Human Resources News & Insights

4 HR issues hidden in Obama’s stimulus package

Legal experts are still trying to comb their way through the 1,079-page American Recovery and Reinvestment Act President Obama signed into law last month. And deep in the document, they’re finding several provisions that will have a big impact on HR.

1. Tax breaks

One change that could affect companies’ hiring plans: a tax incentive to boost the employment of certain disadvantaged groups.

Under the new law, businesses can claim a 40% credit on the first $6,000 of wages paid to:

  • unemployed veterans (people discharged from military duty within the past five years who’ve received at least four weeks of unemployment benefits within the previous 12 months), and
  • “disconnected youths” (individuals between the ages of 16 and 25 who haven’t worked or attended school in the past six months).

2. New HIPAA regs

The stimulus package expands the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to give businesses more responsibility in keeping health records confidential.

Under the new provision, in the event of a breach of health data, any business covered by HIPAA must notify affected individuals within 60 days after they discover the information has been compromised.

3. COBRA subsidy

Under the stimulus plan, the government will subsidize COBRA health insurance premiums for employees who have lost or will lose their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009. Here’s how it’ll work:

Employees are responsible for paying 35% of the premiums. Employers pay the rest, then claim their share as an offset against payroll tax liability.

Any workers who were terminated after Sept. 1 but didn’t take COBRA will get a second chance. Employers must send those employees a new notice before April 15.

4. Increased unemployment benefits

The plan gives states more money for unemployment benefits, extending a program that offers benefits for an additional seven weeks. Also, the law expands eligibility to employees who lose their jobs due to certain family reasons, such as a spouse’s relocation or the need for time to take care of a sick family member.

As a result, experts say, employers could end up paying higher unemployment insurance taxes.

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Comments

  1. Can someone tell me what exactly President Obama’s stimulus package will entail? I’ve heard different dollar amounts and was just wondering if I could get some factual info.

    Thanks!

  2. DIANNA G RODRIGUEZ says:

    Employers can’t win for losing. Let’s get the whip and give a thousand lashes to all employers. And don’t forget, BUSINESS CITY TAXES, PAYROLL TAXES, UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES, FUTA. Why don’t we just shut down. Let OBAMA hire these umemployed people and he can pay all these taxes!!!! We’ll just do subcontracting. I love 1099s.

  3. Private Party says:

    OMG! We laid people off because we couldn’t afford them and now they are making us pay the price. What gives B. Hussein Obame……

  4. Employeers aren’t going to have much say about running their business in the future. The WSJ ran a story on Obama supporting the EFCA act and the AFL-CIO wanting a part in restructuring the banking system. Face it-we’re all going to tapped by the Unions and the law says it’s ok. More of the US manufacturing segment will relocate outside the US.

    The missing piece they don’t understand is that lack of income trickles down to restaurants, movie theaters, local sporting events, concerts, etc. The landslide unemployment will be more devasting in the future months.

  5. Private Party says:

    OOPS! That’s Obame not Obame

  6. Suwanee HR says:

    This article states, “Any workers who were terminated after Sept. 1 but didn’t take COBRA will get a second chance.” It is my understanding that this only applies to ‘involuntarily terminated’ employees. Not ‘any’ employees who were terminated. I am not entirely sure stating this applies to any terminated employee is correct.

    Also – has anyone heard if ‘involuntary termination’ has been more clearly defined? I would hate to think a terminated employee who was fired for misconduct would reap these benefits.

  7. Oh, quit the whining! It all balances out in the end. How do you think laid off employees feel? It’s difficult to imagine when you still have YOUR job, isn’t it? No one is going to die, so go with the flow. The more you resist, the worse it feels, people.

  8. Okay, blame Obama all you want. The reality is that the greed of numerous big and small company executives put this country in this economic crisis so now every american and every american company and all around the world is going to really feel it. There will be a lot more pain before this country will begin to heal. Look at the big picture. I hear what you all are saying but just know everyone is paying the price.

