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Employee Benefits/ERISA

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Rankings & Honors

  • Recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2016 as a national Tier 1 leader for Employment Law—Management, Labor Law—Management, and Litigation—Labor & Employment
  • Employment attorneys ranked as leading lawyers in their fields by Chambers USA/Global
  • Ranked by Law360 as an Employment 100 firm
  • National and metropolitan honors from publications like Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and other directories and publications
 

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS/ERISA

We make compliance simple, designing employee benefit plans that give our clients a competitive edge while keeping them in step with the law.

Our approach

Employee benefits have been revolutionized.

Health Care Reform, the demise of DOMA and an aging workforce all contribute to the new landscape. While potentially overwhelming for employers, these changes also present new opportunities to attract and retain talented workers.

We approach employee benefits with a real-world, business savvy outlook.

Having spent time “in the trenches” as HR, governmental, general counsel and CPA professionals, we know the ins and outs of the laws and regulations governing employee benefits, which means we go beyond legal advice to provide strategic counsel on how your benefits programs can align with your overall business objectives.

Employee benefits touch many areas of your business—your employees’ health and future, your financial stability, tax obligations and your ability to compete in the market.

Our team is built around specific areas of practice, which allows us to identify the nuanced issues that can bring your benefits plans to the next level.

We see the whole picture and are committed to designing plans that will carry you safely and successfully into the future.

Who we work with

  • Employers to design and implement retirement, health and welfare and other benefit plans
  • Fiduciaries on the special rules that govern their conduct
  • Public and private for-profit corporations of all shapes and sizes
  • Universities, hospitals, arts institutions and other tax exempt organizations to structure retirement and deferred compensation plans that comply with the special rules of Sections 403(b) and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Banks, investment advisers and other financial institutions on compliance issues that arise in investment management and trust and custody services to employee benefit plans
  • Third-party administrators and insurance brokerages seeking a competitive edge in developing innovative benefits services
  • Multiemployer and Taft-Hartley fund administrators and boards of trustees on the administration of their plans

Media Clips

  • Attorneys React to High Court ERISA Reimbursement Ruling
    Law360 | January 20, 2016
    San Francisco counsel and leader of the ERISA Litigation team Chuck Dyke discusses the Supreme Court’s ruling that a retirement plan cannot sue under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for reimbursement of medical expenses from a third-party settlement that a plan participant has already spent.
  • Washington Oks last-minute changes to health care rules
    Rochester Business Journal | January 4, 2016
    Rochester partner and leader of our Health and Welfare Employee Benefits team, Kate Saracene provides commentary in this feature article discussing the potential impact of recent changes to the Affordable Care Act.
  • For Firms, King Ruling Means ‘Business as Usual'
    Rochester Business Journal | July 2, 2015
    Rochester Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment partner Kate Saracene authored this op-ed on the impact on employers following the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision.
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  • Attorneys React To Supreme Court's ACA Save
    Law360 | June 25, 2015
    Rochester Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment partner Kate Saracene provides commentary on the Supreme Court’s highly-anticipated Affordable Care Act (ACA) decision.
  • With Supreme Court Case Over, ACA's Loose Ends Are New Target
    Crain's New York Business: Health Pulse | June 25, 2015
    As the Supreme Court winds down its current term, Rochester Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment partner Kate Saracene discusses the Court’s highly-anticipated Affordable Care Act (ACA) decision.
  • Lawyers Weigh in on High Court ERISA Ruling
    Law360 | May 18, 2015
    Chicago Labor & Employment counsel Catherine Gonzalez is quoted in this article discussing the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Tibble v. Edison International.
  • After Delays, Employer Mandate Kicks in Soon
    Business First of Buffalo | November 28, 2014
    Rochester partner and Health and Welfare Employee Benefits team leader Kate Saracene is quoted in this end-of-year story on the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate to provide health insurance coverage going into effect Jan. 1.
  • The Churn
    American Lawyer | June 27, 2014
    This coverage highlights the arrival of Rochester Employee Benefits counsel Darcie Falsioni.
  • 2013 RBJ Forty Under 40
    Rochester Business Journal | November 15, 2013
    Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene is among the 40 Rochester-area individuals under the age of 40 recognized for demonstrating significant professional accomplishments and community involvement.
  • Nixon Adds Ex-Head of Sedgwick's Employee Benefits Team
    Law360 | August 26, 2013

    This feature article highlights the arrival of San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Karen Ng.

