Technology Employment Law

Technology Employment Law

Legal Insight for Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Employers

Category Archives: Benefits & Compensation

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Supreme Court Holds That Time Spent in Security Screening Is Not Compensable Time

Regarding the Supreme Court’s Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk opinion, issued today, our colleague Michael Kun at Epstein Becker Green has posted “Supreme Court Holds That Time Spent in Security Screening Is Not Compensable Time” on one of our sister blogs, Wage & Hour Defense.

Following is an excerpt:

In order to prevent employee theft, some employers require their employees to undergo security screenings before leaving the employers’ facilities. That is particularly so with employers involved in manufacturing and retail sales, who must be concerned with valuable merchandise being removed in bags, purses or jacket pockets.

Often in … Continue Reading

NYC Affordable Transit Act Passes – Expanding the Right to Pre-Tax Transit Benefits to More New Yorkers

Technology, media, and telecommunication employers doing business in New York City should take note of a new ordinance Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law on October 20, 2014 – The Affordable Transit Act.

The Affordable Transit Act (the “Act”) requires employers in New York City with 20 or more full-time employees to offer pre-tax transit benefits to employees. The Act allows employees to use up to $130 in tax free money towards their transit costs, which is the current IRS limit.  Full-time employees are defined as employees working an average of 30 hours or more per week.

Penalties for … Continue Reading

Five High-Level Issues to Consider in Shaping Employee Benefit Offerings – Take 5 Newsletter

In this month’s Take 5 newsletter, I share my thoughts regarding five important issues that TMT companies should consider as they shape their employee benefits programs.  Below is an excerpt:

The workplace that we know today is rapidly changing. Competition for highly skilled workers is fierce, employees have become more mobile (due, in part, to alternative work arrangements or outsourcing), and there are often several generations of employees working alongside one another with different workplace approaches and perspectives. Developing employee benefit and compensation programs that are meaningful to a diverse group of workers with varied needs will become increasingly more … Continue Reading

The New Jersey Technology Council: Informative Discussions at the 2014 Annual Meeting

By Michelle Capezza, Ian Carleton Schaefer, and Arthur O’Brien (upSKILL Project Manager, NJIT)

The New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) is a not-for-profit, trade association which focuses on connecting decision-makers and thought-leaders from technology and technology support companies through access to financing opportunities, networking, and business support. Through its programs, the NJTC provides timely business information to help its members grow and succeed and provides forums for member companies to work together to advance New Jersey’s, and the region’s, status as a leading technology center. At NJTC’s Annual Meeting held in July at The Forsgate Country Club in Monroe, … Continue Reading

Considerations for Technology Companies to Attract, Motivate and Retain Key Talent

By Michelle Capezza

I recently authored an article in TechLifeSciNews: “Considerations for Technology Companies to Attract, Motivate and Retain Key Talent.”

The following is an excerpt:

As technology companies innovate and grow, the need for knowledgeable, experienced employees increases along with the competition for the most highly-skilled workers.  As a result of the competitive marketplace (as highlighted by the recent high-tech employee antitrust/anti-poaching class-action lawsuit settlement involving technology giants), one of the biggest challenges facing technology companies today concerns how well it can attract, motivate and retain top talent.  In addition to providing fair and competitive compensation and benefits packages, … Continue Reading

Bell-Curve Rankings In at Yahoo

By Nancy L. Gunzenhauser and Jeffrey M. Landes

It’s performance review season…meaning reports of various performance review systems are making headlines for employers. In a recent survey by OnForce, former technology employees turned-independent contractors stated that performance reviews were one of the least missed aspects of working as employees, only behind commuting. Performance reviews come in various types, with some causing more controversy than others. One of the most controversial types of performance review systems is the bell-curve (aka “forced” or “stacked”) ranking.

Yahoo is instituting a “stacked” ranking system for evaluating employee performance. This is the second controversial employee … Continue Reading

IRS Chips Away at the FSA “Use-or-Lose” Rule

I recently coauthored a Client Alert, “IRS Chips Away at the FSA ‘Use-or-Lose’ Rule” with Jeffrey Lieberman, one of my colleagues in the Employee Benefits practice at Epstein Becker Green.

