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Deep Dive: Association Health Plan Considerations following the Court Order Vacating the DOL’s Final Rule

On March 28, 2019, the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion and order vacating key portions of the Department of Labor’s regulation, published in June 2018, which had expanded the definition of “employer” under Section 3(5) of ERISA (the “AHP Rule”), thereby broadening the scope of association health plans (“AHPs”).  According to the Court, it is unreasonable to interpret “employer” as including working owners and groups that do not have “a true commonality of interest” and doing so leads to “absurd results” and is an “end run” around the Affordable Care Act.  The Court’s opinion was issued with immediate effect and has cast doubt on the future use of AHPs, especially self-insured AHPs.

As background, the AHP rule was promulgated in response to President Trump’s October 12, 2017, Executive Order, which directed the DOL to expand access to and allow more employers to form AHPs.  Before the Executive Order, the DOL had been characterizing AHPs maintained by a “bona fide” group or association of employers as being sponsored by a single employer (with the AHP retaining its status as a MEWA under ERISA). The AHP Rule significantly expanded such application by permitting groups or associations, including groups consisting entirely of “working owners” (self-employed individuals without common law employees), to form a single employer AHP that could qualify as a “large group” plan that would be exempt from certain Affordable Care Act reforms, such as offering the full suite of

Employer CCPA FAQs #4: What information is not “Personal Information” under the CCPA?

This post is part of our series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  that should help employers with operations in California to determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance.

By way of background, the CCPA is a new privacy law that will go into effect in early 2020. Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals do not realize that the CCPA, as currently enacted, also applies to data collected about California-based employees. Please see our recent blog post for a summary of which employers will be subject to the CCPA and the key requirements of the law.

Although the law will not be in effect until next year, employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For U.S. employers who have not had to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the requirements of the CCPA will likely require a new analysis of the treatment of employee-data and updated or new data policies. Employers who are required to comply with the GDPR will likely already be familiar with many of the requirements of the CCPA, and a key area of interest is the degree to which the CCPA aligns with GDPR for purposes of implementing CCPA compliant practices for their California-based employees.

BCLP offers a complete compliance program for employers that includes a formal gap assessment and tailored policies, procedures, and protocols

Employer CCPA FAQs #3: As used in the CCPA, do the terms “personal data,” and “personal information” mean the same thing? 

In the coming weeks we will be releasing a series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  of particular importance to employers.  These FAQs should help employers determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance.

By way of background, employers with operations in California should be aware of the CCPA, a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals don’t realize that the Act, as currently drafted, applies to data collected about California-based employees. Please see our recent blog post summarizing the CCPA for employers.

The CCPA will go into effect in early 2020, and employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For U.S. employers who have not had to comply with the GDPR, the requirements of the CCPA for California-based employees will likely require a new analysis of the treatment of employee-data and updated or new data policies.

For employers with European operations, one key area of interest is the degree to which the CCPA aligns with the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  Employers who are complying with the GDPR will likely already be familiar with many of the requirements of the CCPA – and with some assistance, should be able to bring their operations and policies into compliance with respect to California-based employees.

BCLP also offers a

Employer CCPA FAQs #2: What is “personal information” under the CCPA? 

In the coming weeks we will be releasing a series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  of particular importance to employers.  These FAQs should help employers determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance.

By way of background, employers with operations in California should be aware of the CCPA, a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals don’t realize that the Act, as currently drafted, applies to data collected about California-based employees. Please see our recent blog post summarizing the CCPA for employers.

The CCPA will go into effect in early 2020, and employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For U.S. employers who have not had to comply with the GDPR, the requirements of the CCPA for California-based employees will likely require a new analysis of the treatment of employee-data and updated or new data policies.

For employers with European operations, one key area of interest is the degree to which the CCPA aligns with the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  Employers who are complying with the GDPR will likely already be familiar with many of the requirements of the CCPA – and with some assistance, should be able to bring their operations and policies into compliance with respect to California-based employees.

BCLP also offers a complete

Employer CCPA FAQs #1: Does the CCPA apply to employee data?

In the coming weeks we will be releasing a series of FAQs examining the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)  of particular importance to employers.  These FAQs should help employers determine if they are required to comply with the CCPA and if so, what steps their HR professionals and IT departments should take to be in compliance.

By way of background, employers with operations in California should be aware of the CCPA, a new privacy law that applies to data collected about California-based employees.   Because the CCPA refers to “consumers” many HR professionals don’t realize that the Act, as currently drafted, applies to data collected about California-based employees. Please see our recent blog post summarizing the CCPA for employers.

The CCPA will go into effect in early 2020, and employers who must comply should be addressing compliance obligations now.  For U.S. employers who have not had to comply with the GDPR, the requirements of the CCPA for California-based employees will likely require a new analysis of the treatment of employee-data and updated or new data policies.

For employers with European operations, one key area of interest is the degree to which the CCPA aligns with the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  Employers who are complying with the GDPR will likely already be familiar with many of the requirements of the CCPA – and with some assistance, should be able to bring their operations and policies into compliance with respect to California-based employees.

BCLP also offers a

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