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HR Compliance Updates – December 2020

By December 4, 2020No Comments

🎄 December HR Compliance Updates

Efforts Increase to Elevate Enforcement of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules

Since March 2020, employers have reported 30 worker deaths from COVID-19 in Michigan and 127 in-patient hospitalizations for COVID-19 potentially linked to workplace exposure. The Legislature has declared that “all employees shall be provided safe and healthful work environments free of recognized hazards” and that employers must provide employees with “a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing, or likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to the employee.” On November 5, 2020, Governor Whitmer announced that the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) would be increasing enforcement of the MIOSHA Emergency Rules on COVID-19, with a key focus on promoting more remote work for offices. This correlates to the Emergency Rules that MIOSHA issued on October 14, 2020.

The requirements in this MIOSHA Emergency Rule are significant so we will start there. The Rule applies to ALL employers, which commenced on October 14th and is in effect for 6-months. The Rule addresses workplace requirements relative to exposure determination, preparedness and response plan, infection prevention measures, daily health screening, workplace controls, PPE requirements and industry-specific requirements.

Below, you will find the “official” Emergency Rule, a user-friendly Fact Sheet & Workplace FAQ’s:

Michigan Department of LEO Provides Free Safety Consultations

Businesses across the state can now schedule a free COVID-19 safety consultation as part of the new Ambassador program partnership with NSF International & MIOSHA.

Ambassadors are conducting outreach to statewide businesses to offer education and support to implement regulations on workplace safety.

In addition to this education which provides consultation, businesses can now visit the COVID-19 website to schedule in-depth assessments of workplace safety requirements. These in-depth meetings will connect employers directly with an Ambassador to identify and implement solutions in their specific workplace free of charge to the business.

Organizations that successfully complete these visits will receive official signage to acknowledge COVID-19 workplace safety commitments and efforts to keep customers and employers safe.

Final Rule on Health Care Transparency Issued

The DOL, HHS & Treasury Departments issued a final rule that imposes new transparency requirements on group health plans and health insurers in the individual and group markets. Specifically, the final rule requires plans and issuers to disclose; price and cost-sharing information to participants, beneficiaries, and enrollees upon request, and to share in-network provider-negotiated rates and historical out-of-network allowed amounts on their website.

Employee Benefits Plan Limits for 2021

Many employee benefits are subject to annual dollar limits that are periodically updated for inflation by the IRS. Just a reminder that while most of the limits remain unchanged for 2021, the limits for HSA’s and HDHP out-of-pocket maximum will be slightly increasing.

HR Brief

Review these ways to support employees’ financial well-being during difficult times and some creative, virtual ideas for your office holiday parties.

Live Well, Work Well

Insightful wellness information to share with your teams!

We all remember the gaudy tree and leg lamp in A Christmas Story. In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Griswold’s Christmas light excess is supposed to be laughably ridiculous, but by today’s standards, his design is practically tasteful. Personally, I prefer the classic Christmas décor myself; it’s much better for my OCD. 😊

But when did we decide to ditch Yuletide lights and nativity scenes in favor of towering inflatables? One of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions is to peruse through neighborhoods in search of the most monumental decorations. The ones that stop us from strolling, scrolling, or cause us to pull to the side of the road and put on our hazards. Isn’t this why the consumer buys these wild, wacky, over-the-top decorations in the first place? It’s this bit of Christmas consumerism that spreads joy and laughter. Given this challenging year, we can’t rely on the old standards to bring us together, so we are making new ones without fully realizing it!

Recently, I did pull to the side of the road to admire this piece of Christmas “art” within our very own Kalamazoo community. I hope it makes you smile and feel inspired. 🎅

Carrie A. Nicholson, PHR, SHRM-CP

HR & Benefits Compliance Advisor

Our Employee Benefits team is here if you have any questions or would like us to help you with your group benefits. Contact Us

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