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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.

The Team

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Discretion Under Fire: ERISA Plan Fiduciaries Face New Challenges to Their Decision-making

September 20, 2017 - 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

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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: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

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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: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

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February 7, 2018

Déjà Vu: Implications of a Government Shutdown on Federal Contractors

February 7, 2018

For the second time in a month, for lack of agreement on funding the government long-term, we face the specter of a government shutdown. The government shutdown that began on January 20, 2018, lasted three days. Congress ended that shutdown after voting on a stopgap measure to fund the government until February 8, 2018. As that date... Read More

January 31, 2018

Changes to ERISA’s Disability Claims Regulations Coming April 1

January 31, 2018

New handling regulations for ERISA disability claims will go into effect on April 1, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) has announced. The agency confirmed that the regulations are final, without changes. The regulations were effective January 2017, but were delayed until April 1, 2018. The DOL has confirmed they will not be delayed... Read More

January 24, 2018

2018: The Year Ahead for Employers

January 24, 2018

An executive summary of recent changes in workplace law and a look ahead to 2018. Read More

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January 17, 2018
SHRM

Alec Nealon and Melissa Ostrower Author "Responding to the Tax Act's Executive Compensation Changes"

January 17, 2018

Alec Nealon and Melissa Ostrower author "Responding to the Tax Act's Executive Compensation Changes," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

January 11, 2018
SHRM

Monique Warren Comments on the New Paid-Leave Tax Credit

January 11, 2018

Monique Warren comments on details of Section 13403 of the Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave Act offering a federal tax credit for employers that provide paid family and medical leave to their employees in "Taking Advantage of the New Paid-Leave Tax Credit," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to... Read More

January 4, 2018
Bloomberg BNA Big Law Business

Richard Vitarelli Comments on Collective Bargaining Agreements Set to Expire in 2018

January 4, 2018

Richard Vitarelli comments on implications of collective bargaining agreements set to expire for several thousand workers in the manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, and hospitality industries in "Outlook 2018: Labor Hopes to Capitalize on Hot Economy, Tax Cuts," published by Bloomberg Law. Subscription may be required... Read More

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CONGRESS AGAIN ATTEMPTS TO ADDRESS MULTIEMPLOYER PLAN CRISIS IN BIPARTISAN BUDGET ACT
February 16, 2018

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), as amended by the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (“MPPAA”), an employer that has assumed an obligation to contribute to collectively-bargained and jointly-administered defined benefit pension plans ( “multiemployer plans”) is liable for its allocable share of any unde Read More

Changes to ERISA’s Disability Claims Regulations Coming April 1
February 1, 2018

Employers who offer short-term and long-term disability plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and their plan administrators, need to prepare for the approaching April 1st deadline of the new claims handling regulations.  Employer action items can be found in our article posted here. Read More

By Megan Holstein

2018 Tax Reform Series: Goodbye to the Individual Mandate
January 23, 2018

This is the seventh article in our series covering various tax and employee benefits-related changes contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by the President on December 22, 2017. Once significant change made by the Act, summarized below, is the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, effective 2019. Read More