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Showing 7 posts from April 2013.

Another Facebook Case, Another Lesson Learned

There is no shortage of recent court rulings dealing with implications and consequences of social media. One of the latest comes from a New Jersey federal court and its holding should get employers’ attention. In Gatto v. United Airlines and Allied Aviation Servs., et al., No 10-CV-1090 (D.N.J., March 25, 2013), the plaintiff, Frank Gatto, was employed as a ground operations supervisor at John F. Kennedy Airport. He brought suit against United Airlines claiming that, while he was unloading baggage, a United Airlines aircraft caused a set of fueler stairs (owned by Allied Aviation) to crash into him. Gatto claimed that the resulting injuries rendered him permanently disabled. More >

Do You Need Employment Practices Liability Insurance?

According to the 2012-2013 Edition of Jury Award Trends and Statistics, the national median award for employment practice claims in 2011 was $325,000, up from $172,500 in 2010. This figure confirms what many in the employment law community already know to be true, that the number of employment practices claims has increased, and with that increase there has been an increase in the size of awards over the years as well.  There is no reason to believe that this trend will not continue, and no business should believe itself to be immune from employment practice claims.

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“Why Does She Get To Do That?” Handling Questions about Employee ADA Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires any employer with fifteen or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities, as long as doing so does not result in “undue hardship” to the employer. A reasonable accommodation can be any change in the work place that helps a person with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. The ADA has very strict guidelines about when and how an employer may inquire about an employee’s disability. What happens, though, when a non-ADA employee asks you, the employer, why another employee is receiving perceived preferential treatment? More >

Are You Going to Play or Pay? Part II

On Monday, we discussed how to determine if you are a “large employer” for purposes of the ACA’s employer mandate. Once you know whether the mandate is applicable, the next step is to know what you will be signing up for if you decide to “play.”  The mandate requires you to offer “minimum essential health coverage” that is “affordable” to all full-time employees in 2014. Of course, you need to know what these vague terms really mean. Here’s a general description:

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Are You Going to Play or Pay?

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) includes an “Employer Mandate” that every employer should understand. Although the mandate will not take effect until January 2014, now is the time to learn about it.  The mandate requires “large employers” to offer health coverage for “full-time employees” (and their dependents) or pay a penalty tax. The system has become known as “play or pay.” While the requirement may appear quite simple, do not be fooled. It requires a complicated analysis and employers will likely need professional advice to decide whether or not they are going to play or pay in the coming year.

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Employers’ deadline to file protective claim for 2009 FICA taxes is April 15, 2013

On September 7, 2012, the Sixth Circuit of Appeals (which encompasses Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee) held in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. that severance payments to former employees pursuant to an involuntary reduction in work force are not taxable “wages” for purposes of Medicare and Social Security withholding under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”).[1] This affirmed the earlier decision by the Western District Court of Michigan. [2] More >

For the Record—What Document Retention Policy Does Your Business Have in Place?

Business owners know that paperwork can be a lot of work. There are personnel files, insurance and benefit records, investigative files, government forms, payroll— and the list seemingly never ends. As a result, it is imperative that employers have a record retention policy in place before a mountain of paperwork overruns the office. All employers, and especially their Human Resources departments, should know not only where to store documents, but also how long to keep them and who is in charge of necessary cataloging. More >

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