A recent amendment to Illinois law and an Illinois Supreme Court ruling have clarified the meaning of "misconduct" that disqualifies a former employee from collecting unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. While both the new law and the ruling provide needed guidance, employers in the state may find it harder to fight a benefit claim on this basis if they do not have specific policies in place.
A downward trend in the size of settlements reversed last year, as plaintiffs figure out ways to work around a Supreme Court ruling that made it more difficult for plaintiffs to prove commonality to bring a class action.
The US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin has ruled that wellness programs that are part of an insurance benefit plan may fall under the "safe harbor" exception to the Americans with Disabilities Act's (ADA) general prohibition that a covered employer require a medical examination, unless the examination is job-related and consistent with business necessity.
On December 29, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2016-4, which extends the time an employer has to provide employees with Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, or Form 1095-B, Health Coverage. The deadline for filing the forms (also required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)) with the IRS has been extended, as well.
President Obama has signed an omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) that will significantly impact payroll operations. The Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), which represents half of the bill, permanently extends parity between qualified (tax-free) employer-provided parking and commuter benefits and substantially revises the rules for filing Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which is the other half of the omnibus bill, amends the Affordable Care Act.
The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury have jointly published comprehensive final rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which essentially combine and solidify interim rules, several pieces of guidance and Questions and Answers issued since 2010, when the ACA was first enacted.
President Barack Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which repeals the automatic enrollment requirement mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), increases OSHA penalties and addresses employer premiums with respect to pensions.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the tax year 2016 cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and other inflation-adjusted amounts. The pension plan limitations will not change for 2016 because the increase in the cost-of-living index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment
The IRS has announced the 2016 annual cost-of-living adjustments made to several employee benefits and taxable amounts, based on changes to the Consumer Price Index. These are the maximum amounts that may be excluded in 2016 from an employee's taxable income for specific benefits.
The IRS has launched a helpful new resource on its website chock full of information for employers that qualify as applicable large employers (ALEs) under the Affordable Care Act - ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs).
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