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Doug Dahl provides technical knowledge and advice to companies on a wide range of federal tax and ERISA matters regarding employee benefits, including qualified retirement plans, executive compensation arrangements and health and welfare plans. Doug regularly assists companies with employee benefit issues that arise during and following various corporate transactions and events, such as mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and bankruptcies.

NOTE: This post was originally written August 29, 2023, and was updated on September 27, 2023.

Breaking news: On September 19, 2023, the Oklahoma Attorney General filed a Petition for En Banc Rehearing, challenging the Tenth Circuit panel’s decision in this case and requesting a rehearing before the full Tenth Circuit bench. The Oklahoma Attorney General argued in his Petition that the panel’s decision contradicted established Supreme Court precedent and recent circuit court decisions regarding the scope of ERISA preemption, failed to address the ERISA “savings clause,” and was overbroad in its articulation of Medicare Part D preemption. On September 25, 2023, the Tenth Circuit ordered PCMA to respond to the Petition. We will provide further updates as this matter develops.Continue Reading Tenth Circuit Rules ERISA Preempts Oklahoma PBM-Reform Law

On July 25, the Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, and Department of Health and Human Services (the Departments) released new Proposed Rules (Proposed Rules) that clarify certain requirements imposed by the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). In addition to the new Proposed Rules, the Departments issued their annual MHPAEA report to Congress (Report) to detail recent enforcement efforts.Continue Reading New Proposed Mental Health Parity Rules Amid Report of Widespread Failure

We recently authored an article for Washington Legal Foundation examining whether federal law preempts state prescription drug coverage laws that would apply to employer-sponsored group health plans. According to a provision in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), state laws that “relate to” employee benefit plans are preempted by ERISA standards. Unfortunately, as we pointed out in the article, this “related to” statement is broad and vague.
Continue Reading State Prescription Drug Legislation and ERISA Preemption

Join us for a virtual seminar in which the firm’s labor & employment and employee benefits attorneys will discuss recent COVID-19-related announcements from the CDC, FDA and other relevant agencies, and the implications they have on how employers should structure policies and procedures moving forward.

In this session, we will provide guidance for navigating the

Equity compensation – which links the self-interests of a company’s service providers with the interests of the company and its investors – is a compelling incentive for start-up companies to attract and motivate employees and consultants. Many of these employees and consultants understand and expect that equity or phantom equity arrangements will make up a

Public companies maintaining deferred compensation arrangements for their executive officers should consider how recent changes to the regulations under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) may impact the timing of payments to be made to participants and their beneficiaries under such plans – if action is required, the affected plans must be amended before December 31, 2020 to avoid complications or penalties.
Continue Reading Changes to Section 162(m) Affecting Deferred Compensation Arrangements

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on Monday, June 15, in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, ruling that the prohibitions against discrimination “because of sex” contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) extend to protect gay and transgender employees against workplace discrimination. Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion of the Court with Justices Alito and Kavanaugh each issuing dissenting opinions. In each of the three consolidated cases upon which this opinion was rendered, an employee had been terminated from employment for being gay or transgender.

The three employees brought suit in three different jurisdictions. In one case, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that Title VII’s protections did not prohibit employers from firing employees for being gay, and dismissed the lawsuit. In the other two cases, the Second Circuit and Sixth Circuit ruled that Title VII did provide the alleged protections and had permitted the cases involving those two employees to proceed. These inconsistent rulings, therefore, set the following question before the Court:

Is it legally permissible under Title VII’s language prohibiting discrimination “because of sex” for an employer to take an adverse action against an employee merely because the employee is gay or transgender? Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules that Title VII Protects LGBTQ Employees