Executive & Employee Compensation Law
Employee Discrimination Defense Attorney
Jennings Strouss executive and employee compensation attorneys provide clients with practical and timely advice in the dynamic and highly-regulated field of compensation and benefits relating to directors, managers and employees.
Our experienced executive and employee compensation lawyers regularly assist clients in the creation and administration of a wide variety of compensation and benefit programs at all levels of an organization. They address issues arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), and other laws affecting employee benefits. Where appropriate, members of the Employee Benefits & Compensation Practice Section also collaborate with members of the Firm's Tax, Employment, Health Care, Litigation and HIPAA Counseling to effectively service our clients' needs.
Our clients include employers of all sizes in a variety of industries, as well as plan fiduciaries.
Executive and Employee Compensation
Our executive and employee compensation attorneys advise companies on all aspects of executive compensation for public and private companies. We can assist in the drafting, negotiation and administration of executive employment, severance, change-in-control and similar agreements, and the creation of compensation plans, such as stock option, restricted stock, annual bonus and long-term incentive compensation programs. We are experienced in compensation plans for directors or other managers of an enterprise, including annual and deferred compensation programs, charitable awards programs and non-qualified director retirement programs. We also represent clients in the creation and administration of employee policies, such as employee handbooks, leave policies, compliance with employment laws and anti-discrimination and harassment requirements.
Health and Welfare Plans
We advise our clients with respect to all types of health and welfare plans, including insured and self-insured medical plans, short- and long-term disability plans, Section 125 plans (cafeteria plans), flexible spending accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. Our executive and employee compensation lawyers also advise our clients on COBRA, ADA, FMLA and general HIPAA compliance.
The Firm has substantial experience in counseling retirement plan sponsors, as well as trustees and other plan fiduciaries on ERISA’s fiduciary and prohibited transaction rules. Our lawyers regularly advise clients regarding their duties in choosing and monitoring plan investments. Our executive and employee compensation lawyers are also experienced in negotiating service provider agreements, investment management agreements, actuarial services agreements, investment performance monitoring agreements (hard and soft dollar) and custodial agreements.
ERISA Litigation and Government Proceedings
Our executive and employee compensation lawyers have successfully defended employers and plan fiduciaries, including pension plan trustees, in a wide variety of litigation matters, such as benefit claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims and actuarial disputes. We have appeared on behalf of our clients in Arizona Superior Court, U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Firm’s litigation lawyers team with our benefits lawyers to provide the most effective service possible in the evolving area of ERISA litigation. We have also represented clients in proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor, and in connection with governmental audits.
We counsel our clients on the employee-related aspects implicated by corporate mergers, acquisitions and dispositions. We help clients identify options for policy and benefit program integration, elimination or redesign, and to recognize relevant assets and liabilities related to employee benefit plans in the corporate transaction context. Clients often need assistance in special employment or termination arrangements in conjunction with significant corporate transactions.
Qualified Retirement Plans
The Firm advises employers on the design, drafting, administration and termination of 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, traditional pension plans, cash balance plans and employee stock ownership plans, as well as the associated government reporting and participant disclosure obligations. We also have extensive experience in addressing the unique issues that arise in the context of collectively bargained, multiemployer and multiple employer plans. We regularly assist clients in amending their plans to stay current with legislative and regulatory developments, and to satisfy changing business and human resource needs. We also represent clients in connection with the voluntary compliance programs sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor.