Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Rejects Analysis of Duration of Retiree Benefits As Contrary to Contract Law

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved a long-standing dispute between the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the remainder of the federal judiciary in a case concerning the extent to which...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man: Ordinary Contract Principles Apply When Interpreting Retiree Medical Promises

The Supreme Court has unanimously vacated a Sixth Circuit ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) vested retirees with lifetime medical benefits. M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 759...more

PERM Denial Upheld for Failure to Include Free Housing Benefit in Advertisement

An important goal of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is to protect U.S. workers from being displaced in the job market by foreign workers. Certain employment-based permanent residence applications therefore require...more

Significant Multiemployer and Single Employer Benefit Rule Changes Take Effect

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed into law the $1.1 trillion Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Appropriations Act), which includes some significant changes to the rules governing...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes Reliance on Yard-Man In Retiree Health Benefit Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Circuit’s reliance on retiree-friendly inferences set forth in UAW v. Yard-Man are incompatible with ordinary principles of contract interpretation and should not be used when...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

Spoiler Alert: The EEOC Is Quietly Figuring Out The Best Way To Collect Private Employers' Compensation Information

Most following the federal government’s efforts to collect employee compensation data are aware of the OFCCP’s proposed requirement that federal contractors file an "Equal Pay Report" providing information on the salaries,...more

2015 Estate and Tax Planning

Blank Rome’s annual estate planning newsletter discusses certain concepts and techniques that we hope may be of interest to our clients and friends....more

Divorce and Beneficiary Designations—Florida Law Changes

Introduction - This article discusses a significant change in Florida law regarding the effect of dissolution or annulment of marriage on designations of one former spouse as beneficiary upon death of the insured other...more

Deja-Vu All Over Again: Congress Once Again Retroactively Increases Mass Transit Benefit Limits

Prior to the enactment of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (“TIPA”) in December 2014, effective for 2014, mass transit commuters were only able to contribute a maximum of $130 per month on a pre-tax basis toward their...more

Immediate Action Required to Maximize Tax Savings for Mass Transit

Congress and the IRS have expanded the availability and procedures for maximizing the income tax and FICA tax exclusion for mass transit benefits, but immediate action is required to satisfy the IRS special relief provisions...more

California’s Sick Leave Law Will Require Altering Most PTO Programs by July 2015

On September 10, 2014, Governor Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, mandating paid sick leave for most employees, including part-time, as well as many temporary employees. Employers...more

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Employee Benefits

Employee benefits may be one of the biggest assets involved in a divorce—often similar in value to the family residence. With so much money on the line, identifying, valuing, and dividing benefit plans is a priority. Here are...more

Employers: 2015 deadlines approach to furnish incentive stock option and employee stock purchase plan information statements and...

Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code requires a corporation to furnish a written statement to any employee or former employee who either (i) exercised an incentive stock option within the meaning of Section 422 of the...more

Illinois Employers Must Offer Retirement Savings Program

Illinois has become the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring businesses to offer their employees a retirement savings plan. Signed into law recently by Gov. Pat Quinn, the new law, entitled “Illinois Secure...more

Monthly Benefits Update - December 2014

Illinois Becomes the First State to Require Automatic Retirement Savings Program for Workers Without Access to a Workplace Retirement Plan - On January 5, 2015, outgoing Governor Quinn signed landmark legislation that...more

Is An Injury Sustained by an Employee While Participating in a Workplace Wellness Program Compensable Under the Workers'...

With the new year upon us, chances are that your employees are making those age old resolutions to lose weight, get fit, and exercise more. And, if you sponsor or offer an employee wellness program, your employees might be...more

DOL and Treasury Update 2014-2015 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. The updated plans are reflected in the attached chart. ...more

Congress Makes It Possible to Reduce Some Union Pensions

As a part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 18, 2014, the 161-page "Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014" (Act) gives the...more

Mandatory Retirement Plans in Illinois

Is Illinois the precursor to mandatory retirement savings programs across the country the way that Massachusetts was for mandatory health care? Illinois has become the first state to require that private-sector employers...more

SEC Provides Guidance on Key Employee Trusts Under Family Office Rule

The SEC Division of Investment Management recently provided guidance on whether certain key employee trusts would qualify as family clients under the rule. Recognizing the need for family offices to attract and retain...more

Deferral Elections for 2015 Compensation

As reported in Part 3 of our 2014 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List, employers that sponsor deferred compensation programs should take action to ensure that deferral elections that apply to compensation that will be...more

Employers Must Begin Notifying Employees of New Paid Sick Leave Law on January 2015

California’s new paid sick leave law, the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” (AB 1522), will go into effect in two stages in 2015. We discussed the key provisions of AB 1522 in a September E-Alert....more

New York City Mayor de Blasio Signs Affordable Transit Act into Law

On October 20, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Local Law 53, the Affordable Transit Act. Under this new law, New York City businesses with 20 or more full-time employees will be required to offer a federal...more

What’s Going Around: California Employers Must Provide Paid Sick Leave in 2015

The Solution: California Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1522 will require employers to provide employees with at least 24 hours of paid sick leave starting July 1, 2015....more

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