Benefits

  • April 16, 2024

    NJ Financial Counselor Cops To Defrauding Army Families

    A New Jersey financial counselor with the U.S. Army and a major in the U.S. Army Reserve pled guilty in federal court on Tuesday to defrauding Gold Star families and other related crimes, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

  • April 16, 2024

    Amway Parent Must Face Trial In Retirees' 401(k) Suit

    A Michigan federal judge refused Tuesday to totally free Amway's parent company from a class action accusing it of stacking its 401(k) with unwise investments and excessive fees, saying a jury should determine whether the company's investment review process was prudent.

  • April 16, 2024

    IRS Extends Excise Tax Relief For Min. Plan Distribution

    Plans that fail to make certain required minimum distributions in 2024 will not be assessed an excise tax under changes made to retirement plan legislation, the Internal Revenue Service said in guidance released Tuesday.

  • April 16, 2024

    Justices Say Army Vet Owed More Education Benefits

    An Army veteran who sought additional education benefits to attend Yale Divinity School is owed more federal assistance, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, upending an en banc Federal Circuit ruling that took a narrower view of what he is entitled to based on his multiple tours of duty.

  • April 15, 2024

    Resistance To Patent Licenses Drives More Suits, Execs Say

    Companies that generate revenue from patents are seeing less willingness to negotiate in recent years among businesses they approach about potential licenses, requiring more litigation in order to reach agreements, executives from IBM, InterDigital and others said Monday.

  • April 15, 2024

    Coal Exec's Widow Seeks Atty Fees After Toss Of $6.5B Suit

    The widow of a bankrupt coal company's former president requested $525,000 in attorney fees and costs Monday after a D.C. federal judge tossed a suit alleging her husband's estate and another business owed a union pension plan $6.5 billion, saying the plan's trustees can afford to pay.

  • April 15, 2024

    Whistleblower Says Lab Co. Ran COVID-Testing Scheme

    A California-based diagnostics firm and its CEO have been hit with a whistleblower suit in Washington federal court by an ex-lab director who claims an affiliated company flouted regulatory standards and fraudulently billed government healthcare programs for COVID-19 tests on patients with private insurance.

  • April 15, 2024

    Republican AGs Ask 5th Circ. To Knock Out DOL Rule For ESG

    A group of Republican-led states have urged the Fifth Circuit to scrap a U.S. Department of Labor rule allowing retirement advisers to consider social and political issues when choosing investments, arguing that the agency is flouting protections set in stone by federal benefits law.

  • April 15, 2024

    2nd Circ. Affirms Telecom Co.'s $13M Union Pension Bill

    The Second Circuit upheld a New York federal court's determination that a telecommunications company owed $13 million in withdrawal liability to a multiemployer pension plan for electrical and contract workers, agreeing Monday with an arbitrator's finding that a construction industry exception didn't apply to the disputed work.

  • April 15, 2024

    Ballard Spahr Adds Benefits Pro In Ga. From Union Pacific

    An employee benefits and executive compensation attorney has moved to private practice at Ballard Spahr LLP after spending more than a decade in-house at Union Pacific Railroad.

  • April 15, 2024

    Bomb Dog Trainer Links Cancer To Job In Benefits Denial Suit

    A Massachusetts state police trooper says he was diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to hazardous materials while training an explosives-detection dog at Logan Airport, according to a suit seeking line of duty injury benefits.

  • April 15, 2024

    Justices Won't Review ERISA Suit Over Heart Transplant

    The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the Fourth Circuit's decision only partially reviving a suit brought by the mother of a deceased airline worker whose employer refused to cover his heart transplant surgery until after his death.

  • April 12, 2024

    Petition Watch: Judge DQs, 'Excessive' Damages & Price Wars

    A former al-Qaida member has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify disqualification protocol for judges overseeing a case related to their prior work as a government attorney, and energy drink manufacturers want the court to develop a modern-day test to determine if companies qualify as price-discrimination competitors. Here's four high court petitions filed recently that you might've missed.

