Archive

Archive for June, 2013

What you should know about appealing an auto surcharge in Massachusetts

minor-accident-1Fewer Bay State drivers are appealing auto insurance surcharges for accidents or traffic violations than they have in the past, even though the odds of winning an appeal are favorable, according to a study by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.

Data provided by the state Insurance Board of Appeals, which rules on traffic accident cases alone, shows that the number of drivers appealing those accidents – and the insurance surcharges that come with them – has declined by 36 percent since 2006, even though just over half of those drivers were winning their appeals. Only about 30% of motorists who appealed their cases were found to be more than 50 percent at fault and subject to a surcharge. Read more…

Taking advantage of PPACA wellness provision by mapping out a plan

ss-company-4Final regulations for wellness programs under PPACA were released a few weeks ago. While not much has changed with these final rules from the previous drafts, it does give employers the stability to start mapping out 3-5 year wellness plans.

For the most part, discrimination is not allowed with contributions on employer based health plans except where wellness is concerned. PPACA now allows for employers to charge up to 30% more for employers who do not participate in programs or reach wellness goals; that 30% can be increased to 50% with regards to tobacco cessation. With rates and costs increasing due to fees and taxes, employers who usually shied away from goal-based wellness tactics now have to consider these plans as a way to provide premium savings to employees who are willing to earn them. Read more…

Intern vs. Employee – employers need to know the difference

internWith Summer approaching and many college students looking for internships, companies should review employment laws that determine whether an intern qualifies as an employee or a trainee. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division fact sheet on internship programs provides useful information on this subject. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), covered and non-exempt individuals who are “suffered or permitted” to work must be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Typically, interns in the “for-profit” private sector qualify as employees unless their work status meets certain criteria that defines them as trainees. For example, an intern working in the “for-profit” private sector does not have to be paid if the job serves mainly for his or her educational benefit and the training meets certain objectives. In order to determine whether an internship or training program meets this exclusion, employers should apply Read more…

Executive compensation litigation – nightmare or nuisance?

execLitigationv2Prologue — The Continuing Scourge of M&A Litigation

Resourceful plaintiffs’ lawyers are always on the hunt for strategies to extract quick payoffs from public companies. Mergers and acquisition (M&A) litigation has for the last couple of years provided a stylized and fairly predictable ritual for plaintiffs lawyers and public companies. Almost all the M&A claims are resolved prior to the deal’s closing, the plaintiffs’ lawyers are awarded fees based on a sliding scale of accomplishment (low-end: some additional disclosure; high-end: increased purchase price), and everyone goes home happy — except, in many cases, D&O insurers. D&O insurers have responded to the avalanche of M&A litigation — more than 90% of deals for more than $100M draw litigation — by imposing separate, higher M&A retentions that in typical deals will leave the insurers unscathed. While there is some anecdotal evidence of cases that continue beyond the deal’s closing and result in more expensive settlements, most selling companies that have undergone robust and thorough pre-deal processes Read more…