Since March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have allowed employers flexibilities with remote workers to defer physical inspection of I-9 documents temporarily and instead electronically verify I-9 documents over a video link, fax or email. These flexibilities were available for employees who were working remotely due to COVID-19 precautions until they began working non-remotely “on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever is earlier.”Continue Reading Electronic I-9 Flexibility Provisions Expire on July 31, 2023; Physical Inspections Due on August 30, 2023
NLRB Rules that Confidentiality and Nondisparagement Provisions in Severance Agreements Presented to Section 7 Employees are Unlawful
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a decision radically changing how employers may use (or, more accurately, not use) nondisparagement and confidentiality clauses in severance agreements.Continue Reading NLRB Rules that Confidentiality and Nondisparagement Provisions in Severance Agreements Presented to Section 7 Employees are Unlawful
U.S. Supreme Court Rules That a Highly Compensated Employee Paid on a Daily-Rate Basis is Entitled to Overtime Pay
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that a highly compensated employee who was paid a guaranteed daily rate but not a guaranteed weekly rate was not properly paid “on a salary basis” and, therefore, was not correctly classified as exempt from overtime pay. In other words, an employee who made in excess of $200,000 a year was still owed overtime pay. The decision highlights the importance of employers meeting the “salary basis” test to satisfy what is commonly referred to as the white-collar exemptions from overtime pay.Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Rules That a Highly Compensated Employee Paid on a Daily-Rate Basis is Entitled to Overtime Pay
Tolling No More: Preparing for the End of COVID-19 Emergency Declarations
On January 30, President Biden announced his intention to end the COVID-19 National Emergency (NE) and Public Health Emergency (PHE) effective May 11, 2023. Both emergency declarations resulted in various forms of relief for employer-sponsored benefit plans, and both have been extended several times since their inception nearly three years ago. While their impact on federal law differs, employee benefit plan sponsors and administrators should take note of the ending emergencies and their associated relief. Below is an overview of the impact that the end of this relief will have on employer-sponsored benefit plans.Continue Reading Tolling No More: Preparing for the End of COVID-19 Emergency Declarations
Latest Ruling in Wit v. United Behavioral Health Case
I recently provided insight on the January 26 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit holding that although United Behavioral Health violated its fiduciary responsibility as outlined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by incorrectly denying behavioral health claims, the patients who were denied coverage had no right to appeal. This case is being closely watched as it could set a precedent for the behavioral health industry and future access to mental health and addiction treatment.Continue Reading Latest Ruling in Wit v. United Behavioral Health Case
SECURE 2.0 + 1: Retirement Plan Changes and One Notable Health Plan Change
As widely reported, the president recently signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (CAA 2023), a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, which contains significant provisions affecting employer-sponsored retirement and welfare benefit plans. The provisions impacting retirement plans are included in a separate section of CAA 2023 referred to as the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0 or the Act), which in many ways builds upon the first SECURE Act passed in 2019 (SECURE 1.0). The following items highlight what we believe are the most important changes affecting employer-sponsored retirement and welfare benefit plans and also provide practical advice for plan sponsors.Continue Reading SECURE 2.0 + 1: Retirement Plan Changes and One Notable Health Plan Change
Webinar: The FTC’s Proposed Ban on Non-Competes and What It Could Mean for You
On January 5, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new rule that would prohibit employers from imposing non-competes on workers, and, if finalized, will have far reaching implications for many businesses operating in the United States. The proposed ban would make it illegal for employers to enter into or attempt to enter into non-compete agreements with workers, continue to maintain such agreements if they already exist, or represent that a worker is subject to a non-compete. It would further require companies with active non-competes to inform workers that they are void. Under the proposed rule, non-competes that bar workers from accepting competing employment or starting a competing business would be prohibited.
Join us for a webinar in which Bass, Berry & Sims labor & employment and antitrust attorneys will address topics and concerns pertaining to the proposed ban, including:Continue Reading Webinar: The FTC’s Proposed Ban on Non-Competes and What It Could Mean for You
FTC Proposes Banning Non-Compete Provisions for Workers
On January 5, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission), an agency charged with enforcing federal antitrust laws and protecting competition, proposed a new rule that would prohibit “employers” from imposing non-competes on “workers.” The proposed ban would make it illegal for employers to enter into or attempt to enter into non-compete agreements with workers, continue to maintain such agreements if they already exist, or represent that a worker is subject to a non-compete. It would further require companies with active non-competes to inform workers that they are void. Under the proposed rule, the ban would prohibit non-competes that bar workers from accepting competing employment or starting a competing business.
Healthcare Mergers Involving Unionized Workforces
I recently provided insight for a Modern Healthcare article about health system M&A transactions and how these companies navigate merging with unionized workplaces. The article references various regulatory hurdles a company may endure when acquiring or merging with a unionized workforce that may be a deterrent in a potential transaction. However, some argue there are opportunities in this situation.
Continue Reading Healthcare Mergers Involving Unionized Workforces
2022 Welfare Plan Automatic Participant Disclosures
We authored an article published by BenefitsPRO on November 11 highlighting takeaways from the firm’s “2022 Welfare Plan Automatic Participant Disclosures Checklist.”
Continue Reading 2022 Welfare Plan Automatic Participant Disclosures