The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will begin verifying the citizenship and identity of people applying for or receiving Medicaid to comply with a new federal law that takes effect July 1. The federal Deficit Reduction Act, passed earlier this year, does not change who is eligible to receive services. But the new law does require states to verify the citizenship or immigration status of all Medicaid clients. HHSC Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins said Texas already … [Read more...] about Citizenship Verification for Medicaid Recipients
Many teen workers are starting their first jobs. Congratulations! And they're probably more focused on how to spend their paychecks than on job safety issues. If you have teens working over the summer, you should check out the safety campaign posted online by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) this past April. OSHA's safety campaign was developed to help educate both teens and employers on workplace hazards and identify ways to ensure teen safety on-the-job. The Teen … [Read more...] about OSHA Teen Worker Safety Program
On April 24, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its semiannual regulatory agenda promising to issue revisions to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The DOL set a deadline for June, 2006 for publishing the revisions. Of course, the DOL has already set and passed numerous dates for the proposed FMLA revisions. We will continue to monitor this issue. … [Read more...] about FMLA Amendments on the Table…Again.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that it was unable to verify in all but one case (from in-service training "sign-in sheets" and a master training list) that a randomly selected sample of CNAs in Texas had received the mandated performance reviews and in-service training. The CMS report, issued this past February, was based on its onsite review of Texas' Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). As a result, the Texas Department of Aging and … [Read more...] about CMS & DADS Instruct Facilities To Improve Documentation of CNA Training and Performance Reviews.
The Attorney General (AG) of Texas issued an important opinion on February 23rd addressed to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) regarding "retirement centers" that require residents to use the centers' own home health agencies. First, the AG agreed with DADS' interpretation that an establishment, including one characterized as a retirement community, that furnishes food and shelter to four or more persons who are unrelated to the proprietor and that requires those … [Read more...] about Assisted Living Facilities’ Ability To Restrict Residents Contracting for Health or Personal Care Services.
I recently received a call from a client who was concerned about an employee who showed up at a consumer's house as Stephanie after eight months as Steven. Actually, those are not the names used, and the concern was not with the employee as much as the consumer's possible reactions and confusion. So, how to respond? Was this employee protected under the anti-discrimination laws from any type of counseling or even termination? The Answer: Depends on where Steven/Stephanie lives. The United … [Read more...] about The Meaning of “Sex”
This past November, employers were required to notify Medicare-eligible employees, retirees and dependents about whether their current prescription drug coverage was "creditable" for purposes of Medicare Part D. Employers must now notify the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and CMS has published guidelines for doing so. To comply with the disclosure requirement, employers must fill out the form on the Creditable Coverage Disclosure to CMS Website at: … [Read more...] about Benefits – Have You Notified CMS About Employees’, Retirees’ and Dependents’ Creditable Prescription Drug Coverage?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay workers for all hours actually worked. So, mistakes in calculating break times can sometimes lead to wage errors resulting in penalties and fines assessed by the Department of Labor (DOL). What does the law say? It is illegal to dock hourly non-exempt employees for short breaks (typically between five and 20 minutes) and for any portion of their meal breaks that they actually worked. Example: An employer docked hourly employees … [Read more...] about FLSA – When Is Break Time Work Time?
A New Jersey Superior Court has held that an employer that fails to act on evidence of an employee's criminal online activities should be held accountable. Specifically, co-workers had complained about the employee's computer abuse, and the employee's supervisor had become suspicious that the employee was abusing his Internet use on the Company's computers. The company failed to take any action until later monitoring showed the employee was accessing numerous pornography sites, including child … [Read more...] about Court Tells Employer It Could Be Liable to Third Parties for Not Investigating and Halting Employee’s Online Porn Activities
No one doubts that employers' health care costs are a major issue, nor that access to health care is also critical to attracting and retaining qualified and experienced employees. But employers are not limited to an "all-or-nothing" choice. As explained recently by one federal court, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act's (ERSIA) minimum participation requirements permit an employer to preclude hourly employees from participating in a benefits plan. In the case of first … [Read more...] about Employee Benefits: They’re Not for Everyone