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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released an updated version of its Health Benefits Advisor for Employers. This online resource outlines the federal laws that can affect health benefit coverage provided by group health plans. The Advisor explains the legislation, statutes and regulations in Parts 6 and 7 of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). These laws include:

 

• Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
• Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
• Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)
• Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act (Newborns' Act)
• Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA)
• Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
• Michelle's Law
You may access the updated Health Benefits Advisor for Employers from the DOL web site at: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/ebsa/health/employer/

The Health Benefits Advisor for Employers is one of a series of elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors developed by DOL to help employers and employees understand federal employment laws and resources. To access all of the elaws advisors, visit the elaws Web site at www.dol.gov/elaws. To learn more about DOL’s efforts to assure the security of the retirement, health and other workplace related benefits of America’s workers and their families, visit www.dol.gov/ebsa.

 

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Department of Labor Online Interactive Advisor Offers Updated Information on
Family and Medical Leave Act

 

The U.S. Department of Labor recently released an updated version of its Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Advisor. This online resource helps clarify which employers are required to provide FMLA leave as well as which employees are eligible to take such leave. In addition, it outlines valid reasons for leave and employer and employee notice requirements and other responsibilities under the law.

 

You may access the updated Family and Medical Leave Act Advisor from the DOL web site at: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/fmla.htm.

 

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a Federal law that entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if they had not taken leave. Examples of specified reasons include caring for a newborn or recently adopted child or a family member with a serious health condition, or an employee’s own serious health condition.

 

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Advisor was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. It is one of a series of elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors developed by DOL to help employers and employees understand federal employment laws and resources.  To access it, visit the elaws Web site at www.dol.gov/elaws


A Resource for Small Employers from the Great Plains ADA Center

ADA in the Workplace is a website designed specifically for managers and owners of small and mid-sized businesses. The website is easy to navigate and provides information and links to resources on all ADA related employment issues. Bookmark this site and never hunt for ADA information again. ADA in the Workplace provides information in clear, straightforward language so you can easily determine your employment obligations under the ADA. This site will also keep you posted on new resources, EEOC settlement agreements, and other activities that effect employment in clear, user-friendly language. Please visit, http://www.adaintheworkplace.org.


Engaging Employers in Protecting Young Workers: Tips and Best Practices from the Young Worker Safety Resource Center is a guide that provides strategies to increase employers' knowledge and capacity to prevent workplace injuries among their young workers. The 24-page booklet includes safety messages for employers, descriptions of potential partners for reaching employers, and strategies that have been used to reach employers, including specific examples.
http://lohp.org/docs/pubs/youth_work/ProtectingYoungWorkers.pdf


A 2010 Legislative change requires payors of income to submit child support payments through electronic transmission. The use of electronic funds transmission is a faster and safer way for payors of income to make payments. Since the payments are not sent through the U.S. mail, payments are received timely and provide a stable payment frequency for families receiving the support. To learn more about electronic transmission of payments, click on the link for the Employers Partnering in Child Support (EPICS) Unit.
www.iowachildsupport.gov


The Jobs Accommodation Network (JAN) offers a number of webinars on making changes in the workplace for those needing accommodations, plus what products are available to assist employers.

Webinar presentation materials can be found at http://askjan.org/webcast/index.htm plus other training materials that JAN offers is available for viewing at this web site.

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The Great Plain ADA Center serves the State of Iowa by providing information and assistance regarding the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) at not cost to any interested party, including employers.

www.adata.org - 1-800-949-4232

From the Great Plains ADA Center in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the landmark civil rights legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Think Beyond the Label is committed to making the business case for employing people with disabilities. We are a partnership of health and human service and employment agencies with federal grants, coming together to build a uniform national infrastructure and approach that connects businesses to qualified candidates with disabilities. Our goal is simple: to raise awareness that hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. Employees with disabilities have unique, competitively relevant knowledge and perspectives about work processes, bringing different perspectives to meeting work requirements and goals successfully. Hiring someone who “thinks outside the box” might be thinking too small when there’s an opportunity to hire someone who lives outside the box.

Health & Disability Advocates (HDA), is a national nonprofit organization that promotes income security and improved health care access for children, people with disabilities, and low-income older adults. HDA is spearheading the Think Beyond the Label campaign on behalf of more than 40 states and various national and regional organizations by serving as its fiscal agent.

This Web site is Section 508-compliant, and is accessible to people with disabilities.
http://www.thinkbeyondthelabel.com/


HIRE (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment) Act
Payroll Tax Exemption for Hiring Unemployed Workers

This can give companies a financial incentive to hire a previously unemployed or underemployed worker:
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=220746,00.html


The Employer’s Disability Resource Network (EDRN)

The Employer’s Disability Resource Network (EDRN) partners can provide technical assistance, information, resources, and training to help businesses effectively recruit, hire and retain qualified employees. EDRN can also provide consultation and resources to create a welcoming environment for applicants and employees with disabilities by assuring that facilities are accessible. In addition, EDRN can customize training to fit your needs.
These resources not only assist employers in building a diverse workforce, but they can also enhance a business’ services to customers with disabilities.

Learn more about EDRN by visiting: http://www.edrnetwork.org/ or calling (515) 281-0264.


ODEP Alliance Partner Provides Useful Tips on Making Recruiting Sites Accessible for All

ODEP’s Alliance Partner, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), has published a comprehensive article about making a key element of the recruiting process accessible to all. http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/Diversity/Articles/Pages/RecruitingSitesAccessible.aspx


The Campaign for Disability Employment

The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace. http://www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/blog/index.php/what-can-employers-do/

Unemployment Insurance Benefit Options


New FMLA Regulations Released by U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor published final Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rules on Monday, November, 17, 2008. The new rules will become effective January 16, 2009.

Federal officials said highlights of the revised rules include, among others:

  • Military Caregiver Leave: Implements two previously announced new benefit extensions for military family benefits;

  • Serious Health Condition: Retains the current six individual definitions of “serious health condition,” but clarifies when “periodic visits to a health care provider” must be made;

  • Notice Obligations: Clarifies and strengthens the employer notice requirements to employees to ensure employees are informed of their FMLA rights and obligations and similarly tightens requirements for employee’s obligation to provide FMLA notice to their employers.


Information on Iowa's statewide smoke-free air law can be found at www.IowaSmokefreeAir.gov


Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Site

The 21st century economy demands a workforce with postsecondary education credentials and the adaptability to respond immediately to changing economic and business needs. Registered Apprenticeship is a critical postsecondary education, training and employment option available in every state in the country. An Integration Program To Educate, Promote, Train, Target and Partner...


Iowa Workforce Development and its Board of Directors worked in partnership with the Employers’ Council of Iowa to contact a random sample of local employers across all industrial classifications and employment ranges to provide information on the benefit packages offered by businesses in the State of Iowa. The information gathered provides a detailed analysis of employer-provided benefits. Consequently, this information will assist businesses, community leaders, and workers to make better informed decisions on expansion initiatives, community development projects, and job offerings.

Who We Are

Iowa's Employers' councils are groups of employers who work in partnership with Iowa Workforce Development to meet the workforce needs of employers. They provide an employer perspective in advising IWD and other policy makers on the full range of workforce issues and topics of concern to employers. The special role of the state level Employers' Council is to help gather and disseminate information about the activities of local councils, and to represent the local councils at the state and federal levels.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Employers' Council of Iowa is to support the efforts of local employers committees to:

Advise Iowa Workforce Development, legislators, and other officials concerning its products, services, and policies that affect employers; and

Provide opportunities for employers to exchange information and develop education programs for employers.

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