About Kate Ulrich Saracene

Kate Saracene speaks HR. Having spent a dozen years as a human resources and labor relations professional at Xerox, she knows what it's like to walk in her clients' shoes. Clients count on her to assist them throughout the life cycle of the employment relationship, from hiring to firing and everything in between. But Kate's national reputation was built on her deep knowledge of health and welfare employee benefit plans, third-party benefits administration and multiple employer health plan arrangements. She is the leader of the firm's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice.

Where benefits and employment law intersect

Kate's in-house background gives her valuable insight into day-to-day benefits and employment issues. Human resources managers are often faced with issues that cross over different areas of law, including labor and employment, ERISA, tax and state insurance laws. Kate is adept at untangling the issues that arise at the intersection of these differing mandates. If an employee becomes disabled, for instance, she can help the employer to navigate questions around private disability insurance, state temporary disability benefits, federal Social Security Disability insurance, accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, protections under a collective bargaining agreement and time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act and state leave laws. Wellness programs, another area of focus for Kate, can require compliance with nine different federal laws that overlap the areas of labor and employment, ERISA, tax and privacy regulations.

Kate is known nationally as a thought leader in the area of health and welfare plan benefits. She regularly helps clients that sponsor, insure or administer health and welfare and fringe benefit plans, including group health plans, flexible spending accounts, dependent care assistance programs and paid family leave. Kate assists with everything from plan design and strategy to day-to-day administration. For example, when an insurer/third-party administrator developed new health and wellness products for employer groups, Kate helped design the products, set up sales and operational procedures, and draft customer materials. Kate often assists industry associations and municipalities with the formation and operation of multiple employer health plan arrangements, and assists employers with large health plan projects, like the establishment of on-site medical clinics. Her advice on such initiatives is designed to be both practical and efficient for the clients implementing them.

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Practice Focus

  • Employee benefits and executive compensation
  • Health and welfare and fringe benefit plan compliance, administration and funding
  • Labor and employment
  • Insurance regulation
  • Third-party benefits administration
  • Data privacy and security
  • ERISA litigation

Publications

Presentations and Events

  • How to Stay Compliant During the Healthcare Reform Storm | Mid-Sized Retirement and Healthcare Plan Management Conference
    September 17–20, 2017
  • The Uncertain Future of the ACA: What's Next for Employers? | Mindfulness as a Path to Wellness | Mid-Sized Retirement and Healthcare Plan Management Conference
    June 14–17, 2017
  • Rewarding Healthy Behaviors Forum–World Congress
    February 7–8, 2017