On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act. Title XVIII of the Act overturns a portion of ACA regulations (IRS Notice 2013-54) that prohibits employers from offering employees standalone health reimbursement arrangements (i.e., HRAs that are not integrated with a group health plan). This change will allow eligible small employers the opportunity to contribute money to HRA accounts of their employees that can be used to pay health insurance premiums as well as deductibles, copayments, and other out-of-pocket medical expenses.
In our blog entry dated November 23, 2016, Coolidge Wall announced that a federal judge in Texas had issued an injunction halting the Department of Labor's new wage and hour regulations from being implemented on December 1, 2016, as anticipated. These amended regulations purported to increase the threshold salary requirement for most exempt positions from $455 to $913 per week, which would have impacted more than an estimated four million workers throughout the country. Many employers were poised to implement changes in compliance with the amendments, and others had already implemented such changes in advance of the effective date.
The statute governing forcible entry and detainer claims, often referred to as evictions, allows landlords to file complaints against their tenants for a number of different reasons, including breaching a lease agreement, failing to pay rent, or engaging in illegal drug activity. If the landlord is a corporation, that corporation is required to be represented by an attorney in filing complaints for eviction and appearing before the Court. Non-lawyers are not permitted to file legal papers or represent the interests of a corporation before a Court except under very limited circumstances which do not apply to eviction actions. See http://www.coollaw.com/blog/2016/09/claim-limits-in-ohio-small-claims-court-increase-to-6000--.shtml.
By April 30, 2016, profit sharing, 401(k), and money purchase pension plans using pre-approved IRS documents were required to restate their plans to comply with the Pension Protection Act of 2006. If an employer finds this year end that the company's plan was not timely restated, the error can be corrected with the IRS. More importantly, if the error is found and corrected before April 30, 2017, the IRS fee to correct the error is reduced.
On August 24, 2016, the federal government published the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council's Final Rule and the Department of Labor's (DOL) Final Guidance implementing President Obama's July 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673. The Final Rule and Guidance imposes numerous and substantial burdens on federal contractors.