Gordon Earle Nichols

Gordon Earle Nichols

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

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DOL Settlement Is a Cautionary Tale for ESOP Trustees

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently settled a case involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that provides guidance but also a warning for trustees and employers contemplating ESOP transactions that later go awry....more

7/8/2014 - Appraisal DOL Employer Liability Issues ESOP GreatBanc Trustees

ESOP Fiduciaries Not Entitled to Presumption of Prudence

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that there is no presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who invest in employer securities. The case...more

7/7/2014 - Duty of Prudence Employee Benefits ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer SCOTUS US Bancorp

Exclusion of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses Did Not Interfere with Protected Rights under ERISA

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a federal district court addressed the issue of whether a self-funded health plan could include language that denied dependent coverage to same-sex spouses without violating Section...more

6/3/2014 - DOMA ERISA Marriage Retirement Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

Defense of Marriage Act: What the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision May Mean for Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is an unconstitutional “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment of...more

6/27/2013 - Discrimination DOMA Due Process Employee Benefits Equal Protection Estate Tax Health Insurance Retirement Plan Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS

Final Rules on Wellness Programs under the Affordable Care Act

Plan sponsors should review wellness programs for compliance with recently issued final rules, which among other things increase the maximum permissible award for certain wellness programs. On May 29, the Internal Revenue...more

6/17/2013 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Final Rules Health Plan Sponsors Healthcare Wellness Programs

Affordable Care Act: Employers Must Soon Provide Marketplace Notices to Employees

Employers have until October 1, 2013, to provide notice to current employees of coverage options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act. On May 8, 2013, the U.S....more

5/15/2013 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Notice Requirements

Supreme Court Clarifies Subrogation Rights, Emphasizes Need for Precise Plan Language

Plan sponsors, particularly those that sponsor self-funded health plans, should review plan document provisions in light of the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen. In...more

4/25/2013 - Health Plan Sponsors McCutchen v. U.S. Airways SCOTUS Subrogation US Airways

Employer Compliance in 2013 under the Affordable Care Act

Having survived the election and a Supreme Court challenge (for the most part), the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay. Employers should evaluate the requirements under ACA that apply to their group health plans for...more

2/20/2013 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Flexible Spending Accounts Health Insurance Exchanges Medicare Taxes Notice Requirements Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Retiree Drug Expenses Tax Deductions W-2

Final HIPAA Regulations: What's Changed (and What Hasn't) for Group Health Plans

The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (“OCR”) has issued final regulations modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Privacy, Security, Breach...more

2/8/2013 - Business Associates Covered Entities Data Breach Employer Group Health Plans Enforcement GINA HHS HIPAA HIPAA Omnibus Rule HITECH Notice Requirements OCR PHI Privacy Policy

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