California hospitals and health systems employ more than half a million people — from entry-level positions to senior executives. Many health care human resources (HR) departments are responsible for a wide range of issues, such as recruitment, staffing, compensation, benefits, labor/employee relations and employee health. Navigating the complex regulatory environment, while monitoring how it applies to HR in the health care setting, can be a challenging and dynamic task.
Representing hospitals and health systems in California, CHA provides leadership in HR policy on state and federal levels. In addition, CHA advocates on behalf of hospitals and health systems before the federal and state legislatures, federal and state administrative agencies and the public. CHA also provides educational opportunities, such as the annual Labor & Employment Law seminar, to help hospital leaders sharpen their skills and knowledge in health care HR. CHA members also participate on an HR executive e-mail list and receive periodic informational memoranda.
The California Workforce Investment Board, in partnership with the Employment Development Department, has announced the availability of approximately $1.76 million to fund projects that fill critical health care workforce skills gaps while helping veterans and the long-term unemployed get jobs. Successful applicants will receive funding to provide on-the-job training to these populations, resulting in the attainment of industry-valued credentials. Training should expedite job placement into entry-level and middle skills health care occupations. Health employers are eligible applicants, but having a partnership with a local workforce investment board or one-stop center will be an important element for applications. Hospitals with a specific need for training to fill a critical skill gap may want to reach out to their local workforce investment board to discuss the grants and opportunities for partnership.
The Obama Administration announced yesterday that the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to provide their employees with health insurance will be delayed until 2015. In a statement from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, officials said the change is a response to employers’ concerns that the reporting required under the ACA for each worker’s access to and enrollment in health insurance is too complex and requires new data collection systems and coordination. The Administration also stated it will convene employers, insurers and experts to streamline and simplify the reporting process and, in the interim, suspend reporting for 2014, with regulatory guidance expected later this week. Yesterday’s announcement does not affect the ACA’s individual mandate, nor does it delay the new marketplaces where people and small businesses can sign up for coverage starting Oct. 1. To read the full statement, visit www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Continuing-to-Implement-the-ACA-in-a-Careful-Thoughtful-Manner-.aspx.
Recently, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission issued new regulations to guide compliance with pregnancy and disability laws. Some aspects of the new regulations confirm what we “thought” the rules meant. Others impose entirely new standards to follow and raise the bar on existing obligations. It’s imperative for employers to closely review and understand the new state regulations.