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MA is latest of 19 states to pass laws protecting pregnant and nursing mothers

Dive Brief:

  • Nineteen states now have laws protecting pregnant women and nursing mothers, Engineering News-Record (ENR) reports.
  • The Massachusetts House passed a bill on May 10 requiring employers to provide nursing mothers with a private, non-bathroom area. The bill also requires employers to provide mothers with reasonable accommodations, such as a lighter workload, unless the employer would face undue hardship. The state’s Senate is expected to approve the bill.
  • According to ENR, the states’ laws extend protections for pregnant and nursing mothers beyond federal law, and most of them — 13 out of the 19 — were passed within the last four years.

Dive Insight:

Legal protection for pregnant women and nursing mothers is yet another area of employment law in which states have taken their own measures. That growing list includes paid family leave, “ban the box” and pay equity laws.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers in traditionally male-dominated jobs, such as construction or architecture, might require private areas to take care of maternal issues, like pumping breast milk. They will almost certainly need to be given less strenuous tasks and assignments in addition to more frequent breaks.

Kathleen Dobson, safety director at Alberici Constructors, told ENR that some employers don’t understand the federal rules; employers might not even know that pregnant workers are considered disabled under the law and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations. Wal-Mart employees recently sued the company for denying pregnant workers the same reasonable accommodations as other disabled workers.

With 13 out of 19 states passing laws protecting pregnant women and nursing mothers within a relatively short time, more states will likely follow. Employers must monitor possible changes in their own state’s laws, which often are more extensive than federal law.

Source: HR Dive

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The Affordable Care Act

This month, as 2014 comes to a close, we are taking a look back at some of the most important blog topics we have covered both in case you missed them, and to help you prepare for 2015!

The Internal Revenue Service has recently released the maximum fine amounts for those persons who forego health care coverage.The-Health-Care-Reform-and-Medicare-resized-600.jpg

Individuals earning below the tax filing threshold of $10,150 will not pay a penalty. Others earning above $10,150 will pay based on earnings over the tax threshold of $10,150.

For taxes filed for the year 2014:

  • Individuals earning between $10,150 and $19650, there is a flat penalty fee of $95 per adult (47.50 per child under 18). Thus, a single adult making $19,000 would pay $95 (1×95); a family of two adults at $19,000 would pay $190 (2×95); and a family of one adult and one child at $19,000 would pay $142.50 (95+47.50). The maximum penalty per family with a household income below $19,650 is $285.
  • Individuals earning above $19,650, will be required to pay a penalty equal to 1% of their annual income. For example, a single adult employee earning $40,000 per year would be required to pay $400 (40,000×1%). Whereas, a family of six with two adults each making $50,000, the total income would be $100,000. Therefore the family would pay $1,000 (100,000×1%).

The maximum penalty for 2014 is $2,448 per individual annually, which is 1% of a yearly income of $244.800. Earnings above that for individuals are capped at the individual maximum penalty.

The maximum family penalty issued by the IRS was $12,240 for a five-member family, and will only impact households with a combined yearly income of $1.2 million or more.

*Remember these penalty rates are only for the year 2014, and will increase in 2015 and beyond. The 2015 penalties will be the greater of $325 per person or 2% of total income. 2016 Rates will rise further to the greater of $695 per person or 2.5% of total income. The years following 2016, the penalty rates will be adjusted according to inflation.

Call HR Strategies today for assistance! 770-339-0000 or visit our website at www.hr-strategies.com.

Refusing Health Care Coverage? Be Prepared to Pay

The Internal Revenue Service has recently released the maximum fine amounts for those persons who forego health care coverage.The-Health-Care-Reform-and-Medicare-resized-600.jpg

Individuals earning below the tax filing threshold of $10,150 will not pay a penalty. Others earning above $10,150 will pay based on earnings over the tax threshold of $10,150.

For taxes filed for the year 2014:

  • Individuals earning between $10,150 and $19650, there is a flat penalty fee of $95 per adult (47.50 per child under 18). Thus, a single adult making $19,000 would pay $95 (1×95); a family of two adults at $19,000 would pay $190 (2×95); and a family of one adult and one child at $19,000 would pay $142.50 (95+47.50). The maximum penalty per family with a household income below $19,650 is $285.
  • Individuals earning above $19,650, will be required to pay a penalty equal to 1% of their annual income. For example, a single adult employee earning $40,000 per year would be required to pay $400 (40,000×1%). Whereas, a family of six with two adults each making $50,000, the total income would be $100,000. Therefore the family would pay $1,000 (100,000×1%).

The maximum penalty for 2014 is $2,448 per individual annually, which is 1% of a yearly income of $244.800. Earnings above that for individuals are capped at the individual maximum penalty.

The maximum family penalty issued by the IRS was $12,240 for a five-member family, and will only impact households with a combined yearly income of $1.2 million or more.

*Remember these penalty rates are only for the year 2014, and will increase in 2015 and beyond. The 2015 penalties will be the greater of $325 per person or 2% of total income. 2016 Rates will rise further to the greater of $695 per person or 2.5% of total income. The years following 2016, the penalty rates will be adjusted according to inflation.

Call HR Strategies today for assistance! 770-339-0000 or visit our website at www.hr-strategies.com.

Relay For Life is Next Friday!

Every good act is charity. A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.

Moliere

ribbon click here

Click the Ribbon to Securely Donate Online to Relay For Life! Once on the page, click the orange “Donate Now” button. Then click the next orange “Donate to this Team” button! We appreciate your help in reaching our goal. Every little bit gets us closer to finding a cure!

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