The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 results in, among other things, substantial amendments to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”). Among other things, the ARRA provides that “assistance eligible individuals” (“AEI”) are only required to pay 35% of the health insurance premium charged under a plan. Employers are responsible for paying the remaining 65%. However, the employer ultimately receives reimbursement from the government in the form of a credit against income tax withholding amounts and FICA taxes.
The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that a union could contract away a union member’s rights to pursue a statutory discrimination claim in court. In 14 Penn Plaza L.L.C. v. Pyett, the Supreme Court considered whether a union member with an age discrimination claim under the Age Discrimination Employment Act (“ADEA”) could be required to privately arbitrate the claim rather then pursue it in court. Surprisingly, a divided Supreme Court concluded that a union member could be mandated by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) to arbitrate a statutory discrimination claim.