DOL Publishes Guidance on $15 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractor Employees

On Jan. 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2022-1 to help federal contractors understand and implement a $15 minimum wage rate for their employees by Jan. 30, 2022, as required by Executive Order (EO) 14026.

Federal Contractor Employee Minimum Wage

Existing law requires federal contractors to pay at least the established minimum wage rate to workers performing work on or in connection with certain covered federal contracts for construction or services. EO 13658 authorized the DOL to adjust the applicable minimum wage rate annually based on inflation. The Jan. 1, 2022, EO 13658 minimum wage rate is $11.25 ($7.90 for tipped workers).

Increase to $15 per hour

EO 14026 raises the hourly minimum wage for workers performing work on or in connection with certain covered federal contracts for construction or services. EO 14026 establishes an initial minimum wage of $15 ($10.50 for tipped workers) as of Jan. 30, 2022. This rate will also be adjusted annually based on inflation. EO 14026 shares many similarities with EO 13658 but has some key differences relating to coverage and applicability. The DOL has published a final rule to implement the provisions of EO 14026.

FAB 2022-1

Federal contractors can use FAB 2022-1 to learn more about who is covered by EO 14026 and the $15 minimum wage as well as employee notice, recordkeeping and antiretaliation requirements

By |January 17th, 2022|Compliance, Employee Benefits, Human Resources, Legislation|Comments Off on DOL Publishes Guidance on $15 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractor Employees

Agencies Issue FAQs Regarding Coverage of Over the Counter COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests

On December 2, 2021, President Biden announced that federal agencies would soon issue guidance regarding the availability of coverage/reimbursement from group health plans and health insurance carriers for individuals who purchase over the counter, at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests (“OTC COVID-19 tests”).  Accordingly, on January 10, 2022, the agencies released “FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 51, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Implementation” which, among other things, requires group health plans and health insurance carriers to reimburse participants, beneficiaries, or enrollees (“Individuals”) for no less than eight (8) OTC COVID-19 tests per calendar month beginning on January 15, 2022 (i.e., for tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022).

Background

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the FFCRA requires group health plans (self-funded, fully-insured, grandfathered, and non-grandfathered plans, but not excepted benefits such as dental or vision) and health insurance issuers (“Plans and Carriers”) to cover testing or certain other items or services intended to diagnose COVID-19 without cost sharing (deductibles, copays, or coinsurance), prior authorization, or other medical management requirements.  It also permits the agencies to implement the FFCRA through sub-regulatory guidance, program instruction, or otherwise.  The CARES Act expanded the FFCRA to, among other things, include a broader range of reimbursable COVID-19 diagnostic items and services that must be covered without cost-sharing, prior authorization, or medical management during the public health emergency.

In 2020, the agencies implemented several FAQs intended to serve as statements of policy to implement the above-referenced requirements under the FFCRA and CARES Act.  Since that time, the FDA has authorized at-home OTC COVID-19 diagnostic tests that individuals can self-administer and self-read to diagnose COVID-19.  Accordingly, per the agencies, the FAQs …

By |January 13th, 2022|Affordable Care Act, Compliance, Employee Benefits, Employee Communications, Health Care Reform, Legislation, Medical, Wellness|Comments Off on Agencies Issue FAQs Regarding Coverage of Over the Counter COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests

Legal Alert- Temporary Enforcement Policy on CAA Compensation Disclosures

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) created new requirements for brokers and consultants, beginning on Dec. 27, 2021, to disclose to ERISA-covered group health plan sponsors any direct or indirect compensation they may receive for referral of services. On Dec. 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a temporary enforcement policy for these new requirements.

By |January 6th, 2022|Compliance, Employee Benefits, Employee Benefits Adviser, Employee Communications, Legislation, Medical, U.S. Department of Labor|Comments Off on Legal Alert- Temporary Enforcement Policy on CAA Compensation Disclosures

Legal Update-6th Circuit Dissolves 5th Circuits Stay of OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine ETS; OSHA Intends to Move Forward with Enforcement

 

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to dissolve the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). OSHA announced it intends to move forward with implementation of the ETS and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the ETS before January 10 (which is now the deadline for employers to, among other things, develop their written COVID-19 vaccination policies). Further, if an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with ensuring its employees are fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, OSHA will not issue citations for any employees who are not fully vaccinated before (or if the employer is not testing prior to) February 9, 2022. While petitioners have already appealed to the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court), it is unclear at this time whether the Supreme Court will grant certiorari to review the decision or, if it does grant certiorari, whether it will overturn the decision.

By |December 21st, 2021|Broad Reach Benefits,