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Informed Employer: The Things They Carried Informed Employer: The Things They Carried

Informed Employer: The Things They Carried

Ice Miller website

Skills Gap May Actually Be a Lack of On-the-Job Training
For much of the twentieth century, it was up to industry to pluck smart, capable college graduates and turn them into quality workers. In recent decades, on-the-job training has declined and companies want new hires to be able to "hit the ground running."
(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2014-08-19) Read the full article
Obama Considering Immigration Changes Requested by Business Groups
President Barack Obama is considering key changes in the nation's immigration system requested by tech, industry and powerful interest groups, in a move that could blunt Republicans' election-year criticism of the president's go-it-alone approach to immigration. Following a bevy of recent White House meetings, top officials have compiled specific recommendations from business groups and other advocates whose support could undercut GOP claims that Obama is exceeding his authority to help people who have already violated immigration laws.
(Source:, 2014-08-21) Read the full article
Companies Need to Prepare for New Regs During 2015 Open Enrollment
Accurately informing employees of available health benefits, communicating changes to a corporate health program and instructing workers how to choose and change their personal benefits package are critical tasks that employers must accomplish during open enrollment, according to Mike Sinkeldam, a principal at New York-based consulting firm Mercer LLC. All existing materials should be updated to reflect 2015 requirements.
(Source: BNA, 2014-08-22) Read the full article
Obama Ensures Contraceptive Coverage When Employers Object
The Obama administration will ensure access to birth control coverage for employees of closely held companies that object on religious grounds to contraception, one of the health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The move follows a Supreme Court ruling in June that allowed certain for-profit companies to refuse to cover contraceptives due to the religious beliefs of their owners.
(Source: Reuters, 2014-08-22) Read the full article
E-Cigarettes Pose Challenge to Smoke-Free Policies
E-cigarettes are challenging the scientific community to think about the relative harm of different tobacco products and how to advise the public moving forward. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help employers, who are trying to figure out how e-cigarettes should be considered in the context of smoke-free campus policies.
(Source: Human Resource Executive Online, 2014-08-22) Read the full article
Survey Finds 1 in 6 Companies Will Offer 'Skinny' Health Plans
Nearly one company in six in a new survey from a major employer group plans to offer health coverage that doesn't meet the Affordable Care Act's requirements for value and affordability. Many thought such low-benefit "skinny plans" would be history once the health law was fully implemented this year, but instead 16 percent of large employers in a survey said they will offer lower-benefit coverage along with at least one health plan that does qualify under ACA standards.
(Source: Kaiser Health News, 2014-08-13) Read the full article
Workers Value 401(k)s, But Don't Spend Time Researching Them
When it comes to long-term relationships with their 401(k)s, workers, it seems, are kind of like bad boyfriends. They're eager to get started and say the relationship is really, really important, but their attentions fade.
(Source:, 2014-08-21) Read the full article
States Vary in Workplace Standards for Domestic Violence Issues
State legislatures and courts have been creating a right not to be terminated simply because of domestic violence fears, but standards vary. On the other hand, numerous court decisions impose a duty of reasonable care (negligence standard) on employers to provide a safe workplace.
(Source: The Huffington Post, 2014-08-22) Read the full article
More Companies Offering Workers Cash to Take Vacations
Most offices have at least one -- the die-hard who refuses to take a vacation. The best cure, managers say, is a mandatory-vacation policy. More companies are even offering cash to finance employees' getaways.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-08-12) Read the full article
Defying Convention Study Finds Managers Should Mingle With Workers
A new study commissioned by Dale Carnegie Training (DCT), a business consultancy firm, interviewed some 1,500 employees and business leaders from companies of various sizes located across North America and found that the most important factor in an employee feeling engaged in his or her organization and team was whether the immediate supervisor seemed to actually care. "Managers who show an interest in both your professional and personal life tend to have more engaged employees," says DCT senior VP of marketing Piera Palazzolo.
(Source:, 2014-08-21) Read the full article
The Things They Carried
Michael Tooley

The death of Robin Williams shocked many of us, who could scarcely imagine that the same genius that gave voice to the magical genie from Aladdin, the inspiring English teacher from Dead Poet's Society, and the wise counselor from Good Will Hunting could lead to such a lonely end. There are lessons from this tragedy, though, that leaders and members of every team would do well to consider.

Read the full article HERE.



Ice Miller Attorneys to speak at Indiana Health and Wellness Summit

Ice Miller attorneys Michael Tooley and Melissa Proffitt Reese will be speaking at the Indiana Health and Wellness Summit on Oct. 7-8 at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis.

Click HERE for more information.


CMS Alert: WCMSA Portal

The Medicare Secondary Payor (MSP) laws require all parties to consider Medicare’s interest when resolving a worker’s compensation case that includes future medical expenses. The recommended method to address Medicare’s interest in future medical care is a Worker’s Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Agreement (WCMSA), a financial agreement that allocates a portion of a worker’s compensation settlement to pay for future medical services related to the claim. On August 19, 2014 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published an informational Alert announcing enhancements to the WCMSA submissions portal. Effective October 6, 2014, WCMSA users will be able to enter prescription drug information directly into the portal and calculate the proposed prescription drug portion of the WCMSA proposal. Although many of the details need to be finalized before the October 6, 2014 effective date, this announcement seems to reflect a positive move toward predictability of pricing prescription medications, something users have requested for some time.

The August 19, 2014 Alert can be found HERE.

Please contact Ann Stewart or any of the Ice Miller worker's compensation attorneys for more information.


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