Benefits & Compensation

Ten years from now there may well be no more Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) class actions. The law, like the rest of life, is not immune from disruptive innovations. In our own lifetime, we have seen disruptive innovations from chemical photography to digital photography, from personal computers to smart phones, and from snail

On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor (finally) issued the final rule on the minimum salary threshold required for employees to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white-collar” exemptions.

The final rule:

  • Raises the new minimum salary threshold to $35,568 per year ($684 per week). The previous salary threshold, which had been in place since 2004, was $23,660 ($455 per week).
  • Raises the “highly compensated” employee salary threshold from $100,000 to $107,432 per year.
  • Allows employers to count certain non-discretionary bonuses, incentives, and commissions to satisfy up to 10% of an employee’s salary level.
  • Does not impact the job duties test.
  • Is estimated to make an additional 1.3 million more workers eligible for overtime.
  • Will take effect quickly — on January 1, 2020.


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This summer the U.S. Women’s Soccer team won more than the World Cup – they’ve had tremendous success in garnering public support in their bid for equal pay. However, beyond the star power of Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, pay equity continues to be a hot button issue for employers in the U.S.

We’re pleased

We’re excited to announce a new article authored by Jim Baker that was published in the Summer 2019 issue of the Benefits Law Journal.

In this article, Jim covers how the dramatic increase in the number of workers who are classified as independent contractors is changing how employers and workers interact, specifically the implications on

Congratulations and special thanks to Lisa Brogan (Chair), Editor, and Contributors James Baker, Jordan Faykus, and Jenna Neumann for their contributions to the 2019 Edition of The ABA Business Law Section, Recent Developments In Business and Corporate Litigation; Chapter 20: ERISA.

Covered topics include:

  • US Supreme Court on church plan exemptions;
  • The standard of review

[With special thanks to our summer associate Whitney Chukwurah for her contribution to this post.]

All private employers with 100 or more employees in the US and certain federal contractors with 50 or more employees in the US must report data on race/ethnicity and gender across job categories in their annual EEO-1 filings. As previously reported (HERE), in 2016, under the Obama Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission revised the EEO-1 form to require certain employers to report W-2 wage information and total hours worked (referred to as Component 2 Data) for all employees by race, ethnicity and sex within 12 EEOC created pay bands.

The implementation of the revised EEO-1 form has been subject to litigation; however, covered employers now have until September 30, 2019 to provide EEOC with pay data.


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All employers with 100 or more workers in the US have until September 30 to provide the EEOC with pay data as part of the annual workforce data report known as the EEO-1.

On April 25, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan accepted the EEOC’s proposal (more here) to make employers submit their 2018 pay data this fall. She also ordered the EEOC to collect a second year of pay data, giving it a choice between collecting employers’ 2017 data or making it collect 2019 data down the road. Her ruling is expected to impact more than 60,000 employers.


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Originally published in Benefits Law Journal.

Champagne and a steak dinner have traditionally marked celebrations at the close of a corporate deal. Celebrations these days are being marred by a party pooper—Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) pension plan successor liability.

Increasingly, courts are delivering a “pay up now” notice to the buyer of financially

Last month, we reported that a federal court in Washington D.C. lifted the government’s stay of the revised EEO-1 form that requires companies to submit summary wage data by race/ethnicity and gender. Following the court’s order, uncertainty loomed concerning whether employers would need to include the additional data by the current EEO-1 Report deadline

Today is Equal Pay Day in the US. It marks the date women need to work into 2019 to earn what men were paid in the previous year. (And, in fact, this particular date does not take into account that women of color are often paid less than white women.)

Collecting, sharing, maintaining (and possibly publishing) diversity data (of any type but including gender pay) remains a significant undertaking for employers. And the complexity compounds for multinationals.

While we are still waiting to see if the EEOC will begin collecting aggregate pay data by gender (READ MORE HERE), many countries outside the US already do (e.g. the UK and Australia).

The global trend towards requiring transparency is not slowing. Just recently, France, Spain and soon Ireland have jumped aboard.


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