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executive compensation, benefits & erisa: publications
Summary Professionals Matters News Events Publications
Employment Update
June 2015
Mara B. Levin, Carol M. Goodman
This month, President Obama will present a plan to expand overtime pay for American workers which will dramatically expand the number of people that qualify for overtime pay. Additionally, the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., holds that a failure to provide religious accommodation could be intentional discrimination even where the employer had no actual knowledge of the need for an accommodation.
Employment Trends for 2015: "Ban the Box" Movement on the Rise, Paid Sick Leave Laws Sweep the Nation and "Look Policies" Under Fire
Spring/Summer 2015
Mara B. Levin
Inside: A Publication of the New York State Bar Association's Corporate Counsel Section
Mara B. Levin analyzes "ban the box" laws prohibiting employers from inquiring about an applicant's criminal history, the proliferation of paid sick leave laws nationally, and the U.S. Supreme Court's examination of EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., a case involving "look policies," which govern employees' appearances.
DOL Re-Issues Proposed Regulation Defining "Fiduciary"
April 2015
Edward B. Stevenson, Fred R. Green
Herrick continues to monitor significant developments to ERISA regulations that directly affect our clients. In this alert, we cover the U.S. Department of Labor's recent announcement to re-issue their proposal to amend the definition of “fiduciary” for pension plans and IRAs.
Supreme Court Resolves Circuit-Split for Vesting of Retiree Medical Benefits
February 2015
Fred R. Green, Edward B. Stevenson
On January 26, 2015, in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected a presumption that a promise of retiree medical benefits contained in a collective bargaining agreement was intended to confer lifetime benefits. Tackett resolves a split among the circuits as to whether retiree medical benefits are vested after expiration of the collective bargaining, and reverses a long-standing precedent in UAW v. Yard-Man, Inc. from the Sixth Circuit which created such a presumption.
Employment Update
February 2015
Mara B. Levin, Carol M. Goodman
This month's Employment Alert, covers New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to raise the minimum wage in New York State to $10.50 per hour and in New York City to $11.50 by 2016 and a decision by New Jersey's highest court which creates an applicable test for determining whether an individual is considered an independent contractor or an employee for the purpose of the New Jersey Wage & Hour law ("WHL") and Wage Payment Law ("WPL").
Employment Developments and Considerations at the Start of 2015
January 2015
Mara B. Levin, Carol M. Goodman
Employment Update
Our January Employment Alert discusses a number of issues that employers should consider at the start of a new year, including a new law which repeals the annual notice requirement in New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act, several recent decisions that suggest employers can no longer rely on New York courts to save overly broad restrictive covenants, and the EEOC's new focus on challenging overbroad separation agreements.
IRS Amends Safe Harbor Rollover Notices
December 2014
Fred R. Green, Edward B. Stevenson
Under Section 402(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, administrators of qualified retirement plans are required to provide certain information to participants and beneficiaries who receive distributions that are eligible to be rolled over.  In IRS Notice 2014-74, the IRS updated and amended the previously issued safe harbor notices that can be used to fulfill this obligation.
Statewide Sick Leave May Be Coming Soon to New Jersey; New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase to Take Effect January 1, 2015; New Jersey Enacts "Ban the Box" Legislation
November 2014
Mara B. Levin, Carol M. Goodman
Employment Update
In our November Employment Alert, we cover a wide range of issues of interest to New Jersey employers, including a statewide sick leave bill recently passed by the New Jersey Assembly, a minimum wage increase set for January 1, 2015 and the newly-enacted “Ban the Box” law, which prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history during the early stages of the employment process.
Higher Retirement Plan Contribution Limits Announced for 2015
October 2014
Edward B. Stevenson, Fred R. Green
The cost-of-living adjustments affecting the dollar limits for qualified retirement plans for 2015 has been issued by the Internal Revenue Service.  Among the changes to the limits is the increase to the elective deferral amount from $17,500 to $18,000 for employees who participate in 401(k) plans or 403(b) plans.  The catch-up contribution for employees who are age 50 or older will increase from $5,500 to $6,000.
