Employer Vaccine Surcharges—Yes, You Can!

As employers consider implementing a vaccine mandate to encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, we have recently discussed the merits of imposing a “vaccine surcharge” on monthly health insurance premiums for those employees who remain unvaccinated.  There were unanswered questions about specific legal issues, but now the Department of Labor (DOL), Health and Human...
October 5, 2021

2021 Plan Amendment Deadlines and Other Looming Fourth Quarter Considerations

As the year draws to a close, it is helpful for employers to pause to evaluate employee benefit plan amendment deadlines and other crucial fourth-quarter considerations, including:  More…
October 1, 2021

Money Money Money: How Much can the Health Plan Surcharge on Unvaccinated Employees Be?

  In light of the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on employee productivity and health care expenses, employers are considering imposing a premium surcharge on employees participating in the company’s health plan who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. As we have discussed here, several federal laws must be taken into consideration when designing such a...
September 20, 2021

At Home COVID-19 Testing and the Path out of the Pandemic

Testing for COVID-19 certainly has evolved over the past 18 months or so. As supply and allocation continue to face challenges, guidance on serological/antibody versus viral testing, testing in the workplace, informed consent, among other things have emerged to help guide coronavirus testing in the workplace. President Biden’s Path out of the Pandemic (the “Path”)...
September 13, 2021

It’s Time to Dust Off Your ERISA Fiduciary Liability Insurance Policy

With the end-of-the-year hustle already around the corner, now is a great time to dust off your company’s ERISA fiduciary liability policy to ensure your plan fiduciaries have robust, comprehensive coverage.  Fiduciary liability policies provide coverage for claims related to the administration and operation of retirement and health and welfare plans.  Unlike D&O coverage, fiduciary...
September 6, 2021

San Francisco Will Tax Employers Based on CEO Pay Ratio

San Francisco’s Measure L, which passed with the overwhelming support of the voters, will be effective in 2022 for businesses operating in the City of San Francisco. Measure L, titled the “Overpaid Executive Gross Receipts Tax,” imposes an additional tax on gross receipts or payroll expenses of any business in which the CEO (or highest-paid...… Continue Reading
August 12, 2021

Health Plan Premium Surcharges For Those Not Vaccinated for COVID-19?

According to Forbes.com, more employers are considering imposing a premium surcharge on employees participating in the company’s health plan who are not vaccinated for COVID-19. Whether positioned as rewards or penalties, wellness program incentives have become vehicles of choice for encouraging behaviors believed to be healthy and reducing health plan costs. For years, tobacco users...… Continue Reading
August 10, 2021

The End of a (Short) Era: ARPA COBRA Subsidies and the Remaining Action Item for Plan Sponsors

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) kept many practitioners busy this spring/summer, as may be evident by our discussions here, here, here, and here. Under one of ARPA’s most impactful provisions, employees who were involuntarily terminated or had their hours reduced (and who met certain other criteria) became eligible for fully subsidized COBRA...… Continue Reading
August 9, 2021

Withdrawal Liability – Real Property Presumed a Trade or Business

An employer’s permanent cessation of contributions to a multiemployer pension plan can trigger withdrawal liability. This liability may reach affiliated trades or businesses with sufficient common ownership to be under “common control” with the employer. The affiliates would be jointly and severally liable for withdrawal liability incurred and unpaid by the withdrawing affiliate. Courts often...… Continue Reading
August 8, 2021

Illinois Expands its Secure Choice Mandatory Retirement Savings Program

Employers in Illinois with at least 5 employees must soon comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice) or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Background Secure Choice requires employers to automatically withhold five percent of an employee’s compensation (up to the annual maximum allowed for IRA contributions each year as provided...… Continue Reading
August 5, 2021