Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett provided insight on the impact that hospitals may encounter as a result of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime pay rule, set to take effect December 1, 2016. The new rule will more than double the salary level for those employees classified as exempt from overtime pay from the current level of $23,660 to the new level of $47,476, or $913 per week. As Tim points out, “[a] major challenge for hospitals will be cost containment.” The new rule could make it difficult for hospitals to anticipate the new labor costs.
The full article, “New Overtime Rules Could Upend Pay Structures,” was published by Hospitals & Health Networks on October 25, 2016, and is available online.
On October 24, 2016, U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone granted a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order 13673 (EO 13673), implementing provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in the final rule, and Department of Labor (DOL) guidance that impose new reporting requirements on contractors regarding labor law violations.
We recognize that many of our clients sponsor ERISA welfare benefit plans and are currently undergoing their open enrollment process and issuing related participant communications. To assist our clients with that process, we have prepared an Automatic Participant Disclosures Checklist for use during open enrollment and throughout the plan year.
Please note that many of the disclosure requirements, links, and/or other information provided in the checklist may change from time to time; therefore, please check our Employee Benefits Practice Group thought leadership page periodically for the most current version of this checklist.
If you have questions regarding the information in this checklist, please contact any of the attorneys in our Employee Benefits Practice Group.
Download Document – 2016 Welfare Plan Disclosure Checklist
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett provided insight for an article outlining the emergency motion filed by 21 states to bar the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rule, set to take effect December 1, 2016. The new rule will more than double the salary level for those employees classified as exempt from overtime pay from the current level of $23,660 to the new level of $47,476, or $913 per week. In the motion filed this week, the 21 states are challenging the FLSA’s new salary-level test. In the article, Tim states “I do not anticipate that the motion to delay the new salary level will be successful, other than perhaps in a manner specific to the state-plaintiffs.” Continue Reading
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Doug Dahl provided comments for an article detailing the latest compliance deadline for healthcare entities subject to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the regulations, which were issued in May, it is now illegal for any healthcare entity that receives federal funding to discriminate against patients on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age and disability. Beginning on October 16, 2016, all entities receiving government funding from Health and Human Services, including Medicaid and Medicare, are required to provide and post nondiscrimination notices. One challenge that Doug points out in the article is “that covered entities have been struggling with figuring out where to post notices and which publications qualify as significant enough to include them.” Continue Reading
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett discussed how natural disasters, such as the recent Hurricane Matthew, can impact employers and employees as they strive to maintain compliance with labor and employment laws. The article outlines key compliance areas such as timekeeping records and delivery of paychecks that could be effected. As with any disruption in normal work schedule, Tim recommends that “employers remain focused on relationship issues with [the] workforce. This often is an opportunity for employers to show with their actions that the words ‘we value our employees’ ring true.”
The full article, “Hurricane Damage Control: Piecing Together Time Records,” was published on the SHRM website on October 10, 2016, and is available online.
Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits any health program or activity that receives federal funding (currently limited to federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)) from discriminating against an individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Notably, HHS has described Section 1557 as the first civil rights law banning discrimination on the basis of sex in the provision of healthcare services, which includes discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression and transgender status.
While Section 1557 has technically been in effect since the passage of the ACA in 2010, HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released final regulations in May of this year, finalizing some key compliance requirements. Many of the new procedural requirements introduced by the final regulations went into effect on July 18, 2016. However, perhaps the most significant requirement – the requirement to provide and post nondiscrimination notices – becomes effective on October 16, 2016 (a Sunday).1 Continue Reading
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued its final rule requiring federal contractors to provide at least seven days or 56 hours of paid sick leave each year to employees who perform work on covered federal contracts. This rule is the final implementation of Executive Order 13706, which President Obama issued in September 2015. The new rule becomes effective on November 29, 2016, though in most instances, as discussed below, it will only be applicable to new contracts awarded on or after January 1, 2017. Contractors should, however, take steps now to ensure compliance. Continue Reading
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett discussed the potential delay in implementation of the new overtime rules for an article in Nation’s Restaurant News. A bill that could delay the implementation of the overtime rules by six months cleared the House on September 28, 2016, but the bill faces a potential veto by the President if it progresses pass the Senate. Tim notes that the real battle for the legislation will be whether it can garner the two-thirds vote needed to override the potential veto. “‘I would be surprised,’ Tim said. ‘This is a difficult political point to make it appear as though a senator or congressman is against an increase in pay for the middle class.'” Continue Reading
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett authored an article for Workforce magazine outlining how the workplace can be considered the unintended battleground for cultural wars. In the article, Tim identifies the causes of this reality and the tension it creates; highlights certain “false” solutions; and provides a more effective, practical solution for working toward a coherent, team-oriented, positive work environment. Continue Reading