Insurance Law Note: Should an ERISA Plan Document and SPD be combined?

Insurance Law Note: Should an ERISA Plan Document and SPD be combined?

In the world of health insurance regulation, there is a wide array of document requirements and mandated disclosures. Among these requirements is a written instrument governing the operation of an ERISA plan (known as the “Plan Document”) as well as a Summary Plan Description (“SPD”) summarizing what the ERISA plan entails. The Plan Document and…

Insurance Law Note: Navigating the Required Notices for Group Health Plans

DW Law Insurance Law Documents

Health Insurance compliance for Employers is highly-regulated. Group Health Plans are not only required to comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), but must also comply with regulations set by the Department of Labor (“DOL”) and numerous other laws that impact an employee’s health benefits. These laws set out standards under which group…

Differences Between Statutory and Constitutional Liens in Texas

Statutory and Constitutional Liens in Texas DW Law

Statutory Lien Texas Property Code Chapter 53 defines who is entitled to a lien for labor and materials improving properties like homes, buildings, fixtures, improvements, and certain other lands. These people include: laborers, materials fabricators, suppliers, architects, engineers, surveyors, landscapers, and demolition services. Even if you’re in one of these categories, however, filing a lien…

Employment Law Note: The Section 7(i) Exemption for Commissioned Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act

DW Law Exemption for Commissioned Employees

Certain commissioned employees in a “retail or service establishment” are exempt from overtime pay under Section 7(i) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). A “retail or service establishment” is “an establishment 75% of whose annual dollar volume of sales of goods or services (or of both) is not for resale and is recognized as…

Employment Law Note: “White Collar Exemptions” and the New Rule

Employment Law Note: “White Collar Exemptions” and the New Rule

On December 1, 2016, the application of the “white collar exemptions” is going to change dramatically.  Section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees.  Section 13(a)(1) and Section 13(a)(17) also exempt…

The How and Why of Corporate Conversion

Corporate Law

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are habitually the preferred corporate structure for startups and small business owners. In many ways, they are also the most practical form for small companies who do not need or seek outside investment and do not envision significant growth.  An LLC is a hybrid type of legal structure that provides the…

An Employer’s Threat to Terminate an Employee Can Constitute Duress

An Employer’s Threat to Terminate an Employee Can Constitute Duress

Duress is “[a]ny coercion of another, either mental, physical, or otherwise, causing him to act contrary to his own free will or to submit to a situation or conditions against his own volition or interests.” Mitchell v. C.C. Sanitation Co., 430 S.W.2d 933, 937 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1968, wit ref’d n.r.e.). Under Texas law,…

Three More Affirmative Defenses to a Breach of Contract Suit

Three More Affirmative Defenses to a Breach of Contract Suit

What’s an affirmative defense? When a party files a lawsuit for damages, they set forth factual and legal allegations as to how they were wronged by the defendant. In answering the suit, the defendant will deny the allegations, and in some cases, the defendant will also assert affirmative defenses whereby he sets forth his own…

Termination for Cause or Misconduct?

Termination for Cause or Misconduct?

As part of our labor and employment practice, we routinely assist our business clients with unemployment benefits hearings in front of the Texas Workforce Commission (“TWC”).  The core issue in these hearings is usually whether the former employee (claimant) is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.  When the employer is opposing the claimant’s request for benefits,…