Polsinelli at Work |  Labor & Employment Blog

Employers, whether large or small, face an ever-growing web of workplace regulations and potential entanglements with employees. With employment litigation and advocacy experience as our strength, preventing legal problems from arising is our goal.  Our Labor & Employment attorneys advise management on complex employee relations and workplace issues. 19 offices; 800+ attorneys. 


Will Your Part-Time and Seasonal Employee Policy Result in an ACA Penalty?

Will Your Part-Time and Seasonal Employee Policy Result in an ACA Penalty?

By Jamie Zveitel Kwiatek and Alexia Noble

In recent guidance, the IRS advised that policies implemented by employers to prevent part-time and seasonal employees from working 30 hours or more per week may not be sufficient to prevent liability under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate.

If an employer is an applicable large employer (ALE), minimum essential health coverage must be offered to at least 95 percent of full-time (30 hours per week) employees (FTEs). An employer becomes an ALE when the company employs at least 50 employees (computed by aggregating part-time employees and determining full-time equivalents) who work on average a minimum of 30 hours per week. The ACA penalizes employers who fail to provide minimum essential coverage to their FTEs through a penalty tax structure. 

To prevent such penalties, some employers have implemented policies to restrict part-time and seasonal employees (non-FTEs) from working an average of 30 or more hours per week. However, the IRS recently specified that these policies are not enough to avoid liability. Actual hours count – even if performed in violation of an employer’s policy.

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Three Employee-Friendly Bills That May Be Affected By Upcoming Elections

Three Employee-Friendly Bills That May Be Affected By Upcoming Elections

By: LaToya Alexander

In the past few years, Democratic members of Congress have introduced several decidedly pro-employee bills, none of which have yet passed, but which may be impacted by the elections in November. Such bills were first introduced in the 113th Congress when Republicans controlled the House of Representatives and Democrats controlled the Senate. Versions of these bills were reintroduced in the 114th Congress, although Republicans control both the House and the Senate. The November election not only will decide the next President, but also may change the balance of power in both houses of Congress.

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Three Things To Know About Massachusetts’ New Pay Equity Law

Three Things To Know About Massachusetts’ New Pay Equity Law

By Cary Burke

On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts became the latest State to pass a so-called “pay equity” law. Massachusetts’ new law, which is modeled after pay equity statutes already implemented in other states, also amends the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA). Even though this new legislation only applies to employers with employees working in Massachusetts, all employers should take notice, as “pay equity” legislation is being enacted in an increasing minority of states. 

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Pokémon Go: While Employees are Out “Catching ‘em all,” Who is Watching Your Proprietary Information?

Pokémon Go: While Employees are Out “Catching ‘em all,” Who is Watching Your Proprietary Information?

By: Lilian Davis

On July 6, 2016, Pokémon Go was released in the United States. Almost overnight, the location-based, augmented reality game became a national, if not global, phenomenon. You cannot turn on the television, listen to the radio, read news headlines, or even walk out your front door without hearing about the game or seeing individuals using their smartphones and tablets to “find” and “capture” digital creatures that virtually appear at specific locations.

While Pokémon Go may sound like a harmless, albeit distracting, “video game,” it poses a risk to cyber security and raises concerns about data vulnerability in company databases and systems.

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The Four Things You Might be Forgetting When Calculating the “Regular Rate” of Pay

The Four Things You Might be Forgetting When Calculating the “Regular Rate” of Pay

By Emily Knoles

Employers with nonexempt employees are familiar with the concept of regular rate of pay when calculating overtime for these employees. The regular rate of pay is more than just an employee’s hourly rate. Rather, the regular rate of pay includes the employee’s total pay for the pay period plus any additional compensation the employee earned over the total number of hours the employee works. 

The pitfall when conducting this analysis often occurs in determining what counts as “additional compensation.” Even if the employer has a policy to pay overtime, issues still arise when determining how to properly calculate and pay overtime. There are four types of compensation that should be included when calculating the regular rate of pay.

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