Category Archives: Employee Benefits

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Critical Employee Benefit Issues in a Pandemic – Can Employees Take Their Money out of Plans?

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reductions in hours, furloughs and temporary closures are becoming an increasingly common and unavoidable occurrence.  Employers can expect to encounter questions with respect to employee benefits offered to affected employees.  While the facts and circumstances of each case will vary, common themes exist, a few of which are … Continue Reading

Labor Issues Concerning COVID-19 and Government “Stay at Home” Orders

The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) is a federal law that applies to nearly all employers in the United States.  In the wake of COVID-19, there are numerous issues implicating the NLRA, including but not limited to employees engaging in protected concerted activities including work stoppages, the potential duty to bargain with unions concerning COVID-19 … Continue Reading

Empire State of Mind: Governor Cuomo Proposes Bill to Provide Immediate Assistance for New Yorkers Impacted by COVID-19

Update: This story has been updated to reflect the governor’s approval of the bill. On March 18, 2020, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed a bill guaranteeing job-protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of COVID-19. The law is more narrow than the version Gov. Cuomo announced Tuesday, which … Continue Reading

Pay Day, Every Day? Instant Pay Apps and Their Wage and Hour Implications

As peer-to-peer payment applications proliferate and on-demand technologies reach new facets of people’s lives, it is only natural that these programs now offer services geared particularly for employees. On-demand, daily pay apps, also known as “instant pay” or “earned wage access” are the outgrowth of two fundamental truths: (1) millions of Americans live paycheck to … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Affirms Enron Broker Not Liable to Employee Stock Option Holders for False or Withheld Information

Ending a more than 15-year-long legal battle, the Fifth Circuit on May 24, 2019, unanimously affirmed the dismissal of a proposed class action against subsidiaries of UBS AG, alleging violations of U.S. securities laws for their role as a broker of Enron’s employee stock option plan and for failure to disclose material information about Enron’s … Continue Reading

For Tax-Exempt Employers: 403(b) Retirement Plan Compliance Opportunity

Tax-exempt employers have a special opportunity to fix compliance concerns with their 403(b) retirement plans. They have through March 31, 2020 – the “Remedial Amendment Period” (RAP) – to retroactively self-correct compliance issues with their 403(b) plan documents, without going through the IRS’ more costly and time-consuming process that would normally be required. An overview … Continue Reading

It’s High Time to Update Your Marijuana Policies

The legalization of recreational use of marijuana in several states, including California, has left many employment policies vague and confused. This article offers insights to questions every employer should be asking in light of legalization. California’s Rollout of Legal Marijuana California voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“Prop 64”) on November 8, 2016, … Continue Reading

Tax Reform: Nonprofits and their Executives Brace for Impact

The Senate voted yesterday to begin formal negotiations with the House of Representatives to reconcile their two versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a bill that seeks to make sweeping changes to federal tax law. Republicans are racing to enact a final bill before Christmas. Under both versions of the bill, tax-exempt organizations … Continue Reading

Now in Effect: California Employers Must Provide New Hires with Written Notice of Victim Rights

As reported in our new laws for 2017 post, employers must give written notice to new employees (and to current employees upon request) explaining the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. All California employers with at least 25 employees must be in compliance, effective July 1, 2017.… Continue Reading

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
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