Practice/Industry Group Overview
The Employee Benefits Practice helps employers comply with the many layers of statutory and regulatory requirements affecting employee benefits. Our employee benefits attorneys provide practical solutions to legal issues, communicating with clients in straightforward plain English. Our attorneys provide day-to-day advice on various employee benefits and executive compensation tax and legal issues.
We provide representation and assistance in several areas, including drafting and reviewing plan documents, preparing summary plan descriptions and other employee communications, mergers and acquisitions (including pre-transaction due diligence, negotiating transaction agreements and post-transaction integration), Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor audits; preparing or reviewing annual IRS Forms 5500 and other returns; providing advice regarding Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary issues, prohibited transaction and other plan asset issues; Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) continuation coverage issues; compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy requirements; employment tax and income tax withholding issues; employee benefits and executive compensation litigation; and multiemployer plan withdrawal liability issues.
Our benefits attorneys also prepare 401(k) and other qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, assist in designing executive compensation arrangements in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors, and advise clients with respect to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), health and welfare benefit plans, wellness plans and cafeteria plans.
Fisher & Phillips attorneys represent employers before the IRS, DOL and PBGC in all manner of proceedings, including audits, investigations and corrections.
The attorneys from the Employee Benefits Practice Group at Fisher & Phillips LLP have created a Timeline of Health Insurance Reform chart to assist you in navigating the new laws. Click on the file to the right to view the full document.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
High Court Limits Timing Of Certain ERISA Claims
, December 17, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld a contractual clause that limited a participant’s ability to file a lawsuit pursuant to a long-term disability (LTD) policy. The contractual limitation was three years from the date proof of loss was required. The decision confirms that there is no...
When Is More Leave Not a Reasonable Accommodation?
Howard A. Mavity, November 29, 2013
Cases under the ADA are fact specific. Often it is difficult to find clear cut standards for determining if an employee is qualified to perform the essential functions and if an accommodation is reasonable. In Attiogbe-Tay v. Southeast Rolling Hills LLC, a court concluded that a nurse who returned...
Healthcare Reform Update
Tabatha L. George, November 06, 2013
Despite glitches and long wait times, the Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) came online October 1, 2013, and along with it arrived a new notice obligation for employers. Employers were required to distribute a notice of coverage options to...
Windsor & DOMA: Issues for Cross-Border Employers
Steven A. Witt, October 04, 2013
On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which defined “marriage” as strictly between opposite-sex couples and “spouse” as referring only to a person of the opposite sex who is a...
"Nursing Mother" Break Requirement Spurs Investigations, Lawsuits
John E. Thompson, August 02, 2013
A little-known section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to allow a worker to take unpaid break time to express breastmilk for her nursing child. The requirement extends for a year after the child is born.
Deadline To Update HIPAA Materials Is September 23, 2013
Callan G. Carter, August 02, 2013
On January 25, 2013, Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal agency in charge of implementing the Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) issued regulations modifying the HIPAA Privacy and Security enforcement rules. These regulations finalized the amendments to HIPAA...
Same-Sex Spouse Is Entitled To Death Benefits Under ERISA-Qualified Plan
, August 02, 2013
Following on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, a federal district court in Pennsylvania recently held that the same-sex spouse of a deceased employee is entitled to receive death benefits under the employer’s ERISA-qualified plan. Cozen O’Connor v....
Supreme Court Rules DOMA Is Out, Same-Sex Marriages Are Legal
, June 28, 2013
As the 2012 term of the U. S. Supreme Court comes to a close, the Justices left the most politically and emotionally charged decisions for last. On June 26, 2013, the Court handed down its decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor. A companion...
Supreme Court Forbids Rewrite Of ERISA Plan
, April 17, 2013
The supremacy of a written ERISA -governed plan still reigns as the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the ruling of an appellate court which had held that a court in equity can ignore unambiguous subrogation reimbursement language, and simply rewrite the terms of an ERISA-governed plan in line with its...