You Can’t Prevent Them All: How to Protect Your Company from Unpreventable Employee Misconduct

Unfortunately, workplace injuries can occur anytime, even when employers take every possible precaution to prevent them. As most employers have experienced, implementing and enforcing safety rules and policies avoids workplace injuries. But what happens when an employee ignores or intentionally breaks a safety rule and they, or someone else, is injured? Fortunately, the Occupational Safety …

A Cautionary Tale for Administrators Who Neglect Employee Benefit Plan Terms

Individuals responsible for 401(k) retirement or welfare plan decisions know that the plan document is the first place to look for guidance when deciding a difficult administration question, such as whether a participant is entitled to a benefit. A recent 6th Circuit Court of Appeals case, Laake v. Benefits Committee, Western & Southern Financial Group …

The 6th Circuit Clarifies Retaliation Under the FMLA

On January 25, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that an employee’s notice of need for leave, regardless of whether the employee was ultimately entitled to the leave, was protected conduct under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  Milmen v. Fieger & Fieger, P.C., No. 21-2685 (6th Cir. …

Religious Accommodation in a Post-Groff Employment Landscape

As the Supreme Court’s session was concluding, the Supreme Court issued Groff v. DeJoy, Postmaster General, No. 22-174 (June 29, 2023), an opinion that changes the employment landscape as it pertains to religious accommodations for employers and what actually constitutes an “undue hardship.” In Groff, the Supreme Court held, “Title VII [of the Civil Rights …

Avoiding the Storm of Excessive Fee Litigation: How Fiduciaries of ERISA Health Plans Can Get Ahead of the Weather

For some group health plan fiduciaries, there could be a storm brewing. Changes to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), buried within the 5,593 pages of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”), create the possibility for a new set of potential plaintiffs in fiduciary litigation. The CAA amended ERISA Section 408(b)(2) to …

Did You Hear about the New Law Requiring Employers to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Pregnant Employees?

On Tuesday, June 27, 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) became law and requires covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a worker’s known limitations that are related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation would cause the employer an undue hardship. The PWFA applies to all federal and state employers …

Sixth Circuit Announces Stricter Standard for Sending Notice in FLSA Collective Actions

A recent court opinion from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified an important point of law concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), specifically what “showing … is necessary for a district court to facilitate notice of an FLSA suit to employees who were not originally parties” to the lawsuit. This case, Clark v. A&L …

What Happens to the 401(k) Plan When a Company Is Sold?

Administering a 401(k) plan is a team effort, requiring the expertise of HR staff, the plan’s recordkeeper, and an ERISA attorney. When a company that sponsors a 401(k) or other retirement plan sells the business, a call early in the process to the company’s ERISA attorney can help identify options and create a plan to …

Federal Court Blocks Enforcement of Some ACA Preventive Health Service Requirements: What Plan Sponsors Should Consider

In a March 2023 ruling, a Texas federal district court vacated all actions taken by the Departments of Labor (“DOL”), Health and Human Services (“HHS”), and Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) to implement or enforce certain preventive care requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Recently, the Departments released initial FAQ guidance addressing …

Employment Law Reminder for Educational Entities — Consider Special Rules Within FMLA, FLSA, and Title IX

While employers at most educational entities, such as K-12 schools, must follow applicable federal employment laws, there are unique provisions within those employment laws and other regulations that these employers must keep in mind. Of course, many schools have collective bargaining agreements, as well as applicable state and local statutory and regulatory provisions that they …