Tag: benefits

Employers Should Review Benefits Plans And Other Policies Affecting Employees In Same-Sex Marriages As New IRS Guidance Implementing U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision Becomes Effective Today, September 16, 2013

Here’s something that should be at the top of your to do list on this Monday morning:  make sure your benefits and other employee policies are in compliance with new guidance from the IRS that becomes effective today relating to federal tax treatment of same-sex marriages under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor.  In Windsor, the Supreme … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Presents Webinar On Employer Group Health Plans After U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholding “Obamacare”

As everyone who was not on Mars this summer knows, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a surprising and historic decision upholding key provisions of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act ("ACA").  To help employers navigate the requirements of the law now that it has the stamp of approval of the Supreme Court, and to provide other updates … Continue Reading

When Does Alcohol or a Controlled Substance Preclude Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Like most states, Utah’s Worker’s Compensation statute prohibits an employee from recovering disability compensation when “the major contributing cause of the employee’s injury” is the employee’s unauthorized use of alcohol or a controlled substance. See Utah Code Ann. § 34A-2-302(3)(b). If any amount of a controlled substance or its metabolites is found in an injured employee’s system … Continue Reading

How Does the Heath Care Reform Package Impact Employers?

The health care reform legislation passed by Congress places significant new responsibilities on employers, group health plans, insurers, and individuals. The Stoel Rives Employee Benefits team has developed the following overview of the most significant issues affecting employers and group health plans, in order of effective date. (click on CONTINUE READING" for the full text of the overview). Effective … Continue Reading

Washington Domestic Partnership Law Impacts Employee Benefits and Family Leave

Washington voters recently approved Referendum 71, giving registered domestic partners all of the rights and responsibilities of married couples under Washington state law.   Prior domestic partnership laws gave registered domestic partners limited rights and responsibilities such as hospital visitation, health care decision making, inheritance and community property rights.  The new law includes all of the rights … Continue Reading

Extension of Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Partners Falls Short of Goals

The memorandum issued by President Obama yesterday extends some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees, including access to a government insurance program that pays for long-term conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, and to sick leave to care for a sick same-sex partner or a non-biological child.  However, the extension did not provide eligibility … Continue Reading

Obama To Extend Job Benefits to Same-Sex Partners

The New York Times is reporting that President Obama will sign an order later today extending some — but not all — job benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees.  According to reports, the order will come short of providing full health care coverage to same-sex partners.  Check back in with the Stoel Rives … Continue Reading

New Legislation Aims to End Taxation of Domestic Partner Health Benefits

Under the current tax code, employer-provided health care benefits for employees, their spouses and dependent children are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes; however, health care benefits provided to unmarried domestic partners are subject to both payroll tax (for the employee) and to income tax (for the domestic partner beneficiary).  But if passed, the proposed Tax Equity for Health Plan … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clears Pension Plan That Differentiated Pregnancy Leave Prior to the PDA

Today the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employer does not violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) if it pays pension benefits based in part on pre-PDA calculations that gave employees less retirement credit for pregnancy leave than for other types of medical leave.  Click here to read the Court’s decision in AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen.  The … Continue Reading

New COBRA Subsidy Forms and Information Available

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has just released a salvo of new forms and information on the COBRA subsidy.  Click on the titles below to download: COBRA Premium Reduction Fact Sheet Job Loss Poster (8½" x 11") Loss Poster (11" x 17") Flyer for Employers • Flyer for Employees COBRA Continuation Health Coverage FAQs for Employees … Continue Reading

Help On Stimulus Package’s COBRA Assistance Available

We have more information for you on the provisions of the stimulus bill affecting the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). First, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (part of the Department of Labor) has published this website with information on COBRA continuation coverage assistance.  The Web site also includes a "Subscribe To This Page" link, allowing … Continue Reading

Stimulus Package Includes COBRA Subsidies

Among the provisions of the new stimulus package signed by President Obama are subsides for unemployed workers continuing their health care benefits through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).  The key points of the package are: Who is eligible?  Employees who have been involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 with … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Six L&E Cases This Term

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its 2008-2009 term on October 6 with six labor and employment law cases on its docket.  (For docket information and questions presented, click on the name of the case).  Locke v. Karass:  may a public employee union may charge nonmembers for representational costs for litigation expenses incurred by the international union on … Continue Reading

Congress Passes Bills Requiring Health Plans to Cover Mental Illness

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate both passed laws that will require employee health plans to offer the same benefits for mental illness as they do for other medical conditions.  The House approved H.R. 6983 by a 376-47 vote, and the Senate passed another version, H.R. 6049 (a tax and energy bill containing … Continue Reading
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