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Supreme Court Ruling Limits Insurer and Employer Contraceptive Obligations (US)

Earlier this month the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a regulation adopted under the Trump administration significantly cutting back the requirement that insurers and group health plans provide coverage for contraceptives without cost sharing under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).… Continue Reading

School’s Out For….Ever?? Preparing for COVID-19-Related Attendance Challenges (US)

It seems like just yesterday that spring school terms were cancelled thanks to the coronavirus. Employees left the workplace en masse, sometimes without choice thanks to government shutdown orders, while others left suddenly to begin involuntary tours of duty as homeschool teachers with no training whatsoever, myself included. (My daughter’s strident request for a substitute … Continue Reading

New Electronic Delivery Option for ERISA Retirement Plan Information (US)

There is a new electronic delivery option for retirement plan sponsors who are looking for an easier and more efficient means of providing required plan information disclosures to plan participants and beneficiaries. Retirement plan administrators can now electronically notify participants and beneficiaries that certain disclosures are available on a specified website. In addition, retirement plan … Continue Reading

IRS Guidance Provides Employers with the Ability to Offer a Second Open Enrollment Period for the 2020 Plan Year and Provides Greater Flexibility for Making Mid-Year Cafeteria Plan Elections (US)

Providing much needed assistance to employees’ who were blindsided by COVID-19 and who were incapable of making health care coverage elections with COVID-19 in mind, the IRS on May 12, 2020, provided temporary relief that allows employers, during 2020, to expand the permissible reasons for employees to make prospective mid-year election changes to their health … Continue Reading

Top 10 Employment and Employee Benefit Issues in US Bankruptcy Cases

Bankruptcy is a term that tends to instill images of “For Sale” or “Everything Must Go” signs posted in windows, but this often is not the case. In fact, a bankruptcy filing is one way for a business to refocus its efforts and reorganize. Indeed, throughout history, many Fortune 500 companies have at some point … Continue Reading

Navigating Employee Return-to-Work Issues (US)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Arizona’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order will expire. At that time, only a handful of states (Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) will still be under broad stay-at-home restrictions, but even those remaining states will begin the phased reopening process between May 15 and 30. As employers begin … Continue Reading

Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (US)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has changed life as we know it, including by severely disrupting business on a nationwide scale.  In some cases, employers have been forced to temporarily close their doors and cease operations, while others have had to make radical changes to the workplace in order to maintain operations. … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part One of a Five-Part Series (US)

During the second half of March 2020, the US Congress passed three landmark pieces of legislation addressing the COVID-19 (a/k/a novel coronavirus) pandemic.  One of these was the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  Under this law, employers of fewer than 500 employees are required to provide eligible employees with up to 80 hours of … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Publishes Regulations Clarifying Various Aspects of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Some questions answered, many still remain On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new regulations (29 CFR Part 826), attempting to clarify certain provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  As we previously reported here, under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provision of the FFCRA, certain public employers and … Continue Reading

The CARES Act of 2020: Key COVID-19 Relief Provisions Impacting Your Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans (US)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, enacted and sent to the President for his signature on March 27, 2020, is bipartisan legislation providing more than US$2 trillion in relief for both companies and families affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It includes a number of provisions designed to … Continue Reading

Looking for a Way to Save on Severance Costs? Why Not Consider a SUB Plan? (US)

US employers who pay severance benefits may realize substantial savings by structuring their severance payments under a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan. A SUB plan provides benefits similar to a traditional severance plan. Unlike traditional severance payments, benefits under a SUB plan are tied to the former employee’s receipt of state unemployment insurance (SUI) benefits … Continue Reading

Reducing personnel costs in the Corona crisis: how Germany supports employers

Germany supports employers by facilitating the payment of short-time work benefits (“KUG”). KUG is a service provided by the Federal Employment Agency to safeguard jobs and avoid redundancies when employees are temporarily unable to be employed. The previous regulations in this regard have been considerably improved. The new regulation is limited in time and is … Continue Reading

Top 10 Employee Benefits Issues in a Slowing Economy (US)

The changes in the economy brought on by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), commonly known as the “coronavirus,” present challenges to employers trying to manage their greatest resource – employees. A cross-practice team involving our Tax Strategy & Benefits, Labor & Employment and Data Privacy & Security lawyers have published this alert that identifies some of … Continue Reading

Changes in Polish employment laws bring new costs:benefits equation

This Autumn brings quite a few changes for Polish employers. Not only do new pension plans called PPK (Pracownicze Plany Kapitałowe) became a reality for the biggest Polish employers in the fourth quarter of 2019, but the Labour Code and Code of Civil Procedure see changes too. Some of them result in a need to … Continue Reading

Growing Trend Towards Unlimited Paid Time Off: Best Practices (US)

Unlimited paid time off (“PTO”) is one of the new “it” workplace policies.  Adopted as both a means to attract and retain employees as well as to avoid having to coordinating and track specific grants of paid PTO or vacation– a task which can be arduous, particularly for smaller businesses – some employers have done … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Developments in Wage and Hour (CO, MA, ME, WA), Non-Compete (WA), Commuter Benefits (NJ), Sexual Harassment (DE), and Sick Leave (Dallas and Minneapolis) Laws. (US)

It’s been an active few weeks since our last State Law Round-Up in mid-April 2019, with a number of bills being signed into new laws and case developments impacting employers in many US states over the past few weeks. Colorado Failure to Pay Wages as Theft Effective January 1, 2020, an employer’s failure to pay … Continue Reading

Arizona Court of Appeals Strikes Down Law Restricting Local Governments From Requiring Private Employers To Provide Benefits That Exceed State Law Requirements (US)

In 2006, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure which resulted in the passage of the Arizona Minimum Wage Act and established a state-wide minimum wage (currently $11.00/hour).  This law also permitted individual Arizona counties, cities, and towns to regulate both the minimum wage and the employee benefits to be provided by private employers located within … Continue Reading

Summertime Means Vacation – Is Your Vacation Policy Compliant? (US)    

It’s summertime in the U.S., school’s out, and employees are heading off to visit family, the beach, mountains, national parks, and everywhere else, which means it’s a good time for employers to review their vacation policies and practices. No federal or state laws require U.S. employers to provide employees with any vacation time, either paid … Continue Reading

6th Circuit Shores Up Deference to Plan Administrator Interpretation in ERISA Retiree Benefits Suit (US)

On May 10, 2018, the 6th Circuit vacated the District Court for the Western District of Kentucky’s 2013 decision in “Clemons v. Norton Healthcare Inc. Retirement Plan”, No. 16-5124 (6th Cir. 2018). The District Court had granted summary judgment in favor of a class of former Norton Healthcare workers who chose to retire early and … Continue Reading

DOL Delays “Final Rule” for ERISA Disability Benefits

On November 29, 2017, The Department of Labor delayed through April 1, 2018, the applicability of a Final Rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. The purpose of the Final Rule was to add procedural protections and safeguards similar to those applicable to group health plans … Continue Reading

Paid Family Leave On the Rise – California and New York State Both Set to Expand Benefits Starting January 1, 2018

Come January 1, 2018, employees in California and New York will enjoy new and expanded rights to time off work, with pay, to attend to certain family needs.  New York, whose law was enacted in 2016 (see our prior post here), boasts its law as being the nation’s “strongest and most comprehensive” on paid family … Continue Reading
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