Employee Benefits

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.

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Peer Reviews

  • 4.8/5.0 (922)
  • Legal Knowledge

    4.8/5.0
  • Analytical Capability

    4.8/5.0
  • Judgment

    4.8/5.0
  • Communication

    4.8/5.0
  • Legal Experience

    4.8/5.0

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Client Reviews

  • 4.7/5.0 (10)
  • 90% (9)
  • Communication

    4.7/5.0
  • Responsiveness

    4.7/5.0
  • Quality of Service

    4.7/5.0
  • Value for Money

    4.6/5.0

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Diversity

Our Firm's commitment to diversity is nearly a half-century old. Our first woman partner was Margie Pitt Hames, hired in 1962. She was soon joined by Dorothy Toth Beasley, now a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. In 1973, Ms. Hames and Judge Beasley made legal history by being the first women attorneys to argue both sides of a case in the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was Doe v. Bolton, a companion case to Roe v. Wade. Although both were at different firms at the time, Ike Fisher, one of our founders, referred to the historic argument as one of the proudest moments of his career.

Our goal today is to continue that tradition of inclusion, and expand upon it. We strive to recruit, hire, develop, retain and promote diverse attorneys and staff at all levels.

While this spirit of openness is engrained in our spirits, we have also formalized our efforts. We have established a Diversity Committee, composed of partners, of counsel, and associates from across the country, all of whom represent differences in ethnicity, race, gender, religion, lifestyles, backgrounds, and viewpoints. The Diversity Committee's goals can be summarized in five key initiatives:

  1. On-going firm-wide education on diversity issues and programs;
  2. Lateral recruitment, including a lateral hiring strategy designed to build a "critical mass" of minority and women attorneys across all experience levels of the firm;
  3. Retention and advancement, including the development of a firm-wide mentoring and training program that ensures support and development for all associates;
  4. Community outreach that will increase our support of and connection with women and minority-owned businesses, professional organizations and underprivileged communities; and
  5. Identification and recruitment of top tier minority candidates graduating from law school.
 Recruitment and Retention
 
Although we are proud of the number of women and minority attorneys at our firm, those numbers alone don't tell the whole story. Our emphasis on diversity is reflected in many other ways, including the way we recruit, our training and development programs, our flexible work-life policies, and our participation in activities across the nation.

We actively participate in diversity job fairs, including the Southeastern Minority Job Fair, which has led to our hiring several attorneys of diverse backgrounds. We also participate in the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) job fair, and regularly interview at law schools which boast a large number of minority law students. In addition, our network of recruiters specializes in finding attorneys of color.

Aggressively recruiting qualified women and minority candidates is just a start: we also make every effort to retain them. Our firm-wide mentoring system pairs each associate with a partner-mentor. In addition, each member of the firm's Diversity Committee serves as a liaison to one or more of the firm's offices to provide additional support and resources. The Committee members are also available to help associates with their questions or concerns.

We've developed comprehensive training programs that address not only specialized legal skills in the Labor & Employment law practice, but also general skills such as client communications and marketing – core skills for preparing associates to fulfill roles as partners and leaders.

We're proud that we have a long-standing part-time policy that is tailored to fit the needs of each attorney who requires a reduced schedule. We recognize and appreciate the importance of enabling all attorneys to continue their careers while balancing the demands of professional and family life. Our benefits cover domestic-partner relationships as part of our overall effort to value, respect, and assure equal treatment to all employees regardless of sexual orientation.

We also regularly sponsor and participate in a number of diversity initiatives in our communities and host in-office events for law students and young attorneys from diverse backgrounds. These events are designed to help young attorneys learn how to succeed as associates.

Finally, many of our lawyers are members of, and serve in leadership positions in local and national organizations that help promote diversity in the legal profession, including: the Corporate Counsel Women of Color; the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys; the annual Lavender Law Conference; the National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association; the National Bar Association; and the National Employment Law Council.

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