Working together with OSHA and the ACA – what you need to know

Initially published as an interim rule in 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published final rules surrounding whistleblowers and the ACA. Created to protect employees who have been wrongfully retaliated against for complaining about company ACA policy, these newly published rules will force businesses to re-evaluate their handling of employees with regards to ACA compliance. You can see an overview of these rules by clicking this link.

According to Amy M. Gordon of McDermott Will & Emery, “The ACA protects employees from retaliation for receiving Marketplace Exchange (Exchange) financial assistance when purchasing health insurance through an Exchange, or from getting their coverage through an employer. It also protects employees from retaliation for raising concerns regarding conduct that they believe violates the consumer protections and health insurance reforms.”

Published in the rules are several definitions of retaliation:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Reducing pay or hours
  • Blacklisting
  • Demoting
  • Denying overtime or promotion
  • Disciplining
  • Denying benefits
  • Failing to hire or rehire
  • Intimidating
  • Making threats
  • Reassigning affecting prospects for promotion

Taking all of the OSHA rules into account, how you can protect your company from the possibility of a whistleblower filing a complaint about your company.

  • Re-evaluate your company policy and how it handles employees who are have employer provided coverage and marketplace coverage
  • Ensure that employees who purchase insurance from the Marketplace will not be retaliated against for voicing concerns over possible violations
  • If you do receive notice of a pending complaint, take it seriously

Protecting employees from retaliation is an important part of any good business practice. By re-evaluating your company’s handling of ACA rules and regulations, you can stave off the threat of whistleblowers and ensure a peaceful place of work.