Employee Benefits

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) was passed and signed into law.  ARP has significant and immediate impacts on employee benefit plans, employers, and other plan sponsors and plan administrators. On April 7, 2021, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued much anticipated guidance and model forms under the COBRA subsidy rules provided by ARP.… Continue Reading

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act. At $1.9 trillion, it is the second largest stimulus bill in legislative history. The ARP includes labor-related spending initiatives important to both employers and employees.

Employers should particularly take heed of the increased funding to OSHA for enforcement actions, which could indicate a potential increase in the number of audits and inspections, as well as additional scrutiny of whistleblower claims.… Continue Reading

As employers wrestle with whether to require vaccines for employees or how to encourage employees to get vaccinated voluntarily, many companies are implementing incentive programs that provide gifts, paid time off and even cash payments to employees who get vaccinated.  In doing so, employers need to consider whether their vaccine programs should be treated as employee wellness programs. … Continue Reading

Group health plan sponsors and administrators may soon need to introduce changes to their offer of continued coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). The House Education and Labor Committee has proposed temporary COBRA subsidies and other modifications as part of the current COVID-19 stimulus package that is working its way through Congress.… Continue Reading

Employers may be interested in requiring or incentivizing their workforces to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to help curb the potential spread of the virus in the workplace.  Before undertaking such a program, employers should stop and think about the legal considerations that will influence how such programs are structured.… Continue Reading

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it will issue much anticipated guidance that revises its nondiscrimination rules for wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.  The two sets of proposed regulations replace rules that the EEOC withdrew in 2018 after a federal district court invalidated key provisions on incentive limits on the grounds that the EEOC had not appropriately justified the limits that it set. … Continue Reading