Kirsten H. Garcia has extensive experience advising employers on state and federal laws affecting a wide variety of health and welfare plans, wellness programs, retirement plans, and executive compensation arrangements.
Kirsten advises clients on compliance matters involving ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, ACA, COBRA, HIPAA, MHPAEA, and other federal and state laws, assists employers with correction of operational or documentation failures, including working through the DOL and IRS VFCP and EPCRS correction programs, and provides guidance through government investigations and audits.
Kirsten is a “go-to” adviser for clients and colleagues regarding all aspects of the ACA, such as strategizing management of employer penalty risk and negotiating vendor agreements to avoid employer penalties with respect to contract labor.
Kirsten also provides guidance and compliance strategies to clients in all other aspects of the health and welfare area, including drafting plan documentation, summary plan descriptions, and disclosures, reviewing and negotiating service provider plan documents, benefits booklets, and administrative services agreements, implementing HIPAA compliance programs and conducting employee training, implementing and supporting MEWAs, representation during audits and investigations by the DOL or HHS, assistance with reporting obligations, and correction of HIPAA breaches and COBRA compliance failures.
Kirsten’s extensive experience has made her a frequent speaker and writer on issues affecting employee benefit plans. Her speaking engagements include the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists DFW and Houston Chapters, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network – Dallas Chapter, Employment Law Updates sponsored by the Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio Chambers of Commerce, and the Dallas Bar Association Employee Benefits / Executive Compensation Section.
The articles she has authored have appeared in the New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, The Practical Tax Lawyer, Dallas Business Journal, and Fort Worth Business Press. Every other month, she presents a legislative update at the DFW ISCEBS Chapter meeting.
Professional and Community Activities:
- State Bar of Texas
- Dallas Bar Association; Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee Member, 2012-2014
- J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 2006, with honors
- B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, 2001, magna cum laude
ADMISSIONS : Texas, 2006
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