Archives: Employee Benefits

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EEOC’s targeting of wellness programs and what that means for your company

Husch Blackwell was recently named a finalist for the St. Louis Business Journal’s Healthiest Employers 2016 competition. The Business Journal’s profile of Husch Blackwell highlights the firm’s effective use of wellness challenges in the workplace and praises Chris Smith, a partner in our St. Louis office, for his dedicated participation in the wellness initiatives. Given … Continue Reading

Challenge to the doubling of the white collar salary exemption under FLSA

As most are aware, on May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its much anticipated final rule, drastically increasing the salary requirements to qualify as an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee. The DOL estimates that the final rule will extend overtime protections to 4.2 million workers in the first year of … Continue Reading

Still no word from DOL on changes to FLSA regulations

The DOL’s self-imposed February deadline for announcing new FLSA regulations redefining “white collar” exemptions has come and gone with without any action from the DOL. No new deadline has been announced; however, the DOL’s website suggests that it still hopes to release the new regulations soon. Stayed tuned, and we will report back when the … Continue Reading

DOL issues final rule expanding FMLA leave rights to legal same-sex marriages

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its final rule on Feb. 24, 2015, relating to the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act  (“FMLA”) Regulations. Beginning March 27, 2015, when the final rule becomes effective, the definition of “spouse” for purpose of FMLA leave will include eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages. … Continue Reading

Changes coming to FLSA regulations – Time to get ready

In March 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to prepare and propose new FLSA regulations. These new rules were to be announced late last year, but have been repeatedly delayed. Now it appears the new rules will be announced later this month. While the scope of the changes is unknown, it is anticipated … Continue Reading

Joe Geraci Weighs In on Whether QHPs will be Considered Health Plans

Husch Blackwell attorney Joe Geraci was recently quoted in an AIS Health Reform Week article titled HHS’s Statements on Exchange QHPs Stir Confusion, Complicate Copay Assistance.  The article reports that the Obama administration is sending mixed messages on whether Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) on the insurance exchanges will be considered federal health programs.  A recent … Continue Reading

2013 Year-End Action Items for Employee Plans

Employers should be aware of important year-end action items relating to qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans.  Husch Blackwell attorney Uche A. Enemchukwu detailed a number of these obligations in an e-alert and noted that some require immediate attention to satisfy the December 2, 2013 deadline.  Other items must be addressed before the end … Continue Reading

HHS Clarifies Effect of Anti-Kickback Rules on Insurance Exchange Products

Husch Blackwell attorney Joe Geraci weighed in on recent guidance provided by HHS related to whether the federal anti-kickback statute applies to patients who purchase subsidized health insurance products on the new state or federal healthcare exchanges.  Specifically, the anti-kickback regulations apply to “federal healthcare programs” that are defined to include the following: Any plan or … Continue Reading

Don't Let the Delay Fool You – Healthcare Reform Is Alive and Well

Some employers may have rejoiced when IRS Notice 2013-45 delayed until 2015 the implementation of the employer shared-responsibility penalties mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Certainly, this delay is a win for employers; however, other healthcare reforms will demand the attention of health plan sponsors before January 1, 2014.  Husch Blackwell attorney Scott … Continue Reading

Compliance Questions to Consider in Healthcare Reform

Mark D. Welker and  Scott A. Behrens, Husch Blackwell attorneys in our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group, recently addressed key questions employers should ask themselves about Healthcare Reform. Existing guidance in this area is complicated, confusing, and incomplete in many respects.  To access the key questions and examples of basic compliance hurdles and planning strategies, click here.… Continue Reading