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Employee Benefits/ERISA

Related Practices

Rankings & Honors

  • Recognized nationally as a Tier One firm—the highest possible ranking—in “Employment Law—Management” and “Litigation—Labor & Employment” by U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” Our employment group is also recognized in every metropolitan area we practice
  • Employment attorneys ranked as leading lawyers in their fields by Chambers USA/Global
  • Ranked by Law360 as an Employment 100 firm
  • National and metropolitan honors from publications like Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and other directories and publications
 

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS/ERISA

We make compliance simple, designing employee benefit plans that give our clients a competitive edge while keeping them in step with the law.

Our approach

Employee benefits have been revolutionized.

Health Care Reform, the demise of DOMA and an aging workforce all contribute to the new landscape. While potentially overwhelming for employers, these changes also present new opportunities to attract and retain talented workers.

We approach employee benefits with a real-world, business savvy outlook.

Having spent time “in the trenches” as HR, governmental, general counsel and CPA professionals, we know the ins and outs of the laws and regulations governing employee benefits, which means we go beyond legal advice to provide strategic counsel on how your benefits programs can align with your overall business objectives.

Employee benefits touch many areas of your business—your employees’ health and future, your financial stability, tax obligations and your ability to compete in the market.

Our team is built around specific areas of practice, which allows us to identify the nuanced issues that can bring your benefits plans to the next level.

We see the whole picture and are committed to designing plans that will carry you safely and successfully into the future.

Who we work with

  • Employers to design and implement retirement, health and welfare and other benefit plans
  • Fiduciaries on the special rules that govern their conduct
  • Public and private for-profit corporations of all shapes and sizes
  • Universities, hospitals, arts institutions and other tax exempt organizations to structure retirement and deferred compensation plans that comply with the special rules of Sections 403(b) and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Banks, investment advisers and other financial institutions on compliance issues that arise in investment management and trust and custody services to employee benefit plans
  • Third-party administrators and insurance brokerages seeking a competitive edge in developing innovative benefits services
  • Multiemployer and Taft-Hartley fund administrators and boards of trustees on the administration of their plans

Media Clips

  • The Churn
    American Lawyer | June 27, 2014
    This coverage highlights the arrival of Rochester Employee Benefits counsel Darcie Falsioni.
  • 2013 RBJ Forty Under 40
    Rochester Business Journal | November 15, 2013
    Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene is among the 40 Rochester-area individuals under the age of 40 recognized for demonstrating significant professional accomplishments and community involvement.
  • Nixon Adds Ex-Head of Sedgwick's Employee Benefits Team
    Law360 | August 26, 2013

    This feature article highlights the arrival of San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Karen Ng.

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  • WNY Businesses Face Post-DOMA Uncertainty
    Buffalo Law Journal | August 19, 2013

    Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene discusses the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act decision.

  • A Small Employer Weighs Obamacare Options to Cut Costs
    Bloomberg BusinessWeek | July 31, 2013

    This Q&A focuses on how Obamacare will affect small employers.  Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene addresses how companies may have the option to stop offering to pay for an employee’s insurance directly because he/she can purchase coverage through an individual Obamacare exchange.

  • Supreme Court's DOMA Ruling Already Keeping Local Law Firms Busy
    Boston Business Journal | June 28, 2013

    Boston Employee Benefits partner Tom McCord and Boston Private Clients associate Jen Collins discuss the business impact the U.S. Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) ruling.

  • The Business of Same-Sex Marriage
    CNBC's The Kudlow Report | June 26, 2013

    San Francisco partner and leader of the firm’s Labor & Employment practice Jeff Tanenbaum discusses the business impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings regarding California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

  • Gannett Agrees to Buy Belo for $1.5 Billion
    New York Times | June 13, 2013

    This coverage notes that Nixon Peabody counseled the Gannett Company in its $1.5 billion acquisition of Belo Corporation, a deal that almost doubles Gannett’s television operations.

  • Health Care Changes are Coming in '14
    Democrat and Chronicle | May 15, 2013

    In this guest column, Rochester Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits counsel Kate Saracene, discusses what small businesses need to know about the Affordable Health Care Act.

  • ACA Checkup Can Help Keep Firm Healthy
    Providence Business News | April 8, 2013

    Providence Health Services partner Steve Zubiago and Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene co-authored this column focused on “play-or-pay” health care reform mandates that will require many companies to make changes in whether and how they provide health care benefits to their employees.

  • Preparing for Healthcare Reform
    Corporate Secretary | March 26, 2013

    Rochester Labor & Employment partner Eric Paley discusses how preparing for provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that go into effect in 2014 could be a big deal for many companies.

  • Questions Arise on Future of Domestic-Partner Benefits
    Buffalo Business First | March 15, 2013

    Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits partner Brian Kopp discusses if and how the expansion of benefits through marriage will impact domestic partnership policies among opposite-sex couples.

  • What to Look for in Health Care Reform Mandates Next January
    Rochester Business Journal | March 15, 2013

    Rochester Corporate partner Jeff LaBarge and Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene co-authored this column discussing the next wave of health care reform compliance mandates.

