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Recent Blog Posts

  • How ESOP sponsors can survive the disruption from COVID-19 By Greg Daugherty and Deb Boiarsky    The spread of COVID-19 and the resulting disruption to the economy has led many employers to think creatively about how to manage cash, provide for the sustainability of their businesses and preserve the culture they have created with their employees and customers. These issues are especially critical for employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) companies, many of whom are in the process of their annual appraisal. These appraisals are important because they directly affect the size... More
  • Tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act By Victoria Hanohano-Hong    On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law requiring employers with fewer than 500 employees to make payments for COVID-19 related FMLA leave and paid sick leave required by the act. To lessen this financial burden to employers, the act provides for refundable tax credits to offset payroll taxes. The FFCRA tax credits will be provided for eligible wages paid from April 2, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Emergency FMLA expansion tax... More
  • Navigating employment issues in the wake of COVID-19 webinar By Rich Helmreich    We have all felt the tremendous impact to our workplaces and daily lives following the COVID-19 outbreak We’ve also watched the daily press conferences announcing new legislation and executive orders–but what happens next? My colleagues Leigh Ann Benedic and Mike Underwood hosted a discussion on effects of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on employers, state law developments and provide answered to frequently asked questions that will help you manage your workforce effectively through these unique times. Click... More
  • IRC Section 409A v. COVID-19: The nonqualified and executive compensation clash, and how employers can navigate it By Greg Daugherty, Dave Tumen and Rich Helmreich    Unintended consequences are a fact of life. As one of many examples, after the Titanic sank, the United States enacted a law that required any American ship carrying over 100 tons of weight to have enough lifeboats for every passenger. It was a noble thought – no more rationing of lifeboats in the event of a future ship wreck. Unfortunately, the SS Eastland was a poorly designed ship. The additional lifeboats required by... More
  • Employer disclosures of COVID-19 diagnoses By Victoria Hanohano-Hong    As more test kits become available for COVID-19 and an increasing number of people are tested, there will be more positive diagnoses. Because of COVID-19’s rapid community spread, many employers will soon see positive diagnoses of their own employees. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, an employer may want to limit workplace exposure by notifying its other employees of the positive diagnoses. Generally, an employer may disclose a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 to employees, but must do so... More
  • Navigating employment issues, help for small businesses and a delay in the tax deadline By Rich Helmreich    There have been a number of helpful blogs recently from our colleagues at Porter Wright aimed at helping businesses navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. Navigating Employment Issues in the Wake of COVID-19 webinar We have all felt the tremendous impacts to our workplaces and daily lives following the COVID-19 outbreak We’ve also watched the daily press conferences announcing new legislation and executive orders, but what happens next? As your workplace adapts to growing restrictions, Porter Wright invites you to a live webinar... More
  • DOL proposes a more practical rule for electronic ERISA disclosures By Victoria Hanohano-Hong and Deb Boiarsky    On Oct. 23, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule for electronic delivery of ERISA disclosures. Although the DOL already allows for electronic delivery under the 2002 Electronic Safe Harbor, its availability is limited and technology quickly outpaced its usefulness. The proposed rule creates a new, additional safe harbor the DOL calls the “Notice and Access” safe harbor that will allow for electronic delivery as a default method of delivery for certain... More
  • Final IRS hardship regulations – Less of a hardship to take and administer By Greg Daugherty, Deb Boiarsky and Victoria Hanohano-Hong    Special thanks to Victoria Hanohano-Hong, Porter Wright law clerk, for her assistance on this article. The IRS recently published final regulations, which amend the hardship withdrawal rules for 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The regulations reflect statutory changes to 401(k) and 403(b) plans, including changes made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Most of the changes are optional and do not require employer adoption; some are not optional. The following changes are mandatory for plans... More
  • Sellers beware: Recent court case shows sellers – as well as ESOP fiduciaries – should be engaged in ESOP due diligence and valuation process By Greg Daugherty and Deb Boiarsky    As we have explained in prior ESOP blogs, the Department of Labor (DOL) remains acutely concerned with private company employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) valuations in the formation of ESOPs. In particular, trustees who approve an ESOP trust’s purchase of shares from a seller must demonstrate that they have satisfied ERISA’s fiduciary duties with respect to the share purchase price. Specifically, trustees (whether independent or internal) need to demonstrate the due diligence and valuation procedures... More
  • Sixth Circuit nonqualified deferred compensation plan decision highlights importance of Code Section 409A compliance and ERISA claims procedures By Greg Daugherty and Dave Tumen    We often receive questions about whether different types of bonus plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans (NQDC plans) are subject to ERISA. We explain that being subject to ERISA may be a good thing for an NQDC plan, particularly with respect to resolving disputes and claims for benefits. Even if it is questionable whether an NQDC plan is subject to ERISA (i.e., because it arguably does not provide retirement benefits or covers only one person),... More