By Florence Olsen
Employers face uncertainty about how some of the provisions of the 2010 law overhauling the nation's health care system affect collective bargaining agreements, now that the Supreme Court has upheld the law, practitioners told BNA June 28.
Companies that have not given the law's employer penalty provisions the attention they deserve will be seeking answers to how those provisions, especially those requiring employers to meet the law's “minimum value” standard, might affect collectively bargained agreements, said Darrell S. Gay, a labor and employment attorney and partner at Arent Fox in New York.
The law's provision requiring that employers with 50 or more full-time workers, or an equivalent number of part-time workers, pay a penalty if their employee health benefits fail a minimum value test creates a new duty for employers, Gay said. “It's a duty the employer has to address, one way or another, that [it] never had to address before,” he said.
“There's a host of questions and analysis that has to be conducted to help employers of all sizes” in analyzing their employee health benefits, Gay said. Some employers may be liable for penalties under PPACA “because of the level of contributions being made by employees against the actual wages they are making,” he said.
Another collective bargaining challenge for employers will be in complying with PPACA's automatic enrollment provisions, said Greta E. Cowart, a partner at Haynes & Boone in Dallas.
PPACA amended the Fair Labor Standards Act by mandating automatic enrollment in health benefits for all new full-time employees, but it did so without defining what constitutes a full-time employee under the FLSA or providing an exemption from automatic enrollment for employees whose employment is subject to a collective bargaining agreement, Cowart said.
PPACA's automatic enrollment provision “places the employer with a collectively bargained workforce potentially choosing between violating its collective bargaining agreement by implementing the automatic enrollment and incurring an expensive grievance defense,” Cowart said.
By Florence Olsen
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)