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Mandated Benefits 2021 Compliance Guide by Barry Salkin The Wagner Law Group , Katherine A. Brustowicz The Wagner Law Group , Roberta Casper Watson The Wagner Law Group , John F. Buckley National Legal Research Group, Inc. , Dannae L. Delano The Wagner Law Group , David G. Gabor The Wagner Law Group , Marcia S. Wagner The Wagner Law Group , Ivelisse Berio LeBeau Wagner Law Group , Virginia S. Peabody , The Balser Group Mandated Benefits 2021 Compliance Guide by Barry Salkin The Wagner Law Group , Katherine A. Brustowicz The Wagner Law Group , Roberta Casper Watson The Wagner Law Group , John F. Buckley National Legal Research Group, Inc. , Dannae L. Delano The Wagner Law Group , David G. Gabor The Wagner Law Group , Marcia S. Wagner The Wagner Law Group , Ivelisse Berio LeBeau Wagner Law Group , Virginia S. Peabody , The Balser Group

Mandated Benefits 2021 Compliance Guide

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Mandated Benefits 2021 Compliance Guide is a comprehensive and practical reference manual that covers key federal regulatory issues which must be addressed by human resources managers, benefits specialists, and company executives in all industries. This comprehensive and practical guide clearly and concisely describes the essential requirements and administrative processes necessary to comply with employment and benefits-related regulations.

Mandated Benefits 2021 Compliance Guide includes in-depth coverage of these and other major federal regulations and developments:

  • COVID-19 laws
  • HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • Wellness Programs: ADA and GINA regulations
  • Mental Health Parity Act, as amended by the 21st Century Cures Act
  • Reporting Requirements with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • AAPs: final rules
  • Pay Transparency Act

Mandated Benefits 2021 Compliance Guide helps take the guesswork out of managing employee benefits and human resources by clearly and concisely describing the essential requirements and administrative processes necessary to comply with each regulation. It offers suggestions for protecting employers against the most common litigation threats and recommendations for handling various types of employee problems.

Throughout the Guide are numerous exhibits, useful checklists and forms, and do's and don'ts. A list of HR audit questions at the beginning of each chapter serves as an aid in evaluating your company's level of regulatory compliance.

Mandated Benefits 2021 Compliance Guide provides the latest information on:

  • Family and Medical Leave
  • Substance Abuse in the Workplace
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Recordkeeping and Documentation
  • Integrating ADA, FMLA, Workers' Compensation, and Related Requirements
  • Significant Developments at the EEOC
  • Affirmative Action Plans
  • Retirement Savings Plans and Pensions
  • Pay Practices and Administration
  • Health, Life, and Disability Insurance
  • Managing the Welfare Benefits Package
  • Human Resources Risk Management
  • And much more!

Note: Online subscriptions are for three-month periods.

Previous Edition: Mandated Benefits 2020 Compliance Guide, ISBN 9781543818680

Last Updated 06/23/2021
Update Frequency Semi-annually
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
SKU 10083610-7777
Publish Frequency Semi-annually
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
SKU 000000000010048423
Table of Contents

A. Special Alert: COVID-19 Laws

  • Further Guidance from DOL on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (April 22, 2020)
  • Agencies Issue FAQs on Group Health Plan COVID-19 Coverage Requirements (April 15, 2020)
  • Investment Management Law Update: REG BI Compliance Deadline; Financial Relief Considerations for RIA Firms (April 13, 2020)
  • IRS Guidance for Employers Claiming EPSL and EFMLA Tax Credits Under FFCRA (April 8, 2020)
  • Managing from Afar: Effectively Adapting to Telework (April 8, 2020)
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act Now Includes Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Provisions (April 1, 2020)
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (March 20, 2020)
  • Withdrawals and Loans from Defined Contribution Retirement Plans (March 30, 2020)
  • Effect of the Pandemic on Business Continuity Plans of Broker-Dealers/Recordkeepers, and Advisors (March 30, 2020)
  • The CARES Act: Relief for Small Businesses (March 27, 2020)
  • Retirement Plan Provisions of the CARES Act (March 27, 2020)
  • Planning and Implementing a Temporary Layoff in the Age of COVID-19 (March 27, 2020)
  • HDHPs May Pay for COVID-19 Testing and Treatment (March 25, 2020)
  • Suspending or Reducing Safe Harbor Contributions in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans (March 24, 2020)


1. Human Resources Management: Strategy and Structure

  • Human Resources Management Audit Questions
  • Human Resources: A Strategic Partner in Business Management
  • Organization of the HR Department
  • HR Staff Assessment
  • Elements of Strategic Planning in Human Resources


