Legislative Update for the Week of November 18, 2013

House Subcommittee Examines Implications of DOL's Home Healthcare Rule

During a House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing – Redefining Companion Care: Jeopardizing Access to Affordable Care for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities – panelists and lawmakers highlighted problems that await home care providers, workers, and care recipients when the Department of Labor’s new home care rule takes effect in January 2015.  Issued in September, the final rule eliminates the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime exemption for home care workers employed by home care agencies and other companies.  This rule also significantly narrows the exemption for home care workers employed directly by the individuals or families receiving home care services. Read the full post here. (November 20, 2013)

SEC Releases Annual Whistleblower Report

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) 2013 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the agency awarded four whistleblowers a total of $14,831,965.64 during the fiscal year.  More than $14 million of that sum was given to a single whistleblower.  Under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower incentive program, individuals who report original information that leads the SEC to recover monetary sanctions of $1 million or more are eligible to receive awards of 10 to 30% of that financial recovery.  This year, whistleblowers filed 3,238 tips and complaints with the agency, up from 3,001 filed in 2012.  Since the program’s inception in August 2011, the SEC has received 6,573 tips and complaints.  Read about the highlights of this year’s report here. (November 19, 2013)

President, Congress React to Health Insurance Policy Cancellations

In the wake of a political firestorm brewing around cancelations of individual health insurance policies, last week President Obama announced a rule change that would potentially allow some individuals to remain on their current health insurance policy for an additional year. The White House “fix” announced last Thursday would permit insurance companies to continue to offer such policies to individuals for another year, even though the policies do not meet the minimum standards required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The announcement came amidst sharp criticism of the President’s pledge that people would keep their existing coverage if they liked it and the day before the House voted on a broader measure. Read the full entry here. (November 18, 2013)

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.