Last year, Part 11, Recording and Reporting of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, of the MIOSHA rules were amended to include expanded anti-retaliation protections for employees who report occupational injuries and illnesses. This change in Part 11 was an adoption of a change in the corresponding OSHA rule.
The impetus for the rule change was a concern about the effect of post-accident drug testing on employee reporting of injuries and illnesses; also of concern were the use of discipline and incentive programs. At the federal level, the enforcement policy on this topic is currently under review.
The new MIOSHA/OSHA rule, Rule 1135(2)(d) of Part 11, is not a blanket prohibition against post-accident drug testing. Whether or not the post-accident or post-injury drug testing represents discrimination is highly dependent on the circumstances, and in the OSHA policy memo on the subject, the situations that would be considered discrimination are narrow.
The OSHA memo includes the following statement: "When evaluating whether an employer had a reasonable basis for drug testing an employee who reported a work-related injury or illness, the central inquiry will be whether the employer had a reasonable basis for believing that drug use by the reporting employee could have contributed to the injury or illness."
Rule 1135(2)(d) reads as follows:
"You must not discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness."
Rule 1136 of Part 11 is informational only. Any cases related to Rule 1136 are to be handled by the Employee Discrimination Section using section 65 of the MIOSH Act.
Rule 1136 reads as follows:
"In addition to R 408.22135, section 65 of the act prohibits you from discriminating against an employee for reporting a work-related fatality, injury or illness. Section 65 of the act also protects the employee who files a safety and health complaint, asks for access to the records under this part, or otherwise exercises any rights afforded by the act."
Based upon the above information, employers should not adopt a policy of automatic post-accident drug testing. A determination whether to conduct a drug test should be based upon the circumstances regarding the particular work-related injury or illness.
This article is intended to provide a general overview of the issue of MIOSHA/OSHA regulations and drug testing. Please contact MALA if you need additional information on this issue.
Note: MALA is pleased to be an alliance partner with MIOSHA. Future MALA publications will include additional information pertaining to compliance with MIOSHA requirements.
In addition, the MIOSHA website provides numerous resources. The website address is http://www.michigan.gov/LARA and click on MI Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Revised American Health Care Act
After much debate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the revised American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4, 2017 by a vote of 217 to 213. No Democrats voted for the bill, and 20 Republicans voted against it.
As has been widely discussed in the media, the U.S. Senate is expected to move much more deliberatively on health care reform. If the U.S. Senate acts on the House passed version of the AHCA, numerous amendments are expected. Alternatively, the U.S. Senate may decide to draft its own bill. Ultimately, a conference committee would be established to reconcile the differences.
The challenge for Republicans in the U.S. Senate is that they have only 52 of the 100 seats compared to a 45-seat majority in the U.S. House. The other issue will be whether the legislation can be passed through the budget reconciliation process by a majority vote which is not subject to filibuster.
In addition to numerous changes regarding the Affordable Care Act's health insurance provisions, the revised AHCA has major implications for Medicaid funding. The revised AHCA would limit the enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid expansion to states that adopted the expansion as of March 1, 2017. The bill would also sunset enhanced FMAP for those states as of January 1, 2020 except for beneficiaries enrolled as of December 31, 2019 who do not have a break in eligibility of more than 1 month.
Another major change to Medicaid funding would be to convert it to a per capita allotment. Funding growth would be limited beginning in 2020 using 2016 as a base year.
An excellent summary of the revised ACHA is available at the website of the Kaiser Family Foundation. The website address is https://goo.gl/WMHFbA.
MALA Expands Insurance Options and Resources
As previously announced, Michigan Assisted Living Insurance Services is now affiliated with Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) LLC and Marsh, Inc., the world's largest insurance organization. The various programs include coverage for professional liability, employment practices liability, property, auto and worker's compensation insurance.
With MMA's relationships and resources, MALA members now have access to an increased number of insurance companies with expertise in insuring assisted living, residential services and other human services. In addition, we understand that protecting an organization's assets is about more than buying insurance. We focus on risk management and loss control techniques to prevent losses.
MALA and MMA will review at no cost your existing insurance policies to assess whether your organization is properly protected at a competitive cost. Please contact MALA if you are interested in a review of your existing insurance program.
MALA is pleased to also be endorsing Lau & Lau Associates, LLC as an exciting new resource for health insurance and employee benefits. With more than 70 years of experience, Lau & Lau has extensive experience in financial and employee benefit planning services.
Lau & Lau's key competencies include health and welfare benefits, cost containment strategies, regulatory compliance, executive benefit strategies and business planning. If you are interested in learning more about Lau & Lau Associates, please call MALA at 1-800-482-0118.