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  • Thu, October 19, 2017 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    SUPPORT THE

    “SIMPLIFYING TECHNICAL ASPECTS REGARDING SEASONALITY (STARS) ACT’’

    Background:
    Small seasonal employers in various industries across the country are confused about their obligations to their seasonal employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because different aspects of the law are based on varying definitions of “seasonal worker.” Different definitions of seasonal are used when determining whether a business is a small or large employer under the law and when determining which employees must be offered health insurance. The STARS Act would provide one clear definition of seasonal employment and align the seasonal provisions of the law, ensuring that small seasonal employers have the tools and understanding necessary to comply with the ACA and to continue to grow their businesses. The bill does not repeal or defund any provisions of the law. Seasonal industries impacted by the current muddled definitions of “seasonal” include agriculture, horticulture, landscape, outdoor amusement, retail, hospitality and tourism.

    Under Current Law, Varying Definitions of “Seasonal” Create Confusion
    • When determining whether an employer is treated as a small business or a large business (applicable large employer (ALE)) under the ACA, “seasonal worker” is defined as “a worker who performs labor or services on a seasonal basis as defined by the Secretary of Labor.” According to Treasury Department regulations, employers may use a reasonable good faith interpretation to determine which employees are “seasonal workers.”

    • The term “seasonal worker exception” is used for the purpose of determining ALE size. Final Treasury regulations permit employers, after calculating their initial ALE size by including all hours of service performed by all employees (including seasonal workers), to examine the calculation to determine if seasonal workers put the employer over the 50 employee threshold for 120 days (4 calendar months) or less. This determination is made on an annual calendar year basis.

    • Once an employer is determined to be an ALE for the calendar year, the employer must determine to whom coverage must be offered or pay a potential penalty. The employer can use a Monthly Measurement Method or an optional Look-back Measurement Method. Under Treasury regulations, the term “seasonal employee,” for the purposes of determining an employee’s full-time status under the optional Look-back Measurement Method, is defined as “an employee who is hired into a position for which the customary annual employment is six months or less.”

    The STARS Act Would Create One Simple Definition of “Seasonal Employee”

    • Consistent with Treasury Regulations, the STARS Act defines “seasonal employee” as a worker who is employed on a seasonal basis for 6 months or less during the calendar year.

    • Under the STARS Act, this uniform definition would be used by the employer when determining both business size and whether an offer of coverage must be made to the employee.

    Gregg L. Hartley  
    Cloakroom Advisors
    (202) 899-3850
    300 M Street SE
    Suite 402
    Washington, D.C. 20003
    http://www.cloakroomadvisors.com/


  • Thu, October 19, 2017 3:04 PM | Anonymous

    West Palm Beach, Fla.- During the 37th annual World Water-park Association symposium and trade show in West Palm Beach... Read More "HERE"

  • Thu, October 19, 2017 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    “Continued H-2B visa program outreach needed to every Senate Appropriations Committee member.  If your Senator is on this DHS Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, please call his or her office and ask to speak to the staff person who handles DHS Appropriations.  Ask him or her to support the inclusion of H-2B cap relief in the FY 18 DHS Appropriations bill.”    

    Read More  "HERE"


  • Tue, October 17, 2017 10:34 AM | Anonymous


    Amusement Industry Moving Aggressively to

    Enhance Ride Inspections

    Government and Industry Working Together to Improve Ride Safety

    Winter Park, Florida (October 16, 2017) – Government regulators and the amusement industry are moving quickly to improve inspections and testing of major amusement rides after a fatal accident at the Ohio State Fair. The accident identified a hidden problem that was not detected even though the operator and independent inspectors followed current inspection protocols.

    Investigators from the Consumer Product Safety Commission concluded that, “Excessive corrosion inside the gondola support beam was the cause of the accident,” and that, “a visual inspection after the ride is in place would not detect corrosion thinning of internal walls.”

    “Safety is our number one priority,” said Rob Vivona, whose family has operated Amusements of America since 1939.

