United States Department of Labor Case Study – Health Plans and Benefits

US Dept of Labor Case Study Assignment Instructions

Go to the United States Department of Labor Website to read “ Health Plans and Benefits” athttp://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm. This Website communicates the current regulations and federal involvement in employee benefits. Navigate the Website to become familiar with its contents.

Write a five to seven (5-7) page paper in which you:

  1. Describe the major features of this Website and how each feature can be used to monitor employee benefits.
  2. Explain how employers could verify that their employee benefits comply with all federal laws by using this resource.
  3. Explain how employees would use this information to ensure their benefits rights are protected.
  4. Create an outline of the Website so that you could orient others to its usefulness for regulatory compliance.
  5. Use at least five (5) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as academic resources.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Explain a benefit plan as part of an overall competitive compensation strategy and the policies to administer the benefits.
  • Evaluate organizational policies that facilitate the administration of benefits.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in total rewards.
  • Write clearly and concisely about total rewards using proper writing mechanics.

United States Department of Labor Case Study – Health Plans and Benefits

Introduction

This paper will provide an analysis of the major features of the United States Department of Labor website and detail how various features in the website may be used in monitoring employee benefits. The major purpose of the website is to provide information on existing federal regulations and involvement in employee benefits. The website provides information on how employers can verify their employee’s benefits to ensure that they adhere to various federal laws. The paper will help in determining how employees may use the website to ensure the protection of their benefit rights. In addition, it would help the employees know where to location certain information regarding their benefits. The paper will address the above issues by providing clear answers to certain questions, which are listed below.

Major features of this Website and how each feature can be used to monitor employee benefits.

The structure and design of a website are vital since they show the user-friendliness of the website. This is determines whether users would stay on the website and the time they are likely to stay on the website. Newsletter updates is one of the major features of the Department of Labor website. Users can subscribe to the newsletter. This enables the users to receive an e-mail when new Advisors are added to the existing e-laws. Users also receive e-mails when the existing e-laws are updated. This keeps them informed on various developments on the e-laws. Users of the website, regardless of whether they are students, employers, employees, or job seekers, may receive updates from the Department of Labor if they subscribe to the newsletter. The topics of interests may be divided into several categories, which include wages, health plans and benefits, and unemployment. Categorization of the information enables the website to fulfill the varied needs of the users. The website has an appealing design. There are many visuals and graphics on the website. This provides users with an appealing image of the services offered by the Department of Labor.

The website also has an online tool that helps employers and other relevant parties to know to know how they can comply with the requirements of the H-1B visa program. The program facilitates the temporary employment of foreigners in the U.S. in certain occupations (Walsh, 2015). The website also enables employers to determine the federal disability nondiscrimination laws that apply to their organizations and the responsibilities of the employers in according to the laws. Users of the website answer a few relevant questions, such as the size of an organization, type of organization, and whether the organization receives federal assistance, to generate a customized list of the federal disability nondiscrimination laws that apply to the organization. It also provides information on the responsibilities of the employers under each law. Therefore, the website helps employees, job applicants, and participants or applicants to federally funded programs to know more about their right as prescribed by the disability nondiscrimination laws.

The website also has a Guide for Employing People with Disabilities that details the resources available to employers to help them comply with the disability nondiscrimination laws. The website also acts as an online tool that may help employees and their families make informed decisions on their employer-based health benefits especially when they are faced with certain changes in the life and work. The changes may include marriage, childbirth, divorce, death, loss of job, or retirement. The website provides information on the health coverage under private plans. It also defines various terms related to health insurance to improve the knowledge of the users. The Department of Labor website also has links to other resources that may help its users. It details the requirements and rights of various parties according to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

How employers could verify that their employee benefits comply with all federal laws by using this resource.

The Department of Labor website may act as an online tool that would help employers verify whether their employee benefits comply with various federal laws. The website provides information that helps employers to know their responsibilities according to various laws that apply to them. The responsibilities may relate to the benefit plans that the employers, employer organizations, or both have established to provide medical care to employees and their dependents either directly or through a healthcare insurance cover, reimbursement of the healthcare costs or any other existing plan. Therefore, the Department of Labor website plays a critical role in ensuring employees comply with federal laws regarding their employee benefits. However, the resource provides guidance that is general in nature. Users should not use the website as the sole source of information on employee benefits and relevant federal laws. The website encourages users to review their health plan and health plan options in relation to the information provided on the website.

The resource details people’s rights to enroll in a certain group health plan when they are faced with specific work or life changes. The rights are applicable regardless of the date the people enrolled to the health plans. The resource also details the rights of employees to have temporary group health plan coverage when they are faced with certain work or life events especially if the events might otherwise lead to the abrupt termination of the coverage.

How employees would use this information to ensure their benefits rights are protected.

The Department of Labor website provides information that guides employees and their families to have a better understanding of the group health benefits provided by the employer or various employee organizations, which include labor unions. The information is very useful especially if the employees experience events that lead to drastic changes in their life or work. The events may include marriage, loss or job, divorce, or retirement. The website also enables employers to know their responsibilities according to the laws that apply to them. For instance, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) details the responsibilities of employers who provide their employees with pension and welfare benefits. The employers should determine whether the Act applies to them to know their responsibilities according to the Act (Reed & Bogardus, 2015).

The website of the Department of Labor also has a link to Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), one of its agencies. EBSA manages the reporting of requirements of organizations to ensure that there is a continuation of care in agreement with Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and the healthcare portability of group plans as detailed in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (Golub & Chevlowe, 2013).

Create an outline of the Website so that you could orient others to its usefulness for regulatory compliance.

Wages and Hours

The website provides information on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Act details the wages and overtime pay that applies to both public and private employers. According to the Act, employees should receive at least the minimum wage and 150% pay for overtime (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2015).

Workplace Safety and Health

Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or OSHA-approved safety programs regulate workplace safety and health of most private and public sector employers. The employers should ensure that they comply with the OSHA regulations that apply to them.

Worker’s Compensation

Employers are tasked with the duty of meeting the costs of any medical treatment if an employee incurs the injury while undertaking their duties in the workplace. The medical treatment coverage varies from one state to another. The Department of Labor website lists the type of coverage offered in different states.

Employee Benefits

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is the legislation that regulates employers who provide their employees with pension or welfare benefits. Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is the agency in the Department of Labor that administers Title I of ERISA, which details various reporting and disclosure requirements of pension and welfare benefit plans or any other plans that affect the pension and welfare benefit plans.

Employee Protection

There are several federal laws that protect employers and their families when they face certain situations. Therefore, it is vital for employees to know the laws. This would help them to use and fight for their rights.

Family and Medical Act

According to the Act, employers who have at least 50 employees should provide eligible employees an unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child. The employers should also provide the employees with the 12-weeks maximum leave if a child, parent, or spouse of the employees falls seriously ill to enable the employees to take care of them (Holley, Jennings & Wolters, 2011).

The above outline highlights the major information on the website. The outline would help its visitors to navigate throughout the website. Listing the major points would enable employees to review their benefits and determine whether their employers comply with various federal or state regulations. The outline would help in addressing any issues or concerns that the employees may have. The website of the Department of Labor also has a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section that the visitors may use to find answers to their questions.

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