compliance Tag

HR Compliance Bulletin header

On Sept. 17, 2020, California enacted a new law (AB 685) that authorizes the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (the Division) to issue stop-work orders for facilities or operations that pose an imminent COVID-19 hazard to workers.

The new law also requires employers to:
  • Notify workers when they have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus in the workplace; and
  • Notify local public health agencies when a worksite has a COVID-19 outbreak.
Read More Button    

Employers that sponsor group health plans should provide certain benefit notices in connection with their plans’ open enrollment periods. Some of these notices must be provided at open enrollment time, such as the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). Other notices, such as the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) notice, must be distributed annually. Although these annual notices may be provided at different times throughout the year, employers often choose to include them in their open enrollment materials for administrative convenience.

To prepare for open enrollment, group health plan sponsors should be aware of the legal changes affecting the design and administration of their plans for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2021. Employers should review their plan documents to confirm that they include these required changes.

In addition, any changes to a health plan’s benefits for the 2021 plan year should be communicated to plan participants through an updated summary plan description (SPD) or a summary of material modifications (SMM). Health plan sponsors should also confirm that their open enrollment materials contain certain required participant notices, when applicable—for example, the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). There are also some participant notices that must be provided annually or upon initial enrollment. To minimize costs and streamline administration, employers should consider including these notices in their open enrollment materials.

HR Insights Blog HeaderIn response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new laws and issued new regulations and guidance about employee leave taken for COVID-19 reasons.

These provisions are in addition to the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion requirements passed on March 18 as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

On July 21, 2020, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2020-36 to index the contribution percentages in 2021 for determining affordability of an employer’s plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

For plan years beginning in 2021, employer-sponsored coverage will be considered affordable if the employee’s required contribution for self-only coverage does not exceed:
  • 9.83% of the employee’s household income for the year, for purposes of both the pay or play rules and premium tax credit eligibility; and
  • 8.27% of the employee’s household income for the year, for purposes of an individual mandate exemption (adjusted under separate guidance). Although this penalty was reduced to zero in 2019, some individuals may need to claim an exemption for other purposes.