On January 3, 2019, the 115th Congress officially ends. Anything pending will terminate and will require introduction to the 116th Congress to be considered by committees and eventually both sides of Congress. Let’s take a look at what happened this past month as we round out 2018:
· A district court in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a healthcare reform) was unconstitutional. However, the law remains in place while the matter is appealed. See this summary from Associated Benefits and Risk Consulting for a rundown of your continuing obligations.
· EEOC reminded us that conditions related to pregnancy (think: preclampsia) can be a disability and warrant consideration of accommodations, including leaves of absence, even if the employee doesn’t yet qualify for FMLA. See The Employer Handbook blog for more details.
· On December 10, 2018, a new tax-relief package was introduced, which would delay the Cadillac tax to 2023; allow employees to use 401(k) funds to pay for a new a child; and allow smaller employers to ban together to create a common 401(k) plan. However, no further action has been taken on this bill.
· The tax reform bill that went into effect 1/1/18 modified tax-free benefits like qualified parking. IRS recently issued guidance for non-profit, tax exempt organizations related to the qualified parking benefits- see SHRM for more.
· For federal contractors, check out OFCCP’s new directives, which SHRM says will result in more audits next year.
· DOL’s Wage and Hour Division issued more opinion letters recently:
Don’t forget to check out the latest employment law update from Wisconsin SHRM’s legislative partner, Boardman Clark.