    There is no easy answer and Obama may not get it all right, but I will wait and see since he has only been in office for approximately a month and a half. Remember he is cleaning up 8 years of disaster. It is going to take some time to get us back where we should be and you will see the turn around very slowly.

  9. Private Party says:

    Talk to me when your holding your gun trying to prevent people from robbing your house because of extreme poverty and broken families. He is single handedly ruining this country and employers left with 65% of cobra payments that they can’t afford. Remember every president must inherit and clean up what the previous ones have signed into law. I have only heard B Hussein Obama grip about it, he wanted this problem, otherwise he would have stayed in his senate seat. If you will do your studies properly, the dems have blocked alot of propositions, laws, bills that the republicans have propsed thru those 8 years, and now with them in control of the house they don’t need one republican to vote their way, they will pass, pass, pass, pass until this country is no longer the leading country of the world.

  10. One step closer to the socialism that soo many people were predicting. Is is too easy for a prsident like BHO to mandate that businesses are suddenly resposible for costs that they needed to reduce. Business owners do not take it lightly when they need to reduce their workforce. Personally, I will only lay someone off because I have to. Having to lay someone off is generally required due to the financial requirement that a business cannot print more money to cover the dept incurred by having staff that has nothing to do. BHO should be looking at reducing the incredible wages and benefits that Federal employees are getting. I have talked to many people in private business that have been forced; (defined as; compulsory) to lay off the employees that they depend on to make business possible, due to financial situations. Pehaps the President should lay off half of the federal employee’s and reduce the wages of the rest of them by 10 to 20 percent and reduce the available work hours. Oh, the unions would have a hayday with that! They got him elected

  11. I can’t believe some of what I’m reading! And all of you are professionals? President Obama is not running this country alone, he has a string of advisers! It’s a shame that so many of us are not supporting our President, but instead are looking for ways to set him up to fail. No, he may not get it right the first time, nor the second time but with the support and knowledge of a whole bunch of people, he may bring about much needed change and make some things for a few of us a little better. Let’s support our President and offer solutions not problems!

  12. Langmuir Blodget says:

    Gina think about it,

    sure the layed off people have troubles. But further draining the business’s cash flow
    is a sure way to force more layoffs. It isn’t about fairness, it is about the reality of
    life.

    And by the way, Private Party, Obama was definitely part of the problem while he was in
    the Senate, it was Congress that made Fannie Mae change their loan quality requirements,
    and Obama was in the forefront of that fight.

  13. Randi Gallivan says:

    Gina — I totally agree! Blaming Obama at this early stage of his administration is ridiculous — let’s see what happens. We already know what got us into this mess so let’s hope a change will get us out — business as usual is just not a possibility any longer.

  14. All of you in disagreement with Obama should heed what SC had to say, I’m in agreement with SC. As Obama stated in his speech last week that the problem was inherited (half the room stood and clapped and for those who watched, we all know the republicans did not). These people who knew a year and a half ago that this was where we were headed did nothing to prevent this. I’m sure that their money and retirement funds are somewhere safe. I have been conducting workforce reductions since last March and will probably have to do more this week along with cancel our medical coverage to conserve funds.

    Bush handing out his version of a stimulus package to the banks was a joke – several of those large companies put the money into off shore subsidiaries. Obama deserves the chance without criticism to proceed with his plans.

  15. Capitalism has worked so well for us……look at us now. Of course I am being sarcastic. If we had more rules and regulations in place before now the banks would not be asking the federal government for money to survive. If the government does not bailout the large banks like Bank of America and Citigroup. The country will be completely devastated and bankrupt.

  16. Playing With Fire says:

    Gina:

    The problem with your thinking – in fact, with most people’s thinking – is that you’re focusing on feelings rather than the issue. If the business community took your advice…heaven help us!

    We’re growing more socialist by the day, and our egomaniacal president is getting exactly what he wants – an electorate more dependent on the government than on their own hard work.

