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ten most recent federal employment law articles Ten Most Recent Federal Articles

Groundbreaking Trial Ends with Ruling that Grocery Store Must Make its Website ADA Accessible

Nexsen Pruet • June 28, 2017
In a first, a federal court in Florida ruled recently that a grocery store must make its website accessible to the disabled. The plaintiff in the case, a blind man who uses screen-reading technology to access and view websites, obtained injunctive relief, as well as his attorneys’ fees and costs.

Here Comes the Rain: Employers Offering Mental Health Benefits Should Prepare for More Scrutiny

Ogletree Deakins • June 28, 2017
Employers can expect some challenging information requests about the mental health and substance abuse benefits offered to employees and their dependents through group health plans, if a draft form released by federal regulators is any indication.

Supreme Court Confirms Retirement Plans of Church-Affiliated Organizations Can be Exempt from ERISA

Nexsen Pruet • June 28, 2017
In a much-anticipated ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 5 that retirement plans maintained by church-affiliated organizations can be exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), regardless of which organization establishing the plan. While the ruling may provide some temporary relief to church-affiliated organizations, it also reveals what is likely to be the next wave of challenges in this area of the law.

Tenth Circuit Follows Majority of the Circuit Courts and Holds Plaintiff Bears the Burden of Proving Causation in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 28, 2017
On June 5, 2017, in Pioneer Centres Holding Co. Employee Stock Ownership Plan & Trust v. Alerus Fin., N.A., Case No. 15-1227, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the plaintiff bears the burden on each element of its breach of fiduciary duty claim under ERISA.

Calendar Year Plans Need to File Form 5500 by Monday, July 31, 2017

FordHarrison LLP • June 28, 2017
Executive Summary: The Form 5500 is an annual report that must be filed for every employee benefit plan that covers 100 or more participants. For calendar year plans, these forms must be filed by July 31, 2017.

NPR Report Discusses Growing Interest In Portable Benefits

Fisher Phillips • June 28, 2017
Late last week, NPR aired a story discussing the governmental efforts to bring portable benefits to gig workers. You can read a transcript of the story or listen to it by clicking here. I was fortunate enough to have been interviewed by Yuki Noguchi for the story, discussing one of the biggest reasons most companies do not offer benefits to their workers benefits: “They don't want to have them categorized as ‘employees.’

DOL Will Again Issue Opinion Letters on FMLA, FLSA, and Other Sticky Employment Law Scenarios

Franczek Radelet P.C • June 28, 2017
he U.S. Department of Labor announced today that it will again issue opinion letters to assist employers and employees in interpreting laws like the FMLA and Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL has even established a new webpage to submit requests for opinion letters and to review old opinion letters.

eLABORate: Employers Welcome the Return of DOL Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

Phelps Dunbar LLP • June 28, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor today announced it will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters by its Wage and Hour Division. The announcement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is a welcome development for employers, who had previously relied on these interpretive opinions in deciphering and complying with the oftentimes confusing requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

Opinion Letters Are Back!

Franczek Radelet P.C • June 28, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division announced today that it is bringing back the WHD Opinion Letter.

DOL Opinion Letters Are Back

Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 28, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that it will reinstate the Department’s long-standing practice of issuing opinion letters to employers and employees regarding application of the Fair Labor Standards Act.