Employee Benefits The United States Department of Labor

News & Analysis as of

The Electrician Is An Independent Contractor; The Uber Driver Isn’t

When I talk to businesspeople about the legal differences between employees and independent contractors, I often offer the electrician who comes to the office to fix a wiring problem as the paradigmatic independent...more

DOL Memo Provides Script for FLSA Collective Actions Alleging Independent Contractor Misclassification

The all-time best The Far Side cartoon (based on an unscientific survey, sample size of me) is the one with two deer standing in the forest, one with a red circular target imprinted on its chest. The other deer says, “Bummer...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

Second Circuit holds that the Affordable Care Act does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

On August 7, 2015, in Catholic Health Care System v. Burwell, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) is not violated by certain regulations promulgated under the...more

Is Mandatory Paid Sick Leave on the Horizon for Federal Contractors?

The next big change for federal contractors may be a requirement that they provide paid sick leave to employees. According to the New York Times, President Obama has drafted an executive order that would require federal...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

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

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

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

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

Reminder: Non-Grandfathered Plans Must Implement Embedded Out-of-Pocket Maximums

As employers and plans prepare for 2016 open enrollment, they must be sure to address in their benefit design and with their third party vendors the new embedded out-of-pocket maximum limitations on individuals that were...more

July and August 2015 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

Employment Law - July 2015

The Impact of National Same-Sex Marriage for Employers - Why it matters: How will employers feel the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges? The landmark ruling that the Fourteenth...more

Monthly Benefits Alert - June 2015

Supreme Court - As explained in more detail in separate alerts we issued over the past several days, the Supreme Court decided two major cases involving the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage. First, as described...more

NY Court Issues Landmark Ruling on the Employment Status of Unpaid Interns

On July 2, 2015, in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. and a related order, Wang v. The Hearst Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a new test for determining whether interns must be treated and...more

What the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Means for Employers

On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its long-awaited opinion in the Obergefell case, striking down bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional and legalizing same-sex marriage in every state. We posted...more

Supreme Court Says Constitution Requires States to License Same-Sex Marriages

In another blockbuster 5-4 ruling authored by Justice Kennedy, in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___. ____ (2015), the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution requires a state to license...more

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

DOL Proposal Would Fundamentally Alter Fiduciary Relationship

Nearly five years after proposing a failed rule that would have dramatically expanded the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Department of Labor has decided to try...more

SEC Extends Rule 482 Relief to Non-ERISA Retirement Plans

The SEC staff issued a no-action letter on February 18 that is important for many participant-directed individual account retirement plans (including some established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code) that...more

EBSA Releases Plan Audit Quality Report, Recommends Stricter Plan Audit Standards

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released a report assessing the quality of audit work performed by certified public accountants with respect to financial statement audits of retirement and welfare...more

Appropriations Subcommittee Rejects Efforts to Strip Funding Bill of Pro-Employer Riders

The day after the House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill that would significantly limit certain federal agency rules and initiatives, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education held a...more

Draft Appropriations Bill Seeks to De-Fund Various Regulatory Efforts

A draft House appropriations bill to fund various federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, for Fiscal Year 2016 includes several provisions that would effectively halt a number of controversial regulatory efforts....more

DOL Report on Quality of Independent Plan Audits Shows that Plan Sponsors Must Continually Monitor Plan Compliance

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released “Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits,” a comprehensive report reviewing the quality of audit work...more

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