Is your payroll system ready for the new reporting requirements for group health benefit costs under The Affordable Care Act?  Under IRS guidance, the Form W-2 reporting of group health plan coverage costs will become mandatory this year.  Beginning with the 2012 Forms W-2 due in 2013, employers must report the aggregate value of certain employer-provided health coverage in Box 12 (with Code DD).  For many employers, this will involve substantial groundwork and will generally require that any needed payroll reporting changes be done before year-end.

Continue Reading Reminder – 2012 Form W-2 Reporting For Group Health Benefits

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law Senate Bill No. 559 (SB 559), which prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s genetic information.  While SB 559 significantly expands the protections from genetic discrimination provided under the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), at this time, its impact on most California employers is thought to be limited to the potential for greater damages to be awarded under it than under its federal counterpart.

Continue Reading California Passes Law Prohibiting Discrimination Based On Genetic Information

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits discrimination in hiring and employment decisions based on an individual’s genetic information.  So, for example, a company cannot refuse to hire a woman because her mother had breast cancer.  The law also prohibits requesting, requiring and/or purchasing genetic information, with limited exceptions, and prohibits disclosure of genetic information.  There are many open questions about the law, such as whether companies can have wellness programs anymore (restricted genetic information is routinely gathered as part of such programs) or whether it is a violation of the law for a supervisor to learn about genetic information by accessing an employee’s page on a social networking site, or by asking innocent questions about the employee’s health, such as “How are you?.”  The EEOC issued final regulations last week in an attempt to answer these and other questions under the law.  A short discussion follows.

Continue Reading EEOC Issues Final Regulations On The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act