Category Archives: Employee Benefits

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California Employers – New Year, New Rules in 2017

The new year will bring along a variety of new obligations for California employers.  Although some of the new laws clarify existing law and provide helpful guidance, several impose additional requirements.  This update highlights key provisions of some of the more notable changes taking effect in 2017.  Links to the statutes and/or prior updates regarding … Continue Reading

Enactment of Los Angeles and San Diego Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinances Requires Employers to Reassess Their Policies

The cities of Los Angeles and San Diego recently approved minimum wage and sick leave ordinances that will apply to all employees who work within those cities’ geographical limits.  Employers with employees who work in these cities will need to comply with those new ordinances, as well as the California state law requirements that already … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Federal Contractors’ Obligation To Provide Paid Sick Leave To Employees

On Thursday, February 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued proposed regulations for implementing Executive Order 13706, which requires federal contractors to provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave to its employees annually. Once finalized, these regulations will have significant consequences for federal contractors; they not only govern how much paid … Continue Reading

New York City Commuter Benefits Law (NYCCBL) Makes Changes For Employers With a Workforce On the Go (Compliance Required by July 1, 2016)

This month a new law requiring certain New York City employers to provide pre-tax commuter benefits to their employees went into effect. Under the law, covered New York City employers must give full-time employees the opportunity to use up to $255 per month in pre-tax income to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits. (N.Y. City Local … Continue Reading

New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016.  Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as safe harbors, cure provisions, and employer incentives for reclassification of certain independent contractors.  This update highlights key provisions … Continue Reading

An Ounce Of Prevention…Does Your Voluntary Wellness Program Comply With Proposed EEOC Regulations?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued proposed regulations addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to corporate wellness programs.  These proposed regulations are intended to provide employers with guidance on how to encourage workers to participate in wellness programs without violating federal law.  Employers with wellness programs, or those who … Continue Reading

Get Ready! DC’s Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Currently Expected To Take Effect On March 3, 2015

The District of Columbia recently joined twelve other states[1] that have enacted laws requiring employers to accommodate certain limitations associated with pregnancy.  The Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the “Act” or “PPWFA”) of 2014 was passed on October 23, 2014 and is under Congressional review.  It is currently expected to become effective on March 3, … Continue Reading

DOL Proposes to Amend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to expressly include individuals in same-sex marriages. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on June 27, 2014, the DOL proposed the revision in light of the recent United States Supreme Court decision in United … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s Ruling in Hobby Lobby that Closely Held, For-Profit Companies Should Receive Religious Exemptions From ObamaCare’s Conception Mandate Likely Will Have Little Practical Impact Immediately in the Employment Arena

On June 30, 2014, the US Supreme Court decided the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. in a 5-4 decision along partisan lines.  The Court ruled that closely held, for-profit companies are entitled to certain religious freedom protections from generally applicable regulations that violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of their owners.  Specifically, … Continue Reading

The Increasing Cost of Doing Business in San Francisco: Board of Supervisors Approves Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

On October 1, 2013, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that will give employees the right to request flexible work arrangements to assist with caregiver responsibilities.  San Francisco employers will be required to consider and respond to all such requests in a formal manner.… Continue Reading

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 be treated under federal tax laws, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).… Continue Reading

Considerations for US Employers Post-DOMA

By Karin Johnson and Megan Grant* When the Supreme Court issued its opinion in U.S. v. Windsor on June 26, it invalidated the federal definitions of “spouse” and “marriage,” and, in so doing, altered employer obligations with respect to same-sex marriages. Although the media coverage of this decision has understandably focused on other implications of the … Continue Reading

UPDATE: New York City Council Overrides Mayor Bloomberg’s Veto And Enacts The Earned Sick Time Act Requiring Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

As previously reported, on May 8, 2013, the New York City Council, by a vote of 45-3, passed the Earned Sick Time Act (the “Sick Leave Act”). On June 7, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg vetoed the Sick Leave Act, citing a possible chilling effect on hiring. As expected, on June 27, 2013, the City Council overrode … Continue Reading

What Employers Need to Know About Healthcare Reform for 2013

As the end of 2012 approaches, we consider what a notable year it has been for the future of healthcare reform, starting with the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), and culminating with the November elections. Since PPACA’s enactment in 2010, employers have … Continue Reading

Navigating Through Health Care Reform: Important Information For Employers

On March 30, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 ("Health Care Act"), which amended the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Patient Protection Act") that was signed into law only a few days prior on March 23, 2010. The Health Care Act contained provisions proposed by … Continue Reading

The COBRA premium subsidy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – What Employers and Plan Administrators need to know

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA"), which President Obama signed into law on February 17, 2009, created a federal subsidy of the premiums payable by certain terminated employees for continuation coverage provided under employer-sponsored group health plans pursuant to the requirements of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, as amended … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Arguably Leads the Way to Employer-Mandated Health Care

On September 30, 2008, the Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. San Francisco, holding the employer spending requirement of the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as amended ("ERISA"), 20. U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Holds Same-Sex Couples Can Marry

On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court held that California laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violated same-sex couples’ rights under the California Constitution.  The Court explained that, "in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this … Continue Reading

403(b) PLAN EMPLOYERS MUST ACT SOON

Section 403(b) annuity plans have historically been governed by a hodgepodge of Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") rulings and regulations dating back to 1964.  In 2007, however, the IRS finalized new, comprehensive regulations that are generally effective January 1, 2009.  Schools and tax-exempt employers that maintain 403(b) plans and their advisors must thoroughly review and revise … Continue Reading

401(k) Plan Fee Class Action Lawsuits

A number of class action lawsuits were recently filed over investment-related fees paid by 401(k) plans, targeting 401(k) plans of large employers. These complaints allege a variety of breaches of fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions resulting from excessive administration and management fees and improper fee sharing arrangements with mutual fund companies and other investment providers … Continue Reading
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