Cozen O’Connor: Dorsch, Jay A.

Jay A. Dorsch



(215) 665-4685

(215) 701-2385

New York

(212) 883-4900

Jay regularly represents clients in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation matters and related fiduciary and tax concerns.

Jay has extensive experience with qualified and non-qualified employee benefit plans. He represents clients before the IRS, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. He has extensive experience handling the employee benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions, the fiduciary issues pertaining to plan assets, and other commercial transactions. Jay is equally experienced in handling the unique employee benefit requirements of non-profits and educational institutions. In addition, he has designed, drafted, and implemented all types of executive compensation arrangements, including deferred compensation plans, top hat plans, SERPS, and equity-based compensation plans. Jay advises clients on a regular basis regarding welfare benefit programs, including retiree medical benefits, self-insured programs, and cafeteria plans, to comply with the changing law in this area and to protect the client from unwanted claims and expenses. He also counsels in connection with retiree medical benefits issues and the resolution of disputed claims for welfare and retirement plan benefits.

Jay is also a fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is consistently recognized as a Super Lawyer by his peers. 

Jay earned his undergraduate degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (B.S. economics, cum laude, 1977), his law degree from Rutgers School of Law Newark (J.D., 1980), and his master of laws from New York University Law School (LL.M. taxation, 1984). 


64 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 21, 2019

Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Fifty-four Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 12, 2018

Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Eurofins Scientific Acquires EAG Laboratories for $780 Million

December 05, 2017

The national corporate practice and international practice at Cozen O’Connor represented Eurofins Scientific SE in the acquisition of EAG Laboratories from affiliates of Odyssey Investment Partners. The transaction is valued at $780 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis, and closed on December 1, 2017.

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2009 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers By Law & Politics

May 28, 2009

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that 52 attorneys from the firm’s Philadelphia and West Conshohocken offices have been named 2009 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics, and will appear in the June 2009 issues of Philadelphia magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.

Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Jay A. Dorsch And L. Stephen Bowers Lecture On Pension Plan Basics

July 19, 2008

Cozen O’Connor attorneys Jay A. Dorsch and L. Stephen Bowers recently lectured on ''Pension Plan Basics and Legislative Updates'' for Kistler-Tiffany Benefits. Some of the topics Dorsch and Bowers covered included pension plan options for small employers and an update on deferred compensation rules.

Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers By Law & Politics

May 29, 2008

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that 42 attorneys from the firm’s Philadelphia and West Conshohocken offices have been named 2008 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics, and will appear in the June 2008 issues of Philadelphia magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.


DOL Fiduciary Rule Taking Effect June 9 Is Low-Calorie, But Still Hard for Some to Swallow [Employee Benefits Alert]

June 01, 2017

Jay A. Dorsch and Matthew D. Clyde discuss the DOL's Fiduciary Rule that state individuals or companies who are considered fiduciaries under the new rule must meet “impartial conduct standards” to qualify for the related prohibited transaction exemptions.

ACA Relief Brightens 2017 for Small Employers [Labor & Employment Observer]

December 23, 2016

L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss the 21st Century Cures Act, which eases restrictions on health reimbursement arrangements sponsored by certain small employers.

Small Employers Cheer Recently Eased Affordable Care Act Restrictions [Employee Benefits Alert]

December 13, 2016

L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss the 21st Century Cures Act that provides government funding and support for a number of health care initiatives.

Vague COBRA Notices Could Prove Venomous [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert]

March 09, 2016

L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss a recent class action settlement wherein a large financial services organization agreed to pay nearly $300,000 to settle claims that the notice it provided to health plan participants and beneficiaries of their right to continue their health coverage upon the occurrence of a qualifying event, as is required by COBRA, was deficient.

Will Plan Participants’ Demands for Perfection Retire Large 401(k) Plans? [Employee Benefits Alert]

February 03, 2016

Stephen L. Bowers and Jay Dorsch discuss Bell v. Anthem Inc. et al., and (1) whether it is a breach of fiduciary duty for a large plan to not use its leverage to secure lower administration and investment services fees, and (2) whether the selection of higher-fee mutual funds over similar lower-cost funds constitutes a per se breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA?

Supreme Court Sends ERISA Plans Racing to the Courthouse for Subrogation Recoveries [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert]

January 29, 2016

Stephen L. Bowers, Jay A. Dorsch and Jeffrey I. Pasek discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan and how it impacts fiduciaries of employee benefit plans governed by ERISA.

