Employees’ mistaken acknowledgment of independent contractor status precludes ERISA and COBRA claims

ERISA and COBRA claims brought by employees against Superior Healthplan, Inc., and Centene Corporation were dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, based on an agreement the employees had signed that acknowledged they were independent contractors, not common law employees. The employees were allowed to proceed with claims under the […]

Pre-shift wait time not compensation under Portal Act

The Portal-to-Portal Act (PPA) precluded the pre-shift wait time of three employees working on an oil refinery expansion project from being compensable under the FLSA, ruled the Fifth Circuit. The court observed that the waiting itself was neither tied to nor necessary to the erection and dismantling of scaffolding-the work the employees were employed to […]

2018 pension limitations not affected by Tax Cut and Jobs Act

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 does not affect the tax year 2018 dollar limitations for retirement plans announced in IR 2017-177 and detailed in Notice 2017-64. The tax law provides dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans, and it requires the Treasury […]

Report shows continued shift toward consumer-directed health care

The third annual “State of Employee Benefits” report published by Benefitfocus, Inc., shows a continued shift toward consumer-directed health care, with the rate of employers offering at least one high-deductible health plan (HDHP) increasing more than 20 percent since 2016. This growth primarily stems from employers offering HDHPs alongside traditional health plans, reflecting the increased […]

Court won’t reconsider denial of summary judgment to employer who arguably fired worker based on FMLA-qualifying absences

An employer who fired a worker after he received three disciplinary notices, two of which may have been issued based on FMLA-qualifying absences, failed to persuade a Kentucky federal court to reconsider its prior decision denying summary judgment on the employee’s FMLA interference and retaliation claims. The court rejected the employee’s assertion that the employer […]

Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – February 9, 2018

  About this Newsletter The Spencer’s Benefits Reports is a summary of the week’s news items posted in the WHAT’S NEW pages of Spencer’s Benefits Reports Online. For questions regarding this email service, contact Customer Service at (800)449-9525. NetNews Subscription Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail? Sign Up / Unsubscribe hr.cch.com Resources Online Store […]

Puerto Rico issues withholding certificates for 2018

Section 1062.03 of the 2011 PR IRC establishes the general obligation of all persons, whether individuals or entities, that in the performance of a trade or business or income-producing activity in Puerto Rico makes payments to another person for services rendered, to deduct and withhold 7% from said payments for the income tax. The Secretary […]

Retiring employees had vested right to benefits, but required scope of benefits is jury question

Retired county workers who alleged their former employer breached its promise of cost-free retiree health coverage for life at the same level the employee enjoyed on his last day of employment will present their contract claims to a jury, a federal district court in Georgia decided. The court found the employees had a vested right […]

Illinois updates information on withholding payment

The Illinois Department of Revenue has updated its informational publication that provides guidance on personal income withholding tax payment. Technical changes have been made to the publication to clarify the withholding requirements for a seasonal employer and to provide instructions on how to complete Forms W-2 and 1099. The publication covers: Who is an employer; […]

Workers’ confidence about the future of the health care system is low

Workers’ confidence about specific aspects of the health care system overall is mixed, and falls the further out into the future one looks, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The 2017 Health and Workplace Benefits Survey found that while 45 percent of workers are extremely or very confident about their […]