2018 Employment Law Updates
Obamacare Employer Mandate.
The recent tax cut legislation under the Trump Administration eliminates Obamacare’s individual mandate for health insurance, the provision that taxed individuals who elect not to purchase health insurance. The new tax legislation, however, did not affect Obamacare’s employer mandate. Accordingly, Employers with 50 or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) must still provide affordable coverage to their full-time employees (those averaging 30 or more hours per week) or face a substantial penalty.
I-9s Inspections Are Back.
The U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement ("ICE") Agency is expanding its inspections of employers’ Form I-9s in the Houston area. Employers would be wise to self-audit I-9s before ICE knocks on their door. The agency has also indicated that it now intends to prosecute employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Contact Anthony Stergio if you need assistance in preparing for possible actions by ICE.
OSHA Inspections Down Nationally, But Maybe Not Locally.
You may have seen reports from NBC and other national media outlets that OSHA inspections are expected to decrease nationally due to the Agency’s loss of 4% of its inspectors. The Trump Administration has made no effort to fill these vacancies. But, as we first mentioned in October 2017, the local office of the Department of Labor is actually increasing its ranks through the use of "detailing." Detailing is the practice of transferring agents for 2 to 3 week stints to areas where the agency believes there exists a heightened need, such as Houston. The DOL plans to continue this practice in the Houston area through the end of the year.