New York City Increases Hourly Wage for Workers at City-Subsidized Economic Benefit Projects; Expands Definition Of Covered Employers
October 2014
Mara B. Levin, Carol M. Goodman
Employment Update
On September 30, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order that increases the living wage for workers employed at economic benefit projects that receive more than $1 million dollars in subsidies from the City. The Executive Order also expands the New York City's Fair Wages for New Yorker’s Act to cover additional employers.The law is effective immediately, however it does not apply to projects which were awarded subsidies prior to September 30, 2014.
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for Benefit Plan Investments in Employer Stock
August 2014
Fred R. Green, Edward B. Stevenson
In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, a unanimous Supreme Court rejected the presumption of prudence doctrine (also known as the Moench doctrine), which is applicable to claims against fiduciaries of benefit plans that invest in the sponsoring employer’s stock. The elimination of the presumption of prudence is expected to make it easier for plaintiffs to pursue claims for breach of fiduciary duty when there is a significant drop in the value of employer stock held in an employee benefit plan.
New Model COBRA Notices Issued by DOL
May 2014
Edward B. Stevenson, Fred R. Green
In an effort to align the COBRA notice provisions with the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "ACA"), the Department of Labor has released revised COBRA notices.  The COBRA notices have been revised to discuss the health insurance coverage alternatives available through the Health Insurance Marketplace established by ACA.
Tax Court Limits One IRA Rollover Per Year Restriction
April 2014
Fred R. Green, Edward B. Stevenson
Individuals with multiple IRAs frequently used a tax-free distribution provision falling under Section 408(d)(3)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code to fund short-term loans.  That provision allows an individual to withdraw from an individual retirement account ("IRA") without tax if the amount of the withdrawal is deposited back into an IRA within 60 days, and as long as only one such distribution was taken in a one-year period.
Important Reminder for all New York City Employers: New York City's Paid Sick Time Law Goes into Effect April 1, 2014
March 2014
Mara B. Levin, Carol M. Goodman
Employment Alert
New York City's Earned Sick Time Act will go into effect for certain employers on April 1, 2014.  The Act requires virtually all private-sector employers to provide their full-time and part-time New York City employees who work for more than 80 hours in a calendar year up to five paid sick leave days per year.
Suspension of 401(k) Safe Harbor Contributions
January 2014
Fred R. Green, Edward B. Stevenson
The Internal Revenue Service recently issued final regulations under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code which sets forth procedures for reducing or suspending safe harbor contributions to a 401(k) plan.  The final regulations revise and supersede the proposed regulations that were issued in 2009.
The Impact of Pending and Existing Employment Legislation on Employment Lawyers and Clients
November 1, 2010
The Impact of Recent Regulatory Developments in Employment Law, published by Aspatore Books
Employment litigation specialist Carol Goodman authors a book chapter on what laws -- existing and pending -- affect employment attorneys and their clients, and in what way. The chapter is part of a larger book covering regulatory changes in employment law.
California Workers' Compensation Laws Present Unique Challenges for Pro Sports Teams
April 23, 2010
Irwin A. Kishner
Sports Litigation Alert
Irwin Kishner authored the article "California Workers' Compensation Laws Present Unique Challenges for Pro Sports Teams" in Sports Litigation Alert. The article, which Julie Albinsky assisted in preparing, discusses how professional athletes can benefit from California's "employee-friendly workers' compensation landscape."
Repricing Underwater Stock Options
May 27, 2009
Stephen E. Fox
SEC Trends & Developments, the newsletter published by the accounting firm Eisner LLP.
Public companies with out-of-the-money stock options should consider repricing those underwater options, Stephen Fox writes in the accounting firm's newsletter in a new section called From The Bar. Repricing options so they are in the money is one way of compensating employees and aligning their interests with those of their employers.
Consumer Bankruptcy Act: Employee Benefit and Executive Compensation Provisions
Winter 2005
Stephen B. Selbst
Benefits Law Journal
Stephen Selbst's article on the Consumer Bankruptcy Act appears in the Benefits Law Journal.
Ten Steps to an Effective Document Retention Program
December 2004
Jennifer Smith Finnegan
LJN's Product Liability Law & Strategy
Jennifer Smith Finnegan authors this article on document retention.
HIPAA Regulations Unintended Effect
July 2, 2001
Ronald J. Levine
New York Law Journal, Health Care Section
Ron Levine's article "HIPAA Regulations Unintended Effect" appears in the Health Care Section of the New York Law Journal.