Part D preempts Arkansas law regulating pharmacy benefits managers

The Eighth Circuit has ruled that both ERISA and Medicare Part D preempted an Arkansas law that sought to govern the conduct of pharmacy benefits managers by mandating that pharmacies be reimbursed for generic drugs at a price equal to or higher than the pharmacies’ cost for the drug. In ruling in favor of Pharmaceutical […]

Supreme Court rules stock options exempt from tax under RRTA as compensation

Nonqualified stock options paid to railroad employees for services rendered are not taxable compensation for purposes of the payroll contributions due under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1937, according to the United States Supreme Court. Writing for a divided 5-4 Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch explained that stock options are not a medium of exchange […]

IRS posts third-party payroll video

The IRS has posted a third-party payroll compliance video. Many employers hire third-party payroll service providers to perform their payroll processing functions and tax-related duties, including making employment tax deposits. Watch “Monitoring Your Outsourced Payroll Duties on EFTPS” at: to learn about: Using an EFTPS Inquiry PIN to monitor tax deposits; The benefits of […]

ERISA preempts widow’s state law claims for supplemental life insurance benefits

ERISA preempts state-law claims in a suit contending that an Applebee’s franchise failed to procure life insurance coverage for an employee despite withholding premiums from his pay—only for his widow to be denied an additional $160,000 in supplemental benefits after his death. The Eighth Circuit held the court below properly found that ERISA preemption applied, […]

Fifth Circuit issues mandate officially vacating fiduciary rules

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a mandate officially vacating in toto the fiduciary conflict of interest rules, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE), the Principal Transaction Exemption, and revised PTE 84-24. Given the refusal of the Department of Labor to defend the fiduciary rules in the Fifth Circuit or in the […]

New York updates new employer tax information

New York has updated the Employer Compensation Expense Program (ECEP) at The ECEP established a new optional employer tax (ECET) that employers can elect to pay if they have employees that earn over $40,000 annually in wages and compensation in New York (see Payroll Management Guide Report Letter 2562, dated July 10, 2018.) (, […]

Texas cancer center ordered to pay $4.3 million in penalties for HIPAA violations

A Department of Health and Human Services Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has ruled that The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules and granted summary judgment to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on all issues, requiring MD […]

IRS proposed regs modify electronic filing requirement for information returns

The IRS has proposed regulations that would change the rules for determining whether information returns, such as the Form 1099 series and Form 5498, must be filed electronically. Under the proposed regulations, all information returns, regardless of type, must be taken into account to determine whether a person meets the 250-return threshold for the electronic […]

Idaho withholding guide updated with new W-4 worksheet

The Idaho Tax Commission has updated its withholding guide to include the new 2018 W-4 Worksheet for Idaho. Employees should use the worksheet to estimate their Idaho allowances and any extra state withholding. The worksheet is also available at The Commission recommends that all employees update their W-4s using the worksheet. No changes have […]

Manager whose pay change followed on heels of leave is unable to revive FMLA, contract claims

A district court’s dismissal of the FMLA claims of an O’Reilly Automotive manager against his former employer were upheld by a divided Sixth Circuit in an unpublished opinion. The crux of the suit brought by the employee was that his former employer had pulled the plug on assurance pay that he was receiving in lieu […]