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Haynes and Boone | January 2002

On December 27, 2001, President Bush signed the Administrative Simplification Compliance Act (the "Act") that delayed the effective date of the electronic data interchange ("EDI") requirements of HIPAA. The EDI regulations required health claim transactions transmitted electronically to be in a standard format. The Act delays the effective date of the EDI regulations until October 16, 2003 or 2004 depending upon the size of your group health plan ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2002

Many employers are busy planning and preparing for the HIPAA privacy regulations which become applicable on or after April 14, 2003 or 2004, depending on the size of the group health plan. In the past, many employers wrapped all welfare plans into one plan document to reduce their Form 5500 filing requirements ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2002

As employers face the uncertainties of the post 9/11 era, we issue this Alert addressing five significant issues that the terrorist attacks raise for employers: (i) discrimination claims; (ii) the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994; (iii) workplace violence; (iv) background checks; and (v) security, evacuation, and safety. 1 ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2002

On Monday, January 14, 2002, the United States Supreme Court decided 6-3 that the EEOC is not limited by an arbitration agreement signed by an individual employee, but may seek back-pay, reinstatement or damages on behalf of that employee when it litigates. The lower appellate courts had split, with the most arbitration favorable courts holding that where an arbitration agreement existed, the EEOC was limited to seeking injunctive relief ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2002

ERISA requires plan fiduciaries to discharge their fiduciary duties solely in the interests of the participants and beneficiaries of the plan, and imposes personal liability on plan fiduciaries who fail to do so. While these obligations have existed under ERISA for over 25 years, Enron has brought them into sharp focus and caused many employers to revisit the structure of, and the fiduciary responsibilities imposed on employees under, their 401(k) plans and other retirement plans ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2002

Department of State: DOS is now requiring all male nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 16 and 45, regardless of nationality and regardless of where they apply, to submit Form DS-157 in addition to the usual Form DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Posts may also require women to submit the form at their discretion. ∙ Jerusalem is the first post to require all applicants age 16 to 45, regardless of gender, to submit form DS-157 in addition to form DS-156 ...

Haynes and Boone | April 2002

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) new recordkeeping regulations became effective on January 1, 2002. OSHA, however, has agreed to refrain from enforcing the regulations during the first 120 days of the rule, or until May 1, 2002 ...

Haynes and Boone | April 2002

IRS SUSPENDS 5500 FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR CAFETERIA PLANS, EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PLANS, AND ADOPTION ASSISTANCE PLANS The Internal Revenue Service announced, in Notice 2002-24, that plan sponsors of cafeteria plans, educational assistance plans, and adoption assistance plans are excused indefinitely from the requirement to file Schedule F to Form 5500 for such plans. Thus, an employer whose health plan would not require the filing of a Form 5500 (e.g ...

Haynes and Boone | May 2002

On April 29, 2002, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") does not require non-union employers to make an exception to their seniority system as a reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee. US Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, No. 00-1250 (April 29, 2002). This is the latest in a series of Supreme Court decisions narrowing the reach of the ADA ...

Haynes and Boone | May 2002

Earlier today, the Texas Supreme Court gave a green light to company required arbitration programs. In Re Halliburton Company And Brown & Root Energy Services, No. 00-1206 (Tex. May 30th, 2002). The underlying case arose when both the district court and court of appeals refused to order a case brought under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act to arbitration ...

Haynes and Boone | July 2002

Most of the attention about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Act), now awaiting President Bush’s signature, has been focused on the reform of public accounting firms and the financial reporting obligations of publicly held companies. However, the Act has other provisions that potentially impact a much broader range of employers. The legislation will be implemented at various times following the President’s signature, but employers should begin preparing for the following changes: 1 ...

Haynes and Boone | August 2002

Most of the attention about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Act), signed into law by President Bush on July 30, 2002, has been focused on the reform of public accounting firms and the financial reporting obligations of publicly held companies. However, the Act has other provisions that potentially impact a much broader range of employers ...

