In every place workplace, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) poster ought to be displayed at a highly visible point. This poster includes eligibility, benefits and basic characteristics of the program. All public employees and school educators are included in the FMLA. All companies with 50 or more workers must also act in accordance with the act.
With Mother’s Day just past and Father’s day on the horizon, this is a good opportunity to review the contents of this important law. Basically, the FMLA protects a worker’s job when he or she has to take time off to attend to a difficult or stressful situation. We are all exposed to accidents, illnesses, to family emergencies, or the arrival of a new baby. In these cases, employees are allowed to take a total of 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave with no risk of losing their jobs.
Some the situations that are considered by the act are the following:
Care for a close family member who is seriously
Birth of a child or adoption
Care of the newborn
Placement of a foster child
Some steps are necessary to enforce the Nebraska FMLA. The employer should notify the employee in writing about the conditions of FMLA leave. The employer should give detailed instructions on the employee’s responsibilities to protect his or her job. These instructions must specify what contact the employee must maintain with the office, including times and procedures. The employee must to follow these written instructions and must maintain a good relationship with the employer.
Time spent in military service counts towards the employees total hours for FMLA eligibility.
The Nebraska FMLA is a federal program. Some states have preferred to enact their own FMLA regulations. Several states including Rhode Island, New York and California have more generous FMLA laws. These are not the same as the federal act, but have similarities. Nebraska opted simply to use the federal law.
Workers in Nebraska employee benefit plans will feel the impact of a ruling on group health insurance that guarantees equal benefits for mental health and physical health treatment.
The so-called Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) has been extended through December 31 of 2007. The law signed by the President assures that all U.S. health insurance plans in the nation offering health care to workers must fund mental health treatment at the same level they fund treatment for medical and surgical issues.
The law was recently extended through December 31 of 2007. The MHPA originally became law in 1996, but a so-called “sunset clause” was written into it, forcing its expiration on September 31 of 2001. But it has been extended five times by amendments since its creation. In excess of 150 million employees in the U.S. are covered by group health insurance packages, so the impact is wide-ranging.
The MHPA was a turning point. Until then, a health plan could put high limits on medical and surgical treatment, but much lower levels for coverage of mental health treatment issues. While medical coverage limits might be at $100,000, mental health limits might be $10,000 or lower, sometimes as low as $5,000. Thanks to MHPA, that is illegal.
What is covered by mental health treatments? Typically, periods in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers are included. Also covered are visits to a licensed therapist, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist, as well as stays in hospitals – mental health facilities or the mental health sections of medical hospitals for illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) enforces the laws regulating group health plans. It has gone through a metamorphosis since its creation in 1974. At that time its mission was to enforce the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974. Since then it has undergone several name changes, until its present title reflected its broader mandate and its upgrade to sub-cabinet level.
To find out if you are liable to pay unemployment insurance taxes in the state of Nebraska, you first have to determine if the state even considers you an employer there. The Nebraska officials consider the official definition of employer to be “an individual or type of organization including any partnership, association, trust, estate, corporation or government agency who employs people.”
Sounds pretty straightforward right? Well, the law in the state of Nebraska goes on to differentiate between employers who are liable to pay unemployment insurance taxes and those who are not, and this differentiation is very important for determining your status in the state. But at least the state officials in charge of the process seem to make it relatively simple for employers to figure this out.
As a new employer in the state of Nebraska, you just have to send in an Application for an Unemployment Insurance Account Number. The state officials in charge of the unemployment insurance system then review your application and determine if you are liable to pay unemployment insurance tax in the state. So in effect, you don’t have to make that determination or worry about it. The state will do it for you.
They will then send you a letter that tells you whether or not you are liable. If you are liable, they will then set up an Unemployment Insurance Account Number for you, and pass that along to you as well. Then you will receive a report form every quarter from the state that tells you how many former employees of yours have been claiming unemployment insurance benefits on your account.
All of these forms, needless to say, should be kept in the safest possible location in your company’s human resource storage system. The unemployment records could be kept near to your personnel files, because much of the info on the unemployment forms will be included in forms in your personnel files, such as your exit interview forms, your employee employment offer and acknowledgement forms, and what not.
As stated on Nebraska Unemployment Insurance posters, the unemployment insurance program is designed as a partnership between the federal government and state governments. States collect quarterly unemployment insurance taxes and wage information to pay unemployment insurance benefits to qualified workers.
Workers reading Nebraska Unemployment Insurance posters will find that in Nebraska these taxes are paid by employers only and are not a withholding from worker wages. The federal part, Federal Unemployment Tax, is paid to the I.R.S. and is used to pay the administrative costs of state programs.
Every employer who begins operations in this state and employs a person or persons is required to file an Application For An Unemployment Insurance Account Number, (UI Form 1) even though such an employer may not be subject to the Law. Upon receipt of the completed report, a determination of the employer’s liability will be made. Once an employer is determined liable, he or she is issued an unemployment insurance account number – a ten-digit number starting with a zero. This number is different from the state revenue number or I.R.S. number.
A liable employer is an individual or type of organization including any partnership, association, trust, estate, corporation, Limited Liability Company or governmental agency that employs people and meets the coverage provisions of the Nebraska Employment Security Law.
Once an employer has an account, employers are mailed quarterly Combined Tax Reports and Wage Reports each quarter. Reports and payments are due back at the Department of Labor by the end of the month following the end of the quarter. Additionally, all liable employers must post Nebraska Unemployment Insurance posters in visible locations.
Beginning January 1, 2006, new employers and other non-experience rated employers have been assigned a tax rate equal to the state average tax rate or 2.5% – whichever is less. This tax rate applies to the taxable wage base. The taxable wage base in 2006 is $8,000 and in 2007 and thereafter it will be $9,000.