Employee Benefits Compliance

News & Analysis as of

New GAO Report on Contingent Workforce Shows 85% of Independent Contractors Are “Content with Their Employment Type”

A comprehensive government report on the contingent workforce made public two days ago revealed surprising data about independent contractors, finding that 85% of independent contractors “appeared content with their...more

Multiple Departments Issue Guidance on Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made headlines during the second half of 2014 by attacking employers' wellness programs that require employees to undergo certain medical testing or be penalized. In three...more

IT companies in São Paulo State: act by April 30 to open mandatory profit-sharing negotiations

The current collective bargaining agreement applicable to IT companies based in São Paulo, signed on January 30, 2015 (CBA), includes an obligation for employers to send a request to the workers' union to open negotiations to...more

New Guidance on Locating Missing Participants for Terminated Defined Contribution Plans

On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided new guidance to plan fiduciaries of terminated defined contribution plans for locating missing and unresponsive participants in order to distribute their...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 19: Changes in Employment Status under the Look-Back...

An earlier post explained the two principle methods—the “monthly measurement method” and the “look-back measurement method”—available to applicable large employers to identify full-time employees for purposes of determining...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 20: 9.5% ? 9.56% (And Why It Matters to Applicable Large...

While employers sometimes view the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (or “pay-or-play”) rules in isolation, they don’t operate that way. Instead, they exist side-by-side with other provisions of the Act. In...more

Upcoming Health and Welfare Plan Requirements Checklist for Employers

As the mid-way point of 2014 approaches, employers should actively turn their attention to several upcoming compliance obligations for the health and welfare benefit plans they sponsor. Below is a checklist of upcoming...more

5 Key Employment Law Challenges for In-House Counsel

5 employment law challenges that in-house counsel will face in the coming year and how to get out ahead of them....more

Healthcare Ethics and Compliance Program Requirements

The Affordable Care Act included a mandate that medical service providers and suppliers enact compliance programs as a condition of participating in federal health care programs. (The ACA also set a deadline of March 23,...more

Key Take-Aways from the "Impact of Mergers & Acquisitions on California Employers" Presentation

As a follow up to the April 29, 2014 audiocast presented by lawyers from the California HR team on the “Impact of Mergers & Acquisitions on California Employers,” the presenters have shared their most important “take-away”...more

For ACA, Check Your Handbooks and Intranet

If you are like most employers, you have been diligently revising your benefits plans and working with your insurance providers to make sure your Summary Plan Descriptions comply with the Affordable Care Act. After those...more

Executive Briefing - May 2014

In This Issue: - ADA Reasonable Accommodation Requests: Avoid Rigid Policies and Consider Technology - IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Plan Amendments Regarding Same Sex Spouses - OSHA to Refer Untimely...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 29: Wellness Programs, Smoking Cessation and e-Cigarettes

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) generally prohibits discrimination in eligibility, benefits, or premiums based on a health factor, except in the case of certain wellness programs. Final...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 30: The IRS Tells Us that Employer Payment Plans (Really,...

The IRS recently issued two Q&As on the subject of employer payment plans, the purpose of which was to again underscore that arrangements purporting to allow an employer to reimburse employees on a pre-tax basis for premiums...more

View From McDermott: What Private Equity and Hedge Funds (and Their Benefit Plan Investors) Should Know About ERISA

ERISA imposes numerous obligations on fiduciaries holding assets of employee benefit plans. In addition to discharging its duties prudently and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to benefit plan participants and...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 31: ERISA Section 510 and Limiting Employee Hours

In last week’s post, we examined the appropriateness of capping the annual hours of new “variable hour employees” as a way to limit exposure under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules. (These rules...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 32: Why Capping Annual Hours at 1560 Does Not Work

Whenever Congress draws a line in the sand—such as with exposure for assessable payments under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibly rules—entities subject to regulation (here, applicable large employers) will...more

What you need to know about the continuing trend to regulate employers at the local level

The increasing regulation of private-sector employers at the city, county, and local regional agency level is a significant continuing trend. Many state and federal employment laws expressly allow or don’t expressly preempt...more

Monthly Benefits Update

IRS Issues 2015 HSA Contribution Limits, High-Deductible Health Plan Definition, Out of Pocket Expense Limits - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance setting the inflation-adjusted amounts applicable to...more

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

The Headache of Plan Loans

They often say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I don’t know who said it first (I heard it was originated with St. Bernard, the saint, not the dog), but perhaps they were a 401(k) plan sponsor that had a...more

Do Your Qualified Retirement Plans Recognize Same-Sex Spouses as of June 26, 2013?

The IRS has published Notice 2014-19 and related FAQs regarding the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor and Rev. Ruling 2013-17 to qualified retirement plans. All retirement plans should be...more

The EEOC's Latest Target – Severance Agreements

Employers have long offered employees severance or other post-employment benefits in exchange for a waiver and general release of claims. Agreements of this kind often help make a difficult separation somewhat easier. By...more

U.K. Law for the U.S. Employer, Part I: Basic Principles, Contracts, and Minimum Benefits and Rights

The United Kingdom’s and the United States’ employment laws differ in a number of ways. This three-part blog series summarizing U.K. employment laws will introduce U.S. employers to key concepts of the U.K. law that may be...more

Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System Q&A

Introduction: To encourage employers to provide a tax qualified retirement plan, and to encourage employees to participate in such retirement plans, the Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") provides tax incentives to both...more

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