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Final ACA Employer Rules Address Staffing Firm Issues; Mandate Delayed for Small Employers

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have issued final regulations on the employer “play or pay” requirements under the Affordable Care Act; the rules take effect Jan. 1, 2015. The agencies also issued a one-year delay of the employer mandate for employers with up to 99 employees.

The final rules confirm the availability of a look-back rule of up to 12 months for variable-hour employees. ASA had urged adoption of a rule that would allow staffing firms to presume employees to be variable-hour if their assignments were expected to be less than six months. The final rules did not adopt this recommendation because staffing firms “vary widely in the types of assignments they fill for their clients and in the anticipated assignments that a new employee will be offered.” The rules do, however, provide additional guidance for making variable-hour determinations by specifying the factors that should be considered in making those decisions.

In another accommodation for staffing firms, the final rules allow employees with a break in service of as little as 13 weeks to be treated as a new employee, subject to a new look-back period.

Read more and download the final ACA employer rules. And mark your calendar for Feb. 27, when ASA will present a webinar about the final rules and issues relating to staffing firm compliance in 2015, including the status of health insurance availability for temporary employees.