Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. Alerts and Updates

Latest from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. Alerts and Updates

HEALTH AND WELFARE PLAN DEVELOPMENTSSupreme Court Holds States Not Prohibited from Banning or Regulating Abortion; Overrules Roe, Casey Precedent
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled prior precedent in Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood and held that states may regulate or prohibit access to abortion at any stage of pregnancy. The Court’s ruling specifies that the U.S. Constitution does not establish a right to abortion up to the point of fetal viability as previously set forth
Continue Reading Benefits Counselor – July 2022

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is following through on its promise to crack down on violations of consumers’ right to repair the products they buy. Back in July 2021, the FTC announced that it would ramp up enforcement against companies who unfairly prevented customers from fixing products themselves or choosing their own repair shops. In July 2022, it announced actions accusing Harley-Davidson and MWE Investments, LLC (a manufacturer of Westinghouse outdoor power equipment) of doing just that. Both
Continue Reading FTC Gets Serious About Consumers’ Right to Repair Their Products

The Florida legislature recently passed a new trust law that creates an exciting estate planning opportunity for married couples who are residents of Florida. The new law, effective July 1, 2022, allows one spouse (settlor-spouse) to create a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT) for the benefit of the other spouse (beneficiary-spouse) and to preserve the ability to become a beneficiary of the SLAT following thebeneficiary-spouse’s death. This is a notable change for two reasons: first, because under current Florida
Continue Reading New Law Creates Estate Planning Opportunity for Florida Spouses

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Overturning two prior precedents, Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the Dobbs decision permits states to regulate and/or prohibit access to abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Following the decision, it is expected that at least 26 states will ban or severely curtail access to abortion.

Considering the shifting legal landscape, many employee benefit plans sponsors are seeking guidance
Continue Reading Dobbs: Considerations for Plan Sponsors Post-Roe

A recent court decision reminds employers that they may be liable for interference with employee rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) even if they do not actually deny a request for leave. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit—which oversees Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana—held in Ziccarelli v. Dart that threatening to discipline an employee for taking leave qualifies as FMLA interference.

Ziccarelli worked for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office as a correctional officer. From
Continue Reading Federal Court: Employer’s Discouragement of FMLA Leave Constitutes Unlawful Interference

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released updated health advisory levels for four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The new levels for PFOA and PFOS, the two most studied compounds, are 0.004 and 0.02 parts per trillion (ppt), respectively. Previously, the EPA’s health advisory level was 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS, combined. The EPA released these new levels as “interim updated lifetime health advisories” based on evolving science. However, these new health advisory levels are below the
Continue Reading EPA Releases New, Lower Health Advisory Levels for PFAS

BENEFIT PLAN DEVELOPMENTSSixth Circuit Holds That Arbitration Mandates Not Enforceable Unless Included in Plan Document
In Hawkins v. Cintas Corporation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that an arbitration clause included in an individual employment agreement was insufficient to compel arbitration of class action claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The Sixth Circuit held that claims under ERISA “belong” to the plan and arbitration cannot be compelled without the plan’s consent. In
Continue Reading Benefits Counselor – June 2022

HEALTH PLAN DEVELOPMENTSNew Safe Harbor for Transparency In Coverage Rule’s In-Network Machine-Readable File
The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (the Departments) recently announced a limited enforcement safe harbor for the in-network medical machine-readable file required under the Transparency in Coverage Final Rule (the Rule).
Under the Rule, non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers offering non-grandfathered coverage in the group and individual markets must disclose, on a public website, information regarding
Continue Reading Benefits Counselor – May 2022

The Florida legislature has passed Florida HB7, the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act” (the Act), which was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on April 22, 2022. The Act places limitations on what employers may teach during workplace diversity training. It is the first law of its kind in the nation.
What the Act Does
The Act makes it unlawful for Florida employers with 15 or more employees to subject any individual, as a condition of employment, to workplace training, instruction or
Continue Reading Florida’s “Stop W.O.K.E. Act” Will Change Employer’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts

RETIREMENT PLAN DEVELOPMENTSIRS Publishes Proposed Regulations Regarding Required Minimum Distributions
On February 24, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed regulations addressing the calculation and payment of required minimum distributions (RMDs) under qualified retirement plans (the Proposed Regulations). The Proposed Regulations are generally designed to address the changes to a participant’s required beginning date and payment of death benefits enacted under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the SECURE Act). While the proposed regulations are
Continue Reading Benefits Counselor – March 2022

When you hear about the Robinson-Patman Act, you may remember it as a law that protects smaller product re-sellers (“mom and pop” stores, local dealers, etc.) by preventing product suppliers from giving better prices to larger re-sellers just because of their size. You would be correct, but two recent cases serve as important reminders that the Robinson-Patman Act applies to more than just prices. The cases—Dahl Automotive Onalaska Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 20-cv-932-jdp, 2022 WL 602904 (W.D. Wis.
Continue Reading Recent Robinson-Patman Act Cases Demonstrate Size Doesn’t Always Matter

The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) generally prohibits an employer from discriminating against an applicant based on conviction record, unless the circumstances of that record “substantially relate” to the circumstances of the particular job opening. For many years, the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) took the position that domestic violence crimes generally do not substantially relate to any job in the workplace, because such crimes are committed in a domestic setting and typically involve violence only towards
Continue Reading In Making Hiring Decisions, Wisconsin Employers May Consider Convictions for Crimes of Domestic Violence

On the heels of Illinois’ new non-compete restrictions, effective January 2022, Colorado recently became the latest state to make enforcing noncompetition agreements against employees more difficult for employers. Nationally, the state is one of several jurisdictions that has either recently passed or is considering legislation limiting such agreements in various ways.
Colorado Law Changes
Beginning March 1, 2022, any violations of Colorado’s non-compete statute may now constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor, with a penalty of $750 or up
Continue Reading Colorado Latest in Line of Jurisdictions Limiting Non-Compete Enforceability

In a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the court explained how an employer should evaluate whether a disabled person under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) would pose a “direct threat” to others.Background
Russell Pontinen, the plaintiff, suffered from a seizure disorder that caused three or four seizures in his lifetime. He started taking medication to control the seizures, but later stopped against his doctor’s advice.
Shortly afterwards, he applied for a
Continue Reading Court Finds an Employee’s Seizures Posed a “Direct Threat” Under the ADA

In 2017, the #MeToo movement exploded into the legal and political worlds, following high-profile allegations of sexual harassment. Five years later, it has led to bipartisan support of one of the most significant legislative changes in arbitration law since the Federal Arbitration Act was first enacted in 1925.The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4445, the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act,” on February 7, 2022; the Senate subsequently approved the legislation on February 10,
Continue Reading Mandatory Arbitration Will No Longer Be Enforceable Against Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Claims

On February 24, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed regulations addressing the calculation and payment of required minimum distributions under qualified retirement plans (the Proposed Regulations). The Proposed Regulations are generally designed to address the changes to a participant’s required beginning date and payment of death benefits enacted under the SECURE Act.

Applicable to all plan sponsors, the Proposed Regulations update existing regulations to account for the increase in a participant’s required beginning date to age 72.
Continue Reading IRS Provides Additional Clarity on Required Minimum Distributions Calculations