Q. This year our company may exceed 20 employees for the first time. Is it true that employers of 20 or more employees have to offer COBRA? Do part-time employees and independent contractors count toward that total? —M.K., Minnesota
A. Even though your company may reach 20 employees in 2000, you don't need to comply with COBRA until 2001. That's because COBRA applies to companies that have employed 20 or more workers on 50 percent of the working days in the previous calendar year. In determining the number of employees, you must include all full-time and part-time employees. Independent contractors and other self-employed individuals do not count toward this total.
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