    It’s time to call your Congressperson and tell them to take their hands off the economy. They are doing more harm than good.

  17. Private Party says:

    Well did the drive-by media and the Dems support Bush all those years, so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Listen up, you can find the non-support and wanting the president to fail in Bush administration as well as this presidency, but Rush had the guts to actually say the words in lieu of the Dems beating around the bush about it. Oh, I forgot, you guys only listen to the BHO anf the Drive-by media to get the truth. HELLO, PORKULAS PACKAGE (stimulas package in disguise)

  18. OMG! I need to figure out how to stop getting notifications of new postings! Get back to work, people!

    And, BTW, “gripe” is spelled with an “e” at the end, and “a lot” is 2 WORDS!! A little, a lot… get it? Folks are getting all uppity and they can’t even spell.

    I am going back to work and am removing myself from these comments. Best of luck to all of you!

  19. I do find it amusing that everything is being blamed on Obama, whether he has any responsibility or not. Our local newspaper just ceased operations — lots of people are blaming Obama. When people don’t like the local news that is reported on a local channel, they blame Obama. He seems to be more of a lightning rod than any other president in recent history.

  20. Gina,

    Click on the link in the notification and it will ask you if you want to unsubscribe.

  21. Private Party says:

    GINA
    Some people type and multi-task, you must be a DEM. So up on your pedastool, get over yourself. Uppity, might not even be a real word. You can go to manage your subscriptions and un-check this topic from your subscription and you won’t get any notices anymore.

  22. Unemployment might pay enough for food and maybe housing, but 35 percent of COBRA is still too expensive for the average unemployed person with a family. Employers should not have to worry about former employees returning for that piece of the pie.

  23. Tim Hess says:

    Can someone please expalin to me how the new HIPPA regs will stimulate the economy, incentify employers to create more jobs, or make our contry more competative?

  24. Some of you need to research this COBRA subsidy closer – the employer doesn’t ultimately “pay” for the 65% subsidy, it is taken off of the amount owed by the employer in payroll taxes. AS someone stated we are all paying but to throw insults when this is a national long term issue seems a waste of energy and focus.
    Lastly, my understanding is that is does apply to anyone who involuntarily loses employment even for cause unless for gross misconduct under the already existing COBRA definition which we all know is very slim.

  25. Angel Giamartino says:

    There isn’t much we as HR professionals can do about the Stimulus package other than educate ourselves on what has to be done. Here are just some steps that HR will need to do;
    1.) The initial general notice that all employers are required to distribute to employees when they first enroll in your group health plan needs to be updated to reflect the new changes. The revised version will also need to be distributed to current enrollees.
    2.) Employers are now required to pay 65% towards the monthly cost of the health insurance whether it is single or family coverage. Former employees will pay 35%.
    3.) While this subsidy is legislated to be for 9 months, extensions may be approved in the future.
    4.) Employers will be reimbursed by the US for their 65% portion. The initial way is to take a credit against your payroll taxes. The secondary way is to submit forms and receive a check.
    This law is retroactive to 9/1/08, which means you must send out new and revised Cobra election forms to every eligible participant who was terminated since then, even if they previously declined.

  26. Private Party says:

    We still pay monthly for the costs that we don’t get in return until the end of the year. We can’t afford their salaries right now so we lay them off, what makes the government think we can still afford their benefits that we offered them. ARE U KIDDING!!!!

  27. No, Private Party, some people type and THINK. “Uppity” MIGHT not be a real word to you, but it is in the real world. Oh, but I guess REPS don’t own dictionaries, sorry. It is an adjective and it means arrogant or snobbish, which is quite obviously what you are; perhaps that’s why it pushed your button.

    Thanks for showing some kindness and telling me how to get out of this dialogue…I am going there right now. Buh-bye…

  28. Private Party says:

    NO GINA, What pushed my button was that you instead of replying to my thoughts tried to correct my english thats a DEM trying to avoid the conversation at hand….

