On May 20, the Senate passed a bill (S956) that would provide for the continuation of health insurance coverage for employees and their dependents covered under group health benefits plans when an employer ceases to exist. The provisions of this bill will enable such employees to benefit from federal COBRA subsidies that cover 65 percent of the cost of the continuation health benefits coverage, which were enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Under the bill, whenever an employer ceases to exist, the insurer for that employer’s health benefits plan must make available the same benefits under that plan to a covered employee and any spouse or dependent child who is a qualified beneficiary on the day prior to the employer ceasing to exist. If elected, the period of continued coverage provided under the bill will be extended for 18 months. The bill would remain in effect for the duration of the federal COBRA subsidies provided under ARRA.
On May 14, 2012, a bill (S1933) was introduced in the Senate that would track the federal “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009,” as well as the New Jersey Supreme Court’s holding in Alexander v. Seton Hall University, 204 N.J. 219 (2010). The legislation provides that each discriminatory compensation decision or other employment practice that violates the NJLAD occurs anew with each subsequent paycheck the employee receives that reflects the employer’s initial underlying discriminatory pay practice.
The Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) recently issued final regulations to accompany the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) law. The law, which was passed in August 2010, significantly changed the way in which employers screen the criminal histories of applicants and employees. The new regulations, which went into effect immediately, clarify how employers obtain and use criminal history information.
On January 13, 2015, Senators Hatch (R-Utah), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rubio (R-Fla.), Coons (D-Del.), Flake (R-Ariz.), and Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the Immigration Innovation (“I-Squared”) Act of 2015, a major immigration reform bill addressing the high-skilled and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) immigration programs. Similar to the I-Squared Act of 2013…..