DOL’s New Rule Restricts Non-Financial (ESG) Factor Investment Consideration

The Department of Labor recently issued its final rule to clarify investment duties for plan fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) when it comes to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. The final rule codifies the DOL’s long-held position that a fiduciary satisfies its duties of prudence and loyalty under ERISA when it has “selected investments and/or Read More

DOL Proffers Final Regulations for Pooled Plan Providers

The Department of Labor has issued final regulations on registration requirements for pooled plan providers administering pooled employer plans. The final regulations retain much of the same structure as the proposed rule issued last August, with some added clarification on registration requirements. Background The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) established a new Read More

SCOTUS Expands Federal Fair Employment Protections

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace also protects LGBTQ employees from being fired or disciplined based on their sexual orientation. In a 6-3 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, the Court found that, "In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee's sex when deciding Read More

Final Rule on Joint Employer Test

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) updated its regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) pertaining to the determination of joint employer status under the FLSA. A joint employer is any additional “person” (i.e., individual or entity) that is jointly and severally liable with the employer for the employee’s wages. The DOL establishes a four-factor balancing test for determining joint Read More

DOL Proposes New Rule on Classification of Independent Contractors Under FLSA

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that establishes new standards for employers in determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule provides employers with long-awaited clarity on the classification of workers under the FLSA. The absence of federal guidelines on classification standards Read More

OSHA Announces Coronavirus-Related Citations

On November 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it had issued citations arising from 244 inspections for coronavirus-related violations across the U.S., resulting in proposed penalties of more than $3.3 million. While OSHA has not implemented specific coronavirus workplace safety standards, employers must still comply with OSHA’S existing Read More

IRS Extends 2020 ACA Reporting Deadline

The IRS has extended the deadline from January 31, 2021, to March 2, 2021, for providing certain health care information statements to individuals as required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  IRS Notice 2020-76 only extends the deadline for providing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C for 2020 to individuals. It does not extend the deadline for filing Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C or 1095-C with the IRS. Those forms must Read More

Recent Case Highlights Importance of Plan Sponsor’s Careful Delegation of Fiduciary Responsibility to Third Party

On October 7, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that a Plan Servicer did not have the authority to deny a claim because the Plan Administrator had failed to properly delegate fiduciary authority to the Servicer. Background In 2014, Boeing Company employee Bob Hampton died following a car accident in St. Charles, Missouri. His widow, Barbara Hampton, submitted a benefits Read More

Texas Court Enjoins DOL Ruling, Prescribes Expansive View of ERISA Welfare Plan Status

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently overruled a Department of Labor (DOL) advisory opinion in which the DOL found that a group health plan comprised of independent marketers for a data mining company was not a single employer welfare plan under ERISA. Background The case -- Data Marketing Partnership, LP v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor -- involved a single health plan that the plaintiffs Read More

Plaintiffs Claim Fiduciary Breach in Recent Retirement Plan Class Action While Acknowledging Insufficient Data to Determine Reasonable Fee Levels

Nestle USA and its board of directors have been served with an ERISA class action on behalf of 401(k) plan participants and their beneficiaries. The suit alleges that Nestle and its representatives failed to monitor fees or act to reduce expenses passed along to plan participants. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on October 9, 2020, the suit -- Guyes et al. v. Nestle USA Inc. Read More