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Compensation, Benefits, & Bonuses Archives

New ERISA Fiduciary Rule Takes Effect

On June 9, the long-awaited revised "fiduciary rule" from the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") went into partial effect and will be in full force as of January 1, 2018. After nearly a decade, and much political wrangling, the updated rule ushers in sweeping changes regarding the duties and responsibilities financial advisors and others owe their clients.

Do Retirees Have Rights Under ERISA When Companies Cut Benefits?

It's no secret that one of the ways companies try to cut costs is through layoffs. Another method, which can be just as disruptive to employees, is by reducing pensions and other benefits earned while working for the employer. From well-known companies to state governments, retirement benefits seem to be a favorite target, and provisions in President Trump's proposed budget are also raising fears that retired federal employees would see their benefits shrink drastically over time.

Reforming Labor and Employment Laws to Improve the Economy: Comparing American and French Approaches

This Sunday, May 7, the world will be watching France to see if the wave of populism that led to Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump will now usher in Marine Le Pen as the new French president. Le Pen leads the country's far-right National Front party and is up against the centrist Emmanuel Macron in this Sunday's runoff poll.

Fair Play Pay: Compensating College Athletes

It is not news that college athletics are big business. March Madness holds the entire country's rapt attention each year, and the revenues it generates for the NCAA are significant. The broadcast rights are worth more than $1 billion annually as of 2016. And, while the NCAA has indicated that 90% of that money goes to the benefit of the athletes, that may not truly be the case. March Madness is over, but many question whether the NCAA promulgates another form of madness, its amateurism rules that forbid compensation of college athletes.

Paid Parental Leave Has Broad Business and Economic Benefits

As noted by Vogue Magazine, August marked the 23rd anniversary of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Though considered landmark legislation at the time, the law only provides for unpaid leave, and does not apply to a large percentage of Americans employed by companies with fewer than 50 employees. Seeking to correct this situation, four states - California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York - now have paid leave laws. Even in those states, however, there remain gaps, particularly when it comes to job protection.

Companies Must Disclose Ratio of CEO Pay to Median Employee Pay

The SEC voted on Wednesday to require public companies to disclose the ratio of their CEOs' compensation to the median compensation of its employees. The new rule, which was approved by a 3 to 2 vote, stems from a mandate included in the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Tibble v. Edison Int'l, No. 13-550 (U.S. May 18, 2015)

The Supreme Court - presented with a simple question about ERISA's fiduciary-duty statute of limitations (29 U. S. C. § 1113) - lays the foundation for a potential new round of litigation about how strictly and often plan fiduciaries must monitor the performance of their retirement investment plans. The Court, without dissent, agrees that there is no set-it-and-forget-it rule for fiduciaries.  

U.S. Oil Worker Wage-and-Hour Pay Rights Issues

Since July 2014, the price of oil has dropped by half. That's good for consumers' pocketbooks, but one segment of the population is facing hard times: U. S. oil industry workers.  In the past few years, the boom in oil production meant that companies needed to quickly expand hiring to meet the demand for workers. The rush to hire meant that some companies did not follow wage and hour laws.

Fulghum v. Embarq Corp., No. 13-3230 (10th Cir. Feb. 24, 2015)

While ERISA does not provide a limitations period for most claims, it does impose a three-year limitations period after discovery of a breach of fiduciary duty, plus a six-year period of repose. Yet the statute also provides that "in the case of fraud or concealment, such action may be commenced not later than six years after the date of discovery of such breach or violation." The Tenth Circuit examined this quoted language today, and remanded parts of a class action to be reconsidered under this provision.

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