3 Questions About DOL’s Mental Health Parity Push

Law 360 (November 18, 2022, 5:44 PM EST) -- The U.S. Department of Labor has vowed to continue its aggressive enforcement of a law requiring employer health plans to provide equal coverage for mental health and addiction treatments and other types of medical care, despite expected political pressure from the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives. The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity Read More

AMA Joins ERISA Class Action Alleging CIGNA Refuses to Honor Discount Contracts

Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in a pending ERISA class action lawsuit to include state law claims by the American Medical Association (AMA), the Medical Society of New Jersey, and the Washington State Medical Association. The original individual plaintiffs were participants in CIGNA-administered health plans and received medical care from physicians in the MultiPlan network.  Physicians in the MultiPlan Read More

Federal Agencies Finalize Independent Dispute Resolution Regulations Implementing No Surprises Act

The DOL, HHS, and IRS have finalized portions of the regulations concerning the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process of the No Surprises Act. The agencies also have provided a fact sheet summarizing the finalized regulations. Congress enacted the No Surprises Act as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) to address various issues involving surprise medical billing. The major aim of the Read More

Comply with Federal, State, and Local WARN Laws in Conducting Layoffs

Companies that are planning mass layoffs or reductions in force (RIF) must comply with the often-complex requirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. Many states and even municipalities have enacted their own "mini-WARN Acts" that may impose different or additional requirements on employers who intend to conduct layoffs. The Federal WARN Act  The WARN Act requires covered Read More

DOL Proposes ERISA Exemptions for Restorative Payments to Blue Cross Blue Shield Following Allianz Losses

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed individual exemptions to prohibited transaction restrictions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The proposed transaction exemptions would cover about $600 million in payments made by 11 benefit pension plans, sponsored by independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Read More

Adopting Practices to Minimize Liability for Layoffs

Employers can make themselves vulnerable to liability when they lay off employees under such legislation as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), state versions of the WARN Act, and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). Fortunately, employers can take various steps to minimize this type of liability when they conduct layoffs.  Layoff Procedures to Follow First, employers Read More

Federal Judge Dismisses Multiple Claims in Male Employee’s Parental Leave Suit

A judge in a Massachusetts federal court has dismissed four of the nine claims in a 2021 wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a former employee against a lighting company and selected company employees. Among the claims that the judge dismissed were Ahmed Eissa’s allegations that Ledvance LLC discriminated against him based on his sex and ethnicity when they terminated him after he took parental leave for the birth Read More

Toyota Moves to Dismiss Proposed FMLA Class Action, Compel Arbitration

Toyota Motor North American (Toyota) has asked a federal judge to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit over whether the company underestimated employees' hours to cut down on their entitlement to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Toyota also asked that the judge compel arbitration of the claim, alleging that the plaintiff had signed an arbitration agreement waiving his right to participate in a Read More

McDonald’s Settles Class Action Lawsuit Over Improper COBRA Notices

McDonald’s has settled a class action lawsuit for $156,783.00 over allegations that it failed to provide former employees with sufficient notice of continued health insurance coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Class members consist of 9,000 former employees, all of whom received the deficient COBRA notices between December 15, 2017, and February 9, 2021, and did not opt to Read More

5th Circ. Rules Against DOL In Data-For-Insurance ERISA Row

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision of a Texas federal court, finding that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had acted arbitrarily in finding a company's health insurance plan to be exempt from ERISA. The case is Data Marketing Partnership v. LABR, case number 20-11179 (August 17, 2022).  Data Marketing Partnership (“Data Marketing”) had challenged a DOL advisory opinion that its Read More