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Employee Benefits

Employee benefits present unique and complex challenges as organizations try to keep up with the regulatory landscape while simultaneously designing benefits and compensation strategies that allow them to attract, incentivize and retain employees.

Overview

Our Employee Benefits Practice Group handles a full spectrum of benefit law matters for a diverse mix of business clients on a nationwide basis. In keeping with the firm’s overall philosophy, we approach even the most technical and complex benefit law questions with an eye toward preventive strategies—minimizing the likelihood of liabilities associated with benefit claims, litigation and enforcement matters—and practical solutions.

We provide comprehensive legal advice, counseling and representation to plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries and benefit plans relating to:

  • Employee benefits issues arising in the design, administration, and operation of all benefit and compensation arrangements, including compliance with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code; and
  • The defense of benefit, fiduciary and other claims relating to plan administration, and compliance with the terms of the plan and all applicable laws.

Some of the specific services we offer include:

  • Providing representation for a wide range of private, public and not-for-profit employers in virtually all aspects of tax-qualified defined contribution plans and defined benefit pension plans (including cash balance and other hybrid pension plan formulas);
  • Advising clients regarding all types of executive compensation arrangements;
  • Defending employers, plan sponsors, corporate officers and directors and employee benefit plans in examinations, summons proceedings, and adversary proceedings and appeals initiated under internal agency procedures by federal or state agencies and courts of specialized jurisdiction;
  • Counseling on the employee benefits issues arising in corporate transactions and workforce reorganizations, as well as the range of issues involved in multiemployer pension and welfare plan liabilities;
  • Advising shareholders, public and private/family-held corporations, bank holding corporations, institutional and individual trustees, officers, directors, and other parties and investors (i.e., private equity groups) on designing, implementing and using ESOPs in various types of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, estate and succession planning, hostile takeover bids, tender offers, shareholder liquidity/Section 1042 of the Internal Revenue Code tax-deferred transactions, stock re-purchases by issuers, redemptions and recapitalizations, management and leveraged buyouts, and the use of ESOPs as an acquisition strategy.

In addition, our experienced benefits litigators represent employers, plans, insurers, plan administrators, institutional and individual trustees, officers and directors, selling shareholders and third-party administrators in ERISA and related benefits litigation in virtually all 50 states. This litigation involves both mainstream ERISA litigation as well as complex benefits litigation and class actions.

The Benefits Group also works closely with the firm's Privacy, e-Communication and Data Security Practice Group on compliance with the HIPAA/HITECH Privacy and Security regulations with regard to group health plans and health care providers, as well as with our Disability, Leave and Health Management Practice Group with respect to benefits-related considerations for Wellness Programs in the workplace.

Health Care Reform Team

Our Employee Benefits Practice Group includes a Health Care Reform team focusing on compliance with federal health care reform. Our team members are Kathleen Barrow, Kelvin Berens, Lisa deFilippis, Joseph Lazzarotti, Randy Limbeck, Joy Napier-JoyceMelissa Ostrower, Eric Simon and Monique Warren.

The Health Care Reform team follows federal health care reform legislative developments and legal decisions and monitors regulatory and other guidance. We present numerous seminars and webinars for employers on the impacts of federal health care reform and practical considerations and strategies for compliance.

The Team

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Jul 11

Oak Brook, IL
Register Now

Chicago Employment Law Symposium

July 11, 2017 - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM CST
2715 Jorie Boulevard - Oak Brook, IL
Credits: CLE - Pending, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Archived

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Preparing for 2018: The New ERISA Regulations for Disability Claims and Appeals

April 27, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
Credits: CLE - Pending*, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Archived

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Withdrawal Liability: The Ticking Time Bomb Of Participating In Multiemployer Pension Plans

April 13, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
Credits: CLE - Pending*, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Archived

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Designer Defenses: What You Can Do Today to Prevent Benefits Litigation Tomorrow

February 9, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST
Credits: CLE - Pending*, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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June 7, 2017

Supreme Court Rules Pension Plans of Religiously Affiliated Organizations Exempt from ERISA

June 7, 2017

ERISA’s “church plan” exemption applies to pension plans maintained by church-affiliated organizations such as healthcare facilities, even if the plans were not established by a church, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously, 8-0. Advocate Health Care Network et al. v. Stapleton et al., Nos. 16-74; 16-86; 16-258 (June 5, 2017). (... Read More

May 4, 2017

Employee Benefits Newsletter – Spring 2017

May 4, 2017

In this issue: Data Security Safeguards. When ERISA was enacted in 1974, it was not known the extent to which technology would allow us to maintain and transmit employee benefit plan data electronically. Learn how today’s technology and the changing data privacy rules affect employee benefit plans and... Read More

April 27, 2017

45 Ways in 100 Days: The Projected Impact of the Trump Administration on Today’s Workplace

April 27, 2017

April 29, 2017, marks the 100th day of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. He has proven he is not a traditional conservative Republican, and many in the business community are still wondering about the Trump Administration’s labor and employment policy positions. Even as significant changes in federal policies are... Read More

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May 31, 2017
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Recommended in The Legal 500

May 31, 2017

WHITE PLAINS, NY (May 31, 2017) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce the firm and its attorneys have been recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2017 in the following practice areas falling under the Labor and Employment designation: Employee health and retirement plans,... Read More

May 1, 2017
InsuranceNewsNet

Natalie Nathanson Discusses the Future of the Affordable Care Act for Employers

May 1, 2017

Natalie Nathanson discusses the ACA, stressing that employers should still follow its requirements even though it faces an uncertain future in "Attorney to employers: Plan to live with ObamaCare – for now," published by InsuranceNewsNet. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

April 28, 2017
Employee Benefit News

Joy Napier-Joyce Discusses Implications of Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary

April 28, 2017

Joy Napier-Joyce discusses Acosta’s likely impact on labor and employment policies in "Benefit experts urge Acosta to review fiduciary, overtime rules," published by Employee Benefit News. Subscription may be required to view article   Read More

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The Fiduciary Rule Applicability Date is Finally Here! What now?
June 8, 2017

The applicability date for the long-awaited, much-debated Fiduciary Rule (see prior Jackson Lewis coverage here) is now upon us. So what does it mean? Read More

UNANIMOUS SUPREME COURT DECISION IN FAVOR OF “CHURCH PLAN” DEFENDANTS
June 5, 2017

Today, the Supreme Court handed a long-awaited victory to religiously affiliated organizations operating pension plans under ERISA’s “church plan” exemption. Read More

Are You Computing Your Maximum Participant Loan Amount Correctly (or in the Best Interest of Your Plan Participants)?
May 26, 2017

In late April 2017, the IRS issued a Memorandum for Employee Plans (EP) Examinations Employees providing two alternatives for computing the maximum participant loan amount when the participant has prior loans. Read More