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

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

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

Feds Release Regulations for The No Surprises Act – Part II

In the early fall of 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury (collectively the “Departments”), along with the Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”), released “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing, Part II,” its second interim final rule (the “IFR” or “Rule”) related to implementing provisions of the No Surprises Act. The regulations in Read More

The Latest on HIPAA Privacy and COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) stated that the HIPAA Privacy Rules do not prohibit covered entities and business associates from asking whether an individual has received a COVID-19 vaccine. The HHS explained the rule in a series of Qs & As. The HIPAA Privacy Rule (the “Privacy Rule: or “Rule”) exists to protect individuals’ medical records and other protected health information (“PHI”) by Read More

New FAQ Addresses Vaccine Coverage, Incentives, And Vaccine-Based Exclusions

As the result of a joint effort, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (the “Agencies”) released a new FAQ entitled, “Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 50, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Implementation.” The FAQ addresses rapid coverage of preventive services for COVID-19 and vaccine incentives. They are Read More

DOL Proposes Changes to Undo Trump ESG Investment Rules (in the midst of 60-day comment period)

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposal that would overturn two rules implemented by the Trump administration that imposed restrictions on the way that retirement plans could assess environmental, social, and governance factors in their investment decisions. This proposal comes after a long period of outreach to financial institutions, labor organizations, and other institutions concerning a pair of Read More

Is AT&T’s Victory in Class-Action Lawsuit A Blueprint for Future Success?

Recently, telecommunications giant AT&T withstood a class-action lawsuit alleging that it failed to evaluate and monitor the retirement plan’s recordkeeping fees paid to Fidelity Investments Institutional Operations Company Inc., the plan provider. AT&T’s victory could help other plan sponsors defend against similar disputes in the future. Many business enterprises have been affected by the flood of class Read More