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SBHRA Insurance Academy | Benefit Compliance Issues for the Post COVID Workplace [California]

As workplaces begin to return to some version of pre-COVID operations, employers confront a host of compliance issues including vaccination status of their workforce, subsidized COBRA for those whose jobs ended or schedules were reduced due to the pandemic, and health and dependent care flexible spending account changes to accommodate changes in spending and access to care.

Watch Lesa Caputo and her guests Christine Roberts and Rafael Gonzalez from Mullen & Henzell LLP Law as they walk through the key steps to staying on top of the legal issues and changes that employers confront in this changing environment.

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Meet the Speaker:

Lesa Caputo, Principal and Benefits Advisors

Lesa Caputo, Principal and Benefits Advisor

Lesa joined One Digital in 2018 after growing her company, Beneflex Insurance Services over the prior 8 years and with a combined 27+ years’ experience in the insurance industry as a Senior Benefits Advisor. Lesa is a leading expert in employer benefits offerings, having worked on both the insurance carrier and broker sides of the industry.

She is highly versed in compliance and health care reform issues, topics she often addresses in our client workshops for the SBHRA Insurance Academy.

Her extensive knowledge in employee benefits, strategic abilities in plan design and funding mechanisms, and her compliance expertise make Lesa an invaluable partner to her clients. Since joining OneDigital she has been nominated to serve on their Large Group Client Advisory Committee as she is viewed by her peers to be an expert in this market segment.

Lesa graduated from UCSB with a degree in Business Economics in 1994. She lives in Ojai, CA with her husband and three daughters. She proudly serves as a board member for the Pacific Coast Region of the American Red Cross.

Christine P. Roberts, Partner at Mullen & Henzell LLPs

Christine Roberts practices in the complex and ever-changing field of employment benefits law (ERISA). For more than twenty years, Christine has helped employers and benefit brokers steer a clear path to ERISA compliance, de-mystifying the jargon, and providing practical advice to clients in language that they can understand and act on with assurance.

Christine assists plan sponsors in all aspects of qualified retirement plan design, operation, and termination in compliance with ERISA and the Code, including participation in IRS and Department of Labor voluntary correction programs. An additional focus of her practice is serving as outside ERISA counsel to benefit brokers and advisors, helping them to navigate a broad range of ERISA and Affordable Care Act compliance issues. Christine also works extensively with for-profit and tax-exempt employers on executive deferred compensation arrangements. Christine has helped many employers, both profit and not-for-profit, in lessening or avoiding interest and penalties when they are found out of compliance. Since 2010, Christine has maintained a legal blog,, and posts regularly on developments in ERISA regulatory and case law.

In her time away from the office, Christine is an avid reader, Masters swimmer, and travels to New Orleans at least once a year with her husband to explore new restaurants and music venues.

Rafael Gonzalez, Partner at Mullen & Henzell LLPs

Rafael’s practice is focused exclusively on representation of employers in employment and complex litigation matters. He advises and represents clients in wage & hour actions, administrative investigations, sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and collective bargaining. Rafael’s expertise includes wage and hour class actions, PAGA actions, and other complex employment litigation.

Rafael serves as legal counsel for the Grower Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties representing growers, farm labor contractors, and shippers throughout California. Other major clients served include those in hospitality, education, financial services, food and beverage, and healthcare.

Rafael joined Mullen & Henzell after serving as an attorney and hearing officer with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, Region 21 in Los Angeles. He takes pride in providing a preemptive approach to litigation by educating clients and offering practical, cost-effective solutions to legal problems.