  • April 12, 2024

    Mich. High Court Snapshot: Atty Sanctions Kick Off April

    The Michigan Supreme Court returns Tuesday for its April session, hearing oral arguments about judges' ability to sanction lawyers for past attorneys' work in a case, what defendants say could be double recovery in wrongful death cases, and an attempt to use a Larry Nassar-inspired law to sue Catholic priests for decades-old abuse allegations.

  • April 12, 2024

    5th Circ. Says High Court Ruling Buoys ERISA Suit

    The Fifth Circuit has reinstated a proposed class action alleging an outpatient surgery network failed to trim expensive share classes and high fees from its retirement plan, after applying a newly enacted plan participant-friendly analysis of federal benefit law claims established by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • April 12, 2024

    Ex-Exec Says MLB Underpaid Retirement Benefits By $5.9M

    A former Major League Baseball executive told a New York federal court he's owed $5.9 million in retirement benefits based on the league's erroneous calculation that excluded substantial bonuses he received during his decades-long tenure.

  • April 12, 2024

    Santos Says Feds Withheld Key Evidence For Over A Year

    Former U.S. Rep. George Santos accused New York federal prosecutors of withholding evidence that he said undermined their fraud and campaign finance charges against him.

  • April 11, 2024

    UnitedHealth Patients' Addiction Coverage Suit Revived, Again

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday revived for the second time a proposed class action accusing UnitedHealth of wrongly rejecting coverage for outpatient substance use disorder treatments in violation of federal benefits law, finding the plaintiff plausibly alleged the insurer employed an excessively strict review process for those claims.

  • April 11, 2024

    Split 6th Circ. Upends Jail Worker's $1.5M Win In USERRA Suit

    A split Sixth Circuit panel on Thursday overturned a former county jail employee's $1.5 million jury trial win in his lawsuit alleging he was wrongly accused of taking invalid military leave and then fired, despite a dissent calling the majority's finding that he waived his right to sue "deplorable."

  • April 11, 2024

    Wells Fargo Wants Ex-CEO's $34M Back-Pay Suit Tossed

    Wells Fargo & Co. has asked a California state court to throw out a lawsuit filed by former CEO Timothy Sloan that seeks $34 million in compensation he alleges was wrongfully withheld from him, a payout the bank maintains it doesn't owe.

  • April 11, 2024

    State Rules Can't 'Obliterate' Federal Rights, Justices Told

    The U.S. Supreme Court must clarify that states are categorically prohibited from requiring plaintiffs to exhaust local administrative remedies before pursuing claims that state officials violated federal rights, several Alabamans told the court Thursday, warning that state prerequisites obliterate federal rights.

  • April 11, 2024

    Chipotle Pays $2.9M To End Seattle Wage Violation Probe

    Fast-food chain Chipotle has agreed to pay nearly $2.9 million to more than 1,800 workers at eight of its restaurants in Seattle to resolve the city's investigation into employees' allegations that the employer violated local ordinances governing sick pay and scheduling, a city labor agency announced Thursday.

  • April 11, 2024

    Full 8th Circ. Hears Ark. Bid To Revive Youth Trans Care Ban

    An en banc panel of the Eighth Circuit weighing whether to revive an Arkansas state law that banned gender-affirming care for children and teens heard oral arguments Thursday, as Arkansas officials sought to demonstrate that the law does not unconstitutionally discriminate based on sex.

  • April 11, 2024

    Summary Judgment 'Waste Of Time' In 401(k) Suit, Judge Says

    Boston College will face a trial in a suit accusing the school of mismanaging its 401(k) retirement plans after a Massachusetts federal judge issued a 126-page memorandum Thursday in which he blamed himself for a "monumental waste of time" that was the two sides' summary judgment proceeding.

