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Informed Employer: January 30, 2019 Informed Employer: January 30, 2019

Informed Employer: January 30, 2019

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In the news

To Protect Worker Privacy, OSHA Drops E-Filing Rules
Saying it took the action to protect workers' privacy, OSHA has issued a final rule that eliminates the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from their OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA each year. Those establishments are still required to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses).
(Source: Occupational Health & Safety, 2019-01-24) Read the full article
New York Enacts Statutory Protections for Transgender Workers
New York state added gender identity and gender expression to the state's anti-discrimination law, making it illegal to deny people a job, housing, education or public accommodations because they are transgender. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had issued an executive order in 2015 adding gender identity to the state's anti-discrimination rules, but supporters wanted the change made in statute, since Cuomo's executive order could be rescinded by a future governor while the entire Legislature must vote to repeal a statute.
(Source: ABC News, 2019-01-25) Read the full article
Male Executives Concerned About Mentoring Women Amid #MeToo
The #MeToo movement, which burst into the spotlight in the fall of 2017, bringing down powerful figures in Hollywood, the media, politics, sports and more, continues to reverberate 15 months later. But in one unintended consequence, executives and analysts say, companies seeking to minimize the risk of sexual harassment or misconduct appear to be simply minimizing contact between female employees and senior male executives, effectively depriving the women of valuable mentorship and exposure.
(Source: The New York Times, 2019-01-27) Read the full article
Small Biz Owners Face Crackdown on Use of Independent Contractors
Small business owners who want to use independent contractors need to be sure these workers really aren't employees. Federal and state government agencies are on the lookout for businesses that use independent contractors, or freelancers, to evade Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes and workers compensation and disability insurance.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2019-01-28) Read the full article
Shifting Workplace Dynamics Changes Definition of 'Sick Day'
In recent years, the sick day has become something murkier in definition and more reflective of our highly competitive, 24-7 work lives. The shifting definition and expanding mobility of the office -- thanks to remote work and the rise of contractors in the gig economy -- is also making the sick day somewhat passé, at least for some jobs.
(Source: The New York Times, 2019-01-10) Read the full article
Employers Challenged by Increase in Workplace Drug Overdoses
An increase in overdoses -- as well as drug-related deaths -- in the workplace nationwide has led employers to evaluate their drug policies and agencies to expand their services to businesses. A Dayton Daily News examination of new federal labor data found that it was the fifth consecutive year that unintentional workplace overdoses and drug-related deaths both increased by at least 25 percent nationwide.
(Source: The Seattle Times, 2019-01-25) Read the full article
Employers Increasingly Making Workers' Mental Health a Priority
Mental illness has been a long-avoided topic in the workplace. But as rates of suicide, substance abuse, anxiety and depression increase, more employers are making these issues a top priority.
(Source: Workforce, 2019-01-17) Read the full article
Report Finds Employers Unaware of Workers' Caregiving Needs
A powerful new report by the Harvard Business School finds that businesses largely are disconnected from the caregiving needs of their employees. And, it finds that this lack of awareness and support not only hurts workers but results in significant costs to companies, including the loss of some of their most important employees.
(Source:, 2019-01-16) Read the full article
Workers Using Messaging Apps Challenge Employers' Communication
Employers should be aware that over half -- 53 percent -- of their deskless workers are using their messaging apps and social networks to communicate about work-related matters, an indication that the notion of "Bring Your Own Device" has expanded to include "Bring Your Own Messaging." Although that's not surprising in this day and age of HR consumerization, it does hint that corporate efforts to improve internal communications aren't aligning with the how workers actually get their jobs done, especially in public-facing industries like retail or hospitality.
(Source: HCM Technology Report, 2019-01-25) Read the full article
How Impactful? Seventh Circuit Limits ADEA Claims by Job Applicants

Emmanuel Boulukos
Manolis Boulukos

On January 23, 2019, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal circuit covering Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin) issued a decision limiting the type of age discrimination claims that may be brought by applicants for employment. In Kleber v. CareFusion Corp., the court of appeals held that applicants for employment (as opposed to current or former employees) may not maintain "disparate impact" claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Notably, while Kleber represents a significant narrowing of the ADEA's protections for applicants, it does not hold that applicants have no protections under ADEA (as suggested by several major news outlets), and it does not mean that employers within the Seventh Circuit are insulated from ADEA claims by applicants.

Read more here.


Medicare: Year In Review

Ann Stewart
Ann Stewart

It's that time of year—Time to reflect on 2018 and look forward to 2019.

We saw several changes to the Medicare Secondary Payer collection system in 2018. Here are some highlights:

  • Two new contractors were hired: one to address conditional payment reimbursement efforts, another to address future medical care obligations and Medicare Set Aside agreements. Understandably, the contractors have referred matters to the Department of Treasury more aggressively, and there are reports of increased calls and letters from collection agencies seeking reimbursement for outstanding conditional payments made by Medicare.
  • New Medicare cards were issued to beneficiaries in an effort to protect Medicare beneficiaries' confidential information.
  • An updated conditional payment portal was implemented to assist Medicare beneficiaries in obtaining information and resolving conditional payment issues faster.
  • A national study concluded that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service's (CMS) processing time has improved, and it issued more conditional payment letters this year.

Read more here.


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