  • New ACA Employer Mandate Gives Cos. Surprising Leeway
    Law 360 | January 11, 2013

    Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene discusses proposed regulations from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service relaxing a health reform requirement for large employers.

  • Legal Advisers Step in to Help Navigate Uncharted Waters
    Rochester Business Journal | September 21, 2012

    Rochester Labor & Employment partner Eric Paley and Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene discuss how the firm has responded to the passing of the Affordable Care Act and have helped clients navigate the changes.

  • How to Make Your 401(k) Last Forever: The Pension Rollover
    Forbes | August 8, 2012

    Boston labor and employment partner Tom McCord provides commentary in this article discussing renewed interest in a lesser-known, potentially cheaper option to guarantee lifetime payments of 401(k) retirement account balances—the DC to DB rollover.

  • Supreme Court Sends Employers Scrambling
    Long Island Business News | July 5, 2012

    This article addresses the impact of the Supreme Court’s health care reform decision on employers. Labor & Employment partner Tom McCord provides commentary.

  • Anticipate Requirements Now for Employer Group Health Plans
    Rochester Business Alliance Newsletter | May 1, 2012

    This column, authored by Rochester Labor & Employment counsel Kate Saracene, discusses what employers need to know in order to be compliant with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Ideas

Wellness programs after the Affordable Care Act (Part II)
Benefits Law Alert | July 14, 2014

One-month orientation period will provide relief from the 90-day rule
Benefits Alert | July 9, 2014

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Religious freedom for corporations? The Hobby Lobby decision breaks new ground
Benefits Law Alert | July 2, 2014

California's Paid Family Leave Program expands the definition of a family member and brings new leave challenges for employers
Employment Law Alert | June 26, 2014

Supreme Court eliminates employer stock presumption
Benefits Alert | June 26, 2014

Changes to SEC Rule 701 under the Encouraging Employee Ownership Act: What you need to know
Government Relations Alert | June 16, 2014

Special Marketplace enrollment for COBRA participants and new COBRA forms
Benefits Alert | June 4, 2014

Webinar Recording: Health Care Reform—What Every Hospital and Medical Service Provider Needs to Know
Originally recorded April 8, 2014 | April 17, 2014

Most severance pay is subject to FICA tax withholding
Benefits Alert | April 9, 2014

Windsor compliance dates clarified
Benefits Alert | April 8, 2014

San Francisco authorizes use of HRAs to satisfy HCSO spending requirement
Benefits Alert | December 31, 2013

The Labor and Employment Law crystal ball: Trends and developments for 2014
Employment Law Alert | December 27, 2013

Webinar Recording: Navigating Health Care Reform and San Francisco's Health Care Security Ordinance in 2014
Originally recorded September 24, 2013 | September 30, 2013

Webinar Recording: Employee Wellness Programs: What Employers Need to Know to Comply with the New Regulations
Originally recorded August 6, 2013 | August 8, 2013

Wellness programs after the Affordable Care Act (Part I)
Benefits Alert | August 8, 2013

Webinar Recording: Unraveling DOMA: How the Supreme Court's Windsor decision affects your employee benefit plans
Originally recorded July 17, 2013 | July 22, 2013

Much ado about nothing…or is it?
Benefits Alert | July 18, 2013

Massachusetts repeals its employer health care mandate
Benefits Alert | July 17, 2013

Rhode Island law extends temporary disability benefits to caregivers
Employment Law Alert | July 15, 2013

Employer health care mandate and reporting requirements delayed until 2015
Benefits Alert | July 3, 2013

The Supreme Court strikes down DOMA—what it means for employee benefit plans
Benefits Alert | June 28, 2013

What's new with the Affordable Care Act?
Benefits Alert | May 20, 2013

Supreme Court upholds plan terms that require reimbursement of participant's recovery from third party
Benefits Alert | April 30, 2013

What employers with self-funded health plans need to know about the new HIPAA/HITECH Act Omnibus Rule
Benefits Alert | March 20, 2013

Webinar Recording: What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule means for you—Your questions answered
Originally recorded March 11, 2013 | March 15, 2013

Webinar Recording: Health Care Reform: Employer Compliance and Strategies
Originally recorded February 14, 2013 | February 19, 2013

Proposed regulations broaden exemptions from and accommodations for offering group health contraceptive coverage
Benefits Alert | February 15, 2013

Prompt action required by employers on health care reform: IRS issues "play or pay" regulations
Benefits Alert | January 16, 2013

Five New Year's resolutions for employers
Employment Law Alert | January 2, 2013

Attention NY employers: Governor Cuomo signs New York Labor Law amendments expanding permissible wage deductions
Employment Law Alert | September 12, 2012

Massachusetts relaxes rules for employer health care reform contributions
Benefits Alert | August 30, 2012

Webinar Recording: Collective Bargaining for Health Benefits in Today's Legal Environment
Originally recorded August 8, 2012 | August 9, 2012

