News & Analysis as of

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

Obama Administration Announces Proposed Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights for Same-Sex Couples

President Obama plans to announce today a proposed rule that would allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. ...more

Exclusion of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses Did Not Interfere with Protected Rights under ERISA

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a federal district court addressed the issue of whether a self-funded health plan could include language that denied dependent coverage to same-sex spouses without violating Section...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

ERISA: Self-Funded Benefit Plans May Not Have To Cover Same-Sex Spouses?

You already know that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited recognition of same-sex marriages, was declared unconstitutional. United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013)....more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2014

Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA Taxes - Reversing a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that severance payments to employees who were...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2014

The employee benefits issues to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court continue to be of great significance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. This month we review the Court's employee benefit decisions from 2013 and also...more

Update – Administering Benefits in a Post-DOMA World

Here is a brief update to our September 24, 2013 alert, which addressed the administration of employee benefits as well as federal income taxes and FMLA leave following this summer’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in United...more

New Guidance Issued On Same-Sex Marriage Impact On Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), the Employee Benefits Security Administration ("EBSA") and the Department of Labor ("DOL") have recently provided new guidance with respect to how lawfully married same-sex spouses will...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter; November 2013

In This Issue: - Labor and Employment and ERISA Class Actions After Wal-Mart and Comcast — Practice Points for Defendants (Part I – Commonality)* - Agencies Release Guidance on HRAs, FSAs, and Employer Payment...more

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act: What are the changes for employers?

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented the federal government from recognizing state-granted same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional because...more

Windsor & DOMA: Issues for Cross-Border Employers

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which defined “marriage” as strictly between opposite-sex couples and “spouse” as referring only to a...more

IRS and DOL Guidance Clarifies Employee Benefits Impact of Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling

Recent guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides some initial...more

Still Tied Up In Knots - IRS and DOL Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Following Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision

As we previously reported, in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act provides...more

IRS, DOL and EBSA Issue Post-DOMA Guidance Regarding Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) have recently provided new guidance with respect to how lawfully married same-sex spouses will...more

Legal Alert: DOL Agrees with Treasury on Same-Sex Spouse Recognition

On September 18, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced in Technical Release 2013-04 that, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, the terms “spouse” and “marriage” used in Title I...more

U.S. Department of Labor Follows IRS Ruling on Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday announced that same-sex couples legally married in a jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage will be treated as married for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2013

Editor's Overview - Health care issues make the headlines once again in this month's ERISA Litigation Newsletter. Tzvia Feiertag first provides practical and timely tips for insured ERISA health plan sponsors on...more

DOMA Stricken Down: What Does This Mean For Texas Employers?

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Windsor v. United States holding the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional. This decision will have implications for...more

Treasury and IRS Issue Initial Guidance in Response to DOMA Decision

What you need to know: In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor that restricting the federal definition of marriage to heterosexual marriage is unconstitutional, the Department of the...more

IRS Provides Much Needed Clarification for Employee Benefit Plans After U.S. Supreme Court Case Strikes Down Defense of Marriage...

On August 29, 2013, IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 which clarified that for federal income tax purposes, the marital status of a same-sex couple is based on the state law or foreign law (e.g. Canada) where the marriage was...more

Important IRS Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage

Earlier this summer we sent you an Alert concerning the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling (United States v. Windsor) regarding same-sex marriage. This decision declared, as unconstitutional, Section 3 of the federal...more

The Post-DOMA World Relating to ERISA-Governed Employee Benefit Plans

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), in which the Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was unconstitutional, same-sex...more

eBenefits Alert - IRS Hears Wedding Bells - New Guidance for Same Sex Marriage under Federal Tax Laws

Right before the Labor Day holiday began last week, the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 stating the IRS position on recognition of same-sex marriage for federal tax purposes. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 2013...more

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