Labor & Employment Finance & Banking

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Health Care Reform Implementation Update

Over the past several days, the second open enrollment period through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) health insurance exchanges began; Republican lawmakers, now with majorities in both the House and the Senate, explored...more

Beware of Unintended Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations are commonly used to name the individuals or entities who are to receive the proceeds of life insurance policies or retirement plans after the death of the owner. An increasing number of financial...more

What Is a Prudent Investment? Using Simulation to Evaluate Investment Selections

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), plaintiffs may file suit alleging that the selection of certain retirement investments was imprudent. Such litigation occurs after a retirement plan incurs...more

An Employer’s “Recipe” for having a Great Retirement Plan

Every good meal needs a good recipe and every good recipe needs good ingredients. While many products out there have secret ingredients (Coca- Cola), others have secret ingredients that aren’t (that Big Mac special sauce is...more

Murphy School District No. 21 to Pay $138,000 to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Federal Agency Says School Used Retirement Plans That Were Facially Discriminatory - PHOENIX -- Murphy School District No. 21 used an early retirement incentive plan which granted greater economic benefits to employees...more

IRS and DOL Issue Guidance on Including Deferred Annuities in Target Date Funds

Guidance addresses nondiscrimination, qualified default investment alternative, and annuity safe harbor rules. On October 24, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) each issued...more

Paycard Use Comes With Convenience, Regulation

For some employers, paycards have become a convenient and cost-effective alternate method to pay their workers, and for employees to have fast and easy access to their wages. Even direct deposit, for all the administrative...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - As it is well known, in Cigna Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), the U.S. Supreme Court identified several forms of appropriate equitable relief that may be available under Section 502(a)(3) of...more

Wage and Hour Cases to Watch at the Supreme Court: Part 2--Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association

As we discussed recently, this month marked the opening of the Supreme Court’s new term. For employment law practitioners, this session will be particularly busy with seven cases analyzing a range of employment questions,...more

Proxy Advisory Firms Release Policy Updates for 2015

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, two leading proxy advisory firms, recently published their 2015 proxy voting guidelines for US companies, which include several updates applicable to the 2015 proxy...more

Department of Justice Continues to Ignore Wall Street Whistleblowers

Attorney General Eric Holder has spoken a lot about the need for help from whistleblowers who can provide evidence to the Department of Justice about the crimes committed on Wall Street from September 2008 and onward....more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update their Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2015

Proxy research and advice entities Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (“Glass Lewis”) recently updated the guidelines each service will use to inform their voting recommendations for...more

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...more

2014 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Part 2 – Qualified Retirement Plans

As 2014 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate SW Benefits Updates. Part 1 of the series...more

Bells and whistles not being used is worse than having no bells and whistles

My wife will admit I am a dutiful husband. For years, I have been forced from sleep to stand online for Black Friday sales. One year, I stood on line at Sports Authority for the 5 am open to buy a treadmill. A treadmill is...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Return to Pension Debates

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to return once again to what surely must be the most controversial subject at the moment in all of Illinois’ civil law: public pensions. Matthews v....more

Avoid the next big thing in 401(k) Litigation

ERISA litigators need to eat and once they exhausted much of the fee litigation prior to the implementation of fee disclosure, they needed something else to sink their teeth in. Then we got cases regarding using the wrong...more

CFPB settles second loan originator compensation case

The CFPB entered into a stipulated order and final judgment with Franklin Loan Corporation (Franklin) to settle allegations that Franklin paid its employee loan originators compensation based on the interest rates charged on...more

FINRA: Firms Should Not Restrict Whistleblower Rights

Why it matters - In a new regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reminded regulated firms not to prohibit the exercise of whistleblower rights in settlement agreements with employees and...more

Status Updates - November 2014 #6

That’s a lot of latte. It turns out that Starbucks—not a company in the mobile payments business—was the first company to make in-person payments by mobile phone mainstream. According to recent statements by the coffee...more

NYC Pension Fund Submits 75 Proxy Access Proposals

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the $160 billion New York City Pension Funds, has submitted proxy access shareowner proposals to 75 companies. The proposals request a bylaw to give shareowners who...more

Election Results and Analysis

Going into the November 4 midterm elections, Democrats held a 55-45 (two Independents caucus with the Democrats) seat advantage in the Senate while Republicans held a 234-201 advantage in the House. With several races still...more

New IRS Rules on Direct Rollovers of Taxable and Non-Taxable Amounts Require Changes to Defined Contribution Plan Administration...

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released guidance allowing participants to allocate the taxable and non-taxable portions of a single distribution from a defined contribution retirement plan into separate accounts....more

On-Premises Fringe Benefits, Part I: Is There Such a Thing as a Free Lunch?

It is no secret that many Silicon Valley employers serve free gourmet meals to their employees—the Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit magazine, Time, Forbes, and other media sources have reported on this benefit. In addition,...more

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