Tag: employment termination

Experts Highlight Employment Law Issues for Associations

Associations need to have a special take on legal issues, because they are nonprofit, small employers and they may have to comply with laws in the District of Columbia, which has been a bellwether in promulgating liberal employment laws, causing some legal experts to call it the “California of the East.” To explain employment issues […]

Court Signs Off on $1 Million Settlement Resolving COBRA Class Action Case

A federal district court has approved a $1 million settlement agreement that, in the court’s words, “appears to be among the largest, if not the largest, average per person recovery in a certified class action asserting COBRA claims.” The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit alleging that an employer/plan administrator violated COBRA’s notice and premium […]

GAO Recommends New Destinations for Forced 401(k) Transfers

Distributing abandoned small accounts in the 401(k) plans of participants who have left the company is a necessary evil for plan sponsors, to keep the plan focused on managing larger, active holdings and controlling costs. Despite the benefits for the plan that this form of housekeeping provides, results from these “forced transfers” may be less […]

Court Approves $1M Settlement in COBRA Class Action Lawsuit

A federal district court gave preliminary approval to a $1 million settlement agreement that would resolve a class action lawsuit alleging that an employer/plan administrator, in farming out its employees to clients, violated COBRA’s initial and election notice rules, as well as its  premium subsidy rules. The settlement would consist of a $375,000 payout to […]

Verbal COBRA Notice Is Sufficient, Says Court in Ruling for Employer

In a decision that overlooked key COBRA guidance, a federal district court ruled that an employer/plan administrator fulfilled its notice obligation by verbally providing a notice of COBRA rights and accepting premium payments — which apparently the qualified beneficiary had to pay a few days after her employment termination. In dismissing a COBRA notice claim, […]

Employer Faces More Fees as 11th Circuit Affirms $126K COBRA Penalty Award

A federal appeals court not only affirmed a ruling that an employer/plan administrator must pay more than $126,000 in penalties and legal costs for intentionally violating COBRA notice requirements, it also held that about $2,460 in expenses excluded from the legal award should be revisited by the lower court. The case is Evans v. Books-A-Million, […]

The Trouble with ‘Twibel’: A New Social Media Headache for Employers

You may feel like a twit when it comes to your understanding of Twitter, but it is time to add the word “Twibel” to your company’s vocabulary — and more importantly, to your overall social media strategy, says Porter Wright employment law attorney Sara Jodka. Libel occurs when someone prints a false and malicious statement […]

Firing of Formerly Drug-addicted Pharmacist Okay Under ADA

Wal-Mart has successfully defended a putative class action alleging that its failure to employ former drug addicts as pharmacists violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The retailer was able to show that the lead plaintiff was fired because he was previously charged with forging prescriptions — not because of his history of addiction. The suit […]

Free Coverage for 11 Months Eliminates Need for COBRA Notice Penalties, Court Rules

Due to an administrative error, an employer clearly did not provide a qualified beneficiary with a COBRA election notice. However, the qualified beneficiary also benefited from that mistake by receiving 11 months of free health coverage. For that reason, a federal district court in Iowa rejected claims that the employer should be subject to COBRA […]

TPA Faces ERISA Benefits Denial Claim for Improperly Raising COBRA Premium

A third-party administrator that poorly communicated a COBRA premium rate increase ­— which in any case was likely prohibited under COBRA’s rules — is being sued for ERISA benefits denial and state-law promissory estoppel claims. The TPA instituted the premium change but did not provide clear written notice of it as required under plan terms. […]