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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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Mar 16

Reston, VA
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Government Contractor Employment Law Symposium

March 16, 2017 - 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
1800 Presidents Street - Reston, VA
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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Archived

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

October 6, 2016 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM CST
Credits: CLE - 1.0/1.2*, HRCI - 1.0, SHRM - 1.0
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Archived

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Higher Education Institutions Beware: New ERISA Class Action Lawsuits on the Rise

September 22, 2016 - 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM EST
Credits: CLE - 1.0/1.2*, HRCI - 1.0, SHRM - 1.0
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February 6, 2017

President Trump Orders Review of Labor Department Fiduciary Rule and Addresses Financial Industry in Latest Actions

February 6, 2017

President Donald Trump has taken actions aimed at alleviating some of the regulatory burdens on the financial services industry. Through a Presidential Memorandum, issued on February 3, 2017, he ordered the Department of Labor to “examine the Fiduciary Duty Rule to determine whether it may adversely affect the ability of Americans... Read More

January 31, 2017

President Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch to U.S. Supreme Court

January 31, 2017

Ending months of speculation, President Donald Trump has nominated the Honorable Neil McGill Gorsuch to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Gorsuch would bring more than 10 years of judicial experience to the position. Still, the Supreme Court is sui generis, different than any... Read More

January 24, 2017

Employee Benefits Newsletter – Winter 2017

January 24, 2017

In this issue: HHS and ACA Enforcement under the Influence of a Trump Administration. A summary of some of the essential facts about enforcement of the Affordable Care Act by the Department of Health and Human Services. Continued Struggles Expected for the Internal Revenue Service. The Trump Administration is expected to continue... Read More

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February 17, 2017
Wolters Kluwer Employment Law Daily

Jackson Lewis Attorneys Provide Commentary, Insight in Wolters Kluwer Briefing on Labor and Employment Law Developments for 2017

February 17, 2017

Commentary and insight from Jackson Lewis attorneys K. Joy Chin, Paul Patten, Richard I. Greenberg, Jeffrey W. Brecher, Joy M. Napier-Joyce, Howard M. Bloom and Philip B. Rosen are featured in Wolters Kluwer's "Federal agencies: What happened in 2016-will 2017 be different?", a briefing on labor and... Read More

January 27, 2017
Employee Benefit News

Joy Napier-Joyce Comments on Employers Continuing ACA Compliance

January 27, 2017

Joy Napier-Joyce comments on employers continuing with ACA compliance until Congressional leadership can materialize legislation in "Employers urged to continue ACA compliance as no repeal plan emerges," published by Employee Benefit News.  Subscription may be required to view article Read More

January 26, 2017
Law 360

Brian Johnston Comments on Joining Jackson Lewis in Kansas City

January 26, 2017

Brian Johnston comments on joining Jackson Lewis' Employee Benefits Practice Group in Kansas City in "Jackson Lewis Adds Employment Partner From Polsinelli," published by Law360. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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Health Savings Accounts Considerations for Employers
February 24, 2017

The health savings account (“HSA”) has become, since its creation in 2003, an increasingly popular option for employers to subsidize employee group health costs. Employees with HSAs can save money, on a tax-free basis, for medical expenses that aren’t otherwise covered. Read More

President Trump Orders Review of DOL Fiduciary Rule and Addresses Financial Industry in Latest Actions
February 5, 2017

On February 3, 2017, President Trump took actions aimed at alleviating some of the regulatory burdens on the financial services industry. Read More

Church Plan Cases: Federal Agencies Finally Speak
January 31, 2017

As many of you know, currently pending before the Supreme Court are consolidated cases from the Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits holding that, for religiously affiliated employers, employee benefits plans must initially be established by a church for the plans to be exempt from ERISA as “church plans.” The circuit courts issued these ho Read More

By René E. Thorne and Eugene Ubawike