Maureen O'Brien Maureen O'Brien

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Maureen O'Brien advises clients on a broad range of employee benefits matters, including qualified plan design, welfare plan design, employee benefit plan compliance issues, fiduciary matters, multi-employer pension plan issues and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. Read Maureen O'Brien's full bio.

COVID-19 FAQs: For Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation


By , , , , , , , , , , and on Mar 26, 2020
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Executive Compensation, Health and Welfare Plans, Retirement Plans

Coronavirus (COVID-19) raises serious concerns for employers of all shapes and sizes, across all industries and in every business sector. As the impact of COVID-19 continues to grow, many employers are faced with new challenges that affect not only their businesses and their employees, but the health and welfare, retirement and executive compensation plans and...

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DOL and IRS Expand Access to Multiple Employer Plans and Propose to Eliminate the ‘One Bad Apple’ Rule


By and on Dec 17, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) published final rules clarifying the circumstances under which “bona fide” groups or associations of employers and professional employer organizations (PEOs) may be permitted to sponsor single defined contribution multiple employer plans (MEPs). Concurrently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed rules detailing an exception to the “one bad apple”...

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Finally! First Circuit Overturns the Sun Capital ERISA Multiemployer Plan Liability Case—But Risks Remain for Private Equity


By on Dec 5, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

The First Circuit issued a decision holding that two private equity funds involved in a case are not required to pay for the withdrawal limit of a portfolio company. Despite the limited victory, the guiding rule with respect to defined benefit plan and multiemployer plan pension liabilities remains “buyer beware,” as applicable law continues to...

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Piling On: Corporations Support the New York Times in Multiemployer Pension Calculation Dispute


By , , and on Feb 19, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

Several large employers are disputing how much money the New York Times owes a union multiemployer pension fund. Recently, six companies—including US Foods Inc. and United Natural Foods Inc.—filed an amicus brief supporting the New York Times in its case before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Ruprecht Co., an Illinois meat...

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Worker Classification: Complications Beyond the Front Page


By , , , and on Feb 7, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment

When California’s Dynamex decision rolled out the “ABC test”, it placed the burden on the employer to prove independent contractor (IC) status. In a presentation at the Employment and Employee Benefits Forum in California, McDermott’s lawyers discussed the implications of Dynamex, as it applies to various types of employers as well as those using staffing...

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IRS Issues Long-Awaited Initial Guidance under Section 162(m)


By , , and on Aug 23, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation

On August 21, 2018, the IRS issued guidance regarding recent statutory changes made to Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code. Overall, Notice 2018-68 strictly interprets the Section 162(m) grandfathering rule under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Public companies and other issuers subject to these deduction limitations will want to closely consider this guidance...

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Navigating the Challenges of Cross-Border M&A Transactions


By and on May 8, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Employment, Executive Compensation, Health and Welfare Plans, Retirement Plans

Last month, Alexander Lee and Maureen O’Brien joined with Rob Wellner from Velocity Global to discuss the tax and employee benefits complications that arise in cross-border transactions. Key points discussed: Complex tax structures must be considered and understood Transfers of employment may be governed by different statutes in each affected jurisdiction Purchasers may not be...

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LIVE WEBINAR | Employee Benefits and Employment Integration: How to Handle Transactions Without Losing Your Workforce


By , and on Mar 22, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Health and Welfare Plans, Retirement Plans

Avoid the culture wars and legal issues post-transaction. Join our lawyers Kristin E. Michaels, Maureen O’Brien and moderator Judith Wethall for a discussion of how to best integrate employees and employee benefit plans after a transaction. Register Today.

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Webinar: Navigating the Challenges of Cross-Border M&A Transactions


By and on Mar 19, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Executive Compensation

Join us Wednesday, March 21 at 1:00 pm (EDT) for an in-depth webinar on navigating cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Partners Alexander Lee and Maureen O’Brien along with Rob Wellner from Velocity Global will be presenting the unique tax, employment, benefits and executive compensation issues that arise during and after a global transaction. With these insights,...

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The Budget Act Makes Some Surprising Changes to Benefit Plans


By , and on Mar 6, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Retirement Plans

On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed a bipartisan budget deal into law, effectively extending federal funding through March 23, 2018. The act includes multiple provisions affecting employee benefit plans, including relaxed hardship withdrawal rules and relief for individuals affected by the California wildfires. Continue Reading.

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