The following is an excerpt:

Under new guidance issued by the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, Section 125 cafeteria plans can be, but are not required to be, amended to allow up to a maximum of $500 of unused amounts remaining at the end of a plan year in a participant’s health flexible spending account to be carried over to the next plan year and used to … Continue Reading

The Affordable Care Act: Technology Companies Must Continue Compliance Efforts

I recently coauthored an article in TechLifeSciNews,The Affordable Care Act: Technology Companies Must Continue Compliance Efforts,” with Gretchen Harders, one of my colleagues in the Employee Benefits practice at Epstein Becker Green. 

Following is an excerpt:

Technology companies are in the unique position of developing new products and technologies for the healthcare industry, while at the same time acting in the role of employer subject to the healthcare reform mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, as amended (“ACA”). Whether the company is availing itself of the small employer healthcare insurance policies … Continue Reading

The New Jersey Technology Council: Informative Discussions at the 2013 Annual Meeting

By Michelle Capezza

The New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) is a not-for-profit, trade association which focuses on connecting decision-makers and thought-leaders from technology and technology support companies through access to financing opportunities, networking, and business support. Through its programs, the NJTC provides timely business information to help its members grow and succeed and provides forums for member companies to work together to advance New Jersey’s, and the region’s, status as a leading technology center.

At NJTC’s Annual Meeting held in July at The Palace in Somerset, NJ, the NJTC furthered its mission by hosting a series of discussions on topics … Continue Reading

Affordable Care Act: Important Deadline for Employee Notices of the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange) Due October 1, 2013

By Gretchen Harders and Michelle Capezza

On May 8, 2013, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued Technical Release 2013-02 (the “Release”) providing important guidance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the “Affordable Care Act”) with regard to the requirement that employers provide notices to their employees of the existence of the Health Insurance Marketplace, generally referred to previously as the Exchange. These employee notices must be provided to existing employees no later than October 1, 2013. This deadline is … Continue Reading

Why the Technology Industry Can Help Build A Better Workplace

By Michelle Capezza

I recently read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which includes a call to action for men and women to end gender bias in the workplace.  Yet, Lean In is not only a discussion about gender bias and stereotypes, women being held back or holding back themselves but, it’s a call to action as a society to work together toward equality.  A common question that has followed for many who have read the book is where do we begin; how can we move forward as a society to address the issues that face all of us in the … Continue Reading

Timeline of Highlights for Employer Group Health Plan Compliance with the Affordable Care Act

by Joan A. Disler, Michelle Capezza, and Gretchen Harders

Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld essentially all of the provisions of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), employers are faced with looming deadlines to bring their group health plans into compliance with the ACA’s numerous new requirements. We have prepared for employers a timeline of the highlights of the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the ACA that apply to non-grandfathered group health plans.

Click here to access a copy of the timeline (PDF).

Timeline imageContinue Reading

Health FSAs-Plan for the $2500 Cap

Cafeteria plans which provide a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) allow participants to make pre-tax salary contributions to an account in order to receive reimbursements to pay for medical expenses that are not reimbursed through insurance or another arrangement (e.g., co pays, deductibles, eyeglasses).  Prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, sponsors of these plans could set an annual limit for contributions to health FSAs per plan terms.  Sponsors typically established such limits by taking into consideration the uniform coverage rule which requires that if a participant elected the maximum amount permitted and incurred a reimbursable … Continue Reading

JOBS Act Provides Encouragement for Start-Ups and Emerging Growth Companies

On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act or JOBS Act.  In light of the sharp decline in the number of companies entering the U.S. capital markets through IPOs over the last ten years, Congress recognized a need for this legislation since small companies are critical to economic growth and job creation.  To promote growth and assist small companies in gaining access to capital, the JOBS Act amends the securities laws in several ways, which include the following:

(i)                  Establishes a new category of issuers known as “Emerging Growth Companies” (EGCs) which are … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Mulls Obamacare; The Health Care Industry Mulls The Supreme Court

By Stuart M. Gerson

The three days of arguments about the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are complete. The Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States have conducted their post-argument conference and are now turning their attention to the drafting and the discussions that will lead to a majority opinion and, likely, several dissents and concurrences. The Court’s decision should be issued before the end of June. Health care companies and employers, like the rest of the population, await the ultimate decision. However, there are several matters that can be identified in the short … Continue Reading

