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Contingent Workers and Legal Risks to Employer Benefit Plans

Product Code - LGA201
Speaker(s): Daniel N. Janich, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.; Heather M. Mehta, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.
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There are millions of contract workers in the U.S. today, working in various industries. Notwithstanding an improving economy, companies often continue to favor a “no strings attached” approach when hiring workers, which provides flexibility in staffing without the significant long-term financial commitment usually involved when hiring a regular full-time workforce. The advent of universal health care coverage has increased interest in alternatives to regular full-time workers. This program is designed to help employers avoid costly mistakes when they choose to have a contingent workforce.

Companies that fail to properly structure the arrangement that governs the use of a contingent workforce will most likely face significant financial and legal risks, including claims for benefits filed by these workers. The faculty for this program will identify the circumstances under which companies are susceptible to such claims, discuss how the courts have addressed such claims, and recommend the steps companies might want to take to reduce their exposure to such claims. Join us to learn how proper planning in the handling of a contingent workforce can minimize liability risk for companies and place them in a strong defensive position should a benefits claim from a contingent worker arise.

Educational Objectives

• Understand the benefit issues that arise in connection with the use of independent contractors, leased employees, seasonal or part-time workers, and workers who are hired through a professional employer organization (PEO).

• Learn how courts have analyzed various legal theories and defenses involved in cases wherein contingent workers either individually or in class actions asserted benefit claims.

• Be apprised of planning techniques employers should use to minimize potential liability exposure and successfully defend themselves in litigation.

• Hear of recent state and federal legislative developments that may affect employer use of contingent workers.

• Learn of recent trends governing the use of contingent workers.

Who would benefit most from attending this program?

Benefits and human resource executives and managers, in-house counsel, corporate and employment attorneys.

Program Level: Advanced.

Credit Available: CLE. For additional information, please see the “CLE Credit” tab.

Daniel N. Janich, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.; Heather M. Mehta, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.

Daniel N. Janich, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.
Daniel Janich is an Officer in the Employee Benefits Practice Group and ERISA Litigation Team in Greensfelder’s Chicago office. Mr. Janich counsels public and private corporations, executives and other business professionals on employment and compensation issues, employee benefit plan design and administration, executive compensation arrangements, and benefit issues in corporate mergers and acquisitions. He also is an ERISA litigator, mediator and arbitrator of executive compensation and benefit claims. Mr. Janich acts as special employee benefits counsel to corporate law firms in transactional and litigation matters.

Mr. Janich is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and a Senior Editor of the BNA treatise Employee Benefits Law, Third Edition, with Fall 2013 Supplement. He is current Management Co‐Chair of the Reporting and Disclosure Subcommittee and member of the Program Committee of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Section of Labor and Employment Law of the American Bar Association. He has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer each year since 2007, and an Illinois Leading Lawyer since 2012.

Mr. Janich has published numerous articles on employee benefits and executive compensation issues in professional and bar journals and is author of chapters published in several well-known legal treatises and handbooks. He is also a frequent speaker on employee benefits and executive compensation topics, regularly addressing annual conferences of various professional organizations and bar associations on tax, equity and employee benefits issues in both transactional and litigation matters.

Mr. Janich earned an LL.M. in taxation from DePaul University College of Law, where he was a Teaching Fellow; a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School; and a B.A., cum laude, from Marian University. He is a member of the Illinois Bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Heather M. Mehta, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.
Heather M. Mehta is an Associate in the Employee Benefits Practice Group in Greensfelder’s St. Louis office. She counsels clients on retirement, health, welfare, and cafeteria plan issues. Ms. Mehta served as Executive Articles Editor for the Journal of Law and Policy at Washington University School of Law and interned with the Honorable Raymond Gruender of the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Mehta was a journalist for several notable publications.

Ms. Mehta earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Washington University School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif; an M.S., with distinction, from Mercy College; and a B.A., summa cum laude, from Wake Forest University, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

This program’s CLE-credit eligibility varies by state. Bloomberg BNA is an accredited provider in the states of New York*, California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, and most other jurisdictions grant CLE credit on a per-program basis. At this time, Bloomberg BNA does not apply directly to the states of Florida, Rhode Island, Montana and Hawaii although credit is usually available for attorneys who wish to apply individually. Additionally, the following states currently do not grant credit for Bloomberg BNA OnDemand programming: Arkansas, Ohio, Nebraska, and Delaware. All requests are subject to approval once the live webinar has taken place or the customer has viewed the OnDemand version. Please contact the Bloomberg BNA accreditations desk if you have specific questions that have not been addressed.

If you have further questions regarding a specific state or how to file for CLE credit, please contact Bloomberg BNA customer service at 800-372-1033 and ask to speak to the CLE Accreditation Coordinator.

Hardship Policy
For information regarding Bloomberg BNA’s Hardship Policy, please visit the Continuing Education Information page.

For more information about Mandatory or Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements, visit the American Bar Association website at

*Bloomberg BNA is an accredited provider in New York for experienced attorneys only.

For more information on this topic, see ERISA Litigation, Fourth Edition, with 2013 Cumulative Supplement. Speaker Daniel Janich authored Chapter 37 entitled "Contingent Workers and Employee Benefits."