  29. Private Party: Just like a republican..when you can’t think of a good response, you call someone a democrate!! You are STILL blaming Obama for all the countries issues. You have got to be kidding with that one. Bush is in charge for 8 years and you don’t think he has any blame in this? Please!!! Why don’t you just give him a chance..you can’t fight it anyway?

  30. I read on the DOL website that the COBRA subsidy will only apply to terminated workers that do not have access to a spouse’s medical coverage. My husband was laid off, and my company does offer medical insurance, but our premiums are so high, that they are the same price as my husband’s COBRA without the subsidy. So I guess we don’t qualify?? Doesn’t sound so good to me now.

  31. Private Party says:

    Excuse me Cindy, it was Gina who didn’t have a reply for my comment and attacked my spelling, can you read? or did you just comment on the last thought, please…
    I also answered your question to the 8 yrs past if you do want to go back and read them.

  32. Suwanee HR says:

    Jane – due to the economic decline the past several months, a lot of employers are contributing less toward medical insurance premiums (so employees are contributing more), thereby easily making this premium more affordable under COBRA than it is while someone is employed. Example: if an employee currently has to pay 75% of the total premium, they are saving 40% of what they were paying by being terminated and going on COBRA.

    The employer can deduct the other 65% when filing their 941 form with the IRS. They don’t have to wait until the end of the year.

    The kicker is that the money to be recouped by the employer is OUR money, too! It’s the employer’s portion of FICA & Medicare that goes into our accounts. It would be more appropriate to deduct the employer’s reimbursement from the terminated employees’ social security accounts rathar than spreading out among everyone.

    Somehow or another, this “Stimulus” package always seems to be coming back to taking our money (as if they weren’t stealing enough of it already!) It’s an interesting concept: steal money from someone, call it your own, and then act like you are doing them a big favor by giving it back to them!

  33. to Julie: I have not heard that anywhere. How are we, as HR Professionals going to police that anyway. I am not going to check if a laid off team member tells me that they can’t get medical insurance through their spouse.

  34. Private Party: No thanks…I’m sure you attacked President Obama for the last 8 years also so why re-read.

  35. Hey there, I’ve been reading the comments. I think this whole thing stinks and it goes further then the last 8 yrs. I guess some don’t want to admit it.
    Also, our president is spending more in his first month then Bush spent in like his first seven, at least that’s the way I see it. Think what you want, all I know is our company is down to 5 employees (from 25) We are struggling to keep afloat and that includes maintaining health insurance. We can’t afford this 65% COBRA copay.
    May just have to close our doors.
    See ya in the unemployment line

  36. Private Party: If you get your “News” from Rush Limbaugh you really should have your head examined…talk about a “PORKULAS PACKAGE”

  37. John:

    Didn’t you know…if a republican says something it MUST be right.

  38. Missy:

    Your compay will not be paying the 65%…do you understand that? Also, have you laid all these people off just during the last month and 1/2? We’ve been laying off for months now.

  39. rukidding? says:

    I don’t think either party would want to be represented by the extremes in this dialog.

    SUWANEE – I just finished a webinar on the COBRA subsidy. The only involuntary terms thst don’t apply are for “Gross Misconduct” (just like before). The definition varies, but it has to be extreme and very serious indiscipline. Not just your average disciplinary, performance or attendance issues – usually theft, violence, harassment.

    That’s how I understand it. Any BI-partisan insigt on this out there.

  40. It’s our interpretation also. As far as I know, we have never NOT offered someone COBRA even for what we would consider “serious misconduct”.

  41. This is what I just copied and pasted from the DOL COBRA website. I took it to mean that if my employer offers medical coverage, we wouldn’t be eligible for the COBRA subsidy.

    Those who are eligible for other group health coverage (such as a spouse’s plan) or Medicare are not eligible for the premium reduction. Other limitations may also apply. There is no premium reduction for periods of coverage that began prior to February 17, 2009.

