Employer Healthcare Costs

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Inferences in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 935 (2015), the Supreme Court of the United States addressed the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that include post-retirement welfare benefits, such as...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2015

The Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. For many years, the...more

Supreme Court Eases the Way for Eliminating or Modifying Retiree Benefits

As a result of a recent Supreme Court decision, employers gained substantial ground in the ongoing battle over whether retiree health and other welfare benefits can be unilaterally modified or terminated. ...more

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Eliminates Presumption That Union Retiree Health Benefits Are Vested For Life

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a judicial presumption - commonly referred to as the Yard-Man presumption - that union retiree health care benefits are vested for life in the...more

Supreme Court: Ordinary Contract Principles Do Not Allow Inference of Vesting Rights Absent Clear and Express Language

In 2000, M&G Polymers purchased the Point Pleasant Polyester Plant in Apple Grove, WV. At that time, M&G entered into a collective-bargaining agreement and a related Pension, Insurance, and Service Award Agreement (P & I...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man Inference of Lifetime Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

The Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 WL 303218 (S. Ct. January 26, 2015) confirms that ordinary principles of contract law should be observed when interpreting...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Presumption of Lifetime Retiree Medical Benefits

The New Year holiday is barely over and 2015 has delivered its first significant development affecting manufacturers and their labor unions. On January 26, 2015, in M&G Polymers U.S.A. v. Tackett, a unanimous United States...more

Unlike Diamonds, You Cannot Presume Retiree Medical Benefits Are Forever

Last week, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that gives unionized employers in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky greater ability to modify medical benefits they provide to retirees pursuant to current...more

Supreme Court Reverses the Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Presumption

For the past quarter century, because of conflicting legal authority, employers who offer health care to their retirees, particularly in a unionized setting, have struggled to determine whether they can alter those benefits....more

Supreme Court Addresses an Employer’s Right To Amend Retiree Health Coverage

In M&G Polymers v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ordinary contract principles govern whether a collective bargaining agreement vests retirees in health coverage (and the contributions they are required to pay for...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit's Approach to Retiree Medical Benefits

Ordinary contract principles govern disputes about collectively bargained retiree medical benefits. A Morgan Lewis team secured a major victory for employers when the U.S. Supreme Court, in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v....more

Supreme Court Dispenses With the Yard-Man Inferences

In a decision watched closely by both employers and unions, a unanimous Supreme Court has resolved a thirty-plus year split among the circuit courts on the standards governing claims for retiree health-care benefits arising...more

Ding-Dong, Yard-Man Is Dead! Supreme Court Decision in Tackett a Huge Win for Employers in the Retiree Healthcare Arena

On Monday, a unanimous United States Supreme Court issued its decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, Supreme Court Case No. 13-101, vacating and remanding the Sixth Circuit’s holding that a group of retirees was...more

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

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects the Yard-Man Inference Vesting Lifetime Benefits for Union Retirees

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned three decades of precedent by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, unanimously ruling that, when no specific provision in a...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

U.S. Supreme Court Case Could Alter Retiree Health Benefit Landscape

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a 2013 Sixth Circuit decision that could alter the way collective bargaining agreement provisions covering retiree health benefits are interpreted. In Taketts v. M&G Polymers, the...more

Affordable Care Act Update April 7, 2014: High Courts Vet Key Provisions Of The Affordable Care Act Government Extends Enrollment...

March 2014 has produced quite a bit of activity regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). On March 24, 2014, oral argument was held in the latest challenges to the ACA in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby...more

Take 5 Newsletter: An Employer's "Top 5" Action Items for 2014

It's December, and human resources professionals and law departments are reflecting on the issues addressed in 2013 and giving thanks for incident-free holiday parties. But the big question is this: What issues should get...more

Employers Should Ask Their Insurance Agents Whether Early Renewal Of Health Insurance Coverage Is Appropriate

While one of the greatest benefits of the federal Affordable Care Act ("ACA") is better access for all to quality healthcare, theoretically resulting in lower health care expenditures, there also are costs associated with the...more

Health Care Reform - Should Employers Reduce Expected Health Costs In 2014 By Transitioning Some Full Time Employees To Part Time...

2013 is shaping up to be a very busy year for employers in all industries, with the continued implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). Recognizing that in 2014, applicable large employers will...more

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