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Biden Picks Benefits Lawyer to Head Labor's EBSA

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What You Need to Know

  • Lisa Gomez would replace former EBSA head Preston Rutledge.
  • If confirmed, Gomez would join Labor as it works on its new fiduciary rule.
  • Gomez, a partner at Cowen Weiss and Simon in New York, specializes in employee benefits law.

President Joe Biden has nominated Lisa Gomez, a partner at Cowen Weiss and Simon in New York, to head the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Gomez, who specializes in employee benefits law, joined the firm in 1994 and became a partner in 2002.

She is the chair of the firm’s management committee and represents and advises a federal employee health benefit plan, various multiemployer pension and welfare plans, single employer plans, and jointly administered training program trust funds, as well as plans sponsored by unions for their internal staff, according to her bio.

Gomez, who would replace former EBSA head Preston Rutledge, provides advice on compliance with a variety of health care and labor laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Internal Revenue Code and the Affordable Care Act.

If confirmed, she would join EBSA as Labor works to issue a proposed rulemaking to update the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA.

She also advises plans on design and administration, benefit claims and fiduciary issues, delinquency collection, participant communications, service provider agreements and qualified domestic relations orders and represents them in various types of litigation, her bio states.

Rutledge, who was head of EBSA from January 2018 to May 2020, said at an event held in late April by the Insured Retirement Institute: The fiduciary debate “does seem to be the never-ending issue. But part of that is the importance of protecting participants and plans is also a never-ending job… Whether we’re in the middle of rule-writing or not, this [fiduciary issue] is something that you never completely lay down and say we’re done.”


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