The COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, both part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, (collectively the “Stimulus Bill”) contain numerous provisions related to employer sponsored benefit plans. Below are some of the key provisions relating to welfare plans, retirement plans and other employer provided benefits.

Continue Reading Benefit Plan Provisions in the Stimulus Bill

A collective sigh of relief could be heard across the Commonwealth yesterday as anxious business owners, insurers, and employment lawyers heard the news that Massachusetts government leaders had agreed to a three-month delay of the implementation of the first-in-the-nation Paid Family and Medical Leave law.

With a July 1 deadline to begin making payroll deductions looming, many questions remained about the law.  Are the deductions pre-tax or post-tax?  (We still don’t know.)  Which employees and independent contractors are covered?  (It’s complicated.)  Should employers seek an exemption by adopting a private plan?  (Maybe?)  With the deadline now moved to October 1, legislators and employers have some much-needed breathing room to answer these and other questions about the law.


Continue Reading Massachusetts Leaders Agree to Three-Month Delay of Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

Photo: makelessnoise via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Yesterday, President Trump unveiled his new budget plan.  Along with controversial plans to fund construction of a wall on the southern border and to cut funding for Medicare and Medicaid, the budget also includes a proposal for paid parental leave.

President Trump’s daughter Ivanka has been advocating for federal paid parental leave since the beginning of the administration in 2017.  And the president touted the idea during his State of the Union address in February.

President Trump’s plan would provide six weeks of paid leave to new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents, to recover from childbirth and to bond with a new child.  The plan would be administered at the state level, and is anticipated to be offered through programs based on unemployment insurance.


Continue Reading President Trump’s Budget Includes a Proposal for Paid Parental Leave

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing a measure, which, if passed, would make the Big Apple the first place in the nation to require private-sector employers to provide paid vacation to employees.  The details of the plan have not yet been released, but the New York Times is reporting that the law would require private employers with five or more employees to provide at least two weeks of paid vacation.  City Hall officials have estimated that approximately half a million NYC workers would benefit from the new law.


Continue Reading NYC Mayor Proposes Mandatory Paid Vacation for Private-Sector Workers

On July 5, 2017 Washington became the latest state to enact some form of paid family and medical leave. The new law goes into effect in January 2020 and will provide employees with up to twelve (12) weeks per year of paid family leave for the following purposes:

• The employee’s own serious health condition;
• Care of a family member with a serious health condition;
• Care of a child new to the family following birth, adoption or placement in foster care; or
• For qualifying exigencies due to a family member’s deployment to active duty in the US Armed Forces.
Continue Reading Washington State is Latest to Enact Paid Family Leave Legislation

Photo: Jasmine Kaloudis via Flickr (CC by ND 2.0)
Photo: Jasmine Kaloudis via Flickr (CC by ND 2.0)

Employer-sponsored wellness programs are a popular tool to incentivize healthy living and maintain an active, engaged workforce.  But such programs can present legal risks to employers and must be specifically tailored to avoid running afoul of certain employment laws.  One such law

You have probably heard that effective July 1, 2015, Massachusetts enacted a new sick time law. There has been much discussion about its impact on companies located in Massachusetts. However, one aspect that has been overlooked is its impact on out-of-state businesses which have employees in Massachusetts. Any company with employees performing work in

Late last week, Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, issued the long-awaited final regulations for the implementation of the Commonwealth’s Earned Sick Time Law.  The issuance of the final regulations follows a series of public hearings and information sessions, and comes just in advance of the law’s July 1 effective date.

In addition to providing general

Last month, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Tibble v. Edison International that retirement plan fiduciaries have an ongoing duty to monitor plan investments.  The ruling came in a case involving challenges to plan investment decisions made more than six years before suit was filed. The lower courts had ruled some claims were