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Rachel M. Kurth

Senior Counsel

Rachel M. Kurth

New York

T:+1 212 408 5185

Rachel M. Kurth practices in the areas of employment, executive compensation and employee benefits law. 

Ms. Kurth has experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating agreements on behalf of employers and executives, including employment, termination, consulting, retention, change-in-control, secondment, confidentiality and non-competition agreements, and releases of claims. She also has experience drafting and reviewing employee handbooks, compliance manuals, and other workplace policies and procedures. Ms. Kurth advises clients on compliance with federal, state and local laws related to:

  • wages and hours (including the Fair Labor Standards Act);
  • discrimination (including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act); 
  • employee benefits (including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act);
  • reductions in force (including the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act);
  • employee leave (including the Family and Medical Leave Act);
  • health and safety (including the Occupational Safety and Health Act);
  • immigration (including the Immigration Reform and Control Act);
  • background checks (including the Fair Credit Reporting Act);
  • employee rights (including hte National Labor Relations Act); and
  • requirements imposed on federal contractors and subcontractors with respect to wages, benefits, equal employment opportunity, and affirmative action programs (including the Davis-Bacon Act, Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act).

Ms. Kurth advises clients on employee discipline and discharge. She has experience conducting internal investigations into employee issues and providing workforce training. She has particular experience advising clients with respect to New York State new hire requirements and other wage and hour laws.

Ms. Kurth has represented clients before government agencies with respect to state workers’ compensation and disability insurance laws. She has represented clients in audits and investigations by state labor departments.

Ms. Kurth's practice involves reviewing and amending tax-qualified plans and summary plan descriptions for compliance with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. She also has experience preparing benefits-related filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor.

Ms. Kurth has developed a particular niche advising employers of domestic workers, who have specific legal needs with respect to their household staff, particularly in light of certain recently-enacted federal, state, and local laws that provide additional legal protections to domestic workers. She also has extensive experience advising employers of domestic workers about their concerns regarding confidentiality and privacy with respect to the domestic workers and other individuals who work in their homes and around their families.  Ms. Kurth represents employers of domestic workers in all aspects of the employment relationship, including ensuring that appropriate confidentiality protections are in place at the pre-hire interview stage as well as during and after employment, aiding in compliance with the new hire process, providing legal advice during the employment relationship, and assisting with routine and delicate employee departures and terminations. Ms. Kurth regularly advises employers of domestic workers about offer letters, employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, background checks and drug tests, “new hire” paperwork such as tax and immigration forms, wage and hour laws, employee benefits, and separation and release agreements. Ms. Kurth also regularly drafts employer policies that apply to domestic workers, including policies governing paid time off, use of information technology, use of employer-provided vehicles, use of employer-provided credit cards, and other employment policies and procedures.

