I recently authored an article for Connector, the official magazine of the Steel Erectors Association of America, outlining the types of government contracts and workers impacted by Executive Order 14026 (EO 14026) that increased the minimum hourly wage for certain federal contractors from $10.50 to $15.00. This increase went into effect on January 30, 2022 and is intended to promote “the government’s procurement interests in economy and efficiency by contracting with sources that ‘adequately’ compensate their workers.”

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Effective October 1, 2022, certain providers participating in the Florida Medicaid program will be required to pay direct care workers a minimum of $15 per hour. Below we’ve outlined which organizations are subject to this new requirement and other relevant implementation details.

Continue Reading Florida Medicaid Providers: New $15 Minimum Wage Requirements

I recently authored an article for BenefitsPRO outlining guidance for employers ahead of the anticipated rulemaking from the Biden administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) related to the classification of independent contractors.

Continue Reading Potential New DOL Classification for Independent Contractors

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers individuals with “gender dysphoria.” According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender dysphoria describes an uncomfortable conflict between a person’s assigned gender and the gender with which the person identifies.

Continue Reading Appeals Court Rules Transgender Workers May Be Covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act

I recently discussed the appeals request in Wit v. United Behavioral Health, a case that could set a precedent for the behavioral health industry and access to mental health and addiction treatment, for a Behavioral Health Business article. In February 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that United Behavioral Health violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by incorrectly denying behavioral health claims. The company appealed to the 9th Circuit, and in March 2022 a three-judge panel reversed the decision. The plaintiffs are now appealing that decision, requesting that the full panel of judges review the case.

Continue Reading Wit v. United Behavioral Health Appeals

We recently authored an article for Washington Legal Foundation examining whether federal law preempts state prescription drug coverage laws that would apply to employer-sponsored group health plans. According to a provision in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), state laws that “relate to” employee benefit plans are preempted by ERISA standards. Unfortunately, as we pointed out in the article, this “related to” statement is broad and vague.

Continue Reading State Prescription Drug Legislation and ERISA Preemption

On July 12, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 FAQs and as a result, revised certain earlier guidance regarding permissible COVID-19 testing, workplace screening, and return to work certifications. The EEOC explained that this revised guidance was due in part to the evolving circumstances of the pandemic but cautioned that these revisions were not intended to suggest that workplace safety policies related to COVID-19 were no longer warranted.

Continue Reading EEOC’s Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace

On July 15, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee entered a preliminary injunction barring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Education (ED) from enforcing guidance documents issued to interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (Title IX) to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Starting July 1, 2022, employers that maintain group health plans (plans) and health insurance issuers (issuers) will be required to disclose pricing information on a public website in the form of three machine-readable files (MRFs). This requirement is one of the Transparency in Coverage Final Rules (the Rules) released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) in November 2020.

Continue Reading Enforcement of the Transparency in Coverage Public Disclosure Requirement Rapidly Approaching

We are excited to share the final installment of our video series, Conducting Workplace Investigations | Step #10: Communicate Results. This series, 10 Steps Every Company Should Take When Conducting Workplace Investigations, is intended to guide HR leaders faced with investigating a complaint between coworkers, such as harassment or inappropriate conduct, through the investigation process.

Continue Reading Conducting Workplace Investigations: Step #10 – Communicate Results (VIDEO)