Labor & Employment Insurance

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Employee Benefits Developments - September 2014

CASES - Post-Retirement Medical Benefits Under Siege. A recent spike in retiree benefit litigation is evidence of a growing interest among employers in strategies designed to contain, reduce, and eliminate the current...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Excessive Fee Claims Against Insurer

The Third Circuit has affirmed dismissal of all claims against the insurer in a 401(k) excessive fee suit, rejecting arguments that the insurer is an ERISA fiduciary for its product's fees, even where the service provider has...more

Identify Yourself! Deadline for Health Plan Identifiers is Fast Approaching

One of the lesser-known health plan requirements adopted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has an initial deadline that is fast approaching, and most employers will need to take action to ensure that...more

Pennsylvania Magistrate Judge Recommends That Plaintiff’s Claims Be Barred in Their Entirety by Application of the Doctrine of...

In the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, applying the doctrine of collateral estoppel, a Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation granting an individual disability insurer summary judgment on an insured’s claims...more

Claims Handlers: It’s Time to Adjust Our Claims!

Many insurers have a longstanding practice of paying claims adjusters a set weekly salary, regardless of the number of hours they actually work. The practice has support in federal labor regulations; the regulations...more

California Court Sustains Disclaimer Based on Employment Practices Exclusion

In John Davler, Inc. v. Arch Insurance Company, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 837 (Cal. App. Sept. 15, 2014), the California Court of Appeal had the opportunity to consider the application of an employment-related practices exclusion...more

Can't You Hear Me Knocking? Amending ERISA

On October 15, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 134 S.Ct. 604 (2013). The specific question before the Court in that case, as expressly stated by...more

The Scope of Commercial General Liability Policies Continues to Shrink

Watch out for those Employment Practice Liability “EPL” exclusions. The courts have routinely upheld these exclusions now explicitly added to both the Coverage A (bodily injury and property damage) and the Coverage B...more

Texas Supreme Court oral arguments (9/14)

No. 12-0803 -- Texas Dep't of Aging & Disability Servs. v. Cannon -- The plaintiff brought a wrongful-death case against the department and department employees. The department moved to dismiss the employees, arguing that...more

ERISA Fiduciary Obligations: More on Application to Life Insurance Coverage

This article examines the case of Biller v. Prudential Insurance, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss a claim brought against an employer by the beneficiaries of a...more

District Court in 11th Circuit Deems Claim for Equitable Relief Appropriate under Amara and Varity

Yet again, the Court has been called upon to negotiate the juxtaposition between Varity and Amara. According to the Complaint in Biller v. Prudential Ins. Co. and Six Continents Hotels, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 118577,...more

May v. AT & T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 1: Independent Physician Reviews of the "Paper File" Under Fire

On August 25, 2014, the Ninth Circuit upheld a District Court decision that an ERISA administrator’s denial of a short-term disability (STD) benefit claim may not be based solely on an independent physician’s review of the...more

Alberta Pension Reform: Getting Started on Plan Compliance Amendments

Effective September 1, 2014, the new Alberta Employment Pension Plans Act (New EPPA) and Employment Pension Plans Regulation (New Regulation) came into force. Pension plans registered in Alberta, as well as plans registered...more

Fatal Blow to Healthcare Reform? Courts split on federal tax credit

On July 22, 2014, two federal courts came down on opposite sides of an issue that may have far-reaching consequences about the future of the Patient Protection and Affordance Care Act ("PPACA"). At stake is whether the PPACA...more

New Money Market Fund Rules Require Review by Retirement Plan Sponsors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently amended the rules governing money market funds in an effort to increase the stability and liquidity of these funds in times of economic stress. Money market funds...more

California Repeals 60-Day Limit on Waiting Periods

On August 15, 2014, California passed Senate Bill 1034, which repealed an insurance law (Assembly Bill 1083) that prohibited insurance companies from including waiting periods in excess of 60 days in their group health...more

Business Law Newsletter - Septermber 2014

In This Issue: - Monkeying around with Copyright Laws - Who can Own a Copyright? - Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed - The Eight Corners Rule and the District of Columbia -...more

LTD insurance requirements coming soon for Ontario employers

As part of the 2014 Ontario budget, which was passed on July 24, 2014, the Ontario government proposed to amend the Insurance Act (Ontario) by requiring mandatory insurance of long-term disability (“LTD”) benefits provided by...more

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to Rehear ACA Subsidy Challenge

On September 4, 2014, the D.C. Circuit vacated a panel decision in Halbig v. Burwell (Civ. No. 14-5018) striking down the federal government’s provision of premium subsidies to individuals purchasing coverage through the...more

Arrogance is a bad trait for a 401(k) plan decision maker

Regardless of the business you’re in, one of the worst thing you can do in being the decision maker for your retirement plan is that you know better than most retirement plan professionals. No plan sponsor likes to get...more

Plan Administration Changes in New Alberta Pension Legislation: Make Sure You Are in Compliance (Part II of II)

In this post, we discuss the amendments in the new Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) and the accompanying Employment Pension Plans Regulation (EPPR), which came into force on September 1, 2014, with respect to plan...more

Where Oh Where Could They Be? Finding Missing Participants Under the New DOL Guidance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued updated guidance on locating missing participants in a terminated defined contribution plan. The guidance reflects the discontinuance of the IRS and SSA letter forwarding...more

Wage & Hour Claims: A Look Back on The First Half of 2014

As the mid-point of 2014 fades into the rearview mirror, it is clear that wage and hour claims continue to be a hotbed of litigation impacting large and small companies across industries. In turn the protection those...more

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Halbig ACA Case Before Full Court

Following up on our Week 22 ACA Countdown to Compliance post, the D.C. Court of Appeals granted the government’s petition for en banc review in Halbig v. Burwell, which held low income subsidies to purchase coverage through...more

Full D.C. Circuit to Rehear ACA Premium Tax Credit Case

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has vacated the 2-1 panel decision issued July 22, 2014, in Halbig v. Burwell, which struck down the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Rule providing for Affordable Care Act...more

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