January Law Changes– OR, NJ, NY, NV

Oregon Pregnancy Accommodations Law   Following many other states, the new law prohibits employers from deny employment opportunities to applicants or employees who need reasonable accommodations due to or related to their pregnancy or childbirth.  New Jersey Pay Inquiry Restrictions   This law prohibits screening candidates based upon an applicant’s prior wage history. It is also illegal to establish a job candidate’s salary or benefits compensation based upon their prior salary or wage history. New York Pay Inquiry Restrictions   This law prohibits all employers from inquiring about a job candidate’s wage history or relying on prior wage levels in establishing compensation or benefits. Nevada Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Restrictions   This law exempts employees who are firefighters, EMTs or who operate motor vehicles during the course of their duties.  While this would eliminate many positions within an EMS agency.  EMS employers who are not Federal Contractors or Grantees, need to heed these restrictions for those positions within their organization that do not fit into one of the exempt positions below....

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Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Update

The U.S. DOL issued the final rule that will update the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) beginning on January 1, 2020. Under the final rule, nearly 1.3 million workers who were previously exempt from overtime pay will now be eligible. These changes, which were initially proposed by the Obama Administration in 2015, were updated under the Trump Administration this year to provide an increase to the minimum salary level under the so called “white collar” exemptions. The minimum salary level will increase from $455 per week to $684 (new level $35,568 annually) for those employees who meet the “white collar” positions as Executive, Administrative, Professional or Computer employees.  Services are encouraged to conduct an analysis of all positions that they currently pay on an exempt salary basis to ensure that these roles will continue to meet the exemption requirements under the new FLSA provisions. Assistance is available for all AAA members. Please email info@ambulance.org with any questions....

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Proposed Rule Impacts Employer Sponsored Health Plans

A proposed rule published on November 27th by the IRS, U.S. DOL, and HHS would place new requirements on group health plans and health insurance providers. The rule would require providers to disclose cost-sharing information to participants, beneficiaries, and other covered individuals which would outline their liability to pay certain cost-sharing amounts and out-of-pocket expenses. This rule is part of a Trump Administration effort to foster competition among insurers and healthcare providers in the marketplace. An article published by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) outlines the concerns many employers have regarding the costs associated with implementing the requirements of the proposed rule. These requirements include providing plan enrollees with an online self-service portal where they can see these cost-sharing amounts, as well as require greater collaboration between third party plan administrators, pharmacy benefit managers, and other specialty providers to ensure the accurate disclosure of enrollee financial obligations. Comments on the proposed rule are due by January 14, 2020....

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The Cost of a Bad Hire

Our industry has been struggling with a staffing crisis for several years. We are all looking for ways to attract and hire qualified individuals to staff our ambulances and work in our dispatch and billing offices. This shortage has often resulted in ambulance providers hiring many people who meet the basic qualifications for the position even if they might not be the best fit for the company. There is a strong focus on reducing overtime hours to keep cost in line with shrinking reimbursement dollars. However, when a new person is introduced to the company community and culture, there are impacts that are not always recognized. Our industry has also struggled with the concept of collecting and reporting cost data because there are many dynamics that drive cost for ambulance providers throughout the country. Difficulties with identifying and isolating recruitment and retention costs are no exception to this struggle. An article published by the HR Daily Advisor discusses a recently published survey that studied the financial impacts a bad hire has on an organization. Not only does the organization lose the money associated with onboarding the wrong candidate (interview time, screening costs, orientation costs, uniforms, third ride time, etc.) but (more…)

HR Series Webinar – 25% Off During Cyber Week!

I Really Can’t Stay… Managing Employee Leave December 8 at 2:00 PM ET $99 for Members – $75 DURING CYBER WEEK SALE  $198 for non-Members – $150 DURING CYBER WEEK SALE  This program is valid for 1 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP   Speaker: Scott Moore, Esq., EMS Resource Advisors Managing employee leaves can be a complex and challenging task which can expose employers to significant risk. Nearly 52% of employers believe that employees are fraudulently using FMLA leave. This webinar will provide employers with a solid understanding of an employee’s right to protected leave and best practices for preventing abuse, and managing and tracking leave. This session will cover some of the challenges with managing intermittent leave, the impact of built in overtime in FMLA time calculation, importance of the Medical Certification, pay during leave, and the interaction with the ADA. Register Now►

EEOC Sounds Off On Transgender Issues

A few days ago the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released Fact Sheet: Bathroom Access Rights for Transgender Employees Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This was in direct response to the passing of North Carolina’s HB2 in March that restricts multi-use bathrooms and changing facilities to be utilized only by those individuals based upon their sex noted at birth.  The North Carolina “Bathroom Rule” is directly aimed at transgender individuals and would force transgender individuals to use the restroom that is opposite of how they physically present.  In other words, a transgender male who has a beard and other characteristics typically associated with being male, would be forced to use a women’s restroom. In response to the new law, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had notified North Carolina that HB2 violates not only Title VII of the Civil Rights Act but also Title IX Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.  The DOJ sent a letter to the Governor and State legislature on May 4th informing them that they had until May 9th to notify the Department of their intent not to implement or enforce the new law or risk (more…)