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ERISA Plan Controversy | Rising Stakes for Those Unprepared


By and on Mar 21, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Health and Welfare Plans, Retirement Plans

In a presentation at McDermott’s Employment and Employee Benefits Forum, Ted Becker and Chris Scheithauer explored the various ways that disgruntled employees file lawsuits with plaintiffs’’ lawyers. Lawsuits have been brought in cases alleging, imprudence in the management of plans, challenging fees, involving company stock, actuarial equivalence and more. They used recent cases such as,...

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Georgetown University Defeats Retirement Plan Fee Litigation and “If a Cat Were a Dog, It Would Bark”


By , , and on Jan 29, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

Recently, the US District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit brought by former Georgetown employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) over fees and investments in its two retirement plans. Plaintiffs alleged that Georgetown breached its fiduciary duty of prudence under ERISA by selecting and...

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First Circuit Holds Defendants Have Burden to Negate Loss Causation in ERISA Fiduciary Duty Cases


By and on Nov 8, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has solidified a circuit split on who has burden of proving loss causation in ERISA breach of fiduciary duty cases. The First Circuit joined the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Circuits holding that once a plaintiff demonstrates a fiduciary breach, the defendant has the burden to negate...

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403(b) University Cases Move Forward: Cassell v. Vanderbilt University


By , and on Apr 24, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

A lawsuit against Vanderbilt University is moving forward based on allegations that the university and its fiduciaries mismanaged its retirement plan by paying excessive fees and maintaining poor investment options. In that lawsuit, Cassell v. Vanderbilt et al., plaintiffs filed a 160-page complaint alleging multiple violations of ERISA. Cassell v. Vanderbilt, No. 3:16-cv-02086 (M.D. Tenn....

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Court Cases Challenge English-Only COBRA Election Procedures


By , and on Sep 21, 2017
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Employment, Health and Welfare Plans

Two pending federal cases could reveal situations in which employers with a significant multi-lingual workforce should provide translated versions of their COBRA election materials. Continue reading.

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The Department of Labor Issues the Most Expansive Definition Yet of Joint-Employer Status


By and on Feb 16, 2016
Posted In Employment, Labor

In its first major guidance of 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a definition of joint-employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act that is even broader than the definition of joint-employer status issued by the National Labor Relations Board last summer. Coupled with its 2015 guidance on the misclassification of independent contractors,...

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California Amends Its Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Law


By and on Aug 14, 2015
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Executive Compensation, Health and Welfare Plans, Labor

As previously reported, California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (California’s Sick Leave Law) took full effect on July 1, 2015, although some provisions were effective as of January 1, 2015. The new law generally requires most employers to allow employees to accrue paid sick leave. This On the Subject discussed requirements employers must...

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Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence,” Adopts New Pleading Standards in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer


By , and on Jul 15, 2014
Posted In Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Retirement Plans

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court recently ruled that ESOP fiduciaries are not entitled to a presumption of prudence under ERISA in connection with their decisions to buy, hold or sell the employer’s securities. While the elimination of this presumption is a loss for ESOP fiduciaries, the decision imposes additional burdens on plaintiffs...

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Supreme Court Takes Case About Company Stock Funds and Presumption of Prudence


By and on Jan 9, 2014
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Retirement Plans

The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, suggesting that the Supreme Court will resolve the current division among U.S. circuit courts regarding the application of the “presumption of prudence” in employer stock cases. To read the full article, click here.

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