News & Analysis as of

Don't Let the OWBPA Put a Rift in Your RIF

Are you considering a reduction in force (RIF) that includes a severance package for employees? Are some of the employees included in the RIF over the age of 40? Before you take another step, make sure you know the...more

EEOC’s Tough Stance on Employee Separation Agreements

Employers like separation agreements. Separation agreements, of course, are contracts that employees sign when their employment is terminated that allows them to be paid severance and in exchange they usually give up the...more

Let’s Shake On It: Texas Case Exemplifies the Perils of Adopting a Company-Wide Practice of Oral Agreements

An opinion out of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals demonstrates why employers need to be weary of developing a practice of oral agreements in regards to compensation upon which at-will employees may detrimentally rely. The...more

How to Avoid Being the Next Casualty in the EEOC’s War on Employee Separation Agreements

In its current Strategic Enforcement Plan, the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that it is fed up with and will target employer “policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising...more

Recent Ontario Decision Casts Doubt on Statutory Severance Pay Threshold

In Ontario, employees are entitled to notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice of termination in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). In addition, employees with five years of service or more...more

Severance Agreements: The New Lightning Rod

Remember 2010? Not that long ago, yet as of that year, employers could rest pretty comfortably at night knowing that their garden-variety workplace rules would instill peace and control at the plant, store, or office, not...more

Employment Flash (June 2014)

In This Issue: - NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional - SEC Brings First-Ever Employment Retaliation Claim - EEOC Challenges Employer Severance Agreements - New York State Transportation Industry...more

In Quality Stores, the Supreme Court Holds that Severance Payments are Taxable FICA Wages

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of the government in the long-running Quality Stores litigation, holding that severance payments are taxable FICA wages, even if they fall within the category of...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2014

Editor's Overview - In this month's issue, our authors address severance benefit claims and ERISA disclosure requirements. In our first article, Joe Clark addresses whether a plan administrator should conduct an...more

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Coordination of Severance Benefits, COBRA, and the ACA

In a common occurrence throughout corporate America, an employee terminates employment and as a result will lose company-provided health care coverage. To obtain health care coverage, the employee has two options: 1) elect...more

U.S. District Court Upholds FDIC’s Golden Parachute Decision

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (the “District Court”) issued a memorandum and order (the “Order”) in which the District Court upheld a decision of the FDIC that contract damages sought by the...more

Be Global - May 2014

HIGHLIGHTS: France: Finding a buyer before a shut down - the "Florange" law - As reported in February's Be Global, the French Government has introduced legislation (known as the "Florange" law) imposing an obligation...more

View From Proskauer: Investigating and Deciding Severance Benefits Claims

Plan administrators charged with administering Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed severance plans are often confronted with the question of whether they should conduct an independent investigation into the...more

California Employment Law Notes - May 2014

Male Employee's Sexual Harassment Claims Should Not Have Been Dismissed - Lewis v. City of Benecia, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1519 (2014). Brian Lewis, a heterosexual man, sued his former employer (the City of Benecia)...more

Enforcing Oral Contracts: The Presumption is Against You

Oral contracts are often difficult to enforce because the facts are contested or remembered differently. The age-old admonition to “get it in writing” is as valid today as in the days of scriveners with quill pens. David...more

Debates Continue on Pennsylvania and Ohio Severance Tax Proposals

Pennsylvania legislators continue to debate a severance tax proposal announced late last year, and previously discussed on this blog. Under that severance tax proposal, the commonwealth’s system of impact fees would be...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - April 2014

Supreme Court Confirms FICA Taxes Must be Withheld from Severance Payments - Finding severance payments to be a form of “remuneration for employment,” the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Quality Stores,...more

No Refunds: Supreme Court Settles Circuit Split over Severance Payment Taxation

In its ruling on United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., No. 12-1408 (U.S. Mar. 25, 2014), the United States Supreme Court put to rest a decade-old battle over whether severance payments made to employees are taxable as wages...more

Is the Severance that Your Company Pays to Fired Workers Taxable? The Supreme Court Will Decide

On October 1, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear a case concerning whether employees’ severance payments are taxable. The case, United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., came out of the Sixth Circuit...more

Employee Relief Causes Employer Grief: The ability to perform employment-related duties is an integral part of an employment...

Recently, two employers who provided notice of termination, and at the same time relieved employees of their duties, were held instead to have at that time terminated those employees, which lead to financial consequences for...more

Quick Tips on Dealing with Employment Termination Issues in China

On June 21, 2013, a United States medical supplies company executive was taken captive by Chinese employees in his Beijing factory. The employees have stated that the owner owes them two months’ back pay and expressed concern...more

International Dismissal Toolkit: Individual Employment Terminations and Reductions-in-Force Outside the United States

Firing an employee in the United States can be a challenge. Group firings—reductions in-force — can be an even bigger challenge. And from the point of view of a multinational headquartered in the United States, overseas...more

Global HR Hot Topic - May 2013: Individual Employment Dismissal Obligations Outside the US

Challenge: Overseas, dismissing an individual employee gets complex and is heavily regulated. Dismissal mandates under foreign law tend to fall into three broad categories: dismissal procedures, pre-termination notice...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - March 2013

In This Issue: - Feature Articles: - California Court Of Appeal Significantly Expands Pregnancy Leave Rights - New York Employer's Flex-time Policy Precluded Holding Employee Accountable For Tardiness...more

Global HR Hot Topic - February 2013: Threshold Dismissal Circumstances Overseas: Good Cause, Economic Necessity, Employee Rank and...

Challenge: Multinationals facing overseas dismissals too often skip ahead to check local laws on pre-termination notice, severance pay and dismissal procedures. But often, threshold circumstances override these...more

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