DOL Issues Re-proposed Regulations Defining Investment Advice Fiduciary and Proposes New PTEs [Employee Benefits Alert]

May 04, 2015

The DOL issued long awaited re-proposed regulations governing fiduciary status and investment advice for public comment on April 14, 2015. The proposed regulations would amend the definition of fiduciary under ERISA to better protect retirement savers against conflicted investment advice.

2013/2014 [Labor and Employment Observer]

January 01, 2014

We are pleased to provide you with our 2013/2014 Observer, which looks back at the developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2014.

Use-It-or-Lose-It Rule Modified for Health Care FSAs [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert]

November 11, 2013

The IRS has issued IRS Notice 2013-71, allowing limited carry-over of amounts in employees’ flex plan accounts to the following plan year. Under the guidance employers may permit participants to carry over up to $500 of unused amounts in their health care flexible spending account into the next plan year.

June 30, 2011 Deadline for Cafeteria Plan Amendments [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert!]

June 20, 2011

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted March 23, 2010, revises the definition of medical expenses as it relates to over-the-counter drugs for employer-provided accident and health plans, including health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), as well as the definition of qualified medical expenses for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (Archer MSAs).

Last Chance to Correct 409A Violations Without Having to Pay a Penalty [Employee Benefit & Executive Compensation Alert!]

November 10, 2010

The IRS issued Notice 2010-6 (Notice) earlier this year, providing taxpayers with a mechanism to correct certain IRC Section 409A document errors. Under the Notice’s transition rules, if certain document compliance errors are corrected by December 31, 2010, the affected employee may avoid incurring any income tax or penalties (other than income tax on amounts actually received).

Health Care Reform Act Provides for Potential Reimbursement of Retiree Health Claims [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert!]

June 21, 2010

The new health care reform legislation provides an opportunity to employers who offer medical coverage to retirees to obtain government reimbursement of certain claims expenses. Called the ''Early Retiree Reinsurance Program,'' it is designed to assist employers who provide health care coverage for individuals who retire before becoming eligible for Medicare (i.e., ages 55 to 65) to continue to provide such coverage. However, there is a catch: the reimbursement program is temporary and is capped at $5 billion in total reimbursements.

Pennsylvania Enacts Mini-COBRA Law [Labor and Employment Alert!]

August 20, 2009

Pennsylvania joined a growing majority of states by enacting a ''mini COBRA'' law to provide former employees of smaller companies with an alternative to obtain health insurance. Federal COBRA provides that employers who provide their employees with health insurance coverage and have at least 20 employees are required to offer continuing health coverage if an employee would lose their health benefits due to a ''qualifying event'' (such as termination of employment). Employers of fewer than 20 employees are exempt from this requirement.

Cozen O’Connor: On Top Of The Hot Issues In Executive Compensation [The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel]

July 01, 2009

''It’s unclear what impact ‘say on pay’ votes will have. A shareholder vote that ‘yes this is a good program’ or ‘no this is not a good program’ doesn’t provide any guidance on why the shareholders have concluded a program is or is not appropriate.''

COBRA Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 [Labor and Employment Alert!]

February 24, 2009

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (the Act). The Act contains provisions which are intended to make health care coverage, particularly COBRA coverage, more affordable. Unfortunately, some of the burden of achieving this goal is placed on employers, including certain actions which must be taken quickly. Following is a brief description of the COBRA provisions of the Act.

Section 409A Deadline Approaching [Employee Benefits Alert!]

November 20, 2008

December 31, 2008 is the deadline for revising nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements to comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. While the rules have been in effect since 2004, the deadline for conforming all documents that are subject to Section 409A was extended from the end of last year and is not expected to be extended further. Although Section 409A addresses only non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, the final regulation.

Summer 2008 [Labor and Employment Observer]

August 15, 2008

Our Summer 2008 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.

2007 Deadline for Deferred Compensation Plan Amendments Under Section 409A Final Regulations [Employee Benefits Alert - 06/25/07]

June 25, 2007

On April 10, 2007, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations on nonqualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (the ''Final Regulations'').

Final 409A Regulations Released [Employee Benefits Alert - 04/12/07]

April 12, 2007

On April 10, 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (the ''IRS'') and the Treasury Department released the long-awaited final regulations regarding the taxation of non-qualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the ''Code''). Code Section 409A provides that amounts deferred under non-qualified plans and arrangements may be subject to current taxation and penalties if certain requirements are not satisfied.

Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions [Preparing Your Business for Sale]

June 21, 2006

Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions - Preparing Your Business for Sale -

Events & Seminars

Past Events

2019 Labor and Employment Law Update

June 20, