CASSANDRA LABBEES is a Member of the Firm in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. For more than a decade, she has provided counsel to clients in the financial services and health care industries, corporate clients, and tax-exempt and not-for-profit institutions on a wide range of employee benefit issues involving tax-qualified and non-qualified plans, 401(k) plans, ESOPs, defined benefit plans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), multiemployer plans, and health and welfare plans.
- Advises clients on the design, implementation, maintenance, and termination of various types of employee benefit plans, including defined contribution, defined benefit, self-insured and fully insured medical, life, and disability plans as well as employee assistance programs, wellness programs, cafeteria plans, health savings and reimbursement account plans, flexible spending accounts, fringe benefits, severance plans, and other types of compensation and benefit arrangements
- Counsels clients on compliance with various laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code, and COBRA
- Provides counsel on compliance with all aspects of the ACA, including applicable large employer determinations, controlled group analyses, ACA reporting requirements and assistance, employer mandate penalty letters and assessments, and the design and review of service provider agreements
- Advises employers on considerations related to multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs), association health plans (AHPs), and professional employer organizations (PEOs)
- Provides advice to clients on benefit claims and fiduciary issues, participant communications, and qualified domestic relations orders
- Assists clients with audits of benefit plans by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) as well as plan corrections under the Internal Revenue Service’s and the DOL’s correction programs
- Advises on the impact of merger and acquisitions on employee benefit plans, including assistance with plan terminations and integration
- Represents management and plan fiduciaries in employee benefits and ERISA-related disputes, involving both single-employer and multiemployer plans
- Counsels clients on executive compensation compliance issues, including Section 409A
In 2019, Ms. Labbees was recommended by The Legal 500 United States in the area of Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation, and Retirement Plans: Design.
After graduating from St. John’s University School of Law, Ms. Labbees joined the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration, where she served for more than eight years as an investigator. In this role, Ms. Labbees initiated, planned, coordinated, and conducted complex civil and criminal investigations of large and varied employee benefits plans, service providers, Taft-Hartley plans, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, trust departments, and other financial entities holding plan assets and/or providing investment advice to ERISA clients. She also investigated allegations of criminal misconduct (including theft or embezzlement from employee benefit plans, false statements, conspiracy, and other applicable provisions of the United States Code) and violations of ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, and the Affordable Care Act.
While attending law school, Ms. Labbees was a legal intern at the Legal Aid Society – Juvenile Rights Division, at the St. John’s Child Advocacy Clinic, and for the Honorable Ruben Martino of the Harlem Community Court in New York City.
- St. John's University School of Law (J.D., 2007)
- State University of New York at Albany (B.A., 2004)
- New York
- New York City Bar Association, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee
- Metropolitan Black Bar Association