With tax time approaching, employers and HR professionals are fully immersed in ACA reporting activities. Recent executive orders and the passage of a large tax reform bill last year have resulted in ongoing uncertainty about the future of the ACA and employers’ responsibilities—yet previous tax years still require reporting and compliance.
Companies across the country are increasing wages, upping retirement matches, or providing bonuses to employees in the wake of the recent tax reform bill. Home Depot, for example, awarded its hourly employees a one-time cash bonus. Walmart announced it is increasing wages, creating new benefits, and paying one-time bonuses.
Tuesday night’s State of the Union address was all that I expected – Washington pageantry, political showmanship, and a view into the White House’s priorities for the year ahead.
Late last month, while most of us were focused on picking out holiday gifts and picking apart the new tax law, a federal court ruled that effective Jan. 1, 2019, employer-sponsored wellness programs must be truly voluntary. This means that unless the government can write new rules before then, employers may no longer offer employees incentives (or threaten penalties) for wellness program participation involving medical exams or inquiries. The case, AARP v. EEOC, could change workplace wellness as we know it.