Labor and Employment
Katherine "Kathy" Conklin is a member in the firm's New Orleans office focusing on employee benefits in both the welfare and retirement benefit areas. Kathy assists numerous plan sponsors in their compliance with applicable laws, including the Internal Revenue Code, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Kathy's work includes prohibited transaction consultation, fiduciary exposure with respect to plan investments, redesign and termination of plans for cost savings and negotiation of third-party service provider contracts. In addition to drafting all types of qualified plans and submitting such plans to the IRS for approval where applicable, with a particular emphasis on employee stock ownership plans, Kathy has also done much work in the area of non-qualified plans, including executive deferred compensation and 457(f) plans.
In the welfare benefits area, Kathy has drafted medical benefits plans, cafeteria plans, health reimbursement arrangements, dependent care assistance plans and occupational injury plans, and she assists clients daily in administering these plans to comply with applicable laws, such as tax laws, ERISA and HIPAA. A particular area of proficiency is compliance with the health continuation requirements of COBRA.
Kathy also advises clients on employment law compliance with laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and other laws governing the workplace. She frequently assists employers in drafting severance agreements in compliance with the Older Workers Benefits Protection Act (OWBPA). Finally, Kathy assists employers to observe U.S. immigration laws when employing aliens to work in the U.S., which includes obtaining and renewing appropriate visas and work authorizations.
Kathy is certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization in the fields of Tax Law (since 1991) and Estate Planning and Administration (since 1997).