|HR News Alert Brought to you by Summit Insurance Advisors|
|March 2016 Issue|
|ACA Information Reporting Reminder: First Employee Statements Due by End of March
As a reminder, employers subject to the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) information reporting requirements must furnish the first statements for the 2015 calendar year to employees on or before March 31, 2016. Information Reporting Requirements The ACA requires applicable large employers (ALEs)–generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents–to report information to the IRS and to their employees about their compliance with the “pay or play” provisions and the health care coverage they have offered, using Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Self-insuring employers that are not considered ALEs, and other parties that provide minimum essential health coverage, also must report information on this coverage to the IRS and to covered individuals, using Forms 1094-B and 1095-B. Compliance Deadlines The deadlines for calendar year 2015 are as follows:
Be sure to review our Information Reporting section for additional information, guidance, and Q&As.
|Charges of Discrimination Based on Disability Increase
Retaliation, race discrimination, and disability discrimination were the most commonly filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during fiscal year 2015. While retaliation remains at the top of the list, disability charges increased by 6% from last year. In total, the agency received 89,385 private sector workplace discrimination complaints. The laws enforced by the EEOC make it illegal for covered employers to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. New Employment Discrimination Guidance The EEOC has issued two new sets of guidance concerning discrimination in the workplace. The first set of guidance explains responsibilities concerning the employment of individuals who are (or are perceived to be) Muslim or Middle Eastern, including information on background checks, hiring and other employment decisions, harassment, and religious accommodations. A separate set of guidance addresses the rights of employees with HIV/AIDS when it comes to several workplace situations, including whether an employee is allowed to keep his or her condition private, the right to a reasonable accommodation if an employee’s condition could affect his or her job performance, and whether an employee could get fired if the employer knows that he or she has HIV/AIDS. More information about the EEOC laws is featured in our section on Discrimination.
|Updated Model CHIP Notice Available for Employers
An updated model notice is now available for all employers that provide group health coverage in states with premium assistance through Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), to inform employees of potential opportunities for assistance in obtaining coverage. The employer CHIP notice must be furnished to all employees annually before the start of each plan year. An employer may provide the notice concurrent with the furnishing of:
The updated model notice includes information on how employees can contact their state for additional information and how to apply for premium assistance, with information current as of January 31, 2016. Check out our Benefits Notices Calendar to learn about other federal notice requirements and to download additional model notices available for employers and group health plans.
|Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts
Conducting effective interviews helps to ensure you are hiring the best-qualified candidate for the job. As a general rule, information requested and obtained through the interview process should be limited to that which is essential for determining whether an applicant is qualified for the job. The do’s and don’ts below can help you make the most of your interviews and stay in compliance with the law:
If you have specific questions regarding illegal interview questions or how to conduct a lawful interview, please consult with a knowledgeable employment law attorney. Additional tips and guidelines related to the interview process can be found in our section on How to Interview.
|Online Tax Tools and Resources for Small Businesses
With tax season underway, now is a great time to check out the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center, a convenient way for small employers to find answers to tax questions, educational materials, and other tools to help run their businesses. Among the information and resources available on the website are:
Other resources available on the IRS website include a virtual small business tax workshop for learning about federal tax obligations, and a 12-month tax calendar for small business taxpayers with information on general business taxes, electronic filing and paying options, retirement plans, business publications and forms, and common tax filing dates. Our section on Employer Tax Laws provides additional information on an employer’s tax responsibilities.
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Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose.
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