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Stay Tuned: Impact of Supreme Court Decision on ACA's Contraceptive Mandate Uncertain

It’s too soon to know the impact on the workplace of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that certain businesses may opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement to pay for birth control in their healthcare...more

Hobby Lobby: Just a Start

As a trial lawyer, I rarely pay much attention to dissenting opinions. They do not serve as meaningful precedent, and they tend only to express the loser’s frustrated perspective. But Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Supreme...more

More Post-Windsor Tax Guidance: IRS Issues Letter Outlining Steps for Individuals to Obtain Tax Refunds for Same-Sex Spousal...

On June 27, 2014, the IRS published a letter outlining the steps taxpayers should take in order to obtain a refund for taxes paid on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse....more

New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Termination of Whistleblowing RN, Confirming Narrow Reading of CEPA

In Hitesman v. Bridgeway, Inc., A-73-12 (June 16, 2014), a registered nurse was fired after he complained to management about the rate of infectious diseases among patients, reported his concerns to governmental agencies, and...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™: July 2014

Survey of ACA Navigators Finds 10.6 Million People Sought Enrollment Help — In a survey released this week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (“Kaiser”) estimates that approximately 10.6 million people received assistance...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2014

Editor's Overview - The end of the U.S. Supreme Court's term brought two significant ERISA decisions. The first concerns the standard of review that courts apply when evaluating ERISA stock-drop claims. As discussed...more

Religious Institutions Update

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that an existing contraceptive coverage mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act statute that applies to for-profit closely held corporations...more

Can You Link Insurance Premiums To Smoking?

Rocked by soaring costs, including skyrocketing increases in health insurance premiums, employers are desperate to manage, and hopefully limit, whatever costs they can. Many employers have begun to look to the lifestyle...more

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

ERISA self-insured health plan not required to cover same sex spouses

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, No. 12–cv–04788 (NSR), 58 EBC 1077, 2014 WL 1760343 (S.D. N.Y. May 1, 2014), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York held a self-insured health plan that...more

What Employees are Afraid To Tell You, and How Whistleblower Hotline Providers Can Help

I recently read a very interesting article by Jacqueline Klimas from The Washington Times about more than 50 Veterans Affairs workers claiming retaliation for blowing the whistle on the horrors they witnessed while on the...more

Arbitrator may order change to hours, location of doctor who sexually-harassed hospital nurse

Where a doctor has sexually harassed a nurse, a labour arbitrator has authority to decide how close the doctor should be able to work with the nurse, and under what conditions, an Ontario arbitrator has decided....more

Executive Briefing

In its decision on Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., the Missouri Supreme Court imposed a minimalist “contributing factor” causation standard on workers’ compensation retaliation claims. The decision overrules two precedents,...more

EEOC Sues Employer for Imposing "Onionhead" Religious Beliefs

Within the next several days, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its decision regarding the government’s authority under the Affordable Care Act to require private employers to provide contraceptive care to...more

Long Term Care Providers Take Note: The Top Five Employment Law Mistakes to Avoid

Americans love top ten lists. In that love-for-lists spirit, and in an effort to be informative, we list below the top five employment law mistakes that long term care employers need to avoid. 1. Implementing a...more

What Marriage Equality Means for Your Employee Benefits

A frequent headline in the news as of late has been “Federal Judge in State X finds same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional” and then shortly thereafter “Hundreds of couples marry in State X” complete with a picture of a...more

The Federal Court for the Southern District of New York Rules that Employers with Self-Insured Health Plans Need Not Offer Medical...

The issue of same-sex spousal rights is now largely resolved for qualified retirement plans. However, substantial questions about same-sex spouse health benefits remain unanswered. In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield,...more

What's New Under the Defense of Marriage Act?

A major reason that employee benefits, such as employer- provided healthcare and retirement plans, exist is that they provide a tax-advantaged way for an employer to provide additional compensation to an employee, her spouse,...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 29: Wellness Programs, Smoking Cessation and e-Cigarettes

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) generally prohibits discrimination in eligibility, benefits, or premiums based on a health factor, except in the case of certain wellness programs. Final...more

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

Guidance On Employer Incentives For Wellness Participation Is On The Way, Says EEOC

Hallelujah! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced this week that it plans to issue guidance on employers’ ability to offer incentives to employees based on their participation in wellness programs, or whether...more

OFCCP’s New Tricare Moratorium Directive: Delay of Game

On March 7, 2014, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued Directive 2014-01, TRICARE Subcontractor Enforcement Activities concerning the affirmative action obligations of subcontractors of...more

Despite Windsor, Federal Court Rejects Challenge to a Self-Insured ERISA Health Plan’s Denial of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor, the requirement that an ERISA health plan provide health coverage for same-sex spouses has often hinged on whether an employee benefit plan was insured or...more

Health Care Reform: Beware of Litigation Risks

As almost all employers know, one of the many requirements of health care reform is the so-called employer mandate. The employer mandate generally provides that large employers who fail to offer their full-time employees...more

Even The Doctor Is Not Immune

A federal jury recently awarded $350,000 in punitive and compensatory damages to three former employees of Endoscopic Microsurgery Associates, a Baltimore-area medical practice, who were subjected to unwanted sexual advances...more

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