Labor & Employment Health

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ACA Outlook: What Will 2015 Hold for the Affordable Care Act and Employers?

For many employers, the effective date of the Affordable Care Act's "play-or-pay" mandate is only weeks away. The impending deadline comes amid questions about the future—and perhaps viability—of the law itself. Entering...more

Upcoming Health and Welfare Plan Requirements Checklist for Employers #2

As 2014 draws to a close, employers should turn their attention to several upcoming compliance obligations for the health and welfare benefit plans they sponsor. Below is a list of upcoming health and welfare compliance...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 2: Explaining the Look-Back Measurement Method to Employees

Many applicable large employers—i.e., employers that are subject to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility rules—have a pretty good sense of what these rules are, how they work, and what they plan to...more

2014 EEOC Year In Review: Lots Of Action, Mixed Results

2014 has been a notable year for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency has initiated historic litigation, issued significant new guidance and signaled increased scrutiny of background checks and...more

Labor & Employment E- Note - December 2014

In This Issue: - SCOTUS Says Firms Don't Have to Pay for Security Screening Time - EEOC Saw Decline in Discrimination Settlements, Number of Cases - HHS Closes Loophole Allowing Employers to Cut Hospital...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Pension Board's Disability Finding is Preclusive in Employee Benefits Act...

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide whether a pension board’s finding that an officer is disabled for pension purposes is preclusive of the employer’s liability for health...more

Medical Marijuana Roundtable: Top Ten Takeaways

Minnesota recently became the latest state to permit the limited use of medical marijuana for treating certain health conditions. In early October, the Department of Health issued proposed regulations to implement the new...more

Often Overlooked, but Effective, Provisions to Consider for your Benefit Plans

The Issue: When benefits under welfare plans – such as health plans and disability plans – are denied, litigation frequently results. In the context of “self-funded” plans (in contrast to “fully insured” plans, which are...more

EEOC's Regulatory Agenda Anticipates Wellness Program Rules in February

Last month, federal agencies released their semiannual regulatory agendas. The agendas list the rules in progress for the various agencies, along with anticipated dates of issuance. New additions or shortened timeframes can...more

The False Claims Act and the Health Care Industry: 2014 Year in Review

On Nov. 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced settlements and judgments for False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases totaling $5.7 billion (compared to $3.8 billion in fiscal year 2013), $2.3 billion of which was...more

Should Employers Drop Domestic Partner Dependent Coverage?

Over the past decade, many employers extended dependent coverage under their group medical insurance plans to employees’ domestic partners. For many employers, this change was made in order to allow gay employees to add their...more

Gavel to Gavel: What's in store for employers?

In 2014, the government’s employment agencies were aggressive and active in terms of investigations and lawsuits. Employers should expect this to continue in the new year and pay particular attention to the...more

ACA Liabilities: Workplace Wellness Programs in Crosshairs of EEOC

Employers implementing new voluntary workplace wellness programs that are otherwise compliant with regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are nevertheless finding themselves in the crosshairs of the Equal Employment...more

Employer Cash Payments To Reimburse Employees For Health Insurance Costs – No!

Many employers offer or provide cash to employees to reimburse them for the cost of purchasing an individual health insurance policy. Others offer employees with high claims risk a choice between enrolling in the company’s...more

December 2014 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties and excise taxes. To...more

Same-Sex Marriage Rulings May Pose Some Challenges for Employers

Over the past two years, there has been a sea change in the treatment of same-sex spouses under both federal and state law. Now that federal law, and the laws in 35 states and Washington, D.C., recognize marriage equality for...more

Epilepsy may qualify for Social Security Disability

About 1 in 26 Americans will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition currently affects 2.3 million Americans, including many Chicago residents....more

Second Circuit Rejects Plan’s Claim For Reimbursement From Another Plan

Where an ERISA plan specifically sets forth in the plan document its rights to reimbursement/subrogation vis-à-vis a plan participant then there is no requirement that recovery be conditioned on the plan being able to trace...more

Supreme Court Rejects Whistleblower’s Double-Dip Attempt

On Monday the United States Supreme Court declined to hear Danny Smart’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit’s rejection of his attempt to share in the proceeds of a $5 million settlement of a False Claims Act suit brought by another...more

EEOC to Issue Proposed Regulations for Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced recently that it intends to issue proposed regulations in the next 60 days to clarify its enforcement authority under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update

We are now more than two weeks into the Affordable Care Act (ACA’s) second open enrollment period, and 765,000 individuals have obtained coverage through HealthCare.gov. On Capitol Hill, House lawmakers filed a lawsuit...more

Determining Full-Time Employee Status for ACA: IRS Issues Guidance for Changes in Measurement or Methods

The employer shared responsibility provisions (commonly referred to as the "pay-or-play" mandate) of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") impose penalties on applicable large employers that fail to offer qualifying health coverage...more

What does a telephone interview with a Social Security claims representative involve?

For people seeking Social Security Disability benefits, a telephone interview is often the most convenient or physically feasible option. However, many Illinois applicants do not know what to expect from this interview....more

Cafeteria Plan Amendments: A Year-End Action Item

If your company permits employees to pay for certain benefits, such as health coverage, on a pre-tax basis under an Internal Revenue Code Section 125 plan (also known as a “cafeteria plan”), you might be may be required to...more

11th Circuit Brings Back Part of Whistleblower Suit

According to the ruling of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a former health care executive that exposed a kickback and illegal referral scheme by his employer will be allowed to proceed with certain allegations listed...more

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