Under Developing IRS Guidance (Not Final), an Employer Would Be Able to Fully Satisfy ACA’s Employer Mandate Without Maintaining Group Health Plan

ACA

Takeaway Message: A recent IRS notice provides a future path for employers to avoid ACA employer mandate penalties by reimbursing employees for a portion of the cost of individual insurance coverage through an employer-sponsored health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). While the notice is not binding and at this stage is essentially a discussion of relevant issues, it does represent a significant departure from the IRS’s current position that an employer can only avoid ACA employer mandate penalties by offering a major medical plan.

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Michigan Brings Legalized Recreational Marijuana to the Midwest

Michigan

Last month, Michigan became the 10th state, and the first in the Midwest, to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The new statue, which became effective on December 6, 2018, is known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (“the Act”). Part of the Act’s stated intent is to decriminalize the personal possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older. The Act, among other things, allows individuals age 21 and older to possess or use up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and to possess and store not more than 10 ounces in their residence. Notably, the Act does not authorize the consumption or smoking of marijuana in public places. Continue reading this entry

New Year, Old Test? NLRB’s Continuing Efforts to Roll Back Obama-Era Joint Employment Standard Hit Another Roadblock

NLRB

If the NLRB were a TV drama (imagine the ratings!), the most recent Christmastime decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals would have been a season-ending cliffhanger. It leaves the future of joint employment in doubt and is yet another reminder that employers must remain vigilant around joint employment issues.

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Negotiating a Labor Contract: Finding the Style that Suits You

Contract

Day one of labor negotiations for a new labor contract. The prior three years had been uneventful, very few grievances, a good business climate, and the two negotiating committees chatted amicably as they waited for their representatives to start the meeting. The company lead negotiator spoke first, welcoming everyone, pledging to work in good faith toward a new contract. The union international representative, who was new to the relationship, spoke next. Out of the blue, he started shouting: “I just want everyone to understand we are sick and tired of the company’s bull****. We are sick and tired of getting screwed over. I mean, it is total bs. We don’t get paid s*** and the supervisors at this place are f***ed up. We are going to put a stop to it right here and right now in these negotiations.”

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Strict Updates to Massachusetts’ `Ban the Box’ Law

Box

In 2010, Massachusetts was one of the first jurisdictions to adopt a “Ban the Box” law, which prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal record on an employment application. The purpose of these laws is to help applicants with criminal records overcome certain barriers in obtaining employment. Continue reading this entry