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Photo of Employment Law Observer Anthony E. Antognoli
Partner
aantognoli@hinshawlaw.com
312-704-3031
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Anthony Antognoli focuses his business practice on the representation of large and mid-size clients in the areas of employee benefits, federal …

Showing 13 posts by Anthony E. Antognoli.

Employers Need to Go Back to the Drawing Board for Their Wellness Program Incentives

Many employers incorporate wellness programs into their group health plans. Studies indicate that such programs, which can provide incentives to employees to encourage healthy behaviors, are offered by more than half of all employers who sponsor a health plan. More ›

District Court Judge Stops HHS Regulations Regarding Contraception Mandate

When Congressional drafters wrote the Affordable Care Act 10 years ago, they included a provision requiring group health plans to provide preventive care without cost sharing. Much of that coverage requirement was set forth in the Act itself with some specificity. It included immunizations, screenings, and other “evidence-based items or services” recommended by the United States Preventive Services Tax Force. The Act also provided for special rules for preventive care “with respect to women;” however, those rules were not specified in the Act and were to be determined by a government agency. After the law safely passed, the Health Resources and Services Administration, acting on the findings of the Institute of Medicine, decided that preventive care with respect to women must include coverage for contraceptive services without cost sharing. In the decade since that provision became law, plan sponsors have been dealing with nearly constant administrative and judicial pinball regarding this contentious topic. More ›

IRS Releases New Tables for Employee Income Tax Withholding

On January 11, 2018, the IRS issued its new withholding tables to assist employers with processing payrolls and withholding federal income tax under the new Tax Reform Act signed into law late last year (the “Act”).  IRS Notice 1036 establishes the percentage method tables for 2018 income tax withholding with respect to employee wages.  More ›

EEOC Ordered to Reconsider What “Voluntary” Means for its Wellness Program Guidance

The long-running efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to provide guidance on what constitutes a “voluntary” wellness program were called into question by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in the case A.A.R.P. vs. U.S. E.E.O.C. More ›

Supreme Court Confirms Standards for ERISA’s Church Plan Exception

In a clear win for religiously-affiliated employers, including hospital systems and educational institutions, a unanimous Supreme Court found that a statutory exception to ERISA’s requirements for “church plans” applies to plans that are maintained by tax-exempt entities affiliated with churches in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton. More ›

House Passes American Health Care Act: Potential Impact on Employer Plans

Earlier this afternoon the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  While the AHCA must still get through the Senate and eventually be signed by the President before becoming law, with the passage of the AHCA employers now have a first look at how the health care landscape may change under the Trump Administration. More ›

EEOC Issues Sample Notice for Employers Offering Wellness Programs

Last month, we alerted you to some new guidance from the EEOC on wellness programs. One of the key requirements of this new guidance is that employers must give notice to participants about the information being collected through the wellness program and how that information is to be used. Yesterday, the EEOC issued additional guidance on this notice requirement, including a sample notice and a list of items employers should consider when dealing with the notice requirement.  More ›

EEOC Issues Final Regulations on Wellness Programs

Employers who provide employees with incentives to encourage healthy behavior must contend with an alphabet soup of federal law — ERISA, GINA, HIPAA, the ACA, the ADA, just to name a few. Earlier this week, the EEOC weighed in and finalized its latest guidance on how employer wellness programs should be structured. These final regulations largely adopt the proposed regulations that were issued in 2015. More ›

New IRS Initiative Highlights Trust Fund Tax Compliance Issues

The IRS has begun a new initiative focused on payroll tax compliance for employers, and specifically the timely deposit of withheld payroll and income taxes. Those taxes, which are withheld from an employee's paycheck and then turned over to the IRS by employers, are known as "trust fund" taxes. Employers who fail to timely submit their trust fund taxes may be subject to civil or criminal liability, as well as personal liability for those individuals who are responsible for collecting and depositing the trust fund taxes. More ›

The Dangers of Reimbursing Employees for Individual Health Insurance Premiums — and the Limited Relief for Small Employers

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") in 2010, employers were able to reimburse their employees for the premiums those employees paid for individual health insurance. This long-standing practice was changed beginning in 2014 with the issuance of new guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor. Under that guidance, such "employer payment plans" are deemed to be noncompliant with the market reforms implemented under the ACA. The penalties for failure to comply with the market reforms can be severe — as much as $100 per employee, per day. More ›

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