  • WNY Businesses Face Post-DOMA Uncertainty
    Buffalo Law Journal | August 19, 2013

    Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene discusses the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act decision.

  • A Small Employer Weighs Obamacare Options to Cut Costs
    Bloomberg BusinessWeek | July 31, 2013

    This Q&A focuses on how Obamacare will affect small employers.  Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene addresses how companies may have the option to stop offering to pay for an employee’s insurance directly because he/she can purchase coverage through an individual Obamacare exchange.

Ideas

IRS issues important proposed regulations affecting tax-exempt employers' deferred compensation plans
Benefits Alert | July 21, 2016

Brexit: Considerations for U.S. employers
Employment Law Alert | June 29, 2016

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ERISA fiduciary breach class action extends to 100-participant 401(k) plan
Benefits Alert | May 25, 2016

Carey v. United of Omaha: the Ninth Circuit finds that imprecise denial of benefits letter allows participant to sue without exhausting administrative appeals
Benefits Alert | April 21, 2016

Co-investing private equity funds exposed to expanded pension liability risk
Benefits Alert | April 8, 2016

Fiduciaries for private company ESOP win early dismissal of breach of duty suit
Benefits Alert | April 8, 2016

New York passes landmark legislation raising minimum wage and mandating paid family leave
Employment Law Alert | April 6, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | March 11, 2016

Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual: Supreme Court holds that ERISA preempts a state statute requiring ERISA-covered health plans to report benefit-payment and other data to a state agency
Benefits Alert | March 10, 2016

Venue-selection clauses live to fight another day
Benefits Law Alert | January 26, 2016

New ACA guidance for a new year: last-minute gifts for employers
Benefits Law Alert | January 7, 2016

Ringing in the new ACA health coverage reporting
Benefits Alert | December 10, 2015

Webinar Recording: Three Critical Labor Law Challenges to Starting and Running a Business
Originally recorded on December 2, 2015 | December 7, 2015

IRS changes retirement plan determination letter program
Benefits Alert | July 22, 2015

Status update: California cheerleaders flipping out over new employee status
Employment Law Alert | July 17, 2015

Religiously affiliated nonprofits and closely held employers with religious objections to contraceptive coverage may use accommodation to comply with ACA
Benefits Alert | July 15, 2015

One door closes, others remain open for pension de-risking
Benefits Alert | July 13, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | July 2, 2015

ERISA plan fiduciaries respond to health plan data breaches in 2015
ERISA Alert | June 30, 2015

What does the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell mean for individuals, employers, and the fate of health care reform?
Benefits Alert | June 26, 2015

Tibble v. Edison International: Supreme Court finds ongoing duty to monitor retirement plan investments
ERISA Litigation Alert | May 20, 2015

New California Family Rights Act ("CFRA") regulations are effective July 1, 2015
Employment Law Alert | May 6, 2015

EEOC proposes regulations addressing ADA compliance for wellness programs
Benefits Law Alert | April 24, 2015

It's April 14, 2015. Are you ready for the NLRB's new election rules?
Employment Law Alert | April 14, 2015

IRS reminds retirement plan sponsors it's up to them—not the TPA—to document loans and hardship distributions
Benefits Law Alert | April 14, 2015

Supreme Court will decide whether strict tracing rule limits ERISA fiduciaries' ability to sue for recovery of benefit overpayments
Benefits Law Alert | April 1, 2015

Labor & employment 2015 crystal ball
Employment Law Alert | January 29, 2015

Supreme Court rejects Yard-Man inference that collectively bargained retiree health benefits vest for life
Employment Law Alert | January 28, 2015

Governor Deval Patrick signs new "Parental Leave Bill"
Employment Law Alert | January 21, 2015

Federal court denounces U.S. DOL's new regulations prohibiting third-party employers from utilizing the FLSA's domestic service employee exemptions
Employment Law Alert | December 24, 2014

San Francisco legislation aims to integrate with national health care reform and phases out use of HRAs
Benefits Law Alert | August 8, 2014

Wellness programs after the Affordable Care Act (Part II)
Benefits Law Alert | July 14, 2014