  • April 11, 2024

    Ex-Geico Agents Ask 6th Circ. To Revive Classification Suit

    A group of former Geico agents asked the Sixth Circuit to revive their claims that they were misclassified and denied benefits, challenging the accuracy and relevance of plan documents that the lower court reviewed when dismissing the workers' suit.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • Opinion

    5th Circ. NFL Disability Ruling Turns ERISA On Its Head

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    The Fifth Circuit's March 15 ruling in Cloud v. NFL Player Retirement Plan upheld the plan's finding that an NFL player was not entitled to reclassification because he couldn't show changed circumstances, which is contrary to the goal of accurate Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims processing, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Is Imperative This Election Year

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    As the next election nears, the judges involved in the upcoming trials against former President Donald Trump increasingly face political pressures and threats of violence — revealing the urgent need to safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law, says Benes Aldana at the National Judicial College.

  • Series

    Riding My Peloton Bike Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Using the Peloton platform for cycling, running, rowing and more taught me that fostering a mind-body connection will not only benefit you physically and emotionally, but also inspire stamina, focus, discipline and empathy in your legal career, says Christopher Ward at Polsinelli.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • The Future Of ERISA If High Court Ends Chevron Deference

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming decisions in two cases involving fishing company challenges to regulatory requirements could weaken or repeal Chevron deference, meaning U.S. Department of Labor regulations adopted under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act may be heavily scrutinized, modified or vacated by federal courts, say Naina Kamath and Julie Stapel at Morgan Lewis.

  • What Recent Study Shows About AI's Promise For Legal Tasks

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    Amid both skepticism and excitement about the promise of generative artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the first randomized controlled trial studying its impact on basic lawyering tasks shows mixed but promising results, and underscores the need for attorneys to proactively engage with AI, says Daniel Schwarcz at University of Minnesota Law School.

  • Business Litigators Have A Source Of Untapped Fulfillment

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    As increasing numbers of attorneys struggle with stress and mental health issues, business litigators can find protection against burnout by remembering their important role in society — because fulfillment in one’s work isn’t just reserved for public interest lawyers, say Bennett Rawicki and Peter Bigelow at Hilgers Graben.

  • Series

    Skiing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    A lifetime of skiing has helped me develop important professional skills, and taught me that embracing challenges with a spirit of adventure can allow lawyers to push boundaries, expand their capabilities and ultimately excel in their careers, says Andrea Przybysz at Tucker Ellis.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Forget Everything You Know About IRAC

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    The mode of legal reasoning most students learn in law school, often called “Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion,” or IRAC, erroneously frames analysis as a separate, discrete step, resulting in disorganized briefs and untold obfuscation — but the fix is pretty simple, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Employers, Prep For Shorter Stock Awards Settlement Cycle

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    Companies that provide equity compensation in the form of publicly traded stock will soon have one less day to complete such transactions under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Nasdaq rules — so employers should implement expedited equity compensation stock settlement and payroll tax deposit procedures now, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • How Firms Can Ensure Associate Gender Parity Lasts

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    Among associates, women now outnumber men for the first time, but progress toward gender equality at the top of the legal profession remains glacially slow, and firms must implement time-tested solutions to ensure associates’ gender parity lasts throughout their careers, say Kelly Culhane and Nicole Joseph at Culhane Meadows.

  • 7 Common Myths About Lateral Partner Moves

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    As lateral recruiting remains a key factor for law firm growth, partners considering a lateral move should be aware of a few commonly held myths — some of which contain a kernel of truth, and some of which are flat out wrong, says Dave Maurer at Major Lindsey.

  • Series

    Cheering In The NFL Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Balancing my time between a BigLaw career and my role as an NFL cheerleader has taught me that pursuing your passions outside of work is not a distraction, but rather an opportunity to harness important skills that can positively affect how you approach work and view success in your career, says Rachel Schuster at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Navigating ACA Reporting Nuances As Deadlines Loom

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    Stephanie Lowe at Liebert Cassidy walks employers through need-to-know elements of Affordable Care Act reporting, including two quickly approaching deadlines, the updated affordability threshold, strategies for choosing an affordability safe harbor, and common coding pitfalls.

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