Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Employers: Beware of Actions that Could Result in ACA Whistleblower Liability

This is from Mary Pivec at Ford Harrison, LLP:
... [The] ACA prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating against any employee with respect to compensation or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment because the employee (or an individual acting at the request of the employee has) 
  1. Received a credit or a subsidy for purchasing health benefits;
  2. Provided, caused to be provided, or is about to provide or cause to be provided to the employer, the federal government, or the attorney general of a state, information relating to any violation of, or any act or omission the employee reasonably believes to be a violation of Title I of the ACA;
  3. Testified or is about to testify in a proceeding concerning such violation; Assisted or participated, or is about to assist or participate, in such a proceeding; or
  4. Objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, practice, or assigned task that the employee (or other such person) reasonably believed to be in violation of any provision of ACA or any order, rule, regulation, standard or ban under Title I of the ACA.
DOL published procedures for handling ACA whistleblower complaints on February 13, 2013. Under the regulations, an aggrieved employee (or representative) must file an administrative complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Whistleblower Directorate, within 180 days following an adverse employment action taken in whole or in part based upon the employer's knowledge of the employee's participation in ACA-protected activity. ...