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  • Education
    • JD, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif,  Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, 2008
      • Cardozo Scholar
      • Heyman Scholar, Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance
      • Senior Notes Editor, Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal
    • BA, cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 2005
  • Admissions
    • New York State Bar
  • Publications
    • Regular monthly columnist, Employee Benefit Plan Review
    • "New York City expansion of sick time law to cover 'safe time' goes into effect on May 5, 2018; action required for New York City employers," Global Workplace Insider, April 23, 2018
    • "New York State's new sexual harassment prevention laws will require action by all New York employers," Global Workplace Insider, April 17, 2018
    • "New York employers should get ready to comply with New York State's new sexual harassment prevention laws," Legal Update, April 11, 2018
    • "New York State Paid Family Leave Benefits Law," Legal Update, September 12, 2017
    • "DOL's final fiduciary rule will apply June 9th," Client Alert, June 5, 2017
    • "Year 2017 Benefit Plan Cost-of-Living Adjustments," Client Alert, October 27, 2016
    • "The New Overtime Rules Are Here – More Work for Employers to Do Now!," Client Alert, May 19, 2016
    • "Noteworthy Recent Developments for New York Employers," Client Alert, March 29, 2016
    • "EEOC Proposes Adding Pay Data to EEO-1, Client Alert, February 1, 2016
    • "Happier New Year for Health Plan Sponsors: Congress Delays Cadillac Tax and IRS Delays ACA Reporting," Client Alert, December 30, 2015
    • "IRS Pension Cost-of-Living Adjustments Generally Remain Unchanged for 2016," Client Alert, October 21, 2015
    • "Recent Developments for New York City Employers: More Rules Passed; More Compliance Needed," Client Alert, August 18, 2015
    • "DOL Proposes New Fiduciary Rule With Broad Implications, Client Alert, April 15, 2015
    • "New York State Eliminates Annual Employer Notice Requirement," Client Alert, January 6, 2015
    • "Ninth Circuit Revives ERISA “Stock Drop” Case Post-Dudenhoeffer," Client Alert, November 6, 2014
    • "Year 2015 Retirement Plan Cost-of-Living Adjustments," Client Alert, October 23, 2014
    • "Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence in Stock Drop Cases," Client Alert, July 2, 2014
    • "Is Arbitration Right for Your Workforce? Recent Developments Make Now a Good Time to Consider (or Reconsider) Arbitration," Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 40, No. 1, Summer 2014
    • "Is Arbitration Right for Your Workforce? Recent Developments Make Now a Good Time to Consider (or Reconsider) Arbitration," Corporate Practice NewsWire, May 2014
    • "IRS Issues Guidance on Retroactive Application of Windsor Case to Retirement Plans," April 9, 2014
    • "New York City Council Passes Amendments to the Sick Time Act; Law to Be Effective for All NYC Employers on April 1, 2014," Client Alert, March 10, 2014
    • "Long-Awaited Final Employer Pay or Play Regulations Issued," Client Alert, February 28, 2014
    • "Is Arbitration Right for Your Workforce? Recent Developments Make Now a Good Time to Consider (or Reconsider) Arbitration," Client Alert, February 27, 2014
    • "Employer Pay or Play Health Care Mandate Is Further Delayed Until 2016 for Medium-Sized Companies," Client Alert, February 11, 2014
    • "Year 2014 Retirement Plan Cost-of-Living Adjustments," Client Alert, November 1, 2013
    • "DOL Extends Deadline for Providing Annual Comparative Charts," Client Alert, July 23, 2013
    • "Unpaid Internships—A New Employment Litigation Risk," Client Alert, July 9, 2013
    • "White House and Treasury Delay Employer Pay or Play” Health Care Mandate Until 2015," Client Alert, July 2, 2013
    • "Recent Legal Developments Expected to Increase Risks and Costs for Many New York City Employers," Client Alert, June 4, 2013
    • "Health Care Reform: IRS Proposes Employer 'Pay or Play' Rules," New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2013
    • "Recent Developments in New York State Wage-and-Hour Laws: Guidance Issued Regarding Deductions from Employee Wages and Minimum Wage Increased to $9.00 per Hour by End," Client Alert, May 21, 2013
    • "American Taxpayer Relief Act Extends Certain Employee Benefits," Client Alert, January 31, 2013
    • "Health Care Reform: DOL Extends Deadline and Issues FAQs for Exchange Coverage Notices," Client Alert, January 31, 2013
    • "Health Care Reform: Next Steps for Employers," Corporate Practice NewsWire, December 2012
    • "IRS Provides Retirement Plan Relief for Hurricane Sandy Victims," Client Alert, November 19, 2012
    • "ISS Releases Draft 2013 Policy Updates," Client Alert, October 23, 2012
    • "New York Employment Law Newsflash," Client Alert, October 22, 2012
    • "Year 2013 Retirement Plan Cost-of-Living Adjustments," Client Alert, October 18, 2012
    • "New Health Care Reform Guidance for Employers," Client Alert, September 2012
    • "Health Care Reform: Continued Impact, Guidance And Uncertainty," FINANCIERWORLDWIDE.COM, October 2012
    • "New York Labor Law Amended to Expand Permissible Wage Deductions," Client Alert, September 14, 2012
    • "Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law: Next Steps for Employers," Client Alert, July 13, 2012
