For some conditions, medical treatment will not help. For example, in 1979, Robert Palmer had “a bad case of lovin’ you” and no pill was gonna cure his ill. It is unknown whether this condition ever cleared up. At last report, Palmer had become addicted to love.
For those with conditions where pills can cure ills, or for those (like Huey Lewis?) who just want a new drug, medical coverage can be important. A new DOL rule allows small businesses to participate in Association Health Plans without exposing themselves to joint employer liability.
An Association Health Plan (AHP) is a group health plan that allows small employers to band together to purchase the types of coverage that are available to large employers, which can be less expensive and better tailored to the needs of their employees. AHPs can be formed based on common geography or based on a common industry or trade group.
The Department of Labor recently issued FAQs and a lengthy rule about AHPs, but for our purposes, one of the important pro-business features is that participation in an AHP cannot be used as evidence that the participant employers are joint employers under federal wage and hour law or employee benefits law.
The rule also recognizes that businesses may contract with individuals as independent contractors and that jointly participating in an AHP with these independent contractors does not make the business an employer or the contractor an employee. The inclusion of independent contractors in an AHP is not evidence of misclassification.
The rule takes effect August 20, 2018.
© 2018 Todd Lebowitz, posted on WhoIsMyEmployee.com, Exploring Issues of Independent Contractor Misclassification and Joint Employment. All rights reserved.