Recent Blog Posts
- Marijuana Legalization Takes Another Step Forward in 2018 Elections In the November 2018 mid-term elections, state ballot measures for the legalization of marijuana were approved in three states – Michigan, Missouri, and Utah – and rejected in one state – North Dakota.
Michigan is now the 10th state in the country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana under certain conditions. Michigan residents approved Proposal 1, allowing for recreational marijuana to be consumed, purchased, or cultivated by those 21 and over. The new law went into effect December 6, 2018,... More
- Mixed Results for Employers on Marijuana – Two Federal Courts Refuse to Find State Marijuana Laws Preempted by Federal Law Two recent federal cases illustrate why employers – even federal contractors – must be cognizant of relevant state-law pronouncements regarding the use of marijuana (i.e., cannabis) by employees. While one case found in favor of the employer, and the other in favor of the employee, these decisions have emphasized that state law protections for users of medical marijuana are not preempted by federal laws such as the Drug-Free Workplace Act (DFWA). Employers must craft a thoughtful and considered approach to... More
- IRS Extends Deadline for Furnishing 2018 Forms 1095 to Individuals and Good Faith Transition Relief The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has released Notice 2018-94, which extends the due date for furnishing the 2018 Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C to individuals from January 31, 2019 to March 4, 2019.
This extension is automatic, and, as a result, the IRS will not formally respond to any pending extension requests for furnishing the forms to individuals. In addition, filers do not need to submit a request or documentation to take advantage of this extension. Despite the extension, the IRS... More
- Proposed Rules Loosen Restrictions on Hardship Withdrawals Based on proposed regulations released by the U.S. Department of Treasury on November 14, 2018 (the “Proposed Regulations”), participants in 401(k) and 403(b) plans may find it easier to get hardship withdrawals as early as plan years beginning after December 31, 2018. Hardship withdrawals are permitted on account of financial hardships if the distribution is made in response to an “immediate and heavy financial need” and the distribution is necessary to satisfy that need. The Proposed Regulations incorporate various prior... More
- Can I Bring Cannabis from Canada Home? Cannabis has been legalized in Canada as of October 17, 2018. What does this mean for employers with employees traveling to and from Canada? Can travelers from Canada to the United States with legally purchased cannabis simply drive to a state where recreational or medical use of cannabis is legal? The bottom line: Employers should remind employees that they cannot cross into the United States with Canadian cannabis under any circumstances.
The framework created in Canada did not change laws regarding... More
- New York’s High Court Strikes Down Governor Cuomo’s “Soft Cap” on Executive Compensation for Health Care Providers Receiving State Funds, Yet Upholds Limitations Last month, the New York State Court of Appeals invalidated a state Department of Health (DOH) regulation that restricted certain health care providers contracting with the state from paying executives more than $199,000 annually, regardless of whether the funds came from the state or not. However, the Court upheld two other DOH regulations; one that limits providers from using public tax-payer money directly to pay executives in excess of $199,000 annually, and another that limits the amount of public funds... More
- DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs Clarifies Current Position on Website Accessibility Our colleague Joshua A. Stein at Epstein Becker Green has a post on the Retail Labor and Employment Law blog that will be of interest to our readers in the health care industry: “DOJ Finally Chimes In On State of the Website Accessibility Legal Landscape – But Did Anything Really Change?”
Following is an excerpt:
As those of you who have followed my thoughts on the state of the website accessibility legal landscape over the years are well aware, businesses in all industries... More
- Group Health Plans Cannot Categorically Exclude Coverage for Gender Dysphoria, Say Two More Federal Courts Employers and health plans should be aware that two recent federal decisions have recognized that the non-discrimination provision in the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Plans cannot categorically exclude coverage for procedures to treat gender dysphoria.
In Boyden v. Conlin, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin found that the state’s exclusion of gender reassignment-related procedures from the state employees’ health insurance coverage constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Section 1557 of... More
- Plan Sponsors and Participating Employers: Executive Order May Be a Gift President Trump’s recently issued Executive Order entitled “Strengthening Retirement Security In America” (the “EO”) may be helpful to businesses that sponsor or participate in multiple employer retirement plans (“MEPs”), as well as single employer plans, even if the sponsors and employers are not small business owners. While the stated purpose of the EO, which was issued on August 31, 2018 (the “EO Date”), is to “promote retirement security for America’s workers,” the EO directs attention to small business owners (less... More
- Guidance on Employers’ Obligations Under the New York City’s Disability Discrimination Laws Issued Our colleagues Susan Gross Sholinsky, Nancy Gunzenhauser Popper, and Amanda M. Gómez at Epstein Becker Green has a post on the Retail Labor and Employment Law blog that will be of interest to our readers in the health care industry: “NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Guidance on Employers’ Obligations Under the City’s Disability Discrimination Laws.”
Following is an excerpt:
The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”) recently issued a 146-page guide titled “Legal Enforcement Guidance on Discrimination on the Basis of... More