ERISA, Fiduciary & Employment Benefits
Government Oversight of ERISA plans
Government Oversight of Employment Policies and Practices
Government Labor Department regulators have significantly expanded their oversight of corporate America. Over the past few years, there has been a proliferation of governmental enforcement activities ranging from audits and investigations to substantial penalties and litigation. The risks are high and the implications enormous, ranging from damaging public relations, personal and corporate liability, as well as substantial monetary and human resource costs in responding to audits and lawsuits. The passage of recent regulations and hiring of DOL investigators is particularly prevalent in the areas of ERISA fiduciary litigation and employment compliance.
Increased Risks and Liabilities
Fiduciaries responsible for sponsoring various retirement plans, such as 401k plans, face increased scrutiny from the DOL and the plaintiff’s bar. With the recent enactment of the Fiduciary Rule, financial advisors and financial institutions face similar scrutiny and potential liabilities. Companies are also responsible for ensuring that all of their employment-related practices, ranging from hiring decisions to compensation and leave, are fairly and consistently applied. If not, they risk not only audits, investigations, penalties and lawsuits, but also loss of business stemming from current and future federal contracts or subcontracts.
Maintaining or Establishing Compliance to Mitigate Increased Risks and Liabilities
Given this current challenging climate, companies are well advised to take proactive, preventative measures to become and/or remain compliant with the regulations that directly and substantially impact their business. Our attorneys provide counsel to mitigate the prospect of litigation and regulatory challenges. Our team has experience in successfully implementing policies, and navigating compliance audits, training, internal investigations, and litigation for businesses across multiple industries.
Retirement Plan Consulting Services
Our team has experience with private and public plans. These include defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and our services extend to both single and multi-employer plans. These include:
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
In addition to readiness assessments, we provide due diligence assessments and advice on plans involved in business acquisitions and divestitures, withdrawal liability, union-non/union double-breasted transactions, as well as underfunded liability.
Pietragallo Lawyers Experience in Advising and Defending Clients on Compliance-Related Issues
Our team of lawyers has real-world experience, knowledge, and expertise with ERISA and employment cases, laws, and regulations. Pietragallo attorneys have worked for or with government regulators in order to achieve successful results for their clients. Our lawyers also possess valuable in-house experience that appreciate and understand the significant costs that compliance can bring, and can provide guidance to realigning its clients’ compliance programs in an efficient, minimally intrusive manner. For clients facing litigation or regulatory (DOL, IRS, or OFCCP) action, our group is capable, experienced, and qualified to properly defend your interests.
Robert J. D’Anniballe, Jr. — RJD@Pietragallo.com