Compensation Agreement Did Not Modify At-Will Status, Eighth Circuit Holds

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/29/2018
As any regular reader of this blog knows, at-will employment – under which an employee may be terminated for almost any reason, or no reason at all – is the “default” relationship in most jobs.  There is also no requirement in most industries that parties utilize an employment contract. Parties who choose to form an employment contract, however, may (but are not required to) modify this at-will employment in a variety of ways.  Most...
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Fifth Circuit Vacates DOL Fiduciary Rule

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
03/28/2018
On March 15, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule.  The Fiduciary Rule (which is actually seven different rules promulgated by the Department of Labor) imposed heightened standards on retirement investment advisors, and expanded the definition of fiduciary under ERISA.  The Rule went into effect on June 9, 2017, with a transition period until January 1, 2018. After...
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EEOC’s Wellness Program Rules Run into a Roadblock

Healthcare in the U.S. is a hard issue.  And it’s expensive too.  Ok, you know that.  Years ago, some employers concluded that one way to reduce healthcare costs was to figure out who might get really sick and then either not hire them, or fire them.  Really a bad idea, and one that led to passage of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) and similar state laws. So, many employers looked to more “benign” ways to encourage...
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Updated Guidance For The Fiduciary Rule

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/29/2017
On May 22, 2017, the Department of Labor issued updated guidance for the fiduciary rule.  You will remember that the fiduciary rule imposes certain obligations on investment advisors, and deems them fiduciaries towards their customers. The rule goes into effect on June 9, 2017, with a transition period until January 1, 2018.  At that time, further requirements take effect.  For those advisors who have not yet familiarized themselves with the new...
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Maryland Legislative Update - The Healthy Working Families Act

Lawmakers in Maryland have attempted to pass a paid sick leave bill for a number of years.  With the General Assembly reconvening on Wednesday, the effort is being renewed this year.  Thus far, legislators have introduced House Bill 1 and House Bill 65 -- both are versions of the Healthy Working Families Act, which was introduced last session as House Bill 580.  Governor Hogan has said that he will introduce paid sick leave legislation of his...
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Supreme Court Set to Clarify Issues Surrounding Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/14/2014
On November 10, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, a case that has the potential to reshape significantly the legal landscape of retiree health benefit provisions in collective bargaining agreements (CBA). At issue is the legal framework courts should apply when faced with CBA retiree health benefit cases. There is currently a wide split among several federal circuits on the issue. On the...
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English Only Notices May Not Be Enough To Comply With ERISA

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
08/15/2014
A federal court in Maryland has partially dismissed a complaint filed on behalf of nearly 40 Spanish-speaking current and former employees of Hatfield’s Equipment & Dedication Services Inc.  (“Hatfield’s”).  The plaintiffs, who worked as part of a concrete crew, alleged that Hatfield’s did not comply with the reporting and disclosure requirements for the company’s profit sharing plan, because plan documents and benefit statements...
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Supreme Court Upholds ERISA Contractual Statute Of Limitations Period

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
12/20/2013
When litigants brings claims for benefits allegedly due them under ERISA,  a participant usually must exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit to enforce his or her rights under the plan.  While this requirement is codified by federal statute, cf. 29 USC § 1132(a)(1)(B), the time a plan participant has to file a claim in court is not set by statute.  The Supreme Court recently addressed whether an ERISA plan may provide in the plan...
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Treasury Department Issues Proposed ACA Reporting Rules

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/06/2013
On September 5, 2013, the Treasury Department, in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service, issued proposed rules concerning the reporting requirements for insurers and select employers mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Interested parties and the public can submit comments on the proposed regulations through early November.  Once the rules have been finalized, voluntary compliance is encouraged through 2014 (during which time...
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Fourth Circuit Upholds The Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
07/17/2013
On July 11, 2013, the Fourth Circuit dismissed a constitutional challenge to the employer mandate established by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)), holding that it was a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Cause.  Liberty University Inc. v. Lew, No. 10-2347 (4th Cir. July 11, 2013).  The ACA’s employer mandate requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide health care coverage to their employees and dependents, or...
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