In employment law, you’re in on a lot of decisions as they are happening, and I really like that. The close collaboration is very satisfying for me – and for my clients. There’s a longer time horizon to the decision making process on the employee benefits side, but collaborating with clients there, too, is very satisfying – helping them achieve their business objectives.
Katherine “Kathy” Conklin advises employers nationwide on employment law compliance and employee benefits matters.
In her employment law practice, Kathy counsels employers on compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and other workplace laws, from handbook design to termination considerations. Kathy enjoys developing solutions for clients who struggle with troubled employees, and frequently drafts severance agreements under the Older Workers Benefits Protection Act (OWBPA).
A board-certified specialist in tax and estate planning, Kathy draws on her depth of experience in the employee benefits arena to assist employers in designing retirement plans such as 401(k) plans and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), as well as health benefit plans that best suit employers’ needs. She also counsels on maintaining those plans’ compliance with applicable tax and labor laws such as ERISA, Continuation of Health Coverage (COBRA), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and when necessary, participating in governmental correction programs such as the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) and the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP). Kathy provides guidance on avoiding fiduciary liability and navigating the prohibited transaction limitations.
Kathy’s strong business background equips her to advise on complex employee benefits matters that arise during mergers and acquisitions. She also works extensively in the executive compensation field, designing and drafting incentive compensation plans and employment agreements, and reviewing arrangements for compliance with Section 409A of the U.S. Tax Code.
Locally, Kathy maintains an active estate planning and administration practice, drafting wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, and handling successions.
Kathy also assists religious employers with the immigration process when hiring religious workers from abroad.