Blog Posts for April 2018

The IRS Reverses Action on 2018 HSA Maximum Contribution

April 27, 2018

UPDATE: The IRS announced on April 26, 2018 that the contribution limit for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) linked to family coverage will remain at $6,900 for 2018. Employers should communicate this change to impacted employees and make the appropriate adjustments to payroll contributions. 

This reverses the agency's previous announcement that the limit would be reduced to $6,850. The IRS determined that implementing the $50 reduction would impose numerous unanticipated administrative headaches and financial burdens on taxpayers, employers and other stakeholders. 

There is no change to the annual tax deductible limit for individual-only coverage under an HSA ($3,450), and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for health care, commuter and other benefit limits are not affected.

An Updated Equal Pay Act in Massachusetts

April 26, 2018

On July 1, 2018, an updated equal pay law will go into effect in Massachusetts, which applies to nearly all employers who have employees in this state.

The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) amends the current statutory prohibition against gender-based pay inequity by strengthening the protections offered to employees. No salary history may be asked, and the MEPA makes it illegal for an employer to pay employees of one gender lower compensation than another gender for comparable work.

What Employers Should Know About the DOL's New “PAID” Self-Audit Program

April 23, 2018

Minimum wage and overtime lawsuits are common and can be very costly to resolve. Employers can spend years embroiled in lengthy investigations, court hearings and trials.  A pilot program launched in April by the federal Department of Labor (DOL) seeks to help employers simplify the process and settle potential wage and hour and FLSA violation disputes without litigation. The Payroll Audit Independent Determination or “PAID” program is scheduled to be in place for six months and if successful, may become permanent.

Protecting Your Business from The Opioid Crisis

April 3, 2018

Beyond the incalculable emotional pain to addicts and their families, the increasing number of overdoses and deaths from opioids is costing the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars.

Prescription opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl) and illegal opioids such as heroin are now the most commonly abused drugs in the workplace. Many employers claim they’ve been impacted by prescription drug use among their employees. Absenteeism and turnover are on the rise, and declines in job performance are increasingly linked to the opioid crisis.

Against this grim socioeconomic backdrop, how can companies protect their people and their business? Implementing strong workplace policies and investing in education, training and employee support programs is a good place to start.

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