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2015 Year in Review

    January 10, 2016

    2015 Year In Review

    Here are just a few of the legislative happenings in 2015…

    Right-to-Work Legislation passes in Wisconsin

    • This legislation provides that no individual can be required to become or remain a member of a labor organization; be required to pay any dues or fees to any labor organization (or 3rd party); be prevented from voluntarily financially supporting a labor organization; or be forced to resign from membership in any labor organization. Wisconsin has become the 25th state in the country to pass “right-to-work” legislation.

    Mandate to offer paid sick leave to Federal Contractors

    • September 2015, President Obama signed an Executive Order outlining the paid sick leave benefits that many federal contractors will be required to provide as early as January 1, 2017.

    “Ban the Box” Legislation becomes more prevalent

    • States and municipalities continue to enact “ban the box” legislation, which restricts employers from seeking information regarding a job applicant’s criminal history during certain points in the hiring process.  While there are several variations, most “ban the box” laws prevent employers from requiring that a job applicant disclose his or her criminal history on a job application.  Some, though not all, “ban the box” laws permit employers to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history during the interview process.  

    Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act Tax Credits

    • The Court’s ruling confirms the legality of tax credits for the purchase of individual health coverage in the 37 states that have a health care exchange run by, or in partnership with, the federal government – including Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri.

    Proposed FLSA / Wage Hour Law

    • In August, the DOL proposed to drastically increase the annual salary threshold for the “white collar exemptions” under the FLSA  by over 100 percent – from $23,500 to $49,950.  Additionally, the new salary level would be indexed to rise every year.  The new salary requirements are expected to take effect sometime in 2016 or 2017.


    Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE Act) was signed

    • The PACE Act allows each state to retain the definition of small employer at 50 or fewer employees for ACA small market reform purposes. Under small market reforms, employer-sponsored medical plans include billed rates by participant age, metal-tier plan designs, and essential health benefits.
    • Without this Act, the definition of small employer was set to increase to 100 or fewer employees starting in 2016. Under the PACE Act, states still have the option of defining a small employer as 100 or fewer employees.

    IRS Extends Filing Deadline for Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C

    • The new deadline for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to employees is March 31, 2016 (extended from February 1, 2016).
    • The new deadline for filing Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C with the IRS, if not filing electronically, is May 31, 2016 (extended from February 29, 2016). If filing electronically, the deadline to file those forms with the IRS is June 30, 2016 (extended from March 31, 2016).

      Cadillac Tax Delayed

    • The Cadillac Tax, previously scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2018, is a 40% excise tax on employers and insurers who offer health insurance plans that exceed specified high-cost limits ($10,200 for individuals and $27,000 for families for 2018). The 40% tax applies to the cost of the plan above these thresholds. This tax has been pushed back to an effective date of January 1, 2020.