  42. Benefits says:

    Cindy yes in one aspect you are correct companies “offset” their payroll tax by what they are paying for the subsidy so it is immediate “quarterly”. However, in Missy’s case, with only 5 employees, if they have to pay the 65% subsidy then that could very well be MORE than what they owe in payroll taxes. At this point the government has not said how this will be “worked” out. In the meantime the company has to pay the 65% and just hope they will be able to keep afloat until the gov. “workes” it out.

  43. What is all of this? The reason why we are in the situation that we are in is because of all the constant bickering and blaming. Instead of trying to address the problem we are too busy trying to blame someone else for it. I am tired of blaming others… I am going to try to make a change for myself and hope that it affects the world.

  44. Benefits says:

    Here is something that might help on “Gross Misconduct” (Please note this is not legal advice since I don’t have a law degree 🙂

    This subsidy does not apply to employees whose employment was terminated voluntarily or involuntarily based on “Gross Misconduct”. While “Gross Misconduct” has not been officially defined, it is legally understood as
    Illegal or dangerous acts committed in the workplace, however, the acts need not be criminal or otherwise unlawful in nature. In some instances, even acts that occur away from the workplace have qualified as gross misconduct. A definition widely used by the courts goes something like this: Acts of gross misconduct are intentional, wanton, willful, deliberate, reckless, or in deliberate indifference to an employer’s interest. Often, acts that will prompt an employer to terminate an employee are those done in deliberate violation of the employer’s known standards. However, those acts may not constitute gross misconduct for COBRA purposes unless they go beyond simple negligence or incompetence.
    A few examples are:
    ? Fighting
    ? Being drunk on duty
    ? Stealing
    ? Harassing people
    ? Subjecting people to racial abuse

  45. Benefits says:

    Those were supposed to be bullet points not “?”. Not sure how that got changed 🙂

  46. So, most of this is disturbing to me. But did I infer correctly that employees can now file for extended unemployment benefits to care for ill family members? Doesn’t that equate to paid FMLA leave? Cleverly deceptive if accurate.

  47. Benefits says:

    No SCC, FMLA would mean they had a job to come back to. So if they keep their job and go out to take care of an ill family member they get unpaid FMLA, but if they QUIT their job to do the same they get unemployment benefits. Makes sense to me, not sure who would think that is odd :-).

    But then again they are giving COBRA subsidy to people that get fired for violation of company policy.

    Honestly I would not have such a huge problem if this subsidy was for those that lost jobs due to “no fault”, not people that got fired.

  48. Benefits says:

    Okay a few questions
    1) What if a company NEVER uses “Gross Misconduct” to deny someone COBRA rights, can they use “Gross Misconduct” it to deny the subsidy?
    2) Or if you give them COBRA rights you have give them the option of the subsidy?
    3) Then in reverse what if someone was terminated for “Gross Misconduct” and you allow both COBRA rights and the subsidy, but then you turn around and deny an unemployment claim based on “Gross Misconduct”, will the government come after you for the “payroll tax credit” that you took?
    4) If a person is on the COBRA subsidy when they are eligible for other COBRA I know they are charged 110% of the subsidy, but what about the company? Is the gov. going to require that they “return” the payroll tax credit?

  49. Oregonian says:

    Listen folks,

    I got all of your banter forwarded to me from accross the country. THe article is good, discussion is what this country was founded on, and the economy is what drives the bus. Does it do us any good to gripE at one person who doesn’t even deserve the blame….yet? Are we a country that is going to continue to be reactive, or start some programs and checks to become proactive for our kids and theirs? To those of you who say hands off, maybe get your hands on, and see whos life you can change for the better. One thing the president has said numerous times, is that neither he nor the government can do this alone. Sure, I dont see the immediate effects of the “stimulus package” but I do feel the positivity behind it. If I can take that and share it with someone else even if its just to lift them up for a day then so be it.

