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Frank Del Barto is Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor & Benefits group. He counsels executives and HR managers on the full range of employment, health and welfare, benefit and retirement plan matters. Frank’s clients, which include domestic and Japanese companies, consistently appreciate his business acumen and practical point of view. Frank’s innate ability to problem-solve by distilling complicated obstacles into key decision points and workable solutions brings his clients back again and again.

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An Illinois Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” Frank advises management on employment discrimination, family and medical leave, wage and hour compliance, and employee classification concerns, as well as regarding critical litigation risk reduction strategies. He has negotiated and drafted numerous employment, severance and independent contractor agreements and employment policies and handbooks. Frank has successfully represented clients in administrative matters before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and the Illinois Department of Labor. He has also successfully counseled clients in employment and wage matters in various state and federal courts.

In addition, Frank advises on the Affordable Care Act, ERISA, COBRA and myriad plan reporting, disclosure and compliance matters. He has represented clients before the U.S. Department of Labor on compliance audits and Form 5500 penalty assessments. As retirement plan compliance has become increasingly difficult, Frank has guided client management teams through complex 401(k) plan corrections with the IRS and has counseled clients on the formation and operation of plan committees to improve plan governance and reduce the risks and potential liabilities of plan sponsorship.

Prior to joining the firm, Frank spent fourteen years in the insurance industry working with Fortune 500 companies and prominent universities. This real-world business experience allows him to bring a unique business-oriented perspective to the legal challenges faced by his clients, ever searching for solutions that fall within his client’s acceptable tolerance for risk.

A former Army officer and graduate of the elite Airborne and Ranger Schools, Frank’s pro bono practice concentrates on assisting military veterans and their dependents appeal disability compensation claim denials with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. A veteran himself, Frank is driven to assist fellow veterans in obtaining compensation for their injuries that are connected to or aggravated by their military service. Notably, Frank has received awards for his pro bono service from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Supreme Court of Illinois.

Practice Areas

Education

  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D. and LL.M. Employee Benefits Law, with honors, 2007
  • The Virginia Military Institute, B.A., 1987

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Veterans Claims
.
Experience

Experience

Tennessee manufacturing company representation in a federal wage and hour lawsuit wherein a former employee alleged that joint employer liability existed between the Tennessee company and its sister company in Ohio; obtained dismissal of the Ohio company; successfully settled the Tennessee portion of the case before any collective action certification.

Represented an Ohio manufacturing company by spearheading its response to a U.S. Department of Labor audit of its benefit plans.

Prepared and filed multiple 401(k) plan corrections under the IRS's Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System due to compensation, eligibility, deferral, and loan operational errors.

Based on extensive experience asserting arguments under the Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty between the United States and Japan, obtained dismissal of a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit filed in Illinois; assisted in the favorable resolution of an age discrimination lawsuit in New Jersey relying on the same FCN Treaty.

Manufacturing company representation in a disability discrimination matter, negotiating a settlement resulting in a voluntary withdrawal of the Illinois Department of Human Rights charge.

Assisted in representing a manufacturing company in a former employee's breach of contract claim, resulting in the federal District Court dismissing the four-count complaint with prejudice.

Successfully represented clients in unemployment claim hearings before the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Successfully represented several different clients in pregnancy, race, age and disability discrimination claims before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Memberships

