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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Two Recent Court Rulings Signal Important Developments in ERISA Excessive Fee Litigation - Alert - 07/31/2017

The recent decisions in Wells Fargo and Chevron offer plan sponsors and fiduciaries some guidance with respect to defending against ERISA fee litigation. Plan sponsors and fiduciaries need to continue to ensure that they engage in a deliberative and well-documented process with respect to their 401(k) plan. Plan sponsors and fiduciaries should discuss their process with ERISA counsel to determine whether additional steps may be prudent.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> New Law Allows Small Employers to Offer Standalone HRAs - Alert - 01/11/2017

Small employers can now use HRAs to fund their employee’s health insurance premium costs. However, it is unclear at this time whether this option will be attractive to small employers or if it will be eclipsed by other anticipated changes to the ACA.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Next ACA Employer Reporting Deadline Fast Approaching - Alert - 11/14/2016

Employers must take action now to be in a position to deliver 2016 IRS Forms 1095-C to employees by January 31, 2017. The IRS continues to clarify ACA guidance, so employers should speak to their legal counsel about these changes before the end of 2016.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Private Equity Funds Held Liable for Unfunded Pension Obligations of Their Portfolio Company - Alert - 04/13/2016

Based on the Sun Capital decision, PE firms will need to consider the structure and nature of their portfolio company investments to determine the extent of any potential liability. The District Court’s analysis was based heavily on the particular facts of the case, and PE firms should consult with their counsel to determine whether a similar analysis would apply to their current investments. The District Court’s decision also means that PE firms will want to more carefully analyze any potential employee benefits liabilities of portfolio companies. PE firms and their counsel should continue to monitor the case and any potential implications it may have on employee benefit laws.

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Confero Magazine: The Tibble vs. Edison case - Published Article - 11/12/2015

by Alan Hahn

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NAPAnet // Retirement Ready: Or Not? - Press Mention - 08/04/2015

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Confero: Achieving 20/20 Fiduciary Vision - Published Article - 07/02/2015

by Alan Hahn and Gabrielle White

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Labor & Employment Alert >> Effective July 3: San Francisco Ordinances Impose Significant Employment Obligations on Retail Industry - Alert - 07/01/2015

The Retail Workers Bill of Rights only affects a small number of employers, but for those that it does affect, it may radically change their employment practices and expose them to significant penalties. Any affected employer should consult with counsel and promptly ensure that their San Francisco managers understand and comply with the new requirements.

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Employee Relations Law Journal: Section 409A Issues in Employment Contracts - Published Article - 02/19/2015

by Mark E. Bokert and Alan Hahn

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Employee Relations Law Journal: Countdown to ACA Compliance: Key Issues Under the Employer Mandate - Published Article - 10/20/2014

by Mark E. Bokert and Alan Hahn

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Labor & Employment Alert >> Federal Contractors Should Prepare for New OFCCP Regulations Covering Individuals with Disabilities and Veterans  - Alert - 04/21/2014

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) introduces new rules covering Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs) and Veterans, which will have a significant impact on the compliance requirements of federal contractors. Employers should consult with legal counsel for more detailed information regarding the Final Rules to ensure the proper procedures are being implemented. Significantly, federal prime contractors and subcontractors will need to implement new procedures to identify, recruit and track IWDs and Veterans beginning with the next AAP plan year.

 

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Final Employer Mandate and Reporting Requirement Regulations Published: It’s Time to Pay or Play - Alert - 03/27/2014

The employer mandate and reporting requirements take effect January 1, 2015.  The final regulations are complicated, and employers have several options when deciding how to comply with both the employer mandate and the reporting requirements.  Because there are important legal considerations, employers should consult with their legal counsel now to discuss which options work best for the employer and to finalize their compliance strategies for ACA compliance in 2015 and beyond.

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Taxation Alert >> 2014 Employment-Based Tax Credits Available for New York Employers - Alert - 03/03/2014

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance released guidance on three employment-based tax credits, including a new minimum wage reimbursement tax credit intended to offset the cost to employers for an increase in the state minimum wage. These employment-based tax credits took effect January 1, 2014. Employers should be aware that there are additional rules and requirements applicable to each tax credit program.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Pay or Play Delayed: Employer Mandate and Reporting Requirements Under Health Care Reform Delayed Until 2015 - Alert -  07/25/2013

By Mark Bokert; Alan Hahn; Derek Nelson; Elizabeth Flanders

The Obama administration announced on July 2, 2013 through the U.S. Department of Treasury website its plans to postpone implementing two key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for one year. Both the annual information reporting requirements and the employer mandate, which potentially penalizes large employers for not offering a minimum standard of affordable health care coverage to full-time employees, will not take effect until 2015.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Supreme Court DOMA Ruling Requires Employer Action - Alert -  07/10/2013

By Alan Hahn and Cameron Bruce

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional because it violates the Fifth Amendment right to equal protection of the law. As a result, same-sex couples who are legally married under state law are entitled to the same federal rights and benefits as opposite-sex couples.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Shooting from the HIPAA: Final Regulations Require Employer Action - Alert -  03/20/2013

By Mark E. Bokert; Alan Hahn; and A. Derek Nelson

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued final regulations under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). Employers must take action to ensure their group health plans comply with the final regulations.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Health Care Reform Update: Employers Must Quickly Finalize 2014 Compliance Efforts - Alert -  02/26/2013

By Mark E. Bokert, Alan Hahn, A. Derek Nelson

Regulators have recently issued a voluminous amount of guidance addressing how employers must comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

 

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Not Dangling Off the Fiscal Cliff: Legislation Offers Solid Planning Opportunities for Employee Benefit Programs - Alert -  01/16/2013

By Mark E. Bokert; Alan Hahn; A. Derek Nelson

On January 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the Act). In addition to steering us away from the fiscal cliff, the Act contains important planning opportunities for employers wishing to enhance their employee benefit programs.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Making Sense of The Medical Loss Ratio Rebate Guidance - Alert -  08/30/2012

By Mark E. Bokert, Alan Hahn and Allegra C. Wiles

Health insurance issuers were required to provide rebates to policyholders, including most large employers, by August 1, 2012. 

 

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Davis & Gilbert LLP Represents Weather Underground in Recent Merger - Press Release - 07/24/2012

New York, NY, July 24, 2012 – Davis & Gilbert acted as lead counsel to the world’s first online weather service, Weather Underground, in its acquisition by industry leader and competitor, The Weather Channel Companies.  The acquisition, which resulted in the combination of two of the largest and most revered weather outlets, was announced publicly on July 2, 2012 and closed on July 13, 2012. Weather Underground, which runs the website wunderground.com, is known for providing the most comprehensive and reliable weather information available.

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Davis & Gilbert Counsel to WPP plc in AKQA Acquisition - Press Release - 07/17/2012

New York, July 17, 2012 – Davis & Gilbert acted as lead counsel to WPP Group plc, one of the world’s largest communications groups, in its acquisition of AKQA Holdings, Inc.  AKQA is the world’s leading independent digital agency and recipient of numerous “Agency of the Year” awards, and the transaction represents one of the largest-ever acquisitions of a digital ad agency.  AKQA will operate as an independent and standalone brand within WPP Group.  AKQA had assets totaling $282 million at the end of 2011, and projects revenues of $230 million for 2012. It employs 1,160 people across offices in San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Shanghai.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> IRS Updates Guidance For W-2 Reporting Of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage - Alert -  01/25/2012

As we previously reported (click here to view Alert), the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires employers to report the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage on an employee’s W-2 generally beginning with W-2s issued in January 2013 for the 2012 tax year.  IRS Notice 2011-28, which was issued early last year, provided initial guidance on the new reporting requirement.  However, the IRS recently issued Notice 2012-9, which updates and supersedes the initial guidance.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> New York Adds New Reporting Requirements for Dependent Health Benefits - Alert -  08/11/2011

The Low Income Support Obligation and Performance Improvement Act (the Act) now requires employers of individuals working in New York state to provide information on the availability of dependent health insurance benefits to their employees.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Impact of New York’s Marriage Equality Act on Employers - Alert -  08/04/2011

On July 24, 2011, New York’s Marriage Equality Act (the Act) became effective, making New York the sixth, and largest, state to permit same-sex marriage.  The Act “formally recognizes otherwise-valid marriages without regard to whether the parties are the same or different sex” and provides that all married couples “be treated equally in all respects under the law.”  

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage: W-2 Reporting - Alert -  04/25/2011

On March 29, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2011-28 which provides interim guidance on informational reporting to employees on the cost of employer-sponsored group health coverage.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Final Opportunity To Correct 409A Violations - Alert -  10/26/2010

Employers that sponsor deferred compensation plans have a final opportunity to correct plan provisions that violate Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code without, in most instances, subjecting their employees to penalties. All corrections must be made by December 31, 2010 and must adhere to the IRS's recently introduced voluntary document correction program. Given this opportunity, employers may wish to review their deferred compensation arrangements one final time (particularly employment contracts, as explained below), to ensure they are in compliance with Section 409A. After December 31, 2010, corrections may still be made but the correction procedures become more severe.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Can Employers Keep Their Health Plans Grandfathered Under Health Care Reform? Answer: With Great Difficulty - Alert -  07/01/2010

The new regulations will require employers to make a choice between maintaining a grandfathered health plan or making desired changes to its plan. Employers should review the new regulations with counsel and weigh the costs and benefits of grandfathering before making any health plan changes. Employers should stay tuned for further health care reform guidance.