    • "The Far-Reaching Impact of the Supreme Court Health Care Reform Decision," Law.com, July 11, 2012
    • "Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform Law," Newsflash, June 28, 2012
    • "REMINDER: Employers Must Provide New York State Employees With Labor Law Notice In Early-2012," Client Alert, November 30, 2011
    • "Year 2012 Retirement Plan Cost-of-Living Adjustments," Client Alert, October 20, 2011
    • "New York State's Marriage Equality Act: Impact on Employee Benefit Plans," Client Alert, August 15, 2011
    • "Plan Fiduciary Action in Wake of U.S. Credit Downgrade and Global Market Fluctuations," Client Alert, August 9, 2011
    • "New Law Increases Burdens and Risks For New York State Employers," Client Alert, January 26, 2011
    • "New Law Permits In-Plan Roth Conversions," Client Alert, November 2010
    • "2011 Retirement Plan Limits Generally Remain Unchanged," Client Alert, October 28, 2010
    • "Tax-Qualified Retirement Plans: Year End Action May Be Required," Client Alert, September 23, 2010
    • "Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans: Year End Action May Be Required," Client Alert, September 23, 2010
    • "New Grandfathered Health Care Plan Regulations," Employee Benefit Plan Review, August 2010
    • "Health Care Reform: New Grandfathered Health Plan Guidance," Client Alert, June 18, 2010
    • "Health Care Reform: Impact on Employers and Employees," Law.com, April 26, 2010
    • "COBRA Subsidy Extended Through May 31, 2010," April 19, 2010
    • "Health Care Reform: How It May Impact Employers, Employees, and Benefit Plans, Employee Benefit Plan Review," April 2010
    • "COBRA Subsidy Extended Through March 31, 2010," March 3, 2010
    • "DOL Issues Updated Model COBRA Notices, Posters and Flyers," January 19, 2010
    • "IRS Announces Long-Awaited Section 409A Document Correction Program," January 2010
    • "DOL and IRS Issue Guidance on COBRA Subsidy Extension," January 11, 2010
    • "RiskMetrics 2010 Executive Compensation Policy Updates," Client Alert, January 2010
    • "IRS Issues Final Regulations Affecting Employee Stock Purchase Plans," December 24, 2009
    • "COBRA Subsidy Extended For Additional Six Months," December 22, 2009
    • "IRS Extends Year-End Deadline for Adopting Certain Pension Protection Act Amendments," December 14, 2009
    • "Section 409A: Certain Violations May be Corrected by Year End," November 20, 2009
    • "Section 162(m): Immediate Action May Be Required to Preserve Performance-Based Compensation Deduction," November 20, 2009
    • "NY Employment Law Update -- NY Department of Labor Mandates Use of Official Form for New Hires," November 13, 2009
    • "Treasury and IRS Grant Limited Relief for Cash Balance Plans," November 13, 2009
    • "FMLA's Military Leave Provisions Expanded," November 12, 2009
    • "No Retirement Plan Cost-of-Living Increases for 2010," October 15, 2009
    • "Recent Developments in New York Employment Law," August 20, 2009
    • "Employment Law Roundup of the Supreme Court's 2008-2009 Term," August 6, 2009
    • "Reminder—Pension Protection Act Amendments Generally Due By End of 2009; Also, It May Not Be Too Late to Make Required Section 415 Amendments," July 29, 2009
    • "New COBRA Subsidy Requirements," Employee Benefit Plan Review, July 2009
    • "IRS Issues New COBRA Subsidy Guidance," April 1, 2009
    • "DOL Issues New Model COBRA Notices," March 19, 2009
    • "2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: New COBRA Obligations Require Immediate Action," February 24, 2009
    • "2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Expanded Restrictions on Executive Compensation for TARP Recipients," February 20, 2009
    • "New Limits on Executive Pay for Financial Institutions Receiving Federal Funds," Client Alert, February 5, 2009
    • "Striking a Fair Balance Between Protecting Civil Rights and Free Speech on the Internet: The Fair Housing Act vs. The Communications Decency Act," The Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal, 25 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 805, 2007
  • Speaking engagements
    • "A Legal Perspective on Employee Management," Domestic Estate Management Association New York City Regional Management Conference, New York, NY, April 23, 2016
    • "Employee Management, A Legal Perspective," DEMA Live, April 13, 2016
    • "Employer Essentials for Start-Ups," Penn Club, New York, NY, November 18, 2015
    • "Employer Essentials for Start-Ups, New Businesses and Growing Companies," New York, NY, June 19, 2014
    • "Impact of Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Reform," New York, NY, July 13, 2012
    • "New Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure Requirements: What You Need to Know and Do Now," New York, NY, May 23, 2012
  • Memberships and activities
    • Member, National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
    • Member, NAWL Sponsorship Committee
    • Member, NAWL Mentorship Committee
    • Marketing Committee Chair, NAWL Annual Meeting Planning Committee, 2016
    • Firm representative, NAWL Challenge Club, 2015
    • Member, NAWL Women in Employment Law group
    • Cardozo Labor and Employment Law Alumni Group, Labor and Employment Practice Group Committee
    • Member, Domestic Estate Management Association (DEMA)
    • Member, DEMA Security Council
    • Member, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce