The IRS has issued final regulations amending the hardship distribution rules for qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The final regulations are substantially similar to the proposed regulations that were issued in November 2018, but provide a few clarifications.  Plans that have been complying with the proposed regulations will satisfy the final regulations.  Below is a summary of the key changes and action items for plan sponsors. Continue Reading IRS Issues Final Regulations Relaxing 401(k) Hardship Distribution Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case on October 7 that likely would have clarified the scope of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) related to the operation of virtual platforms like websites and applications by private businesses.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Passes On a Case That Likely Would Have Clarified the Scope of the ADA Regarding Access to Private Businesses’ Virtual Platforms

The #MeToo movement has placed sexual harassment on the front pages of newspapers, has galvanized some states to reconsider their own sexual harassment laws, and has encouraged employers to take a closer look at their policies and procedures.

With such heightened awareness of sexual harassment, employers may feel an inclination to resolve doubts in favor of the accuser.  A recent Second Circuit decision, however, illustrates a counterweight to this outlook. Continue Reading Sexual Harassment Claims: Follow Policy and Procedure or the Accused May Become the Accuser

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP was recognized in Benchmark Litigation’s 2019 Labor and Employment guide, which seeks to find law firms and partners who stand out in their labor and employment practices throughout the US. The Firm’s Labor & Employment Team was recognized by Benchmark Litigation in 5 locations, and 13 partners from the practice were also recognized as “Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Stars.”

Read the Press Release

Does an individual who receives a single text message, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”), have standing to sue in federal court?  The answer, for now, depends on where the lawsuit is filed.

Continue Reading 11th Circuit Says Single Text Message Does Not Convey Standing in TCPA Action

Illinois joined a handful of other states when its prohibition on employer inquiries into applicants’ prior wage or salary information took effect this week.

Under the law, no employers in Illinois can ask about the wage or salary histories of job applicants.  If an employer receives salary history information voluntarily from the applicant, the employer still may not use that information to screen candidates.

Continue Reading Illinois Bans Employer Inquiries on Salary History, Continues Trend

For at least one more year, health plans, including employer-sponsored plans, will be able to exclude the value of drug manufacturer discounts from participant deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, even where no medically appropriate generic drug is available.  The Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) jointly issued a temporary non-enforcement pledge relating to these so-called “accumulator programs” as a result of an apparent catch-22 relating to high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with health savings accounts (HSAs).  Continue Reading Government Hits Pause on HHS Prescription Drug Rule Set to Take Effect January 1, 2020

This summer, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued several pro-employer decisions.  Just last month, the NLRB issued two key decisions for employers, which are discussed below.

Worker Misclassification Not a Violation of the NLRA

 As we previously reported, the Board previously invited interested parties and amici to submit briefs in the case of Velox Express, Inc. (15-CA-184006) to address under what circumstances, if any, the Board should deem an employer’s misclassifying statutory employees as independent contractors as a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).

Continue Reading The NLRB Continues Its Trend of Employer-Friendly Decisions

In a decision first discussed on the Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog on September 6, 2019,  a California Appellate Court held that underwriters at Lloyd’s of London must defend the owner/operator of hundreds of Pizza Hut and Wing Street restaurants in a putative employee class action accusing the company of labor law violations, finding that an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policy’s “wage and hour” exclusion must be construed narrowly to bar coverage only for claims related to “laws concerning duration worked and/or remuneration received in exchange for work.” In doing so, the court made clear that “wage and hour” exclusions do not preclude coverage for claims that go beyond the employee’s actual remuneration received in exchange for work.

Continue Reading Insurance Win for Wage and Hour Defense Highlights Need to Scrutinize EPLI Coverage Denials

On September 20, 2019, the NLRB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to exclude undergraduate and graduate students who perform paid work for private colleges and universities in connection with their studies from the definition of employee under the National Labor Relations Act.  The proposed rule would prevent undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants from unionizing or collectively organizing.

Continue Reading NLRB Issues Proposed Rule That Grad Students Cannot Unionize