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Reflections on the Americans with Disabilities Act at Age 30

This month marks thirtieth anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA requires that people with disabilities be granted equal access to employment, public services, and public accommodations.  […]

ERISA remedies could increase under Liu v. SEC ruling

Employee benefit claimants are frequently surprised by the limited remedies to them under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Liu v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,[1] might open the door to additional remedies. Although many ERISA claims involve benefits provided under disability, life or health insurance policies, […]

How discovery is evolving in ERISA benefits litigation

An aspect of Employee Retirement Income Security Act benefits litigation that distinguishes it from other civil litigation is that discovery in ERISA cases is only stingily granted. Although, as will be shown below, that appears to be changing. There is no statutory basis for limiting discovery in ERISA cases, nor do the Federal Rules of […]

Recent trends in transgender healthcare law

Protecting LGBTQ rights is of great importance for this country, and the legal issues related to transgender healthcare can be particularly complicated. Many employer-sponsored healthcare plans now explicitly cover transgender-related healthcare. Part of the reason is likely economic. According to the Williams Institute, there are currently just under 1.4 million Americans who identify as transgender, […]

Wash. ERISA ruling paves way for access to health benefits

The scope and breadth of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s statutory preemption of state laws that relate to employee benefit plans[1] has confounded the courts since ERISA was enacted in 1974. In recent years, a battle front has emerged over the power of local governments to ensure universal health care for workers. The U.S. District […]

It’s time to end mental illness bias in disability insurance

The civil rights movement made the abolition of all forms of discrimination a matter of public policy. Notwithstanding the tremendous strides that have been made to redress discrimination of all types, one group that continues to be subjected to long-standing stigmatization and social isolation are those who suffer from mental illness. The high watermark of […]

6th Circ. ruling offers fresh look at ERISA exhaustion

Is exhaustion of administrative remedies in challenging Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed benefit denials required as a precondition to filing a lawsuit? A concurring opinion in Wallace v. Oakwood Healthcare Inc.[1] by U.S. Circuit Judge Amul Thapar of the Sixth Circuit raises provocative questions about the administrative exhaustion doctrine in ERISA cases and suggests that other […]

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