E-Alerts

Sign up to receive regular informational email updates on matters within the Firm’s scope of practice. In addition, Smith & Downey will send you information on its upcoming seminars to help you and your team stay on top of emerging changes and trends in the areas of employee benefits, executive compensation and employment law, and related litigation.


201606.22
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New Proposed Regulations under Code Sections 457 and 409A

Section 457 Regulations Today, the IRS published the long expected proposed regulations under section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code that prescribe rules applicable to deferred compensation plans established by tax-exempt organizations and State or local governments (such as 457(f) plans, 457(b) plans, 457(e)(11) plans, and employment agreements that are affected by that Code section). …

201606.09
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Employee Health Plans – HHS Begins Nationwide HIPAA Audit Programs

The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services has begun its previously-announced nationwide HIPAA audit programs of employers and their HIPAA Business Associates. The audits, which will be both by mail and on-site, reportedly will focus on: -the Notice of Privacy Practices required to be distributed by employers; -issues concerning…

201605.20
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New DOL Rules Expand Definitions of “Fiduciary” and “Advice”

Last month, the DOL published its long awaited/feared final regulations expanding the definition of “fiduciaries” who provide “advice” (as very broadly defined) relating to retirement plans, IRAs, Health Savings Accounts, Education Savings Accounts, and participants in those arrangements. In addition to imposing statutory duties and liability exposure on this expanded group of individuals and firms,…

201603.24
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Seminar on Employment Law Audits

Is your organization ready for an employment law audit by a federal or state agency?  Regardless of size or industry, all employers are at risk of being audited — but most are unprepared.  For example, in FY 2015, the Department of Labor found violations in 79% of agency-initiated wage and hour investigations. Failed employment law…

201512.17
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New Guidance on ACA Affordability Test – Regulatory Position Delayed

As we have reported, beginning in 2014 the regulators began to state that Section 125 Cafeteria Plan benefit dollars, payments to participants who opt-out of medical benefits, Service Contract Act and Davis-Bacon cash-in-lieu-of-fringe payments, cash options required under Union contracts, and similar types of payments create issues under the “affordability test” of the Affordable Care…

201508.12
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Seminar on FLSA Overtime Developments and other Wage and Hour Issues

in Events

On July 9, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a proposed rule that would significantly expand the number of employees eligible for overtime. Currently, employers are required to pay all employees overtime, unless they are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements.  The most common of these exemptions are the “white collar” exemptions, which apply to certain…

201505.29
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Seminar on Psychiatric Disabilities in the Workplace

in Events

One of the biggest challenges for any human resources department is managing employees who suffer from psychiatric disabilities. Medical conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and the like often result in chronic absenteeism, impaired performance, conflicts with fellow employees, and a need for intermittent leave.  These types of disabilities also may be prone…

201504.14
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Expanded “Amnesty” Program for Retirement Plans

The IRS has just released a rather significant expansion to its “amnesty program” for some mistakes made in the administration of tax-qualified retirement plans.  (This is the IRS program known as the “Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.”) Very helpful correction opportunities are now available concerning mistakes in the following (and other) areas: plan loans, required…