Memberships

American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association - Chair, Employee Benefits Committee
Illinois State Bar Association
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Professional Activities
Legal Updates/Client Advisories
Your Part-Time Employees May Be Eligible For Your Company's 401(k) Plan
Executive Summary Although part-time employees are not likely eligible for a company’s group health plan because they work fewer than…
Insurance Carrier Certificates of Insurance Do Not Meet the Content Requirements for a Summary Plan Description
Executive Summary The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) requires that most employee benefit plans automatically…
401(k) Service Providers Owe No Fiduciary Duty with Respect to Negotiating Their Fee Compensation
Executive Summary Following the findings expressed in three other Circuits, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - November 2017
Update on the Overtime Rule By Frank Del Barto On Monday, October 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") announced plans "to…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - October 2017
Message from the Chair On behalf of the Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice Group, I want to thank all clients and friends who attended…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - September 2017
Salaried Non-Exempt Employees Can Create Risk By Frank Del Barto Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor's ("DOL") Wage and Hour Division…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - July 2017
SAVE THE DATE: September 28, 2017 - Annual Seminar On Thursday, September 28, 2017, the Employment, Labor and Benefits group will hold its…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - June 2017
Masuda Funai's Attorneys Speak on Employment and Benefits Matters Advertised in Crain's Chicago Business, Alan M. Kaplan and Frank J. Del…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - March 2017
IRS Publishes Substantiation Guidance for 401(k) Hardship Distributions By Frank J. Del Barto On February 23, 2017, the Acting Director of…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - February 2017
Annual Seminar Reminder MFEM's Immigration Group will hold its 2017 Annual Immigration Law Update Seminar on Friday, February 24, 2017, at…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - January 2017
Wage and Hour - All Of Our Employees Are Paid A Salary By Frank J. Del Barto As we begin 2017, it is often valuable to review lessons…
Litigation Snapshot for 2016
Victory Before the American Arbitration Association in New York City, July 8, 2016 Rein F. Krammer and David J. Stein capped off nearly…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - December 2016
Upcoming Webinar In January, we will present a complimentary webinar entitled "Post-Election HR Management Outlook." We plan to discuss a…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - September 2016
Important Developments in Illinois Employment, Labor and Benefits Law By Frank Del Barto Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act Expands Usage…
Employers Must Provide a Notice of Immunity in Any Contract or Agreement that Governs the Use of Trade Secrets or Confidential Information
Executive Summary: On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") into law. Under the DTSA, trade…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - June 2016
Department of Labor Releases Final Rule Increasing Salary Level Required for White-Collar Exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act By…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - May 2016
New Act, New Remedies: DTSA To Provide Additional Protection for Trade Secret Owners and Whistleblowers By Nancy Sasamoto With President…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - March 2016
Health Care Reform: Reducing Employee Hours to Avoid the ACA is No Game By Frank Del Barto On February 9, 2016, the U.S. District Court for…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - January 2016
Employment – A Limitation on the Enforceability of Forum-Selection Clauses in California By Jiwon Juliana Yhee Executive Summary: In…
Employment, Labor & Benefits Update - December 2015
Employment – Overtime Rule to Be Finalized in July 2016 By Frank J. Del Barto In August 2015, we reported that the U.S. Department of Labor…
IMPORTANT YEAR-END REMINDER
If You Have 50 or More Employees (or Full-Time Equivalents) or You Are Self-Insured, You Must Report Certain Information To The IRS and…
Proposed Rule Would Require Overtime Pay For All Workers Earning Less Than $50,440 Per Year
Executive Summary: The U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") issued a Proposed Rule that seeks to increase the salary level required for an…
Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor 401(k) Plan
Executive Summary: Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed in unanimous decision (9-0) that 401(k) plan fiduciaries have a continuing…
Workers' Compensation and COBRA Coverage: The Forgotten Employer Obligation
Executive Summary: Employers fail to offer COBRA continuation notices to qualified beneficiaries for any number of reasons. However, with…
Employee Handbooks Must be Updated to Comply with Illinois and/or California Laws
Executive Summary: New Illinois and California laws require most companies to post new notices and draft new policies for their employee…
Insurance Premium Rebates, Can The Company Keep The Money?
Maybe. Recently, several clients have received large premium rebate checks from their group health insurance company and have asked for…
Questions From Our Clients
Q: Do I violate criminal law by not correctly implementing the Illinois Conceal Carry Law? A: No. The law is a criminal statute directed at…
FMLA: Caring for an Adult Child
Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reminded us that the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") provides…