Haynes and Boone | September 2002

The deadline for compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 final regulations regarding standards for electronic claims transactions, October 16, 2002, is quickly approaching ...

Haynes and Boone | October 2002

ALI-ABA Pension, Profit-Sharing, Welfare, and other Compensation Plans; Washington, DC Many of the defined contribution health plans being marketed involve a higher deductible indemnity type of coverage either with or without a network of managed care providers (the “Policy”) accompanied by a “personal care account” or “PCA” which is funded either by employer, employee or both contributing to the PCA ...

Haynes and Boone | October 2002

A SUMMARY OF THE FINAL REGULATIONS ON THE STANDARDS FOR PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION ISSUED DECEMBER 28, 2000 AS MODIFIED BY THE FINAL REGULATIONS ISSUED ON AUGUST 14, 2002 CAVEAT: This outline summarizes the HIPAA Privacy Regulations as modified. No one should rely on this as legal advice. In every situation, the application of the rules requires careful analysis of a counsel who is familiar with your particular situation. I ...

Haynes and Boone | October 2002

The Department of Labor (“DoL”) has issued rules that implement the pension blackout provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Act”). These rules require plan administrators of individual account plans to deliver advance notice of blackout periods and will be effective for blackouts which begin on or after January 26, 2003 ...

Haynes and Boone | November 2002

The Internal Revenue Service previously announced that in order for qualified retirement plans to be in compliance with the requirements of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (“EGTRRA”), those plans must make the necessary good faith amendments by the later of (i) the last day of the plan year in which the EGTRRA changes apply, or (ii) the end of the GUST remedial amendment period for the plan. For most plans, the EGTRRA changes apply for the 2002 plan year ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2003

I. Why now? The rapidly increasing cost of health care, with the resulting increase in the cost of employer-provided health benefit plans, has caused employers to search for ways to contain their health plan expenses. Rising costs, along with general employee dissatisfaction with the lack of choice of health care providers under many plans and the perceived lack of quality within many of the networks available to employees, has created an environment ripe for new ideas ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2003

Florida West Coast Employee Benefits Council This outline looks at the privacy regulations as modified by the August 14, 2002, final modifications and how they apply to group health plans. This outline also considers the impact of the guidance issued by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services on December 4, 2002 ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2003

Florida West Coast Employee Benefits Council The following chart attempts to summarize some of the types of group health plans and which of the HIPAA privacy notice and administrative requirements apply to the plan. No one should rely on this as legal advice. In every situation, the application of the rules requires careful analysis of one's own counsel who is familiar with your particular situation ...

Haynes and Boone | February 2003

The Department of Labor (“DoL”) has issued final rules that implement the pension blackout provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Act”). These rules require plan administrators of individual account plans to deliver advance notice of blackout periods and will be effective for blackouts which begin on or after January 26, 2003 ...

Haynes and Boone | March 2003

Now that the 60-day deadline for filing new legislation without suspension of the rules has passed, for all practical purposes all legislation that will be offered this session has now been filed. Bills that could impact Texas employers generally, are listed by bill number and contain author, the committee the bill has been referred to, and any action that has been taken. House of Representatives H.B ...

Haynes and Boone | April 2003

A recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision underscores the importance to plan administrators of maintaining proper procedures for the distribution of summary plan descriptions (SPD’s) under ERISA. Each participant in a plan which is subject to ERISA must be furnished an SPD satisfying ERISA’s content requirements within 90 days after he or she becomes a participant ...

Haynes and Boone | July 2003

On May 28, 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DoL") issued proposed regulations on COBRA continuation coverage notice requirements. The proposed regulations include content standards for each type of required notice and provide sample forms for certain of the required notices. This Alert focuses on the significant changes applicable to single employer health plans. Even though they are only proposed, the regulations are important for a number of reasons ...

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