Kate Saracene’s focus is on helping employers, Taft-Hartley trust funds, insurance brokers and third party administrators navigate the complexities of the law and regulations governing health & welfare and cafeteria employee benefit plans (i.e., medical, dental, vision, disability, life and accident insurance, employee assistance programs (EAPs), wellness programs, health and dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), severance pay, and purchased vacation time). Her practice centers around ensuring such plans comply with ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, the Internal Revenue Code, and the ever-changing landscape of mental health parity and health reform mandates. She focuses on plan design and drafting, administration and operational compliance, compliance audits, and negotiating service provider administrative service agreements.
She also counsels employers regarding compliance with federal rules governing qualified retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, and a variety of labor and employment law subjects, including employment discrimination, sexual harassment, disability accommodation, FMLA and other leave of absence rights, wage-and-hour matters, employee handbooks, and collective bargaining. Ms. Saracene has represented employers in proceedings before state and federal courts, government agencies, and in labor arbitration hearings.
Ms. Saracene also has extensive experience in human resources and employee benefit plan administration. She returned to Nixon Peabody after serving as manager of Total Compensation and HR Policy for Xerox Corporation. In that role, she had global responsibility for the design and delivery of broad-based compensation programs, as well as authoring and interpreting human resources policies. She managed a number of HR functions at Xerox, including U.S. health and welfare benefits, disability and time off programs, and work/life initiatives. She was responsible for plan design and operations, vendor management, ERISA Plan Documents and Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), associated HR policies, and participant communications. She has worked in several other HR generalist and specialist roles, and has deep industrial relations experience, including contract administration, collective bargaining, industrial staffing, and strike contingency planning.
- “Anticipate Requirements Now for Employer Group Health Plans,” Rochester Business Alliance May/June Newsletter, April 30, 2012 (Author).
- “Children’s Health Insurance Law Adds to Employer’s Burden,” Rochester Business Journal, May 8, 2009, page 17 (Co-author).
- “Personal Appearance Policies Withstand Title VII Scrutiny,” The Daily Record, Jan. 23, 2005, page 6A (Co-author).
- “Change in Exemption Standards Due,” Rochester Business Journal“, Jun. 25, 2004, page 24 (Co-author).
- “Insuring Family Risks: Suggestions for a National Family Policy and Wage Replacement,” 14 Yale J.L. & Feminism 1, 2002.
- “You Can’t Take It With You: An Examination of Employee Benefit Portability and its Relationship to Job Lock and the New Psychological Contract,” 19 Hofstra Lab. & Emp. L.J. 173, 2001.