GSBE Weekly Update 11/22/2017
ACA: IRS Releases 2017 Reporting Forms
With no changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the horizon, employers must remember their reporting requirements. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released final forms and instructions for 2017 ACA tax reporting, as detailed below.
It is federally mandated that employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees must report information about the health care coverage, if any, they offer. The updated forms and instructions to do so are:
- File 2017 Form 1094-C Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns with the IRS;
- Furnish 2017 Form 1095-CEmployer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage to each full-time employee and file with the IRS; and
- Review the IRS’s Instructions for Forms 1094C and 1095-Cfor guidance.
For employers that sponsor self-funded minimum essential coverage plans, the required forms and their instructions are:
- File 2017 Form 1094-BTransmittal of Health Coverage Information with the IRS;
- Furnish 2017 Form 1095-BHealth Coverage to the enrollee and file with the IRS; and
- Review the IRS’s Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-Bfor guidance.
For 2018, the deadline to furnish the 2017 Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C to the employees or individuals is January 31, 2018.
The deadlines to file ACA forms with the IRS depend on whether you are filing a paper form or filing electronically.
- The deadline to paper file all 2017 Forms 1095-C or 1095-B, as well as the appropriate transmittal Form 1094-C or 1094-B, is February 28, 2018.
- The deadline to electronically file all 2017 Forms 1095-C or 1095-B, as well as the appropriate transmittal Form 1094-C or 1094-B, is April 2, 2018.
Calif. Harassment Training May Add Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
The California state legislature has approved a bill that would expand required training for supervisors to prevent sexual harassment to include gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.
Brown has signed pro-LGBT legislation in the past, and the legislative votes were overwhelmingly in favor of this bill, said John Baum, an attorney with Hirschfeld Kraemer in San Francisco.
S.B. 396, signed into law, it might not change much for employers. Many employers seek to promote fairness in the workplace and are proactive about training on a variety of harassment topics—not just sexual harassment, Baum said.
S.B. 396 doesn’t extend the minimum duration of training or impose any other new requirements for the training, explained Eric Akira Tate at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. He said his firm has already been including these topics in its training, particularly since gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are protected categories under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
FEHA already requires businesses with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors every two years.
“Such training must cover guidance about federal and state laws prohibiting harassment and provide practical examples for supervisors to help prevent harassment, discrimination, and retaliation,” said Michael Stevens, an attorney with Seyfarth Shaw in San Francisco. It further requires that the training be provided by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas, he noted.
S.B. 396 would add a requirement for employers to provide practical training to supervisors to prevent harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees—as well as those who are perceived as LGBT, Stevens said.
Tate noted that a similar amendment a few years ago required that the topic of abusive conduct—i.e., bullying—be incorporated into the training. “S.B. 396 just adds another topic to cover,” he said.
The bill would require all employers to display a poster about transgender rights in a prominent place, such as a cafeteria or meeting room where employment posters are usually displayed, Baum said, noting that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing would develop the poster.
Businesses with 50 or more employees would also need to revise their anti-harassment training every two years for supervisors to cover the newly required topics. “Employers should ask questions of the trainers to ensure that they have adequate experience in preventing harassment of LGBT employees,” Stevens said.
This bill should serve as a reminder for employers to take a close look at their existing training to ensure they are complying with all the requirements, Tate noted. He said employers should be sure to:
- Keep a record of who attends the training.
- Follow up with newly hired managers to make sure they get the training within six months of hire.
- Confirm with the training provider that the content includes “abusive conduct” on the off chance that it was missed in prior years.
- Consider whether the training is sufficiently engaging and interactive to maximize the likelihood that the attendees will retain what they learned.
While it’s not legally required, Tate said, employers should consider whether it makes sense for their workplace to train other employees besides managers or to conduct training on topics beyond the statutorily required ones. For example, he said, employers may want to train on implicit bias, micro inequities or other topics that may not directly result in legal exposure, but may nonetheless impact the working environment, employee comfort and productivity.