    “The Ohio incident could have occurred at any venue worldwide,” said Bob Johnson, president of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association. “That is why our industry, IAAPA, many state ride inspection authorities and amusement ride safety organizations, such as the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO), AIMS International, ASTM International, an organization that establishes safety standards worldwide, and the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission met this month to discuss this important issue.”

    “We would expect to see new inspection and testing protocols, new safety and design standards and new state requirements to look for this hidden, and until recently, unidentified ride safety issue,” Johnson said. “OABA supports the CPSC recommendations for new performance requirements to prevent water pooling or condensation in critical components that could result in corrosion, and means to facilitate visual inspection of the interior of structural beams and criteria to assess corrosion and action to be taken based on the condition of the material.

    “Amusement rides are one of the best known, most popular and safest forms of family entertainment,” Johnson said. “Our entire industry and the government agencies we work with are committed to addressing the issues raised in Ohio.”  

               

    Robert W. Johnson 
    President 
    Outdoor Amusement Business Association, Inc. 
    1035 S. Semoran Blvd., Suite 1045 A 
    Winter Park, FL 32792 
    407-681-9444 

     


  • Thu, October 12, 2017 3:20 PM | Anonymous

    Photo By

    One of the most iconic state fairs in the country, the Iowa State Fair,  had a record setting year in terms of attendance - 1,130,072, up 9.14 percent from 2016... ( Complete Story... "HERE" )

  • Thu, October 12, 2017 2:47 PM | Anonymous


    PERRY, GA (WALB) - You can't have a fair without rides and attractions. At the Georgia National Fair, there are dozens of rides to choose from for everyone.
    All of the rides are triple checked. The operators said safety is the most important thing. It's fascinating, it's awesome, it brings me back to my childhood," said Brian Ashley, who traveled with some of his students from Atlanta to attend the fair. 
    Ashley said he forgot how scary some of the rides can be. He laughed and said his students are the ones holding his hand. 

    He's one of many adults who brave the rides with young children. 
    "It goes really fast. And I like fast and not heights," said one youngster who was attending the fair with his brother and friends. Hanna Elmore attended the fair for the first time with her family. But she said they will only watch her go on the rides. 
    "It's fun and it's  scary," said Elmore about the roller coasters at the fair. 
    For 9-year-old Kaden Taylor, his favorite rides are the Ferris wheel and ones with loud music. "Music just makes me want to get up and dance," said Taylor. 
    Taylor said he has been to the fair multiple times. While he enjoys the rides, he said the best part of the fair is being with his loved ones. "Every year I get to spend time with my family and my family and I get close in relationships," said Taylor. 
    But he isn't the only one who associates the fair with family.

    " I always came out here as a little kid. It was kind of like your personal amusement park," explained Richard Reithoffer as he looked at kids enjoying the rides. 
    Reithoffer is the fifth-generation owner and operator of Reithoffer Shows. The company provides rides, games and food to fairgrounds all over the country.
    "It's a really nice and fun way to make a living," explained Reithoffer. "By helping other families have fun and make memories."The company brings in and oversees the setup for the more than 60 rides at the Georgia National Fair.
    "We want you to know that when you are out here being hosted by my family, your family is safe," said Reithoffer. Reithoffer said each ride is checked several times.
    "We have 10 in-house inspectors that are looking at the equipment as we set it up and all through the week and then a third-party state inspector has to come and certify it's safe and ready for the public and on top of that every ride has a ride-specific inspection sheet that they go through every morning," explained Reithoffer.
    He said the ride operators are traditionally the same, so they know the ins and outs of the ride.

    And if you happen to go by the Zero Gravity ride, you may see how employees go the extra mile to make sure everyone is having a good time.
    Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.
    Amanda Hoskins


  • Wed, October 04, 2017 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    Important Information

    To Our IFEA Industry Friends:  Read Memo "HERE"

  • Fri, September 29, 2017 12:36 PM | Anonymous

    Wall Street Journal by Charles Passy

    ‘America’s Largest Living Carousel’ is part of a Sept. 27 performance of the Big E Super Circus at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass.

    Circus economics work better under the structure of a state fair because there are no touring costs...    Complete article "HERE"


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