Supreme Court of the United States Employee Benefits

The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary... more +
The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary with only a limited number of cases granted review each term.  The Court is comprised of one chief justice and eight associate justices, who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to hold lifetime positions. less -
News & Analysis as of

Avoiding Discrimination Claims After Obergefell

In June 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its long-awaited opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, striking down bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional and legalizing same-sex marriage in every state (135 S....more

Treasury and the IRS Issue Proposed Regulations Implementing Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

In recent guidance, the Department of Treasury and the IRS issued proposed rules that clarify under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) that the terms “spouse” and “husband” and “wife” refer to individuals who are lawfully...more

Employee Benefits – Do Employers Owe a 401(k) Fiduciary Duty?

Back in July, we discussed how Jed Clampett of Mama’s Fried Pies caused his VP of marketing Elly May to suffer exorbitant taxes due to a deferred bonus that he offered.  This month, Jed finds himself again in the grease with...more

Seventh Circuit Rules ERISA Does Not Preempt State Law Prohibiting Discretionary Clauses

In Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., No. 14-1984, 2015 U.S. App. (7th Cir. Sept. 4, 2015), the Seventh Circuit affirmed a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois decision holding that Illinois’s...more

Civil Unions in NJ – What you Need to Know.

Same-sex couples now have the right to marry, and neither the federal nor any state government can deny anyone that right. On June 26, 2013 – a watershed moment in the history of the law and our nation – the U.S. Supreme...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - September 2015

The National Labor Relations Board’s (the Board) Democratic majority handed the organized labor movement one of its biggest legal victories in recent years. The decision radically redefines the concept of “joint employment”...more

Don’t Play Hide the Ball with Your Claims Procedure

ERISA does not have a statute of limitations for lawsuits brought by participants to check claim benefits under the plan. Instead, courts borrow from similar state statutes of limitations. In a decision two years ago, the US...more

A Summary Plan Description Can be a Plan Document

In a decision issued a couple of years ago, the United States Supreme Court held that a summary plan description that differed from the plan document could not be enforced as the plan document. The Court said that the summary...more

US Supreme Court: Same-Sex Couples Have Constitutional Right to Marry

The gay rights movement saw decades of litigation and activism culminate in victory when the Supreme Court made the United States the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Unlike its 2013 decision in United...more

Impact of the Same-Sex Marriage Decision on Employee Benefit Plans

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held that states may not deny same-sex couples the right to marry, finding that doing so violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Writing for the five-justice majority, Justice Kennedy...more

What Does the Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Mean for Employee Benefit Plans?

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that states must license and recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. Despite being a landmark decision affecting same sex couples whose...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

Second Circuit Holds That Posthumous QDROs Are Valid. Yale-New Haven Hospital brought an action in federal court to resolve competing claims by a former spouse of a deceased participant and the deceased participant’s...more

Revisit employment policies in light of Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling

Since December 2013, when the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah concluded that Utah’s definition of marriage as the union between only a man and a woman was unconstitutional, the validity of same-sex marriage has...more

New Developments in Protections for LGBT Workers

It’s been a busy few weeks for developments in the area of LGBT rights since the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell , 576 U.S. ___ (2015)....more

Supremes Tell States Gay Marriage is Legal

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws the prohibit gay marriage in Obergfell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 (June 26, 2015), First, the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage...more

Obergefell v. Hodges – Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in all 50 States

Same-sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States - In 2013, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) which defined marriage, for Federal purposes, as...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

The Obergefell Decision and Employers

The recent United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges significantly altered the legal landscape with respect to same-sex marriages, finding that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution...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

The Supreme Court Addresses Federal Health Care Subsidies and Same-Sex Marriage

Two recent Supreme Court decisions have implications for employee benefit plan sponsors: King v. Burwell, decided June 25, 2015, and Obergefell v. Hodges, decided June 26, 2015....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

So Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal … Now What? Important Decisions Employers Face Now

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution requires all 50 states to license marriages between same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state....more

The Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling & Its Employment Implications

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably are well aware that on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry and have their marriages recognized across the...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

The Benefits of Equality: How Same-Sex Marriage Can Strengthen Your Business

Regardless of whether you believe the Supreme Court should have decided the issue, last week’s decision on marriage equality has the potential to benefit your business. Because the decision creates a uniform definition of...more

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