Articles Posted in Employee Benefits

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is obsessed with wellness programs.

Or, as the EEOC likes to describe them “‘so-called’ wellness programs.” And not in a “yay, so-called wellness programs are super” kinda way.

No, in recent months, the EEOC has initiated litigation against companies (example, example, example) claiming that they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Disclosure Act by both requiring medical examination and penalizing employees who decline to participate.

Back in May 2013, one of the panel experts invited to speak at an EEOC public meeting on wellness programs lamented that, while the ADA allows employers to ask for medical information in connection with voluntary wellness programs, the meaning of “voluntary” merits further clarification.

EEOC Commissioner Lipnic too stressed that the EEOC has a “responsibility where possible to let stakeholders know the Commission’s position on these important questions.”

And Senate Republicans, well, they don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the EEOC on this issue.

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And so the EEOC has announced (here), that in February 2015, it will provide wellness-program guidance to employers “to address numerous inquiries EEOC has received about whether an employer that complies with regulations implementing the final Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules concerning wellness program incentives, as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will be in compliance with the ADA.”

The EEOC believes that its new guidance “will benefit entities covered by title I of the ADA by generally promoting consistency between the ADA and HIPAA, as amended by the ACA, and result in greater predictability and ease of administration,” while imposing “no new or additional risks to employers.”

As former EEOC Chair Berrien recognized at the EEOC’s public meeting in May, there has been “broad, bipartisan support for the expanded use of wellness programs to reduce health insurance and healthcare costs.” So, hopefully, the EEOC can strike a reasonable balance between the intent of these programs and federal anti-discrimination laws.

parainbow.jpgICYMI, yesterday, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled in this opinion that PA’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

How fitting that the first gay couple in Philadelphia to obtain a marriage license was Kerry Smith and Rue Landau, who serves as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR). Congratulations, Rue and Kerry!

So, now that, for the time being, gay marriage is legal in the Keystone State, how does this impact local employers? Find out after the jump…

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stetho.jpgMy Dilworth Paxson colleagues, Matthew Whitehorn and Richard Smolen, recently published an important alert about how keeping good employee records now can help protect your business from future “play or pay” penalties under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

You can view a copy of it here.

Tomorrow, I plan to be less lazy and actually have a post of my own.

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P.S. – If you’re on LinkedIn, consider joining the discussion of news, trends and insights in employment law, HR, and workplace, by becoming a member of The Employer Handbook LinkedIn Group. Guaranteed 50% less snarky than this blog.

*Guarantee does not apply in the continental United States or anywhere else where human life may be found. So, yeah, no guarantees.

theysaid.jpgNow, where did I put the mustard for my deep fried Red Bull battered Twinkie dog? (Like I would ever use ketchup for that?!?)

While I search for the spicy brown, after the jump, I’ll get you caught up on the latest employment-law news…

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Yesterday, I came across this article from Meghan Casserly on Forbes.com, which discusses the benefits that Google provides its employees and their families. One of my favorite bloggers in the HR/employment-law space, Mark Toth, lives by the mantra that companies that really love their employees are the best places to work. Well, then, look out Disney World, because Google must be the happiest place on earth!!!

Find out just how great it is after the jump…

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As of yesterday, July 1, 2012, covered employers in Philadelphia are now required to afford sick leave to certain employees. Here is a copy of the new law. You’ll also need to read this bill to have any chance at making heads or tails of the new sick-leave requirements. 

But, I’ll give you a brief summary of the new law after the jump…

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Today we have a guest blogger at The Employer Handbook. It’s Audrey Porterman. Audrey is the main researcher and writer for doctoralprograms.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Ohio State, with a degree in business management. Her current focus for the site involves an online phd program and english doctoral programs.

If you have comments on this blog post, you can email them directly to Audrey. And if you want to guest blog at The Employer Handbook, then email me.

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hangover.jpgIf you read this blog, then I trust you read other HR/Employment-law-related blogs. And, if you do that, prepare for a December-deluge of “Ten Tips for a Safe, Fun, and Legal Holiday Party.”

Screw all that! Ten tips is so last year. 

*** Big dork say “what” ***

“What! What!” After the jump, I’ve collected 72 ways to hold an office holiday party that won’t interfere with you ending the year on an HR high-note…

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