Benefits

  • March 29, 2024

    Weekly Internal Revenue Bulletin

    The Internal Revenue Service issued its weekly bulletin Friday, which included proposed regulations for claiming a tax credit for the production of qualified clean hydrogen.

  • March 28, 2024

    Fruit Grower Cleared To Leave Ch. 11 With $43M Exit Loan

    California stone fruit producer Prima Wawona is set to wind down its packing and distribution division, hand ownership of the reorganized company to creditors and leave bankruptcy after a Delaware bankruptcy judge agreed to approve its Chapter 11 plan Thursday.

  • March 28, 2024

    9th Circ. Won't Let Cigna Patients Appeal Class Cert. Denial

    The Ninth Circuit won't let a group of Cigna plan participants immediately appeal a trial court's rejection of class status in their lawsuit accusing the insurance giant of unlawfully colluding with its billing contractor to underpay out-of-network claims for mental health treatments.

  • March 28, 2024

    Radiology Co. To Pay $19M To End ESOP Self-Dealing Suit

    A radiology company and its employee stock ownership plan trustee will pay $19 million to settle a proposed class action alleging that executives used shell companies to suck value out of the company and shorted workers when the business was sold for $215 million.

  • March 28, 2024

    Whataburger Accused Of Keeping Shoddy Funds In 401(k)

    Whataburger breached federal benefits law by stocking its employees' $215 million retirement plan with poorly performing funds and failing to replace them with better options, according to a proposed class action filed in Texas federal court.

  • March 28, 2024

    Ex-Paralegal's Jobless Pay Ruling Correct, Del. Justices Told

    Delaware opposes a former Morris James LLP paralegal's bid for the state's Supreme Court to revive his attempt to collect a year's worth of unemployment benefits, arguing a lower court correctly upheld denial of pay after he settled whistleblower claims against the firm.

  • March 28, 2024

    Feds Finalize Restraints On Short-Term Health Insurance

    President Joe Biden's administration finalized regulations Thursday that shrink the window for short-term, limited-duration health insurance from three years to no more than four months, but it backed off more sweeping changes from its July proposal that would have affected fixed indemnity insurance.

  • March 27, 2024

    Veterans Court Must Revisit Claim After Rejecting Evidence

    A veterans court must reconsider a request to backdate benefits for a veteran who survived a deadly plane crash while serving, after improperly rejecting evidence offered decades later potentially linking the experience to his PTSD, the Federal Circuit said Wednesday.

  • March 27, 2024

    Hospital Co. Can't Quash ERISA Suit Subpoenas, Judge Says

    A Buffalo, New York-area hospital network lost its bid to quash two subpoenas in a proposed Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action Wednesday, with a New York federal judge ruling that the network challenged the subpoenas to two of its advisers in the wrong court.

  • March 27, 2024

    ​​​​​​​CSX Can't End DOL's Improper Retirement Plan Fee Suit

    A Florida federal judge backed a magistrate judge's recommendation Wednesday that the court knock down CSX Transportation Inc.'s bid to dismiss a suit alleging it mismanaged its retirement plan fees, discarding the company's concerns that the report made improper legal conclusions.

  • March 27, 2024

    Yellow Corp. Pension Fund Liability To Be Decided In Ch. 11

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Wednesday denied the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s bid to take a dispute with Yellow Corp. over $7.8 billion in retirement fund withdrawal liability claims to arbitration, finding the dispute would be best resolved through the trucking firm's Chapter 11 claims allowance process.

  • March 27, 2024

    COVID Prompted Equity Plan Edit, Raytheon Tells Chancery

    Raytheon Technologies Corp. amended employee compensation plans in early 2020 to mitigate "head-spinning unprecedented volatility" from the COVID-19 pandemic, and a shareholder's allegations that directors acted in bad faith by failing to seek stockholder approval should be dismissed, the aerospace company told Delaware's Court of Chancery on Wednesday.

  • March 27, 2024

    House Subpoenas PBGC Over $127M Teamsters Overpayment

    A House committee subpoenaed the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. as part of its probe into a $127 million overpayment to Teamsters pensioners who had already died, distributed as part of a multibillion-dollar bailout of multiemployer funds Congress approved during the pandemic.

