Viewing posts from: January 2016

Snow Day Office Closure and its Impact on FMLA and FLSA

Posted January 27, 2016 by Megan DiMartino

Holiday Star OnlyThe question arises on how to deal with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for snow day office closures. If an employee would take an entire week off on FMLA leave, then a snow day would be treated as a holiday and counted as an FMLA day the same. If an employee is using FMLA leave in increments of less than a week, a snow day will not count against their FMLA entitlement, unless the employee is expected to come to work.

For FLSA, non-exempt employees only get paid for the hours they work. If the office is closed for a snow day and non-exempt employees do not work, the employees do not get paid. If an employee works remotely, the employee should get paid for the time worked. An employer should ensure to instruct non-exempt employees not to work remotely, or remind those employees who work remotely to correctly track their time worked. If non-exempt employees require to remain on-call, they must be paid. Exempt employees who performed work during the week that the office is closed to to a snow day get paid in full for the week. If exempt employees have accrued paid time off, an employer may require the exempt employees to use paid time off for a snow day. If employees have not accrued any paid time off, an employer cannot cut pay. Decreasing exempt employees pay can convert the employee’s status into non-exempt, which can lead to liability for overtime.

Source: The Employer Handbook by Eric B. Meyer | How do you handle FMLA and FLSA for a snow day office closure?

For more information contact info@crawfordadvisors.com. The information contained in this post, and any attachments, is not intended and should not be misconstrued as legal advice. You should contact your employment, benefits or ERISA attorney for legal direction.

Do Employers Need to Offer Their Abroad Employees Coverage per the ACA?

Posted January 22, 2016 by Megan DiMartino

NAHU - PPACAEmployers who have employees represented globally outside of the United States can face certain challenges in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). U.S. citizen employees working abroad and being paid from foreign sources, their employers may not be subject to ACA regulations. Any employer in the U.S. who has at least 50 full-time employees is subject to section 4980H of the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions. An employer who has employees domestically and stationed abroad, the analysis depends on the location of the hours of service and source of employee compensation.

When an employer determines whether or not they need to offer coverage to an employee stationed abroad, they should research the number of hours worked and the income source for the hours of service. Employers can exclude any hours of service performed for an abroad employee to an extent that the related compensation comes from a source outside of the U.S., no matter what their citizenship is. If the employee’s income comes from a U.S. source, hours of service must be included for the purpose of determining whether or not the employee is covered under the employer’s mandate. Employers should refer to a qualified tax advisor in determining whether or not income can be derived from a domestic or foreign source.

Any employee that shifts from a domestic to foreign employer can be treated as terminated if the transfer is presumed to last for at least 12 months, and if the employee’s pay will come from a foreign source. With this result, an employer does not have to offer coverage to the employee and will not be subject to any penalties. After the 12 months, if the employee wants to transfer back to the U.S. employer company, they will qualify as a new employee. Whether or not they must be offered coverage will be decided by the rules for all new employees.

While tracking employee hours of service for individual employees can be taxing for global employers, penalties for failing to offer coverage to employees can be costly. If one has employees working abroad, they should take the time and do an analysis on whether they can receive coverage or not.

Source: GraydonHead | Under the ACA, do employers need to offer coverage to employees working abroad?

For more information contact info@crawfordadvisors.com. The information contained in this post, and any attachments, is not intended and should not be misconstrued as legal advice. You should contact your employment, benefits or ERISA attorney for legal direction.

Crawford Advisors Webinar Series – Voluntary Benefits: Choosing the Right Fit

Posted January 20, 2016 by Megan DiMartino

Businessman pressing an Benefits concept button.Join Crawford Advisors’ Director of Voluntary Benefits, Stephen Ivey, for this complimentary, one-hour webinar, as he explores how to design, communicate and administer voluntary plans customized specifically to an employer’s core benefits program instead of the more common one-carrier-fits-all approach in the market.

Topics include:

  • Primary vs. Supplemental
  • State of the Market
  • Employer Risks / Concerns
  • Communication & Enrollment Strategies
  • Administrative Platforms

Webinar Details:

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2016
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm EDT
  • No Cost to Attend
  • This webinar is open to all HR and Finance Professionals – but not to brokers, agents, TPAs and PEOs.

Register Now Callc Red

2016 Updated Healthcare Reform Timeline (Version 15) & Employer Mandate

Posted January 19, 2016 by PHaynes

 

PPACAIf you want to see 10 pages of health reform in a 1 page timeline (well, 1 page for Employer and 1 page for Employees) then please visit our website (www.crawfordadvisors.com/news).  But, if you are looking for details specific to just a certain year or plan, then you can’t do better than this implementation timeline from The Kaiser Family Foundation.

Also, we’ve had several requests for a condensed version of the Employer Mandate rules and examples.  That is included here too.

Crawford Advisors’ Timelines & Employer Mandate Details

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**Don’t forget that the IRS indexed the Shared Responsibility fines under the Affordable Care Act. (See our 12/21/2015 post for complete details).

Department also update the payments due under ACA’s Shared Responsibility Structure

  • Question 13:  Under § 4980H(c)(5), in the case of any calendar year after 2014, the applicable dollar amounts of $2,000 and $3,000 under § 4980H(c)(1) and (b)(1) are increased based on the premium adjustment percentage as defined in § 1302(c)(4) of the Affordable Care Act (4.213431463 for 2015* and 8.316047520 for 2016**) rounded to the lowest multiple of $10. What are those amounts for calendar years 2015 and 2016?
  • Answer 13:  For calendar year 2015, the adjusted $2,000 amount in §4980H(c)(1) is $2,080 ($2,000 x .04213431463 = $84.27 plus $2,000 rounded down to $2,080), and the adjusted $3,000 amount in §4980H(b)(1) is $3,120 ($3,000 x .04213431463 = $126.40 plus $3,000 rounded down to $3,120).  For calendar year 2016, the adjusted $2,000 amount in §4980H(c)(1) is $2,160 ($2,000 x .08316047520 = $166.32 plus $2,000 rounded down to $2,160), and the adjusted $3,000 amount in §4980H(b)(1) is $3,240 ($3,000 x .08316047520 = $249.48 plus $3,000 rounded down to $3,240). Treasury and IRS anticipate that adjustments for future years will be posted on the IRS.gov website.
  • 2015  Sledge-hammer fine $2,080
  • 2015  Tack-hammer fine $3,120 ($260/month)
  • 2016  Sledge-hammer fine $2,160
  • 2016  Tack-hammer fine $3,240 ($270/month)

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