Recent changes to the rules regarding medical examination requirements for commercial vehicle drivers have made it necessary for the driver to continue to carry a copy of the medical examiners certificate (medical card) with them at all times when operating a commercial motor vehicle until January 30, 2015 The extension of this requirement will allow state licensing agencies to update and bring their programs into compliance with Federal standards. The next change will become effective May 21, 2014 and will require that all medical examiners be trained, tested and placed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. If the examiner you have been using is not registered, the medical exam and certificate will not be considered valid.
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Last week investors were bombarded with a series of economic reports that pointed to two different paths for the economy. Both the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reports highlighted signs of concern over the tepid economic recovery that has been in place since 2008. Meanwhile consumer spending and statements from the Federal Reserve suggest that economic activity is picking up after hibernating during a winter that refused to end.
The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is becoming more prevalent throughout the U.S. While recreational use of marijuana is prohibited in most states, many states are passing legislation that permits its residents to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Confounding the issues, the use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the state laws that permit the use of medical marijuana currently do not provide employees protection against discipline by employers for using the drug. This whitepaper references some of the legal aspects and precautions to take in order to prevent employee safety and guest concerns.
President Obama recently issued three Executive Orders (“E. O.”) in response to the annexation of Crimea by Russia. These E.O.s can impose sanctions on named officials of the Russian government, any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry - and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official. We recommend that shipowners (U.S. Persons) consider monitoring the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.
Preview this month’s installment of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s Pitfalls & Perils of 2014 focused on ten PPACA fees and the extra precautions employers can take to prepare for them.
Directions newsletter is a monthly publication of the Benefits & HR Consulting operations of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. The May 2014 issue includes healthcare reform updates, a technical bulletin, webinar information and a variety of benefits and HR news.
Nick Davies & Andrew Irving write, “It is a well-known premise that sequels are rarely as good as the original when it comes to blockbuster features films… generally, any redux is a bit of a disappointment. This brings us to the world of pensions…”
On April 17th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that median weekly earnings for the nation’s 104.3 million full-time workers grew 3% from the year prior. Prices rose at a 1.4% rate for the same period, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U), a positive development for the beleaguered workforce. This was the first time since 2009 that wages grew at a faster pace than the 2001 to 2014 average of roughly 2.5%, perhaps signaling a turning point for the U.S. labor market.
U.S. Supreme Court Considering Fiduciary Responsibility for 401(k) Plan Company Stock Funds and Other Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP)
The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to enter the debate over the standards of prudence & loyalty that an ERISA plan fiduciary must satisfy when a defined contribution plan offers participants a fund dedicated to company stock as one of the plan’s...
Articles include: When Can An Individual Enroll in a Federally-Facilitated Marketplace Plan Outside of Open Enrollment? HHS Issues Proposed Regulations on Exchange and Insurance Marketplace Standards Indexed Cost-Sharing Dollar Values Released for 2015 Employers Should Prepare to Receive Premium Tax Credit Notices