Regulatory Issues

Regulatory Issues

Current Issues

Proposed Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA’S)

Together the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury Department proposed a new regulation that would expand the use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA’s) in a way that would help individual selected and portable health coverage.

The proposed regulation does several things. It is open to all employers, there are tax advantages, reimbursement for certain qualified medical expenses, and it mitigates risk by implanting safe guards.

The regulation includes all employers. Most small businesses that offer coverage, only offer one type, by eliminating the administration burdens this regulation could change that and potentially help employers be able to offer more choices for employers.

It also would extend tax advantages like exclusions or premiums and benefits received from federal income and payroll taxes to HRA’s of individual market insurance premiums.

The proposed regulation expands the usability of health reimbursement arrangements in a way that gives working Americans and their families greater control over their healthcare by providing an additional way for employers to finance quality, affordable health insurance. Read the full brief prepared by Catherine Treadwell, J.D., Director of Government Affairs.

Overtime Rule Changes

The Department of Labor is examining changes to The Fair Labor Standards Act exceptions for overtime pay. The current threshold is set at $27,000, meaning that anyone who makes more than that in a year and is considered to be an executive, administrative, or a professional, is exempt from the current overtime pay laws.

However, in 2016, the Obama Administration under the DOL, issued a new rule that increased the salary threshold for the exemption from $23,600 to $47,474 per a year, but it was enjoined in federal court during the official rule making process. In July 2017 the DOL issued a Request for Information and is currently holding listening sessions where companies can come and comment publically.

Read the full brief prepared by Catherine Treadwell, J.D., Director of Government Relations. If you or your company would like to let the DOL know how these changes could affect you, please email Catherine at ctreadwell@asa.net.

Joint Employer Standard

On September 24, 2018 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Joint Employer Standard. The Joint Employer Standard is used to determine when two or more entities are jointly liable for the terms and conditions of employment over the same group of employers, such as ability to hire, fire, and supervise employers.

Under the current rule, the joint employer liability triggers on indirect or even unexpected potential control over the terms and conditions of employment. This opens up joint liability for companies even if it was not intended.. The NLRB trying to change the rule back to the pre 2015 era, which would prevent third parties from being liable. The joint employer standard would only trigger with direct control over the employee. Read the full brief prepared by Catherine Treadwell, J.D., Director of Government Affairs.

The NLRB is accepting comments through December 13, 2018. ASA has signed on to the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace comments, as well as, planning to submit our own. Please contact Catherine Treadwell, Director of Government Affairs at ctreadwell@asa.net with any questions.

California Proposition 65

On August 31, 2018 the new Clear and Reasonable Warnings of Proposition 65 went into effect. Proposition 65 is a regulation in the State of California intended to address the growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative is officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The law requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, and for businesses with 10 or more employees to provide warnings when they knowingly and intentionally cause significant exposures to listed chemicals.

To assist are members, the following is being provided on the new Clear and Reasonable Warning requirements and the impact it has on are members who distribute product in the State of California or distribute product on the internet to consumers located in the State of California:

ASA 2017 Webinar on the New Regulations

Overview of the New Requirements

ASA is committed to keeping our members informed on the implementation of this new regulation. Please contact Jim Kendzel at jkendzel@asa.net with your questions or feedback.

OSHA Tracking of Workforce Injuries and Illnesses Proposed Rule

On September 28, 2018 ASA submitted comments on the proposed OSHA rule, Tracking of Workforce Injuries and Illnesses. In addition to ASA submitting comments expressing concern about the proposed rule, the ASA has also signed on to additional letters being submitted by the National Association of Manufactures (NAM) and the Coalition for Workforce Safety which support the comments directly noted in the ASA letter.

Short-Haul Hours of Service

On October 10, 2018 ASA submitted comments of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed rules related to drivers hours of service (HOS). ASA opposes the proposed rules due to lack of flexibility, potential safety issues and additional transportation costs associated proposed action.

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