As of this writing, it has been over 850 days since the UConn women’s basketball team has lost a game. When the Huskies last tasted defeat (in an overtime thriller to Stanford on November 17, 2014), football players at Northwestern University were pursuing their rights to collectively bargain after a ruling by the NLRB regional director in Chicago held they were statutory employees.  While the undefeated nature of women’s basketball in Storrs, CT has been a constant, the NLRB changed the game for Northwestern football players by declining to assert jurisdiction.  However, there remains a feeling in certain quarters of college sports that some form of pay to student-athletes is inevitable.

Continue Reading March Inevitableness? Considering the Legal Consequences of Pay to Student-Athletes

My colleague, Jessica Catlow was quoted in the SHRM article, Is Banning Salary History Discussions a Game Changer? in which she analyzes a recent Massachusetts law that prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. Catlow highlights the law’s impact on the way women negotiate salary during the hiring process. The article provides an overview of the law and examines the likelihood of a nationwide ban on pre-hire salary questions.

 

The Department of Labor’s new overtime rules take effect December 1, 2016, and employers across the country are carefully reviewing and modifying their compensation and payroll practices in anticipation.  As part of this preparation, employers must consider whether and how any changes to their compensation structures will affect their employee benefit plans. This post examines some of the employee benefits issues that employers should be considering as the December 1 deadline approaches.

Continue Reading Employee Benefits and the New Overtime Rules

We have co-authored an alert with our affiliate government relations consulting group, ML Strategies entitled, “Massachusetts State Legislature Takes Action on Major Employment Reform as Legislative Session Ends”, which addresses key legislation concerning pay equity, transgender anti-discrimination, non-compete agreement reform, credit checks reform and wage theft. The alert provides a review of the new laws and their implications for employers.

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service recently issued comprehensive proposed regulations governing nonqualified plans subject to tax under Internal Revenue Code § 457. Code § 457 prescribes the tax rules that apply to “eligible” and “ineligible” nonqualified deferred compensation plans. Code § 457(b) defines the requirements to be an “eligible” nonqualified plan; a deferred compensation plan that does not satisfy the requirements of Code § 457(b) is an “ineligible” plan under Code § 457(f). Eligible and ineligible plans may be maintained only by state or local governments or organizations exempt from tax under Code § 501(c). The proposed regulations make the following changes:

Continue Reading The Impact of Recently Proposed Regulations on Ineligible Nonqualified Plans Under Internal Revenue Code § 457(f)

From:             Ned Help

To:                  Carrie Counselor

Date:              June 29, 2016

Subject:         Benefit and Compensation Considerations

Carrie:

I appreciate the guidance you have provided regarding the documents the company needs to have in place when sending an employee on an assignment abroad.

Now I have a related question about immigration risks and responsibilities: where do we draw the line between the company’s obligations and assumption of risks in these scenarios and the employees’ obligations and assumptions of risks with respect to securing and maintaining visas and work permit approvals for our employees?

Thanks for helping me think through this thorny issue.

Ned

Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Creating a Company’s Global Mobility & Immigration Policy

From:             Ned Help

To:                  Carrie Counselor

Date:              June 16, 2016

Subject:         Benefit and Compensation Considerations

Carrie:

Thank you again for all your help over the past few weeks as we address our concerns with employees going abroad.  We previously talked about offer letters and employment agreements.  I know you covered some of the basic considerations regarding benefits and compensation, but I was hoping we could go into this topic in a little more depth, as we look to implement revised standards internally.

We will be sending some high level employees abroad for assignments in key geographic regions for the business and I expect to get plenty of push back on compensation packages.  I was hoping you could provide a quick overview of some key compensation considerations we should be aware of before we begin negotiations with these individuals.

Thanks,
Ned

Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Benefit and Compensation Considerations

One of the few “wins” for employers under the DOL’s new overtime rule was that employers are now allowed to apply “nondiscretionary incentive payments” to meet up to 10 percent of the new salary threshold.  This change could prove very important for employers who pay employees on a commission basis or who use other incentive-based compensation.

But what qualifies as a nondiscretionary incentive payment?  What options do employers have in changing their compensation plans to ensure compliance with the new rule?  And what could be the unintended consequences of those changes?  This post looks at this new rule and attempts to answer some of those questions.

Continue Reading Handling Nondiscretionary Incentive Payments Under the New FLSA Overtime Rule

This is the second installment of a series regarding legal issues affecting college athletics that will run during this year’s NCAA basketball tournament.

It is no secret that the salaries of coaches of high profile college programs are rising steadily.  In a recent report listing the highest paid public employee for each of the fifty states, 40 were college coaches.  While Alabama football coach Nick Saban led that list with annual compensation of around $7 million, the Chronicle of Higher Education also reported the Crimson Tide were just 1 of 10 athletic programs in 2014 to give more money back to its campus than it received in subsidies.  As a famous comic book hero once said – “with great power, comes great responsibility.”  It is therefore important to examine the legal concerns affecting coaching pay, which based on recent events, will increasingly include responsibility for conduct detrimental to athletic programs.

Continue Reading More Money, More Problems? – The Rise of Compensation and Expectations for College Coaches

Our colleague, Pam Greene, wrote an excellent post on our sister blog, Securities Matters, on the SEC’s final rule requiring public companies to disclose the ratio of their CEO”s annual total compensation to that of the median annual total compensation of all company employees. You can read that post here.