At 25-year mark, employee benefits law firm leader anticipates the next chapter in employee benefits

Societal changes in work and employment practices will drive this niche area of employment law over the next decade

Media Contact: Barbara M. Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications;; 248.260.8466

Royal Oak, Mich.—-April 4, 2024—National employee benefits and ERISA attorney and litigator John Joseph (J.J.) Conway of Michigan-based firm J.J. Conway Law, has been involved with some of the most significant cases in employee benefits law history since his firm was founded in 1999.  

Key cases from Conway’s first 25 years in practice ranged from wins in autism services coverage for children, to employee pension benefit protection during the City of Detroit bankruptcy, to mental health coverage for children suffering from life-threatening severe behavioral health conditions. Tackling these cases, either as lead counsel in individual suits or co-counsel in class action lawsuits, Conway has witnessed the power of employee benefits to not only heal, but to help preserve financial stability for those in greatest need of coverage. 

“It was an honor to work with my clients to obtain what was contractually owed to them,” Conway said. “Many of these cases were a David and Goliath scenario, but my clients never gave up on their right to health coverage or to a hard-earned pension.” 

What’s next in employee benefits law?

Looking ahead to the next era of employee benefits litigation, Conway points to a lawsuit he filed in January 2024 against a major insurer for denying contractually promised long-term disability coverage to his client, a former healthcare administrator suffering from Post-COVID-Conditions (PCC) rendering her unable to work.

“Employee benefits reflect societal trends, as does this case. Four years ago, no one had heard of Post-COVID-Conditions; now we’re fighting to make sure PCC is a recognized diagnosis for long-term disability claims. The case is an excellent example of why employee benefits litigation is a fascinating, dynamic area of the law.”  

Beyond securing coverage for PCC diagnoses, Conway identifies the following as areas to watch in employee benefits law:

  • Protections for gig economy workers including the establishment of voluntary benefit associations to lower the individual cost of fringe benefits like healthcare, life insurance, and disability coverage and find creative solutions to the retirement savings gap. 
  • Equalizing the benefit rights of governmental employees whose legal rights are more limited compared with their private sector counterparts and working to overturn governmental immunity for mishandling their retirement benefits. 
  • Forcing measurable change in the area of mental health coverage and treatment options through greater use of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and state mental health parity laws.
  • Widely expanding private benefits plans to meet modern day needs by offering paid family leave, childcare subsidies, increasing retirement security by greater scrutiny of administrative fees, and securing healthcare and long-term care coverage while retired. 
  • Creative recruitment offerings from employers, such as housing down payment loans, fertility benefits and family tuition subsidies.
  • An end to discrimination in the benefits for pregnant mothers, such as eliminating pregnancy as a preexisting condition in long-term disability healthcare plans. 

Conway also anticipates increased litigation involving pension fund mismanagement.

“We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg on this issue. Pension holders are becoming more vocal – and litigious – on risky fund investments in private equity and hedge funds that jeopardize their hard-earned retirement income,” Conway said.  

About J.J. Conway Law

J.J. Conway Law, an employee benefits litigation and ERISA firm founded by John Joseph (J.J.) Conway in 1999, represents those seeking full access to the employee benefits they earned and are legally entitled to. The firm has been involved with nationally significant employee benefit, disability and pension cases, including class action lawsuits for such landmark decisions as requiring Michigan private insurers to cover autism health treatments for children through age 18 and protecting the pension rights of City of Detroit employees, police and firefighters as well as Wayne County employees by holding their trustees accountable for investment decisions. The firm’s motto, Conquer Tomorrow®, is dedicated to making the future easier for their clients across the United States.  Learn more on the firm’s website.