The top regulatory issue affecting businesses this summer has been the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Paychex Inc. said Thursday.
The ruling tops the company’s list of six regulatory issues that have had an impact on businesses this summer and will continue to have an effect in the year ahead.
“A major ruling on the Affordable Care Act, coupled with news of the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule, has meant a busy and potentially uncertain time for business owners this summer, “ said Martin Mucci, president and CEO. “Paychex keeps a close eye on the regulatory landscape to help businesses plan and prepare for the changes ahead.”
In late June, the Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-3 decision, that premium tax credits are allowed for eligible individuals who sign up for health insurance coverage through federal and state health insurance marketplaces. With the ACA remaining unchanged, eligible individuals purchasing health insurance through the federal marketplace will continue to qualify for premium tax credits, Paychex said.
Second on the Paychex list was the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling on the legality of same-sex marriage. By a 5-4 ruling, the court held that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and recognize a same-sex marriage lawfully performed outside the state. Same-sex couples who are legally married may now be eligible for the same benefits available to opposite-sex married couples.
No. 3 is the proposed expansion of overtime rules. In early July, the Department of Labor released a proposed rule to update the regulations governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees are entitled to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime pay protections.
Fourth on the Paychex lists is mandatory sick leave. Due to recently passed legislation, ballot initiatives and local ordinances across the country, certain private employers are or will be required to offer employees sick leave, the company said.
No. 5 on the list is minimum wage. The federal minimum wage rate remains $7.25 an hour, however, due to Congressional inaction on this issue, many states and local jurisdictions have set and/or recently increased their own minimum wage rates, the company said. Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wage rates set above the federal minimum wage. So far in 2015, 22 states have had increases in their minimum wage rates.
The sixth issue is increased enforcement of employee classification, Paychex officials said. The Labor Department recently issued Administrator’s Interpretation 2015-1: The Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “Suffer or Permit” Standard in the Identification of Employees Who Are Misclassified as Independent Contractors. It generally concludes most workers are employees under federal wage-and-hour law, the company said.
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