Featured Topic: Chambers/Associations Healthcare 2014 Solution

Click here to view my webinar on the ACA Small Employer Problem

As a consequence of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), 2014 will bring many difficult healthcare challenges for businesses too small to absorb new costs and too big to think about dropping coverage. The ACA pay or play penalty for businesses with 50 or more employees to provide insurance to all full-time employees was delayed until 2015, but multiple ACA headwinds are already blowing strong in 2014. Link to full article here.

Click here to view my Affordable Care Act Small Alabama Employer Survival Guidance webinar.

Examples of some chambers and associations offering private exchange option to their members:

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Friday, April 30, 2010

OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Tommy Eden, Attoney

On April 22, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), announced its new Severe Violator Enforcement Program becomes effective within 45 calendar days of the announcement. OSHA stated purpose is to focus enforcement efforts against employers that demonstrate “indifference to safe workplace responsibilities under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.” Employers can be considered severe violators if they”commit willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations for certain serious hazards or unsafe work conditions.” The full text of the announcement is at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=17544

If you are not easily sacred go to OHSA Recent News and take a look at the fines: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owasrch.search_form?p_doc_type=NEWS_RELEASES&p_toc_level=0&p_keyvalue=&p_status=CURRENT

OSHA also announced its plan to increase the overall dollar amount of penalties that are assessed for OSHA violations. The current maximum penalty for a serious violation, one capable of causing death or serious physical harm, is only $7,000 and the maximum penalty for a willful violation is $70,000. The average penalty for a serious violation will increase from about $1,000 to an average $3,000 to $4,000. Monetary penalties for violations of the OSH Act have been increased only once in 40 years despite inflation. The Protecting America's Workers Act would raise these penalties, for the first time since 1990, to 12,000 and $250,000, respectively. Future penalty increases would also be tied to inflation.

Common Sense Counsel: It is advised that you have a comprehensive safety audit conducted ASAP. The next time the Government “come to help you” the cost of being in the wrong just went up.

Tommy Eden is a Lee County native, an attorney with the local office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at teden@constangy.com or 334-246-2901. Blog at www.alabamaatwork.com