Provisions of health care overhaul will begin in following year, farming expert says
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/18/2012 -- Starting next year, employers ought to track their workers’ time to get ready for provisions of the federal health care overhaul, says an expert in the farming sector.
The provisions will take effect in 2014, but employers are provided a 12-month “look-back period,” according to Gail Greenman, an Oregon Farm Bureau national affairs specialist. The Affordable Care Act will require employers that have 50 or more workers to offer health coverage, and the 12-month period can be used to determine whether the employer has the minimum number of workers.
Part-time work will be included in the total number, she said.
“If you have some part-time employees that equate to one (full-time) employee, that has to be counted toward your threshold of 50,” said Greenman, who was speaking at an the Willamette Valley Ag Expo in November, according to the Capital Press.
Greenman said that another federal issue that will affect farmers is the estate tax that is set to expire as part of “fiscal cliff” spending reductions that could be triggered Jan. 1. The Bush-era tax cuts allowed the first $5 million of estate value to be exempted for individuals -- $10 million for couples – after the estate’s owner passes away. That exemption could be drastically lowered if action is not taken.
“If nothing is fixed, (the exemption) reverts back to $1 million, which is the way it was prior to the tax cuts coming into play in 2001,” Greenman said.
She said the Farm Bureau opposed the reelection of President Barack Obama. The agency was particularly concern about actions taken by the Department of Labor, which has “run amok,” according to Greenman.
The agency has used the Fair Labor Standards Act to force farmer to admit to minimum wage violations, she said. The “hot goods” provision was used to unfairly block Oregon blueberry farmers from selling their goods unless they complied with the federal agency’s demands, Greenman said.
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