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PRWeek: Immediate Concerns of Employers Under Healthcare Reform Legislation - Published Article -  06/25/2010

By: Michael C. Lasky

Massive healthcare reform legislation signed into law on March 23, 2010, imposes significant new responsibilities on employers thatwill likely, over time, fundamentally alter the nature of employer-sponsored group healthcare. While many of the provisions of the act will not apply until 2014, many are effective right now or will be very soon. Therefore, it is essential that employers begin planning and preparing for healthcare reform legislation immediately.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Health Care Reform Legislation: Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Alert -  04/01/2010

Massive health care reform legislation was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Obama. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Act) overhauls our nation’s health care system. It also imposes significant new responsibilities on employers that will likely, over time, fundamentally alter the nature of employer-sponsored group health care.

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Benefits & Compensation / Labor & Employment Alert >> GINA Requires Immediate Update To EEO Posters And Policies And Possible Revision Of Benefit Plans - Alert -  11/10/2009

Employers must immediately update EEOC posters and review EEO/unlawful harassment policies and group health plans to determine whether they must be revised. Timing is key for employers who are in or are about to begin 2010 enrollment for benefit plans.

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> HIPAA in a “Hitech” World - Alert -  08/31/2009

The Department of Health and Human Services published guidance on August 24, 2009 addressing new HIPAA breach notification rules, which are effective September 23, 2009. HIPAA covered entities, including employers that sponsor health plans, and business 

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> New Legislation Includes Significant COBRA Changes - Alert -  02/24/2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Act) provides recently terminated employees with a 65% federal subsidy of their COBRA premium payments.  Employers that sponsor group health plans must take immediate action to facilitate the subsidy.

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Employee Benefit Plan Review: Private Company Stock Options Under Section 409A - Published Article -  12/01/2008

By: Mark E. Bokert

Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code was enacted on October 24, 2004 and sets forth rules that apply to deferred compensation plans. Because of its breadth, Section 409A applies to many arrangements that are not historically considered to provide deferred compensation—such as stock options.

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Employee Benefit Plan Review: Specified Employees Under Section 409A - Published Article -  09/01/2008

By: Mark E. Bokert

Internal Revenue Code Section 409A requires that any deferred compensation paid to a “specified employee” of a public company on account of his or her separation from service must be delayed for six months following the separation. This requirement is known as the “six-month delay rule.”

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Private Company Stock Options Under Section 409A - Alert -  05/27/2008

Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code was enacted on October 24, 2004 and sets forth rules that apply to deferred compensation plans.  Because of its breadth, Section 409A applies to many arrangements that are not historically considered to provide deferred compensation – such as stock options.

Mark Bokert

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Specified Employees Under Section 409A - Alert -  05/27/2008

Internal Revenue Code Section 409A requires that any deferred compensation paid to a “specified employee” of a public company on account of his or her separation from service must be delayed for six months following the separation.  This requirement is known as the “six-month delay rule.”

Mark Bokert

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Benefits & Compensation Alert >> Why You Need To Care About Section 409A - Alert -  05/27/2008

Why do employers and employees need to care about Section 409A – the sweeping legislation that affects non-qualified deferred compensation plans?  The answer is this: if a deferred compensation plan is not amended to comply with Section 409A by December 31, 2008, all deferrals under the plan may be penalized and subject to taxation before they are distributed.

Mark Bokert

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Human Resources 2007: The Top 10 ERISA Fiduciary Duty Exposures - And What to do About Them - Published Article -  11/01/2007

By: Mark E. Bokert and Alan Hahn

This chapter discusses some of the most pressing issues affecting  employee benefit plan sponsors and their managers with respect to  their fiduciary responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income  Security Act (ERISA). It provides an overview of new developments and  offers some practical advice aimed at managing an organization's fiduciary  liability risks in 2007. Keep in mind that the following offers general information and is necessarily limited in scope given the complexity of the topic. Experienced ERISA legal counsel should be consulted for further information relevant to the specific needs of your organization and benefit plans.



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