Final Extensions Provided for Retirement Plan Fee Disclosures and PPACA Summary of Benefits Coverage

On February 2, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued final regulations under Section 408(b)(2) of ERISA.  As a result, there is a new due date of July 1, 2012 by which certain service providers must make compensation disclosures to responsible plan fiduciaries of defined benefit and defined contribution plans (such as pension and 401(k) plans).  This provides an extension of the April 1, 2012 due date issued under prior guidance.  The regulations set forth the types of information that must be disclosed so that the plan fiduciaries can assess the reasonableness of the compensation paid for necessary services … Continue Reading

PPACA-”Cert. Worthy”

In accordance with the briefing schedule issued last December, initial briefs have been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court for its judicial review of certain issues under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”).  The issues to be reviewed by the Court include whether (i) the minimum coverage provisions under PPACA and individual mandate to buy health insurance is a valid exercise of Congress’ power under Article I of the U.S. Constitution, (ii) the Anti-Injunction Act will prevent a ruling from the Court until such time as a tax is actually collected under PPACA, (iii) the individual … Continue Reading

Extension of Due Date for Summary of Benefits Coverage under PPACA

On November 17, 2011, the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part VII) and Mental Health Parity Implementation.  In FAQ 1, the Departments noted that they received many comments on the proposed regulations concerning the requirement to provide group health plan participants and beneficiaries with a summary of benefits coverage that accurately describes the benefits and coverage available under the plan and a uniform glossary of terms (“SBC”).  The FAQs provide that the Departments intend to issue, as soon as possible, final regulations that address … Continue Reading

Get Ready for the Summary of Benefits Coverage under PPACA

On March 23, 2012, another requirement under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”)  will be effective-the requirement to provide group health plan participants and beneficiaries with a summary of benefits coverage that accurately describes the benefits and coverage available under the plan and a uniform glossary of terms (“SBC”).  These requirements were incorporated under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA (in addition to existing summary plan description requirements).  Under currently proposed regulations, health insurance issuers will also be required to provide this type of information to group health plan sponsors at the time of application or request … Continue Reading

Proposed Regulations Released Relating to Health Insurance Premium Tax Credits under Affordable Care Act while Eleventh Circuit Finds Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

On August 12, 2011, the Departments of Treasury and Health and Human Services released Proposed Regulations to provide guidance to individuals who enroll in qualified health plans through State-based Exchanges, as envisioned under the Affordable Care Act, and to provide guidance to Exchanges that make qualified health plans available to individuals and employers.  The Exchanges will be one-stop marketplaces where consumers can buy private health insurance plans.  The premium tax credit is designed to help individuals and families with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (approximately $22,350 to $89,400 for a family of four in 2011) … Continue Reading

Department of Labor’s EBSA Provides Extension to Applicability Dates for Retirement Plan Fee Disclosures

On July 13, 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration issued a final regulation under ERISA to extend and align the applicability dates for retirement plan fee disclosure rules (i.e., the service provider fee and conflicts of interest disclosures to plan fiduciaries as well as the participant-level fee disclosures).  The service provider disclosures may now be provided no later than April 1, 2012 (an extension from January 1, 2012 as indicated in prior guidance).  There may also be additional guidance before the end of this year as to what those disclosures must include but the Department of … Continue Reading

Department of Labor’s EBSA Proposes Extension to Align Applicability Dates for Retirement Plan Fee Disclosures

Last year, two significant sets of regulations were issued that will affect qualified plan fiduciary responsibility and administration.  Last July, interim final regulations were issued requiring retirement plan service providers to disclose detailed information regarding their fees and potential conflicts of interest to plan fiduciaries.  These service provider disclosures were scheduled to apply to plan contracts and arrangements for services on or after July 16, 2011.  Since those regulations were issued, there has been much discussion surrounding compliance with these rules, including whether a summary format of information might be necessary to help plan sponsors understand and know what to … Continue Reading

Government Seeks Comments on Employer Mandate Related Issues Under Health Reform

As part of the process of planning for implementation of health reform pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services are working together to develop a series of regulations and administrative guidance. One aspect of the Affordable Care Act provides that employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be considered “applicable large employers” subject to an employer mandate tax effective in 2014.  Under these rules, such large employers will be liable for excise taxes if they have any full-time employees that are certified to receive … Continue Reading

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