DOL Issues Marketplace Notice Guidance But Will Not Subject Employers To Fines or Penalties If They Fail To Issue The Required Notice

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require employers to provide a notice to employees informing them of the public health insurance marketplaces (aka "exchanges") which open on October 1, 2013. These notices must be provided to all current employees by October 1, 2013. The Department of Labor recently released two new FAQs related to these Marketplace Notices. The first FAQ states that employers are allowed to use a third party to provide the Marketplace Notices to their employees and still meet their notice obligations under the FLSA so long as the content requirements of the Marketplace Notice are satisfied. The second FAQ states that "there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the [Marketplace Notice]." Employers are still advised to provide the Marketplace Notice since it is a legal requirement to do so because, if the DOL discovers that an employer is not in compliance with this requirement, it could lead to a more rigorous assessment of the employer's overall compliance with PPACA requirements, many of which do impose monetary and other sanctions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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