ERISA: ESOP Fiduciaries Are Not Entitled to a "Presumption of Prudence"
Last week, in one of its final opinions of the term, the Supreme Court of the United States (the "Court") held that ESOP fiduciary…
ERISA: Delinquent Form 5500 Filers Must Also File With the IRS
Plan sponsors who fail to file Form 5500 annual reports are subject to penalties under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code")…
A Million Dollar Problem: Paying Field Service Engineers Improperly
Many clients employ Field Service Engineers ("FSEs") who install, service and repair a wide range of machinery (i.e., printing presses…
Health Care Reform: More Changes Issued
On Monday, February 10, 2014, the IRS issued final regulations relating to the employer mandate. Currently, Masuda Funai is reviewing the…
Failing to File a Form 5500 Annual Report
Generally, 401(k) plan sponsors must file a Form 5500 Annual Report by the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends using the…
I Am Reluctant to Call My Lawyer
Across the country, clients are increasingly reluctant to call their lawyers because of the high costs associated with the delivery of…
Obamacare: We Received a Check From Our Insurance Company. Can We Keep The Money?
On March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") added Section 2718 to the Public Health Services Act ("PHSA")…
Ten Steps to Avoid Liability in Terminations
[Editor's Note] Alan M. Kaplan and Frank J. Del Barto gave a joint presentation to HRoundtable, a networking group for human resource…
Illinois Legalizes the Possession of a Concealed Handgun
Executive Summary On July 9, 2013, Public Act 98-63, The Firearm Concealed Carry Act (the "Act") became law. With its passage, Illinois…
Reminder:First PCORI Fee Due July 31, 2013 For Calendar Year Plans
The Affordable Care Act ("ACA") imposed a new fee on plan sponsors and issuers of individual and group policies to fund the…
FMLA: There Is No Such Thing as FMLA Light Duty
Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the employer in a case where an employee filed suit…
U.S. Department of Labor Is Investigating Group Health Insurance Plans
1. The DOL Is Conducting Plan Audits. Recently, a client received a letter from the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") notifying them that…
401(k) Plan Corrections – Can Your Company Benefit From the New IRS Guidance?
On December 31, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issued Revenue Procedure 2013-12. This new Revenue Procedure modifies and…
Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program Updated
On Monday, January 28, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") announced technical updates to its Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance…
Speaking Engagements
Illinois CPA Society Employee Benefits Conference, "401(k) Plan Fee and Expense Litigation," May 2017
14th Annual Employee Benefits Symposium, "Overview of USERRA," May 2017
"Fiduciary Training 101 and Correcting with the IRS and DOL," December 2016
Japanese Mutual Aid Society, "Navigating the Veterans Benefits System," November 2016
SHRM Chapter: "Joint Employer Relationships, October 2016
SHRM Chapter: "The Salary Level Change, Planning and Implementing," September 2016
HRoundtable: "2016 Employment and Benefit Challenges," January 2016
Events
Complimentary Webinar: Performance Management, Rights and Responsibilities
7.24.18
. . Join us for Part 3 of The Employment Life of Robert Rightman. After his hiring and after determining his wages, hours and benefits…
Wages, Hours & Benefits Webinar
5.17.18
Masuda Funai is pleased to announce the second part of our 2018 Webinar Series, entitled “The Employment Life of Robert Rightman.” After…
Recruitment, Hiring & New Employee Orientation Webinar
3.15.18
Recruitment, Hiring & New Employee Orientation Should the company classify the new worker as an employee or independent contractor? What…
2017 Employment, Labor & Benefits Group Complimentary Seminar
9.28.17
EMPLOYMENT, LABOR & BENEFITS GROUP COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. Topics: The Trump Administration's…
2016 Annual Complimentary Employment, Labor & Benefits Seminar
9.28.16
2016 ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT, LABOR & BENEFITS LAW SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. TOPICS: Employee Benefits Update Avoiding…
Webinar: 401(k) Plan Excessive Fee Lawsuits - Reducing Your Risk
8.4.16
Webinar: 401(k) Plan Excessive Fee Lawsuits Reducing Your Risk Frank Del Barto will review the current 401(k) excessive fee litigation…
Wage and Hour Webinar: Planning for the Release of the Final Rule
5.12.16
Wage and Hour Webinar: Planning for the Final Rule Join Frank Del Barto and Jiwon Yhee of Masuda Funai's Employment, Labor & Benefits Group…
News
Masuda Funai Provides Pro Bono Services for an 82-year old Army Veteran
On May 15, 2018, Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. prevailed on appeal and received a welcome decision from the Department of…
Litigation Snapshot 2017
Highlighting a Few of our Litigation Practice Group Successes Bankruptcy: Equipment Supplier’s Victory Against Bankrupt Debtor, December…
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Awards Excellence in Pro Bono Service to Frank J. Del Barto and David J. Stein
PRESS RELEASE CHICAGO - Frank J. Del Barto and David J. Stein from Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. received awards for excellence…
Distinctions

Distinctions

  • Illinois Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2011-2017
  • Leading Lawyers - Emerging Lawyer, 2017
  • Awarded Excellence in Pro Bono Service by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2017
  • Recipient of The John Marshall Law School Alumni Associations' Distinguished Service Award for Efforts on Behalf of Veterans, 2013
  • Recipient of the Supreme Court of Illinois' Distinguished Service Award, 2009