IRS Delays Health Care Penalties

The ever moving target of understanding the implications (good or bad) of the Affordable Care Act mandates has apparently moved again, as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last week announced yet another delay in its implementation.  Under the regulations, employers that offered health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) for employees buying individual health insurance policies could have…

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FDA Wants $5B and 70 Percent More Staff

In the 2015 federal budget submitted by President Obama, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had requested $4.9 Billion in spending and a 70 percent increase in staff.  The agency claims that the funds and additional personnel are necessary for it to meet its obligation under the mandates of the Food Safety and Modernization Act…

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Right To Work Advances in Wisconsin

A proposed Right To Work law in the Wisconsin legislature passed the Senate on a 17 – 15 vote and was sent to the Assembly for its deliberation.  The Right to Work bill, which is expected to pass the Assembly and will be signed by Governor Scott Walker, prohibits any employer from requiring the payment…

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Northeast Regional Meeting

We are only one week away from the Northeast Regional Member Meeting to be held from 2:00 to 6:00 PM on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center in Framingham, Mass.  We will conclude the event with a cocktail reception at 5:00 PM.  Register now to attend!  Always one of…

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Dept of Labor Expands Definition of Spouse

Under the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), since 1993, eligible employees have been allowed to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons including to care for a spouse dealing with a medical issue.  Spouse now includes those in same-sex marriages. The change ostensibly stems from the Defense of Marriage…

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Wal-Mart Hikes Wage Minimums

 Often painted as a poster child for low wages and poor employee benefits, Arkansas based Wal-Mart has announced that it will increase minimum wages within the company to $9/hour beginning in April.  The company, the world’s largest retailer, had been targeted for protests over its pay scale and employee benefits for the past several years. …

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Other Events

We would also remind you to sign up for the 2015 CFA Day Forum at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC on March 24 – 25, 2015.  The 2-day event will feature talks by prominent elected officials, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), as well as Congressman…

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Competitor News

Although they’re going to still be big on making music available, Starbucks this week announced that they are no longer going to be selling CDs (Compact Discs) at their store locations.  Since 1995, the company has been stocking and selling CDs.  With the advent of online music and other technological advances, the CD market has…

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US House Passes Permanent Section 179 Expensing Bill

It was one of the so-called “tax extenders” that have been allowed to expire in each of the past two years, only to be retroactively reinstated.  At long last, the US House has moved the issue forward again and passed legislation that will make the accelerated and bonus depreciation deductions permanent.  The legislation, known as…

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Paid Sick Leave Filed in Congress

It’s been percolating in several state houses and city halls around the country and now, Congress is getting into the Mandatory Sick Leave business.  Last week, sick leave legislation was filed in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives.  Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) filed the so-called Healthy Families Act, which would mandate that…

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