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Welfare Plans Edition

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June 1, 2000

Doctors Charge Three HMOs With Racketeering
Excerpt: "In the first lawsuit of its kind, the California Medical Association has accused three of the state's largest for-profit HMOs of running what amounts to an illegal racket." (SF Gate)

Former Food Lion Workers Lose 10-Year-Old Section 510 ERISA Suit
Excerpt: "Rickey Bryant, his wife and children, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union sued two years after Bryant was fired in March 1988 from his job as an assistant manager at a Columbia store. He was closing in on being vested and entitled to benefits such as insurance, retirement and profit sharing. Ten other former Food Lion workers and their families joined Bryant's lawsuit, charging that they lost their insurance coverage when they also were fired." (Associated Press)

DOL Offers Voluntary Correction Program
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor recently released its Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program ("VFC"). Under the VFC, plans now have a way to make corrections of certain violations of the fiduciary requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and to obtain confirmation of compliance, including relief from penalties." (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)

Mattel Rolls Out Horror Sequel to Barad Pay Plan
Excerpt: "Fresh from granting an obscene amount of severance pay to fired-CEO Jill Barad, the directors of Mattel fashioned an equally galling package for her replacement, Robert Eckert. If he doesn't work out, shareholders will again foot an expensive bill for failure." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

APPWP Comments on MEWA Filing Requirement
Excerpt: "We appreciate the opportunity to provide you with examples of the types of employer situations that we believe should be addressed in further guidance on the Department's recent M-1 reporting requirement for multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs)." (Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans)

Federal Employees: Bill Introduced to Provide Paid Leave for Parents
Excerpt: "The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2000 would statutorily grant paid parental leave for employees to care for either newborn or adopted children. The bill would create a separate category of leave for maternity or paternity time off. It would not come out of accrued sick leave." (GovExec.com)

Health Bills Seem Stalled in Congress
Excerpt: "Hopes for a patients' bill of rights, always slim, have dwindled even further as congressional negotiations over how to regulate HMOs (health maintenance organizations) have slowed to a crawl, participants say." (Reuters via news.excite.com)

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