2. Ethics in the Workplace

  • Ethics Audit Questions
  • Government Mandates
  • Ethics and Compliance Programs§ 2.04 Practices and Trends
  • Resources

3.            Pay Practices

  • Pay Practices Audit Questions
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • Federal Wage and Hour Laws
  • Exhibit 3.1: Checklist for Identifying Exempt Workers
  • Appendix 3A: Pay Practices by State

4.            Payroll Administration

  • Payroll Administration Audit Questions
  • Permissible Methods of Wage Payments
  • Payment Frequency
  • Garnishments and Child Support Withholding
  • Deductions
  • Employer Responsibilities
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Combined Annual Wage Reporting Program
  • Business Services Online
  • Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Records Preservation
  • Termination and Final Wages
  • Exhibit 4.1: Wage Payments Due on Termination or Death of Employee

5.            Health Care Benefits

  • Health Care Audit Questions
  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • The Mental Health Parity Act
  • The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act
  • The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act
  • The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003
  • Medicare as Secondary Payer
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • Michelle’s Law
  • State Group Health Plan Requirements
  • Health Care Reform
  • Exhibit 5.1: ADA Do’s and Don’ts for Benefits

6.            Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

  • HIPAA Audit Questions
  • Health Care Portability
  • Medical Savings Accounts
  • Medical Information Privacy
  • Security and Transaction Requirements
  • Enforcement and Penalties

7.            Medical and Health Care Continuation Coverage/COBRA

  • COBRA Audit Questions
  • Definitions
  • Covered Employers
  • Group Health Plans
  • Eligibility for COBRA Coverage
  • Qualifying Events
  • When COBRA Coverage Begins
  • Maximum Length of COBRA Coverage
  • COBRA Premiums
  • Equal Treatment
  • COBRA Notices
  • COBRA Enforcement and Penalties
  • State Continuation of Coverage Rules
  • Exhibit 7.1: Summary of COBRA Notice Requirements
  • Exhibit 7.2: Sample Notice of Qualifying Event from Employer to Plan Administrator
  • Exhibit 7.3: Sample Notice of Qualifying Event from Employee to Employer/Plan Administrator
  • Exhibit 7.4: Sample Notice of Unavailability of COBRA Continuation Coverage
  • Exhibit 7.5: Sample Notice of Termination of COBRA Continuation Coverage

8.            Pensions and Other Savings Plans

  • Pensions/Savings Plans Audit Questions
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)
  • Nonqualified Plans
  • Qualified Plans
  • Defined Benefit Plans
  • Defined Contribution Plans
  • 403(b) Plans
  • Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008
  • Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020
  • Exhibit 8.1: Worksheet for Testing Compliance with Minimum Coverage and Participation Tests
  • Exhibit 8.2: Worksheet for Determining Which Individuals Are Highly Compensated Employees
  • Exhibit 8.3: Sample Top-Heavy Test
  • Exhibit 8.4: Uniform Required Minimum Distribution Table
  • Exhibit 8.5: Salary Deferral Options for Small Employers
  • Exhibit 8.6: IRS Limits on Retirement Plan Benefits and Compensation

9.            Life Insurance and Disability and Income Protection Benefits

  • Insurance and Disability Audit Questions
  • Death Benefits and Life Insurance
  • Disability Benefits
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Unemployment Insurance Compensation
  • Social Security
  • Exhibit 9.1: Rates Used in Calculating the Taxable Value of Group Term Life Insurance in Excess of $50,000
  • Exhibit 9.2: Calculation of Tax Liability on Group Term Life Insurance in Excess of $50,000
  • Exhibit 9.3: Calculation of Tax Liability on Group Term Life Insurance in Excess of $50,000 When
  • Level of Coverage Changes During Year
  • Exhibit 9.4: Four Examples of Typical Schedules of Basic Group Term Life Insurance Coverage
  • Exhibit 9.5: Summary of State Temporary Disability Benefit Payment Laws

10.          Supplemental Benefits

  • Supplemental Benefits Audit Questions
  • Prescription Drug Benefits
  • Vision and Dental Care Benefits
  • Group Long-Term Care Benefits
  • Educational Assistance Programs
  • Counseling Programs
  • Transportation and Parking Benefits
  • Credit Unions
  • Employee Discounts
  • Employer-Provided Cell Phones
  • Automobile and Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Concierge and Personal Business Benefits
  • Other Supplemental Benefits
  • Exhibit 10.1: Dollar Limits for Deductibility of Long-Term Care Premiums Under the Health
  • Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

