Culminating a flurry of late June opinions released by SCOTUS this week, the court today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has taken the extraordinary step of ending decades of precedent surrounding the protections for abortion-related services under the U.S. Constitution. The opinion has been widely anticipated since a draft opinion was leaked, and

Seyfarth Synopsis: Last summer and fall, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services issued Interim Final Rules (IFRs) [here] and [here], implementing the sweeping changes that applied to out-of-network health care providers and health plans under the No Surprises Act. While much of the IFR content was welcome

Seyfarth Synopsis: Reminiscent of the DOL’s about-face on ESG investing by ERISA fiduciaries [discussed here], on December 21st the DOL issued a “supplemental statement” on its view of the use of private equity investments in participant-directed retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans. 

As a refresh, in June 2020 the DOL issued an

Seyfarth Synopsis: As employers continue to struggle with strategies for safely re-opening their workplaces, we have previously discussed the possibility of mandating a vaccine or providing incentives for getting the vaccine. [Here] As employers shift their focus toward the cost of COVID hospitalizations (which studies show are a much greater risk for unvaccinated individuals), employers

Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL has waded into a long-simmering debate about whether audio recordings of phone calls between a plan participant and the plan’s administrator or insurer should be provided to the participant when challenging a benefit determination under the plan, and they have come down squarely on the side of the participant. 

A recent

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (“CAA”) offers significant relief for employers sponsoring flexible spending accounts. After much clamoring from the employer community, the IRS finally issued clarifying guidance in the form of Notice 2021-15 (the “Notice”). Check out our full Legal Update for details.

Seyfarth Synopsis: In mid-December 2020, after a truncated comment period and without public hearings, the US Department of Labor (DOL) finalized its proposed regulations on a fiduciary’s responsibilities when exercising shareholder rights like proxy voting (summarized here). They were published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2020 (click here) and were designated