February 18, 2014
Trade associations with their own private health insurance and employee benefit marketplaces will soon come equipped with a special section to assist their members with a variety of human resources management tools.
What types of new or evolving HR management challenges do your members face, regardless of their size? Here are just a few examples…
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Fortunately, those associations with their own gbac APG private health insurance and employee benefit marketplaces are already being kept up to date on every part of the ACA and whatever comes out of Washington.
Federal Tax on Severance Pay
Employers anxiously await a forthcoming decision by the Supreme Court as to whether severance payments made in connection with workforce reduction are considered “wages.” If the Court determines that such payments are not wages, any amounts paid would be exempt from federal FICA taxes, and employers and affected former employees may be entitled to refunds from the IRS.
Criminal Background Checks and EEOC Scrutiny
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been aggressive in its enforcement of the use of criminal background checks by employers. Certain state and local jurisdictions, however, have deemed such inquiries illegal. Nonetheless, employers that prefer to err on the side of caution should review their internal criminal background-check procedures to ensure full compliance with the EEOC’s updated Enforcement Guidance.
Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors
Similarly, changes in the economic climate are causing more employers to use independent contractors rather than employees. Unfortunately, the line between the two is often unclear and employees — and the government — are often denied certain protections, wages and monies as a result. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have both made worker misclassification a top priority. Employers should use the factors outlined by the Department of Labor to ensure workers are properly classified.
NLRB Action against Non-Union Employers
The past few years have seen increased enforcement action by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against non-union employers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Certain concerted activities of employees are protected under the NLRA, and employment decisions made on the basis of these activities are illegal. In particular, the NLRA protects employee comments on social media that are intended to engage fellow co-workers in conversations related to “concerted activities.” Consequently, the NLRB has been extremely critical of employer policies that attempt to discourage employees from using social media in this way.
These are only a few examples. As the world of managing a company, regardless of its size, becomes more complicated we can help your association and its members stay ahead of regulators and audits.
This is where you will find more information about association Human Resources management affinity program opportunities gbacapg.com/hrm/index.php Associations with private health insurance and employee benefits marketplaces will have these services available to employers as part of our value-added services in those marketplaces.