Posts in Affordable Care Act.

By David Phippen of our Metro D.C. Office.

While the year is still young, here are 15 New Year's resolutions that employers may want to make:

1. Make sure your "independent contractors" are really independent contractors. "Independent contractors" are under scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, state and local agencies, plaintiffs' lawyers, and union organizers. A misclassification can cost you back taxes, back pay (including overtime), and back benefits, as well as penalties and interest. 

2. Review your email policies. The NLRB recently found that employees generally have a right to use employer email systems during non-working time in support of union organizing and concerted activity. The Board's decision means that many employer email use policies, as currently drafted, would probably be found to violate the National Labor Relations Act if an unfair labor practice charge were filed or a union tried to organize employees and argued that the employer's email policy interfered with the organizing efforts. In light of the new "quickie election" rule that the NLRB issued last month, both union and non-union employers would be well advised to review their email policies and revise as needed. (The "quickie election" rule is scheduled to take effect on April 14, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other employer groups, including the Society for Human Resources Management, filed suit on Monday seeking to block the rule.)

It's not too late to register for our webinar on the NLRB's new rules on "quickie elections" and employee email use. The webinar, featuring labor attorneys Tim Davis, Jonathan Martin, and Dan Murphy, is from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern tomorrow (January 8). Be there, or be square! 

Oh, you better watch out! A lot of employers have been naughty. I checked the court dockets, and would you believe all of these employment lawsuits filed in the week before Christmas! Santa Claus.flickr.Vanessa Pike-RussellCC

Cratchit v. Scrooge & Marley (Madison Co. (London) OH Ct. of Common Pleas). Plaintiff asserts claims against employer under Americans with Disabilities Act, contending he was harassed and ...

Clocks.Paris Clocks.flickr.NickCC
Tick-tock . . . time to get a new lawyer!

Employers, if you're getting advice like this from your employment lawyer, do you know what time it is? Time to get a new employment lawyer.

"Never give in on unemployment."

This is terrible advice on so many levels. First, an employee who doesn't have even the relatively minimal income provided by unemployment is going to be that much more likely to ...

Good news! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced in its 2015 regulatory agenda that it will be issuing proposed regulations on the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act on wellness programs. The proposed regs are expected in February.Smoking man

To read about the continuing saga of the ADA/GINA and employer ...

Employers can hope, but that doesn't necessarily mean change.

Tuesday night's Republican rout in the midterm elections was big news, but is it much ado about nothing from an employer's standpoint? Here are a few reasons not to become too giddy (if you were happy about the outcome) or too depressed (if you weren't):

1. Although the GOP will have control of the Senate, it does not have the 60 senators needed to override a presidential veto. So, even though House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), presumably the next Senate majority leader, are saying they'll work to repeal or partially roll back the Affordable Care Act, expect to see an actual vote that is largely symbolic. The President is expected to veto any but the most incremental legislation, and the Republicans won't be able to do anything about it unless they can find six moderate Democrats to join them. Are there any moderate Democrats left after Tuesday?

Elephants playing.flickr.SamHowzitCC
The GOP on Tuesday night. "Par-TAAAAAAAAAY!"

Hobby_Lobby,_Trexlertown

I was interviewed yesterday by Colin O'Keefe of LXBN-TV on the impact of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, and I did a "quick and dirty" post on the decision the day it was issued. Since that time, the decision has been sharply criticized in the traditional media and on social media.

Here are six reasons why I think the decision is not the end of the world, even if you are strongly in ...

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, found today that the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, to the extent that it applies to closely-held corporations, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. And in another 5-4 decision, the Court found that the First Amendment does not allow home healthcare workers to be compelled to pay agency fees to the Service Employees ...

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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