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How to Correct ACA Reporting Errors (Forms 1094 and 1095)

With the ACA information reporting deadlines for the 2016 calendar year now past (barring an individual extension), employers should- if they have not already done so- confirm the accuracy of all information returns and correct any errors as soon as possible with both the IRS and their employees. This is true even if there are no penalties associated with filing mistakes as long as the employer demonstrates that it made a good faith basis in completing the required ACA forms.  This “good faith” basis was extended to the 2016 filing year by the Obama administration earlier this year. 

 

EEOC Enforcement and Litigation Measures Continue To Increase

On January 18, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released detailed breakdowns for the 91,503 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received in fiscal year 2016. The EEOC details its annual litigation recap every January and this is the second year in a row that the number of charges filed with the EEOC has increased. For the most part, EEOC activity has been on the uptick for the last decade. So, what does this mean for employers?

Sexual Harassment Investigations

I have had to deal with a few client sexual harassment issues these past two months. As such, I thought it would be appropriate to review a few important items when faced with a potentially delicate sexual harassment complaint. 

Liability Implications Under USERRA

Given the tension that is starting to brew with our new regime and certain foreign governments, it is a good time for a brief overview of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 since it applies to all public and private employers regardless of size.  

Medicare Reporting to CMS Due

Medicare prescription drug coverage is available to all individuals who are enrolled in Medicare. Medicare has special rules that apply to those eligible individuals who have group health plan coverage through their own employer or through a spouse's employer. Group health plans of employers with 20 or more employees must offer these Medicare eligible employees the same health insurance benefits under the same conditions that younger workers and spouses receive.

In other words, an employer cannot discriminate against older employees by assessing higher premiums or excluding certain benefits simply on the basis of them reaching Medicare age.

Phishing Email Disguised as Official HIPAA Audit Communication

It’s a bad enough day when you get a letter from a government agency - it gets worse when you open it and find out you are getting audited. Now, you have to look out for an “audit” letter that is a scam. 

There is a scam email circulating where the email targets employees of HIPAA covered entities and their business associates. It appears to be an official government communication, but it most certainly is not.

ADA Wellness Program Reminder

I wrote a blog article earlier this year disclosing the new notice requirement for employers who operate wellness programs. Specifically, employers subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that offer a wellness program that collects employee health information are reminded that they must provide a new notice to employees as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.  

Ready for New I-9s?

This fall, a revised I-9 form was finally produced by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS has indicated that effective January 22, 2017, employers must begin to use the revised version of Form I-9.

Between now and January 21, 2017, employers have the option to use the revised form or to continue to use the prior version dated March 8, 2013. But again, starting January 22, 2017, the new form must be used for all new hires and re-verifications.