    Hippie you say? Maybe….but also a business executive that genuinely cares for his people and the company that he works for. I have the benefit of being able to directly affect people’s lives for the better every day, some of you should try it more often. OR….we can continue to do what we do and b*&%^ about what everyone in Washington is doing, complain about having to pay more unemployment insurance/medical benefits/takes/etc., and go home every day upset at the world that is just so unfair. Which do you choose? Lets stop crying, and start TRYING to do something about it from the ground up

  50. I own a small small company in OK and the way I see it it was not just Bush or Clinton, or our now president it was every president, every banker, every stock broker, you get the idea.
    Everyone had a hand in making this country the way it is, broke and in a war we can’t seem to get out of.
    Maybe, just maybe if all these people as well as us the average joe would work together we could figure out a way to help each other. My sore spot comes from the “filthy” wealthy that spend their “hard earned” money on nonsense like giving a dog a birthday party that cost thousands of dollars why don’t they spend a little of that money on helping out the homeless or something or that nature.
    NOW can all you people stop spending so much time worring about tomorrow and work on solving todays problems? Think about it we can’t change the goverment no matter who we elect.

  51. I am an HR professional responsible for implementing this change in my company. The COBRA section of this law may cause a short term cash flow issue for employers and it only affects “involuntary” terminations. If they have their COBRA outsourced, it may cost some amount for the additional notifications being sent to assistance eligible individuals. Companies do get their $ back for the subsidy, not for the additional administration. This law is helping people who are out of work. Most people cannot afford the cost of COBRA and many go without coverage when they are teminated because they can’t afford it. The government is picking up the tab on this subsidy, not employers (except for the short term cash flow and admin costs). The term “involuntary” will be defined by mid March.

  52. Missy-
    You may want to check to see if your company is even legally obligated to offer COBRA anymore. I think if you have under 20 employees within a 50-mile radius, then COBRA doesn’t apply to your company. This is something you of course would need to determine yourself or with legal advice. But I’m just putting it out there…..

  53. I have a question….if we have an employee that we termed because they were a “no call, no show”, would that be considered an involuntary termination, or would this be voluntary because they chose not to come to work anymore. Hope that question makes sense.

    Thanks!

  54. Why did this discussion turn so mean-spirited? I am shocked that you are all HR professionals.

  55. Yes as one astute contributor here said…”just go with the flow” it will be alright.
    How mind numbing and uninspiring – not to mention nieve to think that because someone is president they actually have our country’s best interest in mind.

    Advisors? You’re kidding of course……the one’s who have paid taxes or arrogantly refused to?

    Let’s see, yesterday the FDIC was claiming it will be insolvent in 2009 unless it receives massive influx of money (print more) so banks will go belly up and leave us all broke.

    That should make some of the socialist berkenstock crowd happy as “green” berkas are not that expensive and easy to make out of burlap sandbags provided by the new “government”.

    Obama will continue to chant about how Wall Steet will take 25 more years to recover and that socialism is now the (only) answer….the new mantras “shared sacrifice” and “for the good of all” is being esposued by the White House and George Soros minion SEIU to mask that true agenda.

    No more tax write offs for home interest payments or charitable giving unless the charity is approved by government (no freedom to choose as government knows best).

    Fed Chairman Bernacke says new taxes needed immediately, Democrat (CA)George Miller’s new bill says all 401K’s should be “confiscated” by government (there you go folks, less work for us all – and confiscated is the word used in the bill).

    This and the $200,000 allocated for tattoo removal in San Fransciso along with the almost 9000 “earmarks” Obama publicly said he would not allow (1-6-09) in this Porkulous Bill leave me with no faith at all that his 45 days as a senator and his recent OTJ training as president has given him any clue.

    The 20 something crowd is absolutely clueless to the plight yet somehow are spotlighted on tv as being geniuses on how our economy works and the solutions – having had little, if any experience in the matter…..and if you all watch cnbc or msnbc you would think 99% of the people are in full lockstep with all of this nonsense.

