Monday Briefing

It felt like fall here in Minnesota last week. We’re hoping that’s temporary. (We like to talk about the weather.) Here are a few things to think about with your morning coffee:

  • State and local time off and leave rules. We heard a lot about state and local time off  and leave laws at last week’s “clients and friends” employee benefits roundtable in Minneapolis. They seem to be showing up faster than cheap pens in my middle desk-drawer. Roundtable participants had a range of ways to deal with this phenomenon. On the smaller side (employers in only a few states) you might see a “most common denominator” approach. That can get expensive. Larger, multi-state employers are doing things like creating a core of 3 or 4 plans and putting states in the closest fit. What are you doing?
  • More to come?  We touched on the topic of state and local leave and time-off laws last week and expect to be seeing and saying more about it in the coming years. My guess? Sometime in the next 5 – 10 years (largely dependent on who is in the White House)  we will see some national legislation on leave or vacation time, maybe as an amendment to FMLA or something bigger.  See this Bloomberg piece for a little taste of things.  (Bloomberg)
  • Be Prepared. Thanks to Bob Cattanach (one of ours, happily, and a U.S. Naval Academy guy at that) for this short primer about preparing for data breaches. The video is not specific to benefit plans or HIPAA issues but it does an excellent job of laying the big picture framework we all should be thinking about. (video)  See here for bonus video–no comparison intended.  (Lion King Video – Be Prepared)
  • How about tweeting instead? The IRS seems to be continuing its cost-cutting measures by doing less with less. A few weeks ago the tax guys said “no more” to most determination letters for qualified retirement plans. Last week they said “no more e-mails” will be provided to taxpayers with benefit plan questions. We are happy to answer your e-mails. (IRS)  Just click send.
Bob Seng

Bob Seng

With plenty of experience in private practice and as an Assistant General Counsel for Pay & Benefits in a Fortune 50 Company, Bob understands that employee benefits law isn’t for everyone. That’s why he takes pride in listening carefully and responding with clear answers and advice that can be followed by busy clients.

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