Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Presents “American Rescue Plan Act: COBRA Premium Assistance Provisions”
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP hosted a live webcast last month that focused solely on the American Rescue Plan Act and COBRA. The firm decided to present on this specific topic after receiving a high volume of questions about COBRA during their Annual Employment Law Update in April. Katherine Hesse, a partner with the firm, presented the material; Nan ONeill, another partner with the firm, moderated the session. During the presentation, Ms. Hesse gave background information and descriptions of COBRA and the American Rescue Plan Act. The main focus of the session was the new subsidy and required notices that had been released and how to avoid litigation. Ms. Hesse took time to review the basics of COBRA, and defined many of the terms found in the notices, as well as outlining the notice requirements.
Katherine Hesse is one of the founding partners of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP. Ms. Hesse concentrates her practice primarily in labor and employment and employee benefits law serving as counsel to individuals, business, government, and tax-exempt organizations including hospitals, colleges, churches, and major private and public retirement and health plans. She has litigated numerous employment and benefits cases before the state and federal trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators. Ms. Hesse was a recipient of the Cushing-Gavin Award for excellence in providing management labor relations legal counsel. She also heads the team of attorneys that was named the only firm in New England and one of only eleven in the United States on the special ERISA fiduciary litigation panel for one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Ms. Hesse is a graduate of Smith College and the Boston University School of Law. She is admitted to the Bars of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Ms. ONeill is a Partner at the firm with 30 years of experience counseling and representing employers in all aspects of traditional labor law and employment. She has extensive experience in labor arbitration and litigation of employment-related disputes, including discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination matters, before state and federal courts and administrative agencies such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Ms. ONeill’s experience as a traditional labor lawyer includes negotiating collective bargaining agreements and representing employers in labor arbitrations, unfair labor practice proceedings, and union election and decertification proceedings, with a concentration on acute care hospitals. She also counsels clients on a day-to-day basis on employment compliance issues. Additionally, Ms. ONeill frequently conducts manager training sessions on topical legal issues, and is often called upon to conduct internal investigations including complaints of harassment, discrimination, and ethical violations. Ms. ONeill is a graduate of Boston College and the Georgetown University Law Center, where she served as Articles and Notes Editor of the American Criminal Law Review.
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, Partner Katherine Hesse gave a plenary presentation on Recent Developments in ERISA on Friday September 16 to members of the Group Legal Services Association (“GLSA”) at its annual meeting in New Orleans. Among the topics she emphasized were what employers/plan sponsors need to know in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and lessons from the Court’s decision in Hughes and other class action litigation as to factors to consider Read More
On August 12, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed S. 3096, “An act relative to equity in the cannabis industry,” (“Act”) into law. The Act reforms Massachusetts’s existing marijuana laws, particularly with respect to host community agreements (“HCAs”), community impact fees (“CIFs”), and social consumption sites (e.g. marijuana cafes). The Act empowers the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), the state regulatory agency, to exert greater control over HCAs and their CIFs. Municipalities levy CIFs on cannabis businesses to account for the costs they impose on the municipality as a result of their operations. Additionally, the Act allows municipalities to permit on-premises social consumption of marijuana at designated sites. Other notable provisions of the Act include the new Social Equity Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), changes to the tax law regarding cannabis businesses, and various provisions concerning those persons and communities most impacted by the prior illegality of marijuana usage and sale. Governor Baker vetoed only one section of the final bill: the provision calling on the state to conduct a study of medical marijuana usage in schools.