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Fla. Class Actions Show Why Correct COBRA Notices Matter

In Florida’s federal courts, there has been an epidemic of class actions alleging that employers failed to provide technically proper notice of the right to continued healthcare coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. A dozen such lawsuits have been filed (each by the same law firm) with mirror image allegations. These cases illustrate why it is necessary to sweat the details in issuing COBRA notices, which McDermott’s Megan Mardy and Julie McConnell walk through in a recent analysis for Law360. Access the full article. Originally published by Law360, October 2019

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7 Severance Structuring Tips for Tax-Exempt Colleges and Universities

In-house counsel and human resources professionals at tax-exempt colleges and universities often face a variety of challenges when structuring, and determining obligations due under, severance arrangements. There are some key considerations to bear in mind, which are outlined in this article. Access the full article.

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3 Aspects of Executive Agreements that Need an Upgrade

Executives are no longer reluctant to lawyer up. News reports on executive/employer contretemps at Papa John's, Barnes & Noble, Uber and other companies have drawn press attention in the past year; countless other executive/employer disputes have flown below radar. Underlying these controversies is the executive’s employment agreement, typically the most high-stakes and closely negotiated employment agreements to which companies will contract. Yet, these agreements often contain less clarity and less certainty than either executives or their employers need. Indeed, there appear to be three areas where these contracts could and should be upgraded. Let’s look at each. Access the full article. Originally published by Law360, February 2019.

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UK Employment Rate and Compensation Increases Now in Effect

In case you have been distracted by other recent events in the UK, here is a reminder that the compensation limits on Employment Tribunal awards and certain other amounts payable under UK employment legislation increased as of the first week of April 2019. This alert sets out the changes in full and highlights important consequences for employers. Access the full article.

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Making a Splash in the Global Employment Pool: The Challenge of Multiple Employment Laws

US businesses expanding abroad, and international businesses moving into the United States, can find the differences between employment laws both unexpected and costly. Companies of all sizes are eager to expand their businesses, and their workforce, into new markets. US employers already know that operating in multiple states can feel like operating in different countries because of state- and locality-specific employment laws. But if operating in California versus Wyoming is comparing pools to puddles, then operating in the United States versus other countries is comparing puddles to oceans. US-based companies looking to expand abroad, and foreign companies opening their first US locations, must proceed with caution before jumping in. One error can commit a business to employing its workforce until retirement, cost months and a small fortune to terminate the employment relationship, or keep it embroiled for years in class action litigation. Access the full...

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Considerations in Designing Severance Plans and Arrangements for Tax-Exempt Organizations

There are numerous reasons why organizations exempt from taxation under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) (3), as amended (the “Code” and, such organizations, “Tax-Exempt Entities”) may offer severance payments to employees who incur involuntary terminations of employment. For example, severance that is conditioned on the departing employee's execution of a release of claims in favor of the Tax-Exempt Entity can reduce the likelihood of costly and burdensome litigation. Similarly, payment of severance may reduce the risk of negative publicity for the Tax-Exempt Entity by diminishing resentment felt by departing employees. Severance may also help retain existing employees by providing them with a measure of economic security that can dissuade them from seeking alternative employment, particularly if they suspect that the Tax-Exempt Entity has encountered budgetary shortfalls and may be implementing near-term workforce reductions. For these and other...

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Acting General Counsel of the NLRB Issues Second Report on Social Media

by Heather Egan Sussman, Linda Doyle and Sabrina Dunlap On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon released a second report describing social media cases reviewed by his office. The report (Operations Management Memo) addresses 14 cases related to social media and employer social media policies.  Many of the cases reviewed involved employees who had been discharged after they posted comments on Facebook. The general counsel found that a number of the terminations were improper because employees had engaged in protected activity and their terminations arose from unlawful employer policies. However, the general counsel upheld several terminations - despite overly broad employer policies - where the employees involved were not engaged in protected activity and had merely posted general complaints or individual gripes unrelated to working conditions or wages. The report emphasizes...

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IRS Issues Revenue Ruling Clarifying Termination Provisions for 403(b) Plans

by Philip Castrogiovanni and Todd A. Solomon In Revenue Ruling 2011-7, the IRS addresses the requirements for a plan sponsor to terminate a 403(b) plan, and the tax consequences to participants of doing so.  Particularly, the IRS addresses termination of 403(b) plans consisting of employee deferrals and employer contributions whose assets are invested in individual annuity contracts, custodial accounts and regulated investment companies, as well as termination of a 403(b) money purchase pension plan.  The guidance is helpful in administering the final 403(b) regulations, as the specific requirements to terminate a 403(b) plan were not addressed in detail in those regulations. Please click here for more information.

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