  • March 27, 2024

    BCBS Can't Escape Therapy Coverage Suit

    A North Carolina federal judge refused to throw out a proposed class action accusing Blue Cross Blue Shield of unlawfully refusing to cover proton beam therapy to treat prostate cancer, saying the case could remain in court if a state worker health plan is added as a defendant.

  • March 26, 2024

    Judge To Let McDermott Investors Seek 2-Subclass Cert.

    A Texas federal judge has declined to certify a proposed class of investors in energy industry engineering company McDermott International Inc., siding with a magistrate judge who recommended dismissing the class certification bid so the investors could refile and seek certification for two investor subclasses.

  • March 26, 2024

    Alcoa Retirees Score Partial Win In Life Insurance Fight

    Alcoa USA Corp. violated its collectively bargained obligations when it unilaterally cut off company-provided life insurance benefits, but was within its rights to pay retirees to waive their claims to benefits, an Indiana federal judge ruled.

  • March 26, 2024

    Turf Co. Secures Dismissal Of Funds' Contributions Row

    Benefits funds affiliated with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades can't move ahead with their claims that a turf installer didn't pay contributions, a California federal judge ruled, saying the funds didn't include the calculation for payment in their allegations.

  • March 26, 2024

    Ill. Judge Needs More Info To OK $57M Chicken Antitrust Fee

    An Illinois federal judge overseeing a sprawling antitrust litigation against broiler chicken producers said he couldn't rule on class counsel's renewed bid for a $57 million attorney fee award thrown out by the Seventh Circuit last year without more information on one of the firm's graduated fee arrangements in a similar 2015 antitrust case, which wasn't disclosed in the first go-around.

  • March 26, 2024

    Teamsters Duck Yellow's $137M Suit Over Restructuring Talks

    The Teamsters have defeated Yellow Corp.'s $137 million lawsuit accusing them of pushing the trucking company into bankruptcy through intransigence in negotiations over a corporate restructuring, with a Kansas federal judge finding the company didn't exhaust the grievance process under a union contract before suing.

  • March 26, 2024

    High Court Wary Of Bid To Limit Abortion Pill Access

    The U.S. Supreme Court seemed skeptical Tuesday of efforts by anti-abortion groups to severely limit access to the abortion medication mifepristone, with several justices appearing unconvinced that the groups had the right to sue over the Food and Drug Administration's regulation of the pill.

  • March 25, 2024

    Investment Firm Slips Plan Members' Self-Dealing 401(k) Suit

    A New York federal judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit retirement plan participants lodged against investment firm AllianceBernstein accusing it of steering retirees' savings into its own poorly performing investments, saying there's no evidence the company was benefiting from these alleged actions.

  • March 25, 2024

    Solar Co. Downplayed Exposed Wire Issue, Investors Claim

    Energy company Shoals Technologies Group Inc. has been hit with a proposed class action alleging it downplayed the cost of repairing exposed wires for customers and that investors were blindsided when the company finally revealed it would need to spend at least $60 million to fix the issue.

  • March 25, 2024

    Del. Justices Undo Toss Of Brookfield-TerraForm Merger Suit

    Delaware's Supreme Court on Monday reversed the dismissal of a suit from former shareholders of TerraForm Power Inc. who challenged a squeeze-out merger by Brookfield Asset Management Inc., concluding a proxy statement failed to fully disclose alleged conflicts of interest involving special advisers Morgan Stanley & Co LLC and Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

  • March 25, 2024

    NC High Court Vacates Workers' Comp For Weight Loss Surgery

    A divided North Carolina Supreme Court has adopted a test for determining when someone is entitled to workers' compensation for treatment related to their workplace injury and, in doing so, reversed a ruling finding a preschool must pay for an employee's weight loss surgery.

  • March 25, 2024

    X Can't Boot Severance Suit To Arbitration, Ex-Worker Says

    A former employee told a Delaware federal court that X Corp. can't derail a suit alleging it owes $500 million for skimping on severance pay after Elon Musk took over and fired thousands of workers, saying X breached the pact it's trying to use to force arbitration.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Writing Thriller Novels Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Authoring several thriller novels has enriched my work by providing a fresh perspective on my privacy practice, expanding my knowledge, and keeping me alert to the next wave of issues in an increasingly complex space — a reminder to all lawyers that extracurricular activities can help sharpen professional instincts, says Reece Hirsch at Morgan Lewis.

