HBL Makes Splash with Orange County, California Hire

ATLANTA, Dec. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Now serving plan sponsors and service provider clients in 35 states, boutique ERISA law firm Hall Benefits Law welcomes Phil Koehler, Lead ERISA Counsel, to its legal team. Koehler brings a J.D. from the University of Southern California, an M.B.A., and thirty years of tax and employee benefit plans legal experience to the HBL team. The addition of Koehler gives HBL the Read More

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Warns SCOTUS Of ‘Tidal Wave’ Of ERISA Suits

In April Hughes v. Northwestern University, a class-action lawsuit initiated by Northwestern University retirement plan participants, plaintiffs alleged the school mismanaged their retirement savings. The Seventh Circuit dismissed the case. In October 2021, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the Supreme Court not to revive a lawsuit from Northwestern University workers, arguing that voiding the school's win would add Read More

IRS Updates the FAQ Guidance Process and Clarifies Taxpayer Reliance

The IRS updated its process for issuing guidance in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on newly enacted tax legislation. To this end, the IRS posted a general overview document clarifying the ability of taxpayers to rely on FAQ guidance.  The updated process dictates that “significant” FAQs on newly enacted tax legislation, as well as any later updates or revisions, will be announced in a news release Read More

New EEOC Guidance Tackles Faith-Based Vax Exemptions

The question of how employers handle applications for religious exemptions to vaccine requirements has become more prevalent throughout the country. In new guidance issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), federal anti-discrimination law permits employers to scrutinize exemption requests rooted in political or personal objections. The guidance states this while reiterating that businesses Read More

Walgreens’ Workers Negotiate $13.75M 401(k) Settlement in Class Action

In Michael W. Allegretti et al. v. Walgreen Co. et al., (Case No. 1:19-cv-05392), (N.D. Ill.), a certified class of nearly 200,000 401(k) plan participants requested an Illinois federal judge to approve their $13.75 million deal resolving specific claims against Walgreens. The most severe claim was that the pharmacy chain cost workers $300 million by investing their retirement savings in mutual funds that generated Read More

Northwestern University Urges Supreme Court Not To Revive ERISA Lawsuit

In April Hughes et al. v. Northwestern University et al., the defendant, Northwestern University (“Northwestern”) urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Seventh Circuit’s ruling that ended the lawsuit claiming the school permitted its retirement plans to pay exorbitant fees. Northwestern claims that the Court would encourage "judicial micromanagement" of retirement plan fees and have a detrimental impact on such Read More

DOL Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding ESG Factors

Soon after taking office, President Biden issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to review policies or regulations issued by the prior administration that were inconsistent with the new Administration’s climate change, health, and labor policies.  In October 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) completed its review and published proposed rules (the “Proposed Regulations”) that would significantly Read More

NY Governor Signs Law Mandating Auto-IRA Program for Some Workers

In November, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation passed by the New York legislature in June, whereby private business enterprises must enroll employees in the state auto-IRA program if the business itself doesn't offer a retirement plan. Unless employees opt out, businesses must enroll them in the state program. The measure (S.5395-A/A.3213-A) is effective immediately and automatically enrolls employees Read More

EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on Employer Vaccine Incentives

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) recently updated its guidance regarding COVID-19-related compliance for various federal employment nondiscrimination laws. The EEOC had previously issued guidance on coronavirus compliance issues under certain laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The revised guidance reveals that Read More

The EEOC Settles $1M Case with Chicago Meat Plant Over Racial Discrimination Claims

An Illinois meat processing plant, the Chicago Meat Authority Inc. (“CMA”), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently agreed to settle a three-year-old lawsuit filed in an Illinois federal court. The agency claimed that CMA had a recurring practice where it bypassed Black job applicants for almost a decade and subjected Black employees to racial slurs and harassment. In U.S. Equal Read More