11.          Time Away from Work

  • Time Away from Work Audit Questions
  • Absence of Federal Mandate
  • Payment for Time Not Worked
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Miscellaneous Requests for Time Off
  • Paid Rest Breaks
  • Trends and Practices
  • Time-Off-from-Work Policy for Employees
  • Exhibit 11.1: Sample Leave of Absence Policies

12.          Managing the Welfare Benefits Package

  • Welfare Benefits Audit Questions
  • Health Care Benefit Plans
  • Total Welfare Benefits Program

13.          The Americans with Disabilities Act

  • ADA Audit Questions
  • Major Parts of the Law
  • Definitions—Who Is Covered?
  • Pre-employment Responsibilities
  • Post-Offer Testing for Drug and Alcohol Use
  • Post-Offer Pre-employment Inquiries and Medical Examinations
  • Compliance with the ADA During Employment
  • Reasonable Accommodation
  • The ADA and Employee Benefits
  • EEOC Guidance on Temporary Agencies and Other Staffing Firms
  • What Is Not Required by the ADA
  • Required Recordkeeping and Posting
  • Resources Available
  • Enforcement
  • The Impact of EEOC Charges and Selected Case Findings
  • Conclusion
  • Exhibit 13.1: ADA Accessibility Guidelines
  • Exhibit 13.2: Medical Insurance Plan Do’s and Don’ts
  • Appendix 13A: Implementing Title I of the ADA: Sample Policies and Procedural Issues to Consider
  • Appendix 13B: ADA Self-Audit Checklist
  • Appendix 13C: Title I Compliance Do’s and Don’ts
  • Appendix 13D: Enforcement Powers and Penalties Under Title I

14.          Family and Medical Leave

  • FMLA Audit Questions
  • Evolution of the Law
  • Basic Parameters of the Law
  • Definitions
  • Leave Approval
  • Leave Provisions
  • Return from Leave
  • The Key Employee Exemption
  • Employee Obligations
  • Employer Obligations: The Company’s Response
  • Military Family Leave
  • Enforcement Provisions
  • Records and Posting
  • Implementing FMLA Requirements
  • Health Benefits: The Group Health Plan
  • Other Benefits
  • The FMLA’s Impact
  • State Family Leave Laws
  • Developing Policies and Procedures
  • Department of Labor Resources
  • Exhibit 14.1: Guidelines for Coordinating FMLA and State Laws and Company Policy
  • Exhibit 14.2: State Family and Medical Leave Laws—Eligibility and Coverage
  • Exhibit 14.3: State Family and Medical Leave Laws—Administration of Leave
  • Exhibit 14.4: State Family and Medical Leave Laws—Required Notice, Denial, and Other Provisions
  • Exhibit 14.5: Sample Family and Medical Leave of Absence Policy for Inclusion in Employee Handbook
  • Exhibit 14.6: Sample Family and Medical Leave of Absence Policy for Inclusion in Procedural Manual
  • Exhibit 14.7: Request for Family and Medical Leave of Absence Form
  • Exhibit 14.8: Combined Leave Policy Form
  • Exhibit 14.9: Insurance Premium Recovery Authorization Form
  • Exhibit 14.10: Leave Certification Requirements

15.          Integrating ADA, FMLA, Workers’ Compensation, and Related Requirements

  • Integration of Federal Laws Audit Questions
  • Interactions Between the ADA, the FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation
  • Related Federal and State Laws
  • Resources for Employers

16.          The Interview and Selection Process

  • Interview and Selection Audit Questions
  • Recruiting and Interviewing Candidates for Employment
  • Employment Testing
  • Reference Checking
  • Reference Liability
  • Common Selection Errors
  • Hiring Employees with the Legal Right to Work in the United States
  • The On-Boarding Process
  • Other Legal Concerns
  • External HR Services
  • Exhibit 16.1: Acceptable and Unacceptable Questions to Ask Applicants
  • Exhibit 16.2: Applicant’s Authorization to Release Information
  • Exhibit 16.3: Sample Job Offer Letter—Exempt

17.          Layoffs and Termination

  • Layoffs and Termination Audit Questions
  • Layoffs
  • Terminations
  • Wrongful Demotion
  • Wrongful Discharge
  • Other Employment Policies Affecting Termination
  • Exhibit 17.1: State Notification Laws for Layoffs and Plant Closings
  • Exhibit 17.2: Statutory Restrictions on Discharging Employees
  • Exhibit 17.3: Employee Handbook Acknowledgment of Receipt
  • Exhibit 17.4: Employee Handbook Disclaimer Statement
  • Exhibit 17.5: Termination Checklist
  • Exhibit 17.6: Sample Exit Interview Questions

