BY AMANDA HARRISON
After fierce debate between Republicans and Democrats, two very different bills, that each have significant impacts on businesses, have passed into law.
To help businesses navigate both the Right to Work and Affordable Care Act, the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce will host two seminars, on each topic this week.
Laws can change quickly. And businesses and employees who don’t keep up, could be faced with tax penalties or lost revenue.
Carlin Smith is the president for the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce. He said two upcoming seminars will act as a practical guide to help businesses adjust to Right to Work and the Affordable Care Act.
“The bottom line is both laws are in place and are moving forward, and businesses really need to know their role and responsibilities in regards to those laws. It’s our job to shine light for the businesses and help them be prepared.” Smith said.
“So they know and can stay ahead of the curb on what the law requires and what it means for the freedom of their employees.” Fishman said.
That’s Steven Fishman, the chair of the Workplace Law Group Bodman PLC. He’ll be speaking on Right to Work. He said the most important thing an employer can do is stay informed.
“Employees will be asking lots of questions about this new law and employers should be prepared to answer those questions so employees can exercise their full freedoms under this new law.” Fishman said.
Employers will also soon be answering questions about health care. Charles Russman, is an attorney at Bodman. He’ll be speaking about the new Affordable Care Act as part two of the seminar.
Russman said he’ll be concentrating on helping businesses prepare for the new law to avoid tax penalties.
“You have to give healthcare to your full time employees, which for the health care reform is 30 hours a week on average. And so if you have employees who may or may not be above that threshold it’s very important to start keeping track of that and there’s very specific ways that the regulation encourages you to do that.” Russman said.
Russman said one concern with employees is that their health care coverage could change but Russman said, for the majority it will not, because of the type of coverage that employers are required to provide.
“You have to provide what the health care reform defines as essential health benefits, which is a list of most of the things you normally think of like pediatric care, newborn care, hospitalization, physicals, vaccinations, things like that.” Russman said.
Chamber President Smith said whether or not you support Right to Work or the Affordable Care Act they are in place and Michigan businesses need to be prepared.