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

DOL’s Transaction Waiver Proposal Raises Issues

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued a proposal in July 2022 to tighten the rules allowing asset managers to oversee retirement plans. More specifically, the proposal would make changes to the Qualified Professional Asset Manager (QPAM) exemption to prohibited transactions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The QPAM exemption allows Read More

SEC Adopts Final Executive Compensation Rule 12 Years Later

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finalized the executive compensation or “pay-versus-performance” rule that Congress first directed it to create in 2010 when it passed the Dodd-Frank Act. The rule, designed to provide more information to investors about how companies calculate pay for CEOs and other top executives, requires companies to justify executive pay to shareholders by comparing it to the Read More

New ERISA Retirement Plan Court Cases Pending

ERISA class action lawsuits, alleging that plans have charged excessive fees or provided poorly performing investment selections in retirement plans, have continued in recent months. The U.S. Supreme Court’s January 2022 ruling in Hughes v. Northwestern University has not stopped the deluge of these filings, even as summer rulings in the Sixth Circuit have potentially narrowed the pleading standards for these types Read More

Four Court Cases for Benefits Attorneys to Watch

Fifth Circuit Affirms Texas Federal Court’s Injunction in Abortion/Transgender Healthcare Dispute In Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra, case number 21-11174, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Texas federal court judge’s permanent injunction, enjoining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing certain requirements under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Read More

Agencies Issue Guidance Regarding Contraception Coverage Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 54 concerning contraception requirements for group health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA requires certain non-grandfathered group health plans and individual insurance to cover preventative services without Read More

HHS Announces Proposed Rule to Strengthen Nondiscrimination in Health Care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule that implements Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in certain health programs and activities. After a 2020 rule limited this section’s scope and power to cover fewer programs and services, the newly proposed rule reinstates Read More

Cybersecurity Breach Suits Raise Questions About Liability for Benefits Plans

ERISA Claims Arising from Unauthorized Retirement Account Access Cybersecurity breaches concerning workers' personal information and retirement savings have increased liability risks for benefit plans and third-party administrators under federal benefits laws. In February 2021, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report warning about these increased legal risks for ERISA plan fiduciaries due Read More

2022’s Notable Health Law Rulings

The year of 2022 has been a year for major legal rulings impacting various aspects of health care and pharmaceutical law. The following is a summary of the most significant of those decisions: U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade The U.S. Supreme Court’s highly controversial ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, 2022, overturned nearly 50 years of the constitutional right to Read More