Webinar Recording: Steps Employers Need to Take Now to Implement Health Care Reform
Originally recorded July 25, 2012 | July 30, 2012

Webinar Recording: ERISA Budget Accounts: Revenue sharing in retirement plans
Originally recorded July 26, 2012 | July 30, 2012

Health care reform: the effect on employers after the Supreme Court decision
Benefits Alert | June 29, 2012

Webinar Recording: Supreme Court Health Care Reform decision: What now?
June 29, 2012

IRS survey of 401(k) plans reveals trends in 401(k) plan design
Benefits Alert | June 11, 2012

IRS issues cloudy clarification of vesting rules
Benefits Alert | June 7, 2012

Good news for health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Benefits Alert | June 1, 2012

Webinar Recording: ERISA Budget Accounts: Revenue sharing in retirement plans
Originally recorded May 22, 2012 | May 24, 2012

IRS issues proposed regulations on excise tax imposed on sponsors of health plans
Benefits Alert | April 20, 2012

Fourth Circuit rules on duty to investigate and diversify investments
ERISA Fiduciary Law Alert | December 13, 2011

Your company's variable compensation schemes, written in a language other than French, are not enforceable against your employees who can claim payment of the variable portion of compensation even if they do not meet requirements for this!
Global Employment Law Alert | October 18, 2011

New disclosure requirements mandated by health care reform
Benefits Alert | September 13, 2011

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Press

Events

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 29, 2014 | Jericho, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 28, 2014 | New York, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 21, 2014 | Buffalo, NY

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Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 14, 2014 | Albany, NY

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 6, 2014 | Rochester, NY

Webinar: Health Care Reform—What Every Hospital and Medical Service Provider Needs to Know
April 8, 2014

Looking Ahead for Rhode Island Employers
March 4, 2014

Implementing the Affordable Care Act
December 10, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Is your employee benefit plan audit-ready?
December 3, 2013

Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 7, 2013 | Albany, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 5, 2013 | Buffalo, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 30, 2013 | New York, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 29, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Corning Employee Benefits Luncheon Briefing
October 10, 2013

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 9, 2013 | Rochester, NY

Employee Benefits Update: What You Need to Know Now
October 1, 2013

Webinar: Navigating Health Care Reform and San Francisco's Health Care Security Ordinance in 2014
September 24, 2013

Webinar: Employee Wellness Programs: What Employers Need to Know to Comply with the New Regulations
August 6, 2013

Webinar: Unraveling DOMA: How the Supreme Court's Windsor decision affects your employee benefit plans
July 17, 2013

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group 13th Annual Educational Exchange, MA
June 12, 2013

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group 13th Annual Educational Exchange, NY
June 5, 2013

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing (New York City)
May 22, 2013 | New York, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing (Long Island)
May 21, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 16, 2013 | Albany, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 14, 2013 | Buffalo, NY

Rochester Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 9, 2013 | Rochester, NY

Health Care Reform: Are you ready?
April 17, 2013 | New York, NY

Health Care Reform: Are you ready?
April 16, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Health Care Reform: Are you ready?
April 12, 2013 | Boston, MA

What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule means for you: Your questions answered
March 28, 2013 | Boston, MA

Webinar: What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule means for you—Your questions answered
March 11, 2013 | Manchester, NH

ERISA Fiduciary Update
March 7, 2013 | New York, NY

ERISA Fiduciary Update
March 6, 2013 | Jericho, NY

What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule means for you: Your questions answered
February 27, 2013 | Providence, RI

Webinar: Health Care Reform: Employer Compliance and Strategies
February 14, 2013

New York/Long Island Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
December 11, 2012 | New York, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
December 6, 2012 | Buffalo, NY

Pension Fee Disclosure: Lessons Learned
December 3, 2012 | Jericho, NY

Webinar: Fee Disclosure: The Next Chapter
October 18, 2012

Are you ready for open enrollment?
October 2, 2012 | Albany, NY

Are you ready for open enrollment?
September 20, 2012 | Rochester, NY

Webinar: Collective Bargaining for Health Benefits in Today's Legal Environment
August 8, 2012

Webinar: ERISA Budget Accounts: Revenue sharing in retirement plans
July 26, 2012

Webinar: Steps Employers Need to Take Now to Implement Health Care Reform
July 25, 2012

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
July 25, 2012 | Buffalo, NY

Webinar: Supreme Court Health Care Reform decision: What now?
June 28, 2012

Are you and your 403(b) Committee prepared for what's next?
June 27, 2012 | Rochester, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefings
June 21, 2012 | New York, NY

Nixon Peabody's Semi-Annual CLE Program (Buffalo and Rochester)
June 7, 2012 | Buffalo, NY

Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
May 24, 2012 | Albany, NY

Webinar: ERISA Budget Accounts: Revenue sharing in retirement plans
May 22, 2012

Webinar: San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance: New Notice Obligations and Year-end Deadline
December 21, 2011

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Employee Benefits/ERISA