Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Be Alert Middle East: New Dubai and Qatar Health Insurance Laws

Qatar, and most recently Dubai, have introduced a compulsory health insurance scheme. The scheme, which applies to all residents and visitors, stipulates that it is mandatory for employers to provide employees with health...more

IRS Issues Second Guidance on Cadillac Tax

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a new notice addressing issues relating to future rules governing the calculation and payment of the so-called “Cadillac tax” under the Affordable Care Act. Beginning in 2018, the ACA...more

Employee Benefits Alert - July 2015

Major Revisions to Qualified Plan Determination Letter Process Announced - Effective January 1, 2017, the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans will be...more

Wal-Mart Accused of Gender-Discrimination Because of Anti-Gay Insurance Policies

In Cote v. Wal-Mart Stores, Wal-Mart is facing the possibility of a class action suit from a former employee who claims that the company’s denial of healthcare benefits to her same-sex spouse amounts to sex discrimination....more

What Does the Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Mean for Employee Benefit Plans?

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that states must license and recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. Despite being a landmark decision affecting same sex couples whose...more

Latest on Uber: Are the Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors?

The California Labor Commission recently ruled an Uber driver was an employee of Uber–as opposed to an independent contractor–and therefore must be reimbursed approximately $4,000.00 for expenses she incurred as an Uber...more

Governor Rauner and AFSCME Extend Master Agreement, But Only Through September

Earlier this week, Governor Rauner and AFSCME Council 31, the union representing almost 40,000 state workers, agreed to temporarily extend the terms of the 2012-2015 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and prohibit a strike...more

Illinois Releases Pregnancy Accommodation Proposed Rules

The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) released proposed rules regulating pregnancy discrimination and accommodation in employment. Released on July 17, 2015, these rules are authorized by the Illinois Pregnancy...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

Second Circuit Holds That Posthumous QDROs Are Valid. Yale-New Haven Hospital brought an action in federal court to resolve competing claims by a former spouse of a deceased participant and the deceased participant’s...more

Employee Benefits After Obergefell

In a historic decision, the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges recently held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires all jurisdictions in all fifty states to: (1) license a...more

Revisit employment policies in light of Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling

Since December 2013, when the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah concluded that Utah’s definition of marriage as the union between only a man and a woman was unconstitutional, the validity of same-sex marriage has...more

Multiemployer Pension Plans - Withdrawal Liability is Mounting

There are approximately 1,400 multiemployer pension plans and nearly 10 percent are projected to become insolvent within the next 15 years. Plan insolvency will trigger a termination and the assessment of withdrawal...more

Employee Benefits: A Major Curtailment of the IRS Determination Letter Program Will Impose New Compliance Burdens on Sponsoring...

The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") announced, on July 21, 2015, a major curtailment of its determination letter program for individually designed qualified retirement plans ("Individually Designed Plans") that will impose...more

Benefits Litigation Update – July 2015

Welcome to the new, rejuvenated version of the Benefits Litigation Update, which we bring you jointly with the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. Our goal is to provide a concise and, we hope, insightful glimpse into recent...more

New Developments in Protections for LGBT Workers

It’s been a busy few weeks for developments in the area of LGBT rights since the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell , 576 U.S. ___ (2015)....more

New California Law Recognizes Cheerleaders as Employees Not Independent Contractors

Amid recent review of employees being misclassified as independent contractors, which may not entitle them to overtime, sick days and other protections, California governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law requiring that...more

GASB Changes Governmental Entity Accounting Disclosure Rules for Retiree Health Benefits

The General Accountability Standards Board (GASB) recently issued new standards that govern the disclosure of post-employment benefits in financial statements. Specifically, new GASB standards require state and municipal...more

The IRS Tosses Plan Sponsors a Curveball: New Guidance Throws Out One Method of Pension Plan De-Risking

In recent guidance, the IRS surprised plan sponsors with its plan to prevent them from using one means of “de-risking” their defined benefit pension plans to reduce their pension plan liabilities. In Notice 2015-49, the IRS...more

Preemption Law Results Show Different Approaches States Take with Local Sick Leave Measures

2015 has been a notable year for the passage and implementation of local mandatory paid sick leave (PSL) laws. In addition to statewide laws taking effect in California and Massachusetts, new local laws have taken effect in...more

Supremes Tell States Gay Marriage is Legal

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws the prohibit gay marriage in Obergfell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 (June 26, 2015), First, the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage...more

Obergefell v. Hodges – Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in all 50 States

Same-sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States - In 2013, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) which defined marriage, for Federal purposes, as...more

Focus on Private Equity - July 2015

What Private Equity Funds Should Know About ERISA: Basics of ERISA Coverage - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) imposes numerous duties on fiduciaries holding employee benefit...more

The EEOC Rules That Existing Federal Law Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation

In a landmark ruling on July 15, 2015 in _____ [name of charging party kept secret] v. Foxx, EEOC Appeal No. 2012-24738–FAA-03 (July 15, 2015), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC’) held for the first time...more

Health and Welfare Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses after Obergefell: A New Mandate for Employers?

After last month’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, employee benefit plan sponsors may wonder whether Obergefell affirmatively imposes an obligation for employers to provide health, life,...more

ERISA’s Exhausting and Exasperating Exhaustion Requirement and the Exceptions Medical Providers Seeking Full Reimbursement From...

The first Alert in this two-part series discussed three common issues facing out-of-network medical providers in asserting reimbursement claims against employee benefits plan administrators (whether an insurance company or...more

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