  • What Lawyers Must Know About Calif. State Bar's AI Guidance

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    Initial recommendations from the State Bar of California regarding use of generative artificial intelligence by lawyers have the potential to become a useful set of guidelines in the industry, covering confidentiality, supervision and training, communications, discrimination and more, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • Industry Must Elevate Native American Women Attys' Stories

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    The American Bar Association's recent research study into Native American women attorneys' experiences in the legal industry reveals the glacial pace of progress, and should inform efforts to amplify Native voices in the field, says Mary Smith, president of the ABA.

  • Understanding Discovery Obligations In Era Of Generative AI

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Attorneys and businesses must adapt to the unique discovery challenges presented by generative artificial intelligence, such as chatbot content and prompts, while upholding the principles of fairness, transparency and compliance with legal obligations in federal civil litigation, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

  • How Mental Health Ruling Paves Road For Equal Coverage

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    The Tenth Circuit’s recent ruling in E.W. v. Health Net, which clarified the pleading requirements necessary to establish a Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act violation, is a win for plaintiffs as it opens the door to those who have been denied coverage for behavioral health treatment to prove a mental health parity violation, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • An Informed Guide To Mastering Retirement Plan Forfeitures

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    When considering how to allocate departing retirement plan participants’ forfeitures, sponsors should consider recently filed lawsuits that allege Employee Retirement Income Security Act violations for using such funds to offset employer contributions, as well as proposed IRS guidance concerning how and when they must be used, says Eric Gregory at Dickinson Wright.

  • The Case For Post-Bar Clerk Training Programs At Law Firms

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    In today's competitive legal hiring market, an intentionally designed training program for law school graduates awaiting bar admission can be an effective way of creating a pipeline of qualified candidates, says Brent Daub at Gilson Daub.

  • Attorneys Have An Ethical Duty To Protect The Judiciary

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    The tenor of public disagreement and debate has become increasingly hostile against judges, and though the legislative branch is trying to ameliorate this safety gap, lawyers have a moral imperative and professional requirement to stand with judges in defusing attacks against them and their rulings, says Deborah Winokur at Cozen O'Connor.

  • 5 New Calif. Laws Employers Need To Know

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    Now is a good time for employers to evaluate personnel rules to keep pace with California’s newly adopted employee protections, which go into effect early next year and include laws regarding reproductive loss leave, cannabis use, workplace violence prevention and noncompete agreements, say attorneys at Farella Braun.

  • DOL's Retirement Security Rule Muddies Definitional Waters

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    The latest proposal changing how the Employee Retirement Income Security Act defines "investment advice," which the White House framed as a narrowly tailored regulation, would implement a sweeping regulatory overhaul that changes how the retirement services industry interacts with plans, participants and account owners, says Michael Kreps at Groom Law Group.

  • 9th Circ. ERISA Ruling Informs DOL's New Fiduciary Proposal

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    The Ninth Circuit's reasoning in its recent Bugielski v. AT&T decision illustrates the importance of the U.S. Department of Labor's proposals to expand the reach of Employee Retirement Income Security Act third-party compensation disclosure rules and their effect on investment adviser fiduciaries, says Jeff Mamorsky at Cohen & Buckmann.

  • AI Can Help Lawyers Overcome The Programming Barrier

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    Legal professionals without programming expertise can use generative artificial intelligence to harness the power of automation and other technology solutions to streamline their work, without the steep learning curve traditionally associated with coding, says George Zalepa at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Preparing Law Students For A New, AI-Assisted Legal World

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    As artificial intelligence rapidly transforms the legal landscape, law schools must integrate technology and curricula that address AI’s innate challenges — from ethics to data security — to help students stay ahead of the curve, say Daniel Garrie at Law & Forensics, Ryan Abbott at JAMS and Karen Silverman at Cantellus Group.

  • General Counsel Need Data Literacy To Keep Up With AI

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    With the rise of accessible and powerful generative artificial intelligence solutions, it is imperative for general counsel to understand the use and application of data for myriad important activities, from evaluating the e-discovery process to monitoring compliance analytics and more, says Colin Levy at Malbek.

  • Navigating Discovery Of Generative AI Information

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    As generative artificial intelligence tools become increasingly ubiquitous, companies must make sure to preserve generative AI data when there is reasonable expectation of litigation, and to include transcripts in litigation hold notices, as they may be relevant to discovery requests, say Nick Peterson and Corey Hauser at Wiley.

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