Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act

News & Analysis as of

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 36: Hacking the Affordable Care Act’s $100/Day Penalties for...

Particularly with the issuance of final regulations under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules, employers have been concerned—justifiably—with the pay-or-play penalties. ...more

ACA, HIPAA, COBRA and HSA Penalties: What Do They Mean?

What do all of these acronyms stand for and why do employers and human resource professionals care? These acronyms stand for statutory requirements which apply to employer-provided health plans and stiff penalties can apply...more

Failure to Provide COBRA Notice May Not Result in Penalties

Occasionally employers who act as the plan sponsor of a group health plan discover that they have neglected to send a “COBRA notice” to an employee who has been terminated. Recent Federal Court decisions within the Eighth...more

“We have to offer COBRA, When?” The “In Anticipation of Divorce” Rule

Most plan administrators know that the recipe for a group health plan’s COBRA obligation includes three ingredients – a qualifying event that occurs while the individual is covered by the plan that triggers a loss of such...more

Improve Compliance Of Retirement And Group Health Plans In 2014

Retirement plan fiduciaries should consider the following best practices to improve their plan’s governance in 2014: (i) if fiduciary duties have been delegated, make certain that the delegations are in writing and are being...more

Group Health Plans: Year-End Action Items and Upcoming Changes

Group health plan sponsors turn their attention to completing 2013 tasks, implementing upcoming 2014 changes, preparing for the ACA Shared Responsibility requirement in 2015, and documenting recent extensive plan changes....more

Beneficiary Designations and Spouse Definitions Need to be Updated - 16th State Approves Same Sex Marriage While 3rd Circuit...

Yesterday Hawaii adopted the Hawaii Marriage Equity Act of 2013 recognizing same sex marriages as of December 2, 2013 and permitting persons in civil unions in Hawaii to apply to be married without first requiring dissolution...more

Employee Benefits Update: 2013 Year End Plan Tasks

As we approach the end of the year, employers and plan sponsors of qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans should take time to meet various upcoming deadlines. Failure to comply with the deadlines may result...more

Illinois Set To Legalize Same-Sex Marriages; Employers Must Take Numerous Steps To Comply With The Law By June 2014

On November 20, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which the Illinois General Assembly passed last week and which will make Illinois either the 15th or 16th state to...more

IRS Changes Health FSA "Use-or-Lose" Rule; Clarifies Transition Relief for 2013-14

On October 31, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2013-71 (Notice), which modifies the "use or lose" rule for health flexible spending accounts (health FSAs) to allow a $500 annual carryover of unused...more

Navigating Post-Shutdown Employment Law Issues For Government Contractors

After more than two weeks, the federal government shutdown finally ended late in the evening on October 16, 2013. Although the end of the shutdown is great news for federal employees and government contractors, the last three...more

Government Contractor Employment and Contract Issues Arising from the Government Shutdown

A host of issues affecting government contractors have arisen as a result of the government shutdown and the pending debt ceiling impasse. Some concerns are contract-based; some are HR-based, and some concerns are practical....more

Labor & Employment E-Note - October 10, 2013

In This Issue: - High Court Takes on Number of Workplace Dispute Cases - Government Shutdown Creates Delays at Labor Department, NLRB - E-Verify Suspension Leaves Employers Concerned Over Hiring - Judge Again...more

Windsor & DOMA: Issues for Cross-Border Employers

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which defined “marriage” as strictly between opposite-sex couples and “spouse” as referring only to a...more

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Deadline Looms: Here’s What Employers Need to Do

As the October 1, 2013, deadline for compliance with certain notification requirements mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) approaches, employers are grappling with questions about their...more

How to Handle Employee Benefits with Same-Sex Marriages: BB&K's John Wahlin Looks at What Changes Should be Made in Light of the...

With this summer’s Supreme Court rulings on DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, and Prop. 8 allowing same-sex marriages to be recognized in states that allow them, private sector and public agency employers in California...more

The Modern Workplace: Focus on Benefits

Health Exchange Notice Due to Employees by October 1 - We all breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Obama Administration announced that the employer mandate under health care reform would be postponed until 2015. ...more

IRS Provides Much Needed Clarification for Employee Benefit Plans After U.S. Supreme Court Case Strikes Down Defense of Marriage...

On August 29, 2013, IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 which clarified that for federal income tax purposes, the marital status of a same-sex couple is based on the state law or foreign law (e.g. Canada) where the marriage was...more

Employment Law Advisory for September 10, 2013: Same-Sex Spouses—What Does the Supreme Court's Ruling on DOMA Mean for Employers?

On June 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor, the United States Supreme Court found unconstitutional Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”). Section 3 of DOMA prohibited the federal government from acknowledging...more

What DOMA’s Demise Means for New York Employers and Benefit Plan Sponsors

On June 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), the United States Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (“DOMA”) violated the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection...more

Complying with the Affordable Care Act’s Exchange Notice Requirement

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers of all sizes to provide their employees a notice of the availability of coverage through public...more

Government Agencies Release Additional Guidance on Minimum Essential Coverage, Minimum Value and Summary of Benefits and Coverage

As discussed in our March 20, 2013 Legal Alert – Health Care Reform’s Large Employer Play or Pay Penalties: A Checklist for Employers, large employers will be subject to a penalty tax if they either: (1) fail to offer...more

Maintaining Poor COBRA Procedures Can Be Expensive

I blogged a few months ago about an employer who had to pay more than $83,000 in penalty, attorneys’ fees and costs for failure to give a proper COBRA notice for a dental plan....more

First Circuit: Private Equity Fund May Be “Trade or Business” and Subject to Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has recently held in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 12-2312 (July 24, 2013), a case of first impression at the Circuit Court...more

Private equity fund deemed a “trade or business” under ERISA, exposing it to federal liabilities

On July 24, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a private equity fund constituted a “trade or business” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and therefore, as a member of its...more

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