Workplace Wise - Iowa Employment Law Attorneys

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Federal Overtime Rule Blocked!

By Elizabeth A. Coonan and Ann Holden Kendell

Late yesterday, a federal court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule. This rule aimed to raise the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) salary threshold for the white collar exemptions from overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. 

This means that if you were contemplating re-classifying your employees due to a salary shortfall, you don't need to do that....yet.  We expect that the matter will be appealed but in the meantime, employers should follow the existing rule. 

Click here for a copy of the court’s Order.

Click here for a summary description of the existing rule.
Should you have any questions about the Order or its impact on your business, please contact Elizabeth A. Coonan, Ann Holden Kendell or the Brown Winick attorney with whom you work.

Monday, November 21, 2016

IRS Extends Due Date for 2016 ACA Employer Forms

By Cynthia Boyle Lande

On November 18, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-70, which extends the due date for certain forms required to be provided to employees of applicable large employers (or ALEs) under the Affordable Care Act. Under Notice 2016-70, the deadline for distributing the Form 1095-C to full-time employees was extended from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. Notably, the deadline for filing the Form 1094-C and 1095-Cs with the IRS was not extended. The IRS filings must still be completed by February 28, 2017 if filed by paper, or March 31, 2017 if filed electronically.

Notice 2016-70 also extends two other pieces of transition relief that applied during the 2015 filing season. First, individuals who do not receive a Form 1095-C in time to file their individual return may rely on other information received from their employer for purposes of reporting health insurance offered by their employer. Additionally, Notice 2016-70 extends the good-faith transition relief afforded to 2015 filings under the final ACA regulations. Employers who can show that they have made a good-faith attempt to comply with the ACA information reporting requirements will not owe a penalty for incorrect or incomplete information reported on their return or statement. This good-faith relief does not apply to employers who fail to file or furnish a statement by the applicable due date.

If you have any questions about your reporting or other obligations under the Affordable Care Act, you should contact your BrownWinickemployee benefits attorney.

Friday, November 18, 2016

USCIS Publishes Revised Version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

By Elizabeth A. Coonan

USCIS has published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Beginning 1/22/17, employers must use the new version. The new form bears the date 11/14/16.  Employers may continue to use the prior version until 1/21/2017 (dated 3/8/2013) or may adopt the new version immediately.

Changes to the fillable form include drop-down lists, on-screen instructions for each field (similar to other USCIS forms) and when the employer prints the completed form, a QR code is automatically generated. Substantively, the changes are subtle. For example, the new form asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” includes space to enter multiple preparers and translators and includes prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.

If you have questions about the new form, please contact me or the BrownWinick Employment Attorney with whom you work.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I-9 Form Update

By Elizabeth A. Coonan

USCIS has indicated that employers may continue to use the Form I-9 dated March 8, 2013, through January 21, 2017. After January 22, 2017, employers must use the revised form. Please contact Elizabeth Coonan at or 515-242-2408.

Monday, November 7, 2016

AARP Sues EEOC Over Final Wellness Program Rules

By Cynthia Boyle Lande

On October 24, 2016, AARP sued the EEOC regarding the final wellness program regulations issued by the EEOC earlier this year. While the final wellness program regulations have received criticism, this is the first major lawsuit filed against them. AARP claims that the final regulations violate laws aimed at protecting the privacy of employee medical information. AARP is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop implementation of the final wellness program regulations, which are set to take effect in 2017.

Under federal law, employers generally cannot require their employees to share medical information. Motivated in part by new HIPAA rules under the Affordable Care Act, many employers have started offering health assessments and other wellness programs that involve the sharing of employee medical information. The final wellness program regulations allow these types of programs so long as they are voluntary and meet certain other requirements. If the incentive under a wellness program is significant enough, it may be deemed essentially a requirement to share medical information. Under the final wellness program regulations issued by the EEOC, if the incentives under a voluntary wellness program do not exceed 30% of the cost of health insurance coverage, the program will not be deemed to require employees to share medical information.

We will continue monitoring this lawsuit and provide updates when they are available. If you have any questions about your wellness program, we would encourage you to contact any member of the BrownWinick employmentpractice group