News & Analysis as of

Same-Sex Marriage Rulings May Pose Some Challenges for Employers

Over the past two years, there has been a sea change in the treatment of same-sex spouses under both federal and state law. Now that federal law, and the laws in 35 states and Washington, D.C., recognize marriage equality for...more

Should Employers Drop Domestic Partner Dependent Coverage?

Over the past decade, many employers extended dependent coverage under their group medical insurance plans to employees’ domestic partners. For many employers, this change was made in order to allow gay employees to add their...more

Impact of Supreme Court’s Recent Actions on Employee Benefits

Did the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage? On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of seven petitions challenging federal court of appeal rulings in the Fourth, Seventh, and...more

Employers: How Do Your Retirement Plans Treat Same-Sex Unions?

IRS Issues Long Awaited Guidance on Application of US v. Windsor to Retirement Plans - New IRS guidance means that action is required by employers sponsoring qualified retirement plans if the terms of the plan are...more

The Supreme Court’s 'Non-Decision' On Same-Sex Marriage: The Impact On Employee Benefits After 'Windsor'

This is a rally call for employers to evaluate employee benefit plan documents for compliance....more

OCR Issues Guidance on HIPAA and Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released guidance last Wednesday to help covered entities and business associates understand the privacy implications of the 2013...more

Business Associate Agreement September 22 Deadline; Same Sex Marriage Guidance Released

There are two important updates with respect to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). First, on September 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance to...more

Update on Same-Sex Employee Benefits

In recent months employers around the country, have been scrambling to keep up with developments with respect to the evolving rights of employees in same-sex relationships. This articles touches on some recent guidance in...more

Developments Impacting Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

As federal and state agencies and courts further examine the implications of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage in U.S. v. Windsor, the laws and regulations governing employee benefits for...more

Update For Retirement Plans Post-Windsor

Now that some of the dust has settled on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, employers who haven’t done so already should take immediate steps to review their retirement plan documents and administrative...more

Employee Benefits Issues in California Following the U.S. Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decisions [Video]

Teresa Renaker discusses the significant effects that the Supreme Court's decisions will have on employee benefits for same-sex married couples who live and work in California....more

DOL Proposes to Amend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to expressly include individuals in same-sex marriages....more

DOL Wants FMLA to Cover Same-Sex Couples

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking to extend coverage of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to same-sex couples following a Supreme Court ruling that federal benefits cannot be limited based on a...more

CFPB Issues Guidance On Ensuring Equal Treatment For Married Same-Sex Couples

On July 8, the CFPB released guidance designed to ensure equal treatment for legally married same-sex couples in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013). ...more

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

Employment Law - July 2014

Recess Is Over: Supreme Court Strikes NLRB Appointments - Why it matters: Striking a blow to the President and the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Supreme Court held that three recess appointments made by...more

FMLA Benefits May Be Extended for Same-Sex Spouses

Under current law, an eligible employee may take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a same-sex spouse only if they reside in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. If the employee lives in a state...more

FMLA to Cover Same-Sex Couples

President Barack Obama announced recently that he is directing the Department of Labor to propose a rule making legally married, same-sex couples eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act in all fifty...more

What Marriage Equality Means for Your Employee Benefits

A frequent headline in the news as of late has been “Federal Judge in State X finds same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional” and then shortly thereafter “Hundreds of couples marry in State X” complete with a picture of a...more

What's New Under the Defense of Marriage Act?

A major reason that employee benefits, such as employer- provided healthcare and retirement plans, exist is that they provide a tax-advantaged way for an employer to provide additional compensation to an employee, her spouse,...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

IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Plan Amendments Regarding Same Sex Spouses

Employers have been considering the impact on benefit programs, including the qualified retirement plans, of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing the validity of same sex marriages. In September, 2013, the IRS issued...more

PA Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban – Employers Face Significant Changes in Employee Benefits and Leave Administration

As a result of the same-sex marriage ban in Pennsylvania being overturned and recent IRS guidance, employers need to be aware of – and immediately implement – significant changes in employee benefit programs and Family and...more

Despite Windsor, Federal Court Rejects Challenge to a Self-Insured ERISA Health Plan’s Denial of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor, the requirement that an ERISA health plan provide health coverage for same-sex spouses has often hinged on whether an employee benefit plan was insured or...more

Marriage Equality: Federal Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Pennsylvania

The movement for marriage equality made significant headway in Pennsylvania this week, when the Honorable John E. Jones, issued an opinion striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage for constitutional reasons. The...more

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