18.          Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Plan

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Audit Questions
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Mandatory Affirmative Action
  • Exhibit 18.1: Sample Invitation to Self-Identify—Pre- and Post-Offer Applicants and Employees

19.          Work/Life Balance

  • Work/Life Balance Audit Questions
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Dependent Care Assistance Plans
  • Adoption Assistance Benefits

20.          Privacy in the Workplace

  • Privacy in the Workplace Audit Questions
  • Preemployment Practices
  • Privacy Issues During Employment
  • Postemployment Privacy Issues
  • Conclusion
  • Exhibit 20.1: A Sample Policy on Reference Checks on Job Applicants
  • Exhibit 20.2: A Sample Policy on Searches
  • Exhibit 20.3: A Sample Policy on Electronic and Telephonic Communication Monitoring
  • Exhibit 20.4: A Sample Policy on Internet Acceptable Use
  • Exhibit 20.5: AIDS Testing in the Workplace: Statutes and Policies
  • Exhibit 20.6: A Sample Policy on Access to Employee Personnel Files
  • Exhibit 20.7: A Sample Policy on Providing Employment References

21.          Sexual and Other Prohibited Harassment

  • Harassment Audit Questions
  • Definition of Sexual Harassment
  • The Law and Sexual Harassment
  • How Common Is Sexual Harassment?
  • Sources of Employer Liability
  • Damages and Awards
  • Strategies to Prevent or Eliminate Sexual Harassment
  • The Future of Sexual Harassment
  • Other Forms of Prohibited Workplace Harassment
  • Exhibit 21.1: The Sexual Harassment Quiz
  • Exhibit 21.2: The Evolving Definition of Sexual Harassment
  • Exhibit 21.3: Sample Policy on Sexual Harassment

22.          Workplace Health and Safety

  • Workplace Health and Safety Audit Questions
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • The Hazardous Waste Operations Emergency Response
  • Home-Based Work Sites
  • Workplace Violence Prevention
  • Ergonomics
  • Requirements for Government Employers
  • Safety Training
  • Accident Prevention: Best Management Practices
  • Whistleblower Protection and Anti-Retaliation Rules
  • Exhibit 22.1: State Hazard Communication Standards

23.          Substance Abuse in the Workplace

  • Substance Abuse Audit Questions
  • The Impact of Substance Abuse in the Workplace
  • Drug-Free Workplace Legislation
  • Anti-Substance Abuse Programs
  • Legal Marijuana and the Workplace
  • Exhibit 23.1: Department of Transportation Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance 2018
  • Random Rate Notice
  • Exhibit 23.2: Information on Anti-Substance Abuse Programs
  • Exhibit 23.3: A Sample Policy on Drug Testing and Substance Abuse
  • Exhibit 23.4: State-by-State Summary of Drug Testing Legislation

24.          Recordkeeping

  • Recordkeeping Audit Questions
  • Reasons for Recordkeeping
  • Structure of Employee Files
  • Records Management
  • Record Security
  • Record Confidentiality
  • Record Retention
  • Social Security Number Mismatch
  • Federal Recordkeeping Requirements
  • State Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Exhibit 24.1: Summary of Federal Recordkeeping Requirements

25.          Human Resources Risk Management

  • Risk Management Audit Questions
  • The Role of HR in Risk Management
  • Sources of Liability
  • The HR Risk Assessment
  • Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley Act on Human Resources
  • Exhibit 25.1: The Human Resources Risk Assessment Questionnaire
  • Exhibit 25.2: Federal Employment Law Requirements by Company Size
  • Exhibit 25.3: Sarbanes-Oxley Act Assessment Control Environment Questions
  • Exhibit 25.4: Sarbanes-Oxley Act Assessment Human Resources Process Questions
  • Exhibit 25.5: Sarbanes-Oxley Act Assessment Payroll Process Questions

26.          Special Human Resources Situation: Merger or Acquisition

  • Merger or Acquisition Audit Questions
  • Introduction to Mergers and Acquisitions
  • The M&A Process
  • Integration Considerations

27.          Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans

  • Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Audit Questions
  • General Information
  • ERISA Considerations
  • Employees’ Traditional Income Tax Considerations
  • Employees’ Income Tax Considerations Under Code Section 409A
  • Employer Income Tax Considerations
  • Employment Tax Consequences
  • Accounting for Nonqualified Plan Benefits
  • Special Tax Restrictions on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation of Tax-Exempt and Governmental Organizations—Code Section 457

Appendix A. Quiz: How Many of These Acronyms/Abbreviations Do You Know?



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