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Informed Employer: Inflexible Leave Policies Violate the ADA, Right? Maybe Not Informed Employer: Inflexible Leave Policies Violate the ADA, Right? Maybe Not

Informed Employer: Inflexible Leave Policies Violate the ADA, Right? Maybe Not

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Companies Continue Increasing Employee Health Care Premiums
More employees are getting hit with higher health insurance premiums and co-payments, and many don't have the money to cover unexpected medical expenses, a new report finds. More than half of companies (56 percent) increased employees' share of health care premiums or co-payments for doctors' visits in 2013, and 59 percent of employers say they intend to do the same in 2014, according to the annual Aflac WorkForces Report.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-05-28) Read the full article
Bill Would Reauthorize Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
The nation's workforce development system would receive a long-awaited overhaul under a bipartisan bill announced by key committee leaders in both houses of Congress. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is the result of months of negotiations, and it would finally reauthorize -- for the next five years -- a law passed in 1998 that has been getting by with year-to-year appropriations since it was originally due for reauthorization in 2003.
(Source: Christian Science Monitor, 2014-05-21) Read the full article
Unions Battle with Employers Over Covering ACA Costs
Disputes between unions and employers over paying for new costs associated with the Affordable Care Act are roiling labor talks nationwide. Unions and employers are tussling over who will pick up the tab for new mandates, such as coverage for dependent children to age 26, as well as future costs, such as a tax on premium health plans starting in 2018.
(Source: Fox News, 2014-05-27) Read the full article
Many States Considering Laws to Protect Workers from Bullying
Bullying is a behavioral problem often associated with children in grade school, but according to a recent Zogby poll, more than a quarter of American workers say they've experienced abusive conduct at work. Now, many states are considering laws that would give workers legal protections against workplace abuse.
(Source: NPR, 2014-05-27) Read the full article
Google Takes Steps to Educate Its Workers About Diversity
Google has had more trouble diversifying its workforce than its computer scientists have had writing programs that respond to search requests in the blink of an eye or designing cars that can navigate traffic without a human behind the wheel. To address this issue, Google has put more than 20,000 employees through 90-minute training sessions during the past year to help them become more aware of their biases.
(Source: ABC News, 2014-05-29) Read the full article
Employer Health Care Mandate Could Be Unnecessary, Study Says
When the Affordable Care Act was unveiled, business groups railed against the provision that requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance for their full-time workers. A study called "Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?" has been published by the Urban Institute, a center-left think tank based in Washington, D.C., and it lists a number of reasons why dropping the mandate might be a good idea.
(Source: NPR, 2014-05-28) Read the full article
Contract Workers Becoming More Common in New Economy
While the U.S. economy has improved since the Great Recession ended five years ago, part-time and "contract" workers are filling many of the new jobs. Contract workers made up less than half of one percent of all U.S. employment in the 1980s but now account for 2.3 percent.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-05-24) Read the full article
Companies Match Younger Workers With Older for Tech Mentorships
There is a growing digital divide in workplaces -- between twentysomethings with social-media savvy and tech-impaired older managers. To address this, more companies are trying reverse mentoring, pairing young employees with older colleagues to work on tech skills.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-05-28) Read the full article
Michigan Lawmakers Join Other States in Raising Minimum Wage
The minimum wage has gotten a boost in Michigan, the latest in a growing number of states where lawmakers voted this year to raise the wage. The state's hourly minimum wage will increase in phases from $7.40 until it reaches $9.25 by 2018.
(Source:, 2014-05-28) Read the full article
Inflexible Leave Policies Violate the ADA, Right? Maybe Not


Tami Earnhart


For the past several years, employers have been told of the risk of having an inflexible leave policy. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) takes the position that employers violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when they enforce an inflexible policy that provides for a specified period of leave, whether it be 12 weeks, 6 months, or 12 months. The EEOC has demonstrated that it is serious in its position by filing claims against many employers who terminated employees with disabilities at the end of the specific leave period. Some large and well-known employers have been the subjects of these lawsuits, some of which have settled. Recently, the Tenth Circuit (which covers the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah) gave employers a glimmer of reason, finding that an inflexible leave policy may not be a problem. As with everything in employment law, however, the devil is in the details.

Read full article here.



Medicare: Mandatory Reporting Changes Begin in October

On February 28, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) increased the Section 111 mandatory reporting threshold for liability Total Payment Obligation to Claimant (TPOC) for settlements reached on or after October 1, 2014 from $300 to $1,000. Prior to amending the reporting requirements, CMS issued an alert on February 18, 2014 which increased the threshold for lien resolution for physical trauma-based claims from $300 to $1,000. The impact to reporting entities is that as of October 1, 2014, fewer settlements will need to be reported.

The change does not impact claims alleging exposure, ingestion, and implantation, therefore, you must continue to report settlement of claims based on asbestos, pharmaceutical, or environmental which are over $2,000. The worker's compensation reporting thresholds remain at $2,000.

To learn more, please contact Ann Stewart or any attorney in Ice Miller’s Workers Compensation Group.


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