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Sorting Out the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace – Forum Provides Answers (and More Questions!)

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

On Thursday evening June 13, I had the pleasure of participating in a public forum sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service entitled, “Preparing for the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace: A View from Wisconsin.” As one of three panelists, I was asked to talk about how employers large and small are preparing […]

Walk-Off Home Run Beats Employer in the Bottom of the Ninth

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

All sports fans know that in baseball, it is a critical advantage to be the home team. This is because the home team bats last in the ninth inning and has the last crack at hitting the game winning home run. A recent case in New York (Allen v. Chanel, Inc.) illustrated why it is […]

Supreme Court Hands Employers Victory: Court Adopts Narrow Definition of “Supervisor” in Sex Harassment Cases

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its long-awaited opinion in the Vance v. Ball State case (find a copy of the opinion here). The Court established the proper definition of “supervisor” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which governs, among other things, sexual harassment under federal law). The […]

How the DOMA Decision Affects Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

This morning, in a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. On equal protection grounds, the Court held that if a state has recognized same sex marriages, then the federal government must honor those marriages with respect to federal […]

Is the NLRB Alive? Supreme Court Will Decide

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

On Monday, the United State Supreme Court granted certiorari (meaning they have agreed to hear a case) on whether the appointments by President Obama in January 2012 to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are valid appointments or improper application of the “between” session presidential appointment process. President Obama appointed two members to the NLRB […]

Treasury Department Postpones ACA Employer Mandate To 2015

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

The Treasury Department announced late Tuesday afternoon that it was delaying until 2015 the employer “shared responsibility” mandate, the Affordable Care Act mandate for large employers, until 2015. This means that employers with more than 50 full time equivalents will NOT be subject to penalties in 2014 for failing to offer coverage, or failing to […]

Must You Accommodate the “Bored” Worker?

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

I wrote several weeks ago about the changes made to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and the suggestion that caffeine withdrawal was now a disability that required some level of accommodation from an employer. Another change is the recognition of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a new disability. This diagnosis includes […]

One-Year Delay for Pay or Play Does Not Affect October 1 Opening of the Marketplace (Maybe)!

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

The Obama Administration’s announcement of the one year delay for the employer shared responsibility requirements (the “pay or play” mandate) did not directly impact the October 1 opening of the health insurance exchanges (now known as the Marketplace). Last month I had the opportunity to sit on a panel at a public forum here in […]

Waiting For The Affordable Care Act Marketplace To Open

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

Late last month I returned to the scene of an earlier crime (October 2012) and once again met with employer-members of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce to talk about the Affordable Care Act and the October 1 opening of the Marketplace (formerly known as the Exchange). I think it is safe to say […]

Partially Deaf Worker May Require Accommodation

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

I wrote several blogs about potential areas of new disability claims relating to the use of caffeine and a new mental health disorder that may affect non-productive employees. A recent federal court case held that a partially deaf retail store pharmacy technician was entitled to file a disability claim when her employer placed the employee […]