    These items above are hard to consider “stimulus” by any stretch. Especially by definition.

  56. Oh, and this bill was written by only five people that included Nancy Pelosi….who Obama gave Carte Blanche to as he lacks any experience in writing legislation and can easily blame Pelosi et al if it fails. Slick.
    We live in “negative” times ….the country as we have proudly known it is coming to a screeching halt as a result of a bunch of charlatans who are bent on making sure the USA fails and quickly.

    If you need fairy tale assurances you might consider another blog possibly…..

  57. The article-informative, all of this discussion is what our country was founded on, and the economy is what drives the bus. Does it do us any good to gripE at one person who doesn’t even deserve the blame….yet? Are we a country that is going to continue to be reactive, or start some programs and establish some checks to become proactive for our kids and theirs? To those of you who say hands off, maybe get your hands on, and see whos life you can change for the better. One thing the president has said numerous times, is that neither he nor the government can do this alone. Sure, I don’t see the immediate effects of the “stimulus package” but I do feel the positivity behind it. If I can take that and share it with someone else even if its just to lift them up for a day then so be it.

    Hippie you say? Maybe….but also a business executive that genuinely cares for his people and the company that he works for. I have the benefit of being able to directly affect people’s lives for the better every day, even if that number is fewer today than a year ago. Can’t we all put our best foo tforward to do what we can to help the people less ofrtunate than us? OR…we can continue to do what we do and blame everything on Washington, complain about having to pay more unemployment insurance/medical benefits/taxes/etc., and go home every day upset at the world because it is just so unfair. Which do you choose? Lets stop crying, and start TRYING to do something about it from the ground up. Lets focus on things that you and I can directly control, and not keep pretending that beurocratic red-tape is what is keeping us back.

  58. Right on Mary!

  59. Mary, we are humans first and HR professionals second. I know plenty of so-called HR professionals that are harsh, mean and not easy to get along with. You wonder how they ended up in the profession.

  60. I was once told that I was too nice to be in HR – go figure

  61. to SC:

    I worked for one of those harsh, mean HR people…It was the best day when I was laid off from that job (hospital was bought out).

  62. I would appreciate it if someone can provide some insight or advise on this.

    Our company has a mandatory 90 days waiting period (Introduction period) for new employee before they are eligible to the medical insurance and other employee benefits. If a new employee is terminated during the 90 days due to unacceptable performance and according to the company policy, the new employee would not be eligible to insurance, but will the Cobra still applicable to he/her?

    If the company will have to offer the Cobra for those employees who are terminated in the waiting period, then the company is considering to have employee to pay for 25 to 35% of the insurance premium instead of currently 100% paid by the company.

  63. In my opinion, if the employee never became eligible for the insurance and wasn’t enrolled you shouldn’t have to worry about offering COBRA.

  64. Benefits says:

    MC, I am pretty sure that you do not offer COBRA to someone not enrolled in benefits, regardless of the reason (Inro period, declined, ect). So I would say if they are not offered COBRA then they can not get the subsidy.

  65. I’m the controller in a small manufacturing company, so I also wear the HR hat. Too many of these comments are extraneous, but thanks to those of you who offered some useful information, especially Angel.

  66. I’m the controller in a small manufacturing company, so I also wear the HR hat. Too many of these comments are outside the essence of the issue, but thanks to those of you who offered some useful information, especially Angel.

  67. to SLBW:

    IN our company it is a voluntarily quit for a no call no show. WE send a letter to the employee who did not call or show after three days and say something along the lines of job abandonment. I would not offer them the subsidy.

  68. The business of HR is business, not charity. Merely doing your job responsibly does not make you mean or mean spirited.

