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- The issue of accommodating medical marijuana users in the workplace is becoming more common. As we reported last year, the Colorado Supreme Court has unanimously held that employers may still terminate employees who use medical marijuana – even though medical marijuana use was specifically authorized by the Colorado Constitution and even though Colorado law protects employees’ lawful off-duty conduct.
- In 2002, the New York City Council enacted the Transgender Rights Bill to expand the gender-based protections under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) and ensure protection for those whose “gender and self-image do not fully accord with the legal sex assigned to them at birth.”
- In August 2015, the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, enacted a paid sick leave law (see our previous Labor and Employment Alert on the ordinance). The ordinance would have required all private employers in the City of Pittsburgh to provide their eligible employees with at least one hour of sick leave for each 35 hours worked.
- On January 11, 2016, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) final rule on pay transparency became effective. The rule implements Executive Order 13665, issued in April 2014, prohibiting federal contractors from discharging or discriminating against an employee or applicant "because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant" (See our previous Labor and Employment Alert on the final rule). The OFCCP’s final rule applies to all federal contractors with contracts in excess of $10,000 entered into or modified on or after January 11, 2016.
- The Ohio Department of Taxation recently issued an updated Information Release that unmistakably targets digital advertising fees for imposition of sales tax. Traditional advertising services placed through TV/radio broadcasts or through newsprint have never been subject to sales tax.
- On January 5, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law legislation prohibiting employment discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived status as a caregiver.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Form 1095 Deadlines Extended and Other December Developments Impacting Health Benefits
In a welcome development, the IRS announced on December 28, 2015 (IRS Notice 2016-04) the following extensions of Form 1095-C and Form 1095-B deadlines:
Original Deadline New Extended Deadline Distribution to employees February 1, 2016 March 31, 2016 (2-month extension) Electronic filing with IRS March 31, 2016 June 30, 2016 (3-month extension) Paper filing with IRS* February 29, 2016 May 31, 2016 (3-month extension)
* Paper filing is only permitted if an entity is filing fewer than 250 Forms 1095-C or 1095-B.
- Recently the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced three settlements to resolve investigations into potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- In October 2015, Representative Tom Brinkman introduced House Bill 377 in the Ohio General Assembly to make Ohio the nation’s 26th right-to-work state (along with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).
- The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices recently released guidance for employers conducting internal I-9 audits. The guidance covers topics including how to define the scope of an internal audit, how to communicate to employees regarding the audit, how to fix specific errors discovered during the audit, and other related questions.
- On January 1, 2016, the Texas Open Carry Law becomes effective. The new law allows a person with a concealed handgun license to carry a holstered handgun in plain view in any public place where a concealed handgun is otherwise permitted.
- Members of the Ohio House and Senate concluded their formal work schedule for 2015 last week with a flurry of activity aimed at finalizing pending legislative issues before heading back to their respective districts for the holidays. They are expected to return to Columbus January 20th for a very limited schedule prior to the March 15th Primary Election.
- In November 2015, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill (House Bill 48) to expand Ohio’s concealed weapons law.
- Ohio’s biennial budget bill for FY 2016-2017 (Am. Sub. H.B. 64) added Section 5124.70 to the Ohio Revised Code. This section, which was effective September 29, 2015, prohibits, with limited exceptions , an ICF/IID from allowing more than two residents to share a sleeping room.
- On Dec. 3, 2015, the Ohio EPA issued an invitation to certain interested parties to begin discussions on how to address USEPA’s Notice of Deficiency for Ohio’s Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction (SSM) rules.
- Client Alert: New Partnership Audit Rules Impose Federal Income Tax Liability Directly on Partnerships/LLCsIn November, 2015, as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, new rules were enacted governing partnership audits and assessments by the IRS.
- Client Alert: Effective December 1, 2015, Most Official Bankruptcy Forms will be Replaced with Revised, Reformatted and Renumbered Versions; New Official Forms will be Required in All Bankruptcy CasesAs part of a modernization project that was begun by the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules in 2008, most of the Official Bankruptcy Forms will be replaced with substantially revised, renumbered and reformatted versions, effective December 1, 2015.
- Client Alert: FTC Amends Telemarketing Rule to Ban “Cash-To-Cash” Money Transfers, “Cash Reload” Payments, and Remotely-Created Payment Orders and Checks, in Effort to Curb ScammersIn an Official Press Release last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has approved final amendments to its Telemarketing Sales Rule that, in large part, help protect consumers by eliminating various payment methods popular amongst scam artists.
- As more employers consider paying their employees with payroll debit cards, they need to be aware of lawsuits challenging the practice and what sparked those suits. In several cases, employees argued that the payroll cards imposed fees for withdrawals, transfers, balance inquiries, and/or inactivity, which allegedly made it impossible for employees to obtain their full, earned wages.
- Recently five federal agencies, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, issued much-anticipated joint final rules that establish minimum margin and capital requirements for registered swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants for which one of the Agencies is the prudential regulator.