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Notable New Requirements for 1999

January 14, 1999
Related Topics: Miscellaneous Legal Issues, Immigration, Health and Wellness, Featured Article
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The following are brief summaries of some of the new laws, rules and regulations affecting employment in 1999.

  • To encourage employees to file complaints about labor abuses without fear of deportation, workplace inspections of discrimination complaints, wage and hour violations will no longer include inspection of employees' I-9 forms.
    Memorandum of Understanding Between Justice Department's Immigration and Naturalization Service and Labor Department's Employment Standards Administration, 227 DLR E-1, 11/25/98.
  • Health insurers with policies in effect on or after October 21, 1998 that cover mastectomies will be required to cover reconstructive surgery, and must have notified all participants of such by January 1, 1999.
    Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998, 226 DLR AA-1, 11/24/98.
  • Health plans covering maternity benefits must provide 48-hour hospital stays for vaginal delivery and 96-hour stays for cesarean deliveries, effective January 1, 1999.
    Interim Final Rules on Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996, Federal Register, 10/27/98.

Impact:
Employers must stay current on new federal, state and local laws and regulations. Employers should schedule, at a minimum, an annual survey of all new employment requirements, followed by an audit of their policies and programs to ensure compliance.

Source: D. Diane Hatch, a Human Resources consultant based in San Francisco, and James E. Hall, an attorney with Barlow, Kobata & Denis, based in Chicago and Los Angeles, December 21, 1998.

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