About Bethany

Bethany counsels public and private employers on employee benefit program compliance and design. This includes qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, health and welfare programs, fringe benefit programs, and executive compensation arrangements. In an evolving regulatory environment, Bethany partners with clients to stay on top of legal developments and current industry trends, such as pension derisking and self-funding health benefits. She represents plan sponsors in devising, negotiating, and implementing changes to employee benefit programs to address tax qualification issues, align plan design with business objectives, and mitigate risk through use of the IRS and Department of Labor correction procedures. Bethany has extensive experience assisting clients in corporate transactions with identifying potential liabilities, analyzing opportunities for synergy and creating employee communication strategies. She regularly handles plan spinoffs and mergers.

Bethany is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Task Force, a cross-practice, cross-jurisdictional team dedicated to coordinating guidance for clients impacted by the global coronavirus pandemic.  Bethany serves as Pro Bono Coordinator for the Portland office and on the firm’s Main Street Relief Project Task Force, a team of attorneys who launched and manage a no-cost legal service program for independent restaurants, bars, and retail establishments in the communities where the firm has offices.

Bethany also advises employers on the significant employee benefits legal aspects associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the FFCRA and CARES Act group health plan implications, retirement plan options, and related evolving regulatory guidance.  She has presented at two client webinars on these issues: Employee Benefit Impacts of FFCRA and the CARES Act and Employee Benefits COVID-19 and COBRA Update.

When not focusing on her benefits practice, Bethany serves as a member of Stoel Rives’ Pro Bono Committee and represents pro bono clients on a variety of issues through the Stoel Rives night clinic run in partnership with Multnomah County Legal Aid. She previously won the firm’s pro bono award in recognition of her service.

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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Oregon) by Chambers USA (currently: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation), 2020–2021
  • Named by Best Lawyers® as Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Portland, 2022
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (currently: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law), 2013–2022
  • Listed among Rising StarsSM (Employee Benefits–ERISA), Oregon Super Lawyers®, 2009–2011
  • Board of Directors, president, 2012–2013; other board positions, 2007–2012 and 2013–2015; Western Pension & Benefits Council Portland Chapter
  • Member, Oregon Health Dialogue Planning Committee, 2014
  • Member, Tax Section and Health Care Law Section, American Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Board of Directors, Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger, 2005–present; President, 2009–2012
  • Board of Directors, Northwest Catholic Counseling Center, 2015–present; Secretary, 2017–present
  • Board of Directors, Pet Peace of Mind, 2019
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Charming the Snake: Administering the COBRA Premium Subsidy,” Stoel Rives LLP webinar, May 2021
  • Happy New Employee Benefits Year: Stimulus Relief for 2021,” Stoel Rives LLP webinar, Jan. 2021
  • Webinar: Employee Benefits COVID-19 and COBRA Update,” Stoel Rives LLP webinar, May 2020
  • Employee Benefits in the Time of COVID-19: Impact of FFCRA and the CARES Act,” Stoel Rives LLP webinar, April 2020
  • “Legal & Regulatory Update for Retirement Plans,” WP&BC Portland Seminar, March 2020
  • “2019 Legal & Legislative Update for Retirement Plans,” International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists Pacific Northwest Chapter webinar, Nov. 2019
  • “Breakout Session: Employee Benefits,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 17th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Feb. 2019
  • “Safe at Sea: Employee Benefits and Wellness Plans,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 16th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Feb. 2018
  • “Employee Benefits Law Update,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 15th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, March 2017
  • “Understanding Your Health Plan Reporting Requirements,” Technology Association of Oregon Webinar, Sept. 2016
  • “Privacy in the Workplace; Handling Employee Medical Information and Personal Data,” Stoel Rives Seminar, April 2016
  • “Employee Benefits Law Update,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 14th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, March 2016
  • “2015 Year In Review, 2016 Cases to Watch,” International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists Pacific Northwest Chapter Program, Feb. 2016
  • “The Affordable Care Act: Employer Update,” OSB Health Law, Nov. 2015
  • “Health Care Reform Q&A,” WP&BC Health and Welfare Seminar, Nov. 2015
  • Presenter, Regence Employer Health Summit, Sept. 2015, 2014
  • “Health Care Reform: Version 2.0,” Stoel Rives Seminar, May 2014
  • “Health Care Reform Forum,” North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce, Sept. 2013
  • “Health Care Reform for Employers: Now What?,” Lorman Education Services, Aug. 2013
  • “GAME CHANGE 2014: Are You and Your Employees Ready?,” Stoel Rives LLP, May 2013
  • “Updated Health Care Reform Guidance, Including Play or Pay: How to Prepare Your Business,” Oregon Petroleum Association, March 2013
  • Panelist, “ACA & Employers: What They Need To Know,” State of Reform Oregon Health Policy Conference, Dec. 2012

Related News & Publications

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