Religious Exemption

News & Analysis as of

What’s in a Pronoun? Liability for Employers

Political correctness in the workplace has become increasingly complex. Employers who have referred to transitioning employees with the wrong pronoun have found themselves in the crosshairs of the EEOC. But what about those...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Religious Exemptions from ERISA

The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear appeals from hospitals with Christian affiliations regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (“ERISA”) exemption for church retirement plans. ...more

Health Care Reform in Transition While Congress Deliberates

Changes are imminent for the Affordable Care Act and a range of other laws and regulations affecting the health care industry. Ballard Spahr attorneys established a Health Care Reform Initiative in 2008 to monitor and analyze...more

Texas Court Enjoins Enforcement of Regulation that Would Forbid Discrimination in Healthcare on the Basis of Gender Identity and...

As LGBTQ rights have taken center stage in political and social issues, FordHarrison has been following ground-breaking litigation related to LGBTQ rights and providing updates. In the latest decision, a federal judge in...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider ERISA Church Plan Exemption

In a decision that may have profound consequences for the funding and continued operation of defined benefit retirement plans covering employees at religiously affiliated organizations, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to...more

Down Goes HB 1523: Judge Reeves Enjoins Mississippi from Enacting Controversial Religious Freedom Law

Late Thursday last night, Judge Carlton Reeves, United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, entered a 60-page order striking down HB 1523, Mississippi’s controversial “Protecting Freedom of...more

Why Should Hospitals with “Church Plans” Be Concerned Now? - Hospital Industry Viewpoint

Religiously affiliated hospitals and health systems have recently come under attack by private litigants for exercising the right to remain exempt from ERISA requirements. Such hospitals and health systems should assess their...more

HHS Issues Final ACA Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities Regulation

In Depth - On Friday, May 13, 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) finalized regulations that provide explicit protections from discrimination on the basis of gender...more

Bill 186: Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016, Introduced

On April 14, 2016, the Ontario government introduced the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016, as Bill 186 (Bill or Act) in the Ontario legislature. The government...more

Louisiana Governor Signs LGBT Discrimination Executive Order in Public Employment and Services

On April 13, 2016, Louisiana’s new governor, John Bel Edwards, signed an executive order protecting state employees and employees of state contractors from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual...more

Bathrooms, Cakes, Wedding Poetry and DJs—Delving Into the North Carolina and Mississippi Laws on Transgender Issues

In the last several weeks, North Carolina and Mississippi have passed laws about transgender rights that have garnered headlines across the country. Although both touch on issues of transgender rights, they are actually very...more

Courts Strike Down Church Plan Exemptions for Church-Affiliated Organizations

Until recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and federal courts seemed to agree that a retirement plan established and maintained by a church-affiliated organization generally qualified...more

U.S. Department of Education to Publish List of Institutions Requesting Title IX Waivers

The U.S. Department of Education (the “Department of Education”) announced last week that it will publish a searchable database that lists the names of higher education institutions that have applied for and/or have received...more

The Deadly 4-4 SCOTUS Split: What Happens in the Wake of Justice Scalia's Death

With the Supreme Court coming out of recess today, the practical implications of Justice Scalia's death will become more apparent. Justice Scalia's death last week has a tremendous impact on the upcoming sessions of the...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Additional ACA Birth Control Mandate Cases

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the consolidated appeals of seven cases involving employer provision of birth control under the Affordable Care Act. In its 2013 Hobby Lobby case, the Court concluded that the...more

New Affordable Care Act FAQs Provide Guidance on Preventive Services, Wellness Programs and Mental Health Parity

On October 23, 2015, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (the “Agencies”) jointly released their twenty-ninth (XXIX) set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Affordable Care Act (ACA)...more

Congress Clears Bill to Block ACA Change to Definition of Small Employer; House Votes to Broaden ACA Religious Exemption

The House and Senate have approved a bill (H.R. 1624) that would amend the Affordable Care Act’s definition of “small employer” to reduce the number of employers covered by new health insurance coverage requirements set to go...more

Business without bias: Avoid LGBT discrimination or pay the price

It’s apparent that societal attitudes are changing toward the LGBT community. Before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide, many states had already done so. In other areas, however, the legal status of...more

Lessons Employers Can Learn from Kentucky Clerk’s Same-Sex Marriage License Dispute

Almost every day the news carries an additional story about Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who has defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Kim Davis story may be...more

Illinois law now requires children to be vaccinated

Illinois law requires students to provide proof of immunization to be admitted into school. Until now, parents could exempt their students from this requirement for either medical or religious reasons. When based on...more

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

New Vaccine Requirement for Illinois Students Creates Confusion

Students, parents, and school districts should be mindful of new immunization requirements that go into effect for the 2015-16 school year. The changes include a requirement imposed by Public Act 98-0480 and related...more

Obama Administration Finalizes Regulations on ACA Coverage of Preventive Services, Including Contraceptive Services

The Obama Administration published final regulations on July 14, 2015 that implement Affordable Care Act requirements regarding coverage without cost sharing of certain preventive services, including contraceptive services....more

Final Regulations Issued Concerning ACA’s Preventive Services Mandate

Last week the Agencies (DOL, HHS and IRS) issued final regulations concerning ACA’s preventive services mandate. This mandate requires non-grandfathered plans to cover specific preventive services, such as immunizations,...more

Feds Define Which “Closely Held Corporations” Are Eligible to Opt Out of Contraception Mandate Under ACA

One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. et al, that for-profit closely held corporations must be permitted to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate on...more

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