  69. To SCC: remember the work “human” is in Human Resources. No…it’s NOT just business.

  70. It would appear that amidst all the daily distractions provided in the well orchestrated media events about who is challenging who to a political duel or what infighting is going on….. the real issues, like those in discussion here are not being covered – except here….good.

    If these stimulus packages were so “in tune” with what is really needed whay are we intentionally being distracted away from evaluating what it is that we are getting forced to accept? If not for this blog, where else might you see this? MSNBC?

    Alas, even this blog is in danger of extinction too with the advent of the “fairness doctrine” coming back. We will only be able to say wonderful things about our leaders or the host of the site would be required to offer free rebuttal time……not likely.

    Obama just gave Pelosi their long awaited political payback and now we are getting 30 plus years of social engineering changes handed to us. Fooeey! GE will be getting their payback next.

    Heck he didn’t even read the damn bill….it is still being interpreted…how can THAT be?

  71. To Huh??

    Great attitude. You are right. It’s time to stop the blame game and try to do the best we can to be part of the solution.

    President Obama DID inspire me to be a better mother believe it or not. My son struggles in school and I was always blaming the teachers, the system, etc. (even though I STILL think they have their issues) Something the President said in his speech made me realize that I am ALSO responsible for my son’s success and failures so now I am alot more pro-active in his studies and its seems to be paying off. Everyone is talking about responsibility…we’ll it starts with us. We need to support our President and pray for him to do what is best for ALL of us.

  72. Obama is a socialist, his group of closest allies are socialist. We are suffering a economic crisis that was staged by the last democate while he was in office. Obama states that the stimulas bill has no earmarks, heck thats all the bill is. Sorry, but he has the same peronality issues the Clintons suffer from, the inabilty to be truthful, he is a pathalogical lier.

  73. You'll Never Agree says:

    I guess I would like to hear solutions to our problems from those who disagree with the current stimulus plan. To me it seems that it d really didn’t matter if it was good or bad…no matter what they would have put together would have been rejected (just because you don’t agree with them, what they stand for, and what they represent) yet no one that I’ve read or seen has an alternative solution they are throwing out. So if what we HAD wasn’t working….should we continue (I think they call that insanity). Yet what we HAVE won’t work either? And I wonder how great all this divisiveness will work. I always tell my employees, I may object to the methods but I’ll always support authority and get behind whatever it is 100% (as long as its legal) to see IF it works. Going into it DIVIDED its bound to fail…and I think that’s the HOPE of so many. How sad!! Perspective is so Powerful!!

  74. I am sure the Marines were less than impressed when he intentionally omitted the reference to “GOD” last week in Camp Lejuene in citing the Marine Creed…..how inspiring is that. Commander in thief…..

    Rose is only half right…he is much worse than people want to admit – because no one wants to admit they were wrong by voting for him.

  75. to HR 1

    I voted for President Obama and am still glad that I did. BUt I don’t have to agree with everything he does. I didn’t agree with ANYTHIGN Bush did

  76. To You’ll Never Agree:

    You are right..no one has a better idea. THey would continue with Bushes policies which clearly didn’t work.

  77. All Done! says:

    Okay let’s face it, both parties leave much to be desired. We all need to work together to either help make a difference or at least make the “Change” easier to take. I did not vote for Obama, however, I did like his speech on responsibility, it was nice to hear someone say it out loud, I guess Bush just assumed we Americans were already doing that, but you know what assuming does…..

    I think the policies that are being put in place are done with good intentions, however, I also believe good intentions are the quickest path to socialism I just hope I am wrong about that. Our responsibility as Americans is to stay vigilant, contact our Representatives and actually research before we vote to see what these people stand for (or don’t stand for), their voting records or lack of, is a good starting place.

    As for an alternative to the current bail out, I think Bush should have not even started it. Let nature takes it course and let the fittest survive. I think the biggest issue in our current culture, is that it is not survival of the fittest, it is survival of the whiniest, which means we have a bunch of wimps make our laws. Hey, that is just my opinion and you know what they say about those.

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