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New White Paper Tells HR How to Meet COBRA and Other Obligations Under Stimulus Act

March 9, 2009 (Nashville, TN) -- With the first phase of the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), better known as the Economic Stimulus Act, taking affect, employers suddenly face a host of questions about its impact on their workplace policies and procedures.

A new white paper, available for free download at HRhero.com, explains everything Human Resources professionals need to know about the law’s effect on COBRA, unemployment insurance, tax credits and relief, health information privacy, visas, executive compensation, and whistleblowers.

To download What the Obama Stimulus Plan Means for Employers: COBRA, Benefits, and More, interested parties should visit http://www.hrhero.com/whitepapers/?wposp.

“The stimulus act creates many new protections and benefits for workers, which will ultimately land in the lap of HR to administer or oversee,” says Dan Oswald, president of M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC and Director of the company’s web site, HRhero.com. “For example, the law partially subsidizes the health insurance premiums for terminated employees under COBRA, but not all ex-employees are eligible. HR has to consider when the employee was terminated, how well the former employee was compensated, and other factors. There are also notice requirements and enrollment rules that can get tricky.”

“This report details what’s in the law that affects Human Resources and explains what they need to do now by way of policy-making and notifying to make sure they don’t violate the law’s requirements.”

In addition to detailing benefit subsidies, What the Obama Stimulus Plan Means for Employers: COBRA, Benefits, and More explains:
Make Work Pay: The stimulus bill includes the Make Work Pay credit, worth 6.25% of earned income, which employees will see as a reduction in the amount of income tax withheld from paychecks – an adjustment employers will have to make to payroll
Unemployment Compensation: Benefits have been extended and expanded. In states that accept the terms of the plan, the package provides for modernization of compensation systems.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit: The stimulus package expands the WOTC program by adding two new categories.
Visas: Companies receiving TARP money wouldn’t be allowed H-1B visas to hire workers for 2 years unless they meet certain requirements.
Whistleblowers: Employers that get grants, contracts or another payments associated with the stimulus act will find their employees covered by expanded whistleblower protections.
Confidential health information: Expanded HIPAA privacy and security requirements on health plans and new health information technology requirements

About HRhero.com

HRhero.com was created by M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC to help human resource professionals find quick answers to their employment law and management questions. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better able to maintain a productive workplace and avoid devastating lawsuits.

Started in 1975 with the publication of the still-successful Tennessee Journal, M. Lee Smith Publishers today offers more than 130 nationally acclaimed newsletters, videos, software, books, and directories to attorneys, human resources professionals, and other business executives.

To provide the most authoritative and timely information to these communities, the company’s 50 state-specific Employment Law Letters are edited by many of the nation's largest and most prestigious law firms, and its videos and other products for human resources professionals are created in partnership with some of America's leading experts.

Contact:
Pete McPherson, pmcpherson@mleesmith.com
800-274-6774


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