oct

2

2018

Redesigned W-4 Form to Launch in 2020 | Houston Benefits Partners

When will the new Form W-4 be released? In 2020, according to a press release published by the Treasury Department on September 20, 2018. The department announced that the IRS will implement a redesigned W-4 form for tax year 2020, a timeline that will allow for continued work to refine the new approach for the form. As a result of the enactment of the 2017…

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DOL Updates the Employer CHIP Notice | Houston Employee Benefits
Aug

9

2018

DOL Updates the Employer CHIP Notice | Houston Employee Benefits

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has updated the model notice for employers to use to inform employees about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). All employers with group health plans are required to distribute a CHIP notice at least once a year to employees living in certain states. There is no need to send another notice to workers who received the prior version in…

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Ask the Experts: Marijuana and the ADA | Houston Benefits Brokers
Aug

7

2018

Ask the Experts: Marijuana and the ADA | Houston Benefits Brokers

Question: Is medical marijuana use protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? If so, what accommodations would be considered reasonable? Answer: You are not required to accommodate medical marijuana use under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Even though medical marijuana is legal in many states, under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), marijuana is still illegal. The ADA expressly excludes people who use…

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Preparation Aids Prevention | Houston Benefits Firm
Jul

31

2018

Preparation Aids Prevention | Houston Benefits Firm

  Incidences of workplace violence are becoming more common and are all over the news. It’s not just high-profile headline cases that are a concern—it’s happening on a smaller scale in all kinds of businesses. Threats to workplaces can take many forms, from cyberbullying and workplace harassment to physical altercations and targeted violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that every year nearly…

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The News About Association Health Plans | Houston Employee Benefits
Jul

3

2018

The News About Association Health Plans | Houston Employee Benefits

On June 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor released its Final Rule regarding Association Health Plans (AHPs). AHPs are not new, but they have not been widely available in the past and, in some cases, they have not been successful. The Final Rule is designed to make AHPs available to a greater number of small businesses as an alternative to standard ACA-compliant small group…

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9 HR Policies are Legal Again, Says NLRB General Counsel | Houston Employee Benefit Advisors
Jun

19

2018

9 HR Policies are Legal Again, Says NLRB General Counsel | Houston Employee Benefit Advisors

Workplace rules are back, baby! Peter Robb, General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (and my new hero), issued a memorandum on Wednesday that employers should love. Mr. Robb has declared that nine standard employer policies will now be presumed lawful under the National Labor Relations Act. The memorandum was based on the Board’s decision in The Boeing Company, issued in December 2017. Before Boeing, the NLRB under the Obama Administration…

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ACA Play or Pay: Affordability Percentage for 2019 | Houston Benefits Consultants
Jun

7

2018

ACA Play or Pay: Affordability Percentage for 2019 | Houston Benefits Consultants

On May 21, 2018, the IRS announced that the affordability percentage under the Affordable Care Act’s play or pay rules will increase to 9.86% for 2019 plan years. This is an increase from 9.56% for 2018 plan years. By way of background, the ACA’s employer shared responsibility provision – often called the employer mandate or “play or pay” – requires large employers to offer health…

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Understanding the Opioid Crisis | Houston Employee Benefit Advisors
Jun

5

2018

Understanding the Opioid Crisis | Houston Employee Benefit Advisors

Lately, there’s been a big focus on America’s opioid addiction in the news. Whether it’s news on the abuse of the drug or it’s information sharing on how the drug works, Americans are talking about this subject regularly. We want to help educate you on this hot topic. Opioids are made from the opium poppy plant. Opium has been around since 3,400 BC and it…

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