Legislative and Regulatory News for the Week of March 8, 2009

The following is a summary of the legislative and regulatory news for the week of March 8, 2009:

Discrimination in the Workplace

The Department of Health and Human Services has published its proposed rescission of the provider conscience rule.

EFCA/Labor-Management Relations

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was finally introduced in both the House and Senate.  Prior to its introduction, support for this measure already seemed to be waning.  Meanwhile, an alternative measure that lacks the contentious card-check provision was introduced.

Employee Benefits

In the wake of President Obama’s White House Forum on Health Reform, the Healthy Americans Act (H.R. 1321) was introduced.  This bill would create a mandatory health insurance program that includes employer-sponsored plans.

The Emergency Retiree Health Benefits Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 1322) would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to provide emergency protection for retiree health benefits.

Additionally, Littler’s Employee Benefits Practice Group demystifies some of the stimulus provisions regarding changes to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).


The omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 1105) cleared the Senate and was ultimately signed by the President this week. This measure will extend the E-Verify and EB-5 investor visa programs until September 30, 2009

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.