One-month orientation period will provide relief from the 90-day rule
Benefits Alert | July 9, 2014

Religious freedom for corporations? The Hobby Lobby decision breaks new ground
Benefits Law Alert | July 2, 2014

California's Paid Family Leave Program expands the definition of a family member and brings new leave challenges for employers
Employment Law Alert | June 26, 2014

Supreme Court eliminates employer stock presumption
Benefits Alert | June 26, 2014

Changes to SEC Rule 701 under the Encouraging Employee Ownership Act: What you need to know
Government Relations Alert | June 16, 2014

Special Marketplace enrollment for COBRA participants and new COBRA forms
Benefits Alert | June 4, 2014

Webinar Recording: Health Care Reform—What Every Hospital and Medical Service Provider Needs to Know
Originally recorded April 8, 2014 | April 17, 2014

Most severance pay is subject to FICA tax withholding
Benefits Alert | April 9, 2014

Windsor compliance dates clarified
Benefits Alert | April 8, 2014

San Francisco authorizes use of HRAs to satisfy HCSO spending requirement
Benefits Alert | December 31, 2013

The Labor and Employment Law crystal ball: Trends and developments for 2014
Employment Law Alert | December 27, 2013

Webinar Recording: Navigating Health Care Reform and San Francisco's Health Care Security Ordinance in 2014
Originally recorded September 24, 2013 | September 30, 2013

Webinar Recording: Employee Wellness Programs: What Employers Need to Know to Comply with the New Regulations
Originally recorded August 6, 2013 | August 8, 2013

Wellness programs after the Affordable Care Act (Part I)
Benefits Alert | August 8, 2013

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Press

Events

Long Island and New York City Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 18, 2016 | New York, NY

Long Island and New York City Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 17, 2016 | Jericho, NY

Chicago Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 12, 2016 | Chicago, IL

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Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 10, 2016 | Albany, NY

Boston Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 5, 2016 | Boston, MA

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 4, 2016 | Buffalo, NY

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 3, 2016 | Rochester, NY

Corning Employee Benefits Luncheon
December 8, 2015

Boston Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
December 3, 2015 | Boston, MA

New York City and Long Island Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefings
November 18, 2015 | Jericho, NY

New York City and Long Island Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefings
November 17, 2015 | New York, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 10, 2015 | Buffalo, NY

Labor and employment issues in affordable housing: What do you need to know?
November 4, 2015 | New York, NY

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 4, 2015 | Rochester, NY

Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 3, 2015 | Albany, NY

Employee Benefits Luncheon
June 23, 2015

Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
June 9, 2015 | Albany, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
June 4, 2015 | New York, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
June 3, 2015 | Jericho, NY

Retirement Plans for Nonprofits: What All Plan Sponsors Need to Know
May 28, 2015 | New York, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 27, 2015 | Buffalo, NY

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 20, 2015 | Rochester, NY

Employee Benefits Luncheon
January 14, 2015

Re-imagining Wellness and Behavioral Health and Disability Challenges in the Workplace
December 5, 2014

Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 12, 2014 | Albany, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 5, 2014 | Jericho, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 4, 2014 | New York, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 30, 2014 | Buffalo, NY

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 28, 2014 | Rochester, NY

What's trending in fiduciary responsibility?
September 17, 2014

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 29, 2014 | Jericho, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 28, 2014 | New York, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 21, 2014 | Buffalo, NY

Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 14, 2014 | Albany, NY

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 6, 2014 | Rochester, NY

Webinar: Health Care Reform—What Every Hospital and Medical Service Provider Needs to Know
April 8, 2014

Looking Ahead for Rhode Island Employers
March 4, 2014

Implementing the Affordable Care Act
December 10, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Is your employee benefit plan audit-ready?
December 3, 2013

Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 7, 2013 | Albany, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 5, 2013 | Buffalo, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 30, 2013 | New York, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 29, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Corning Employee Benefits Luncheon Briefing
October 10, 2013

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 9, 2013 | Rochester, NY

Employee Benefits Update: What You Need to Know Now
October 1, 2013

Webinar: Navigating Health Care Reform and San Francisco's Health Care Security Ordinance in 2014
September 24, 2013

Webinar: Employee Wellness Programs: What Employers Need to Know to Comply with the New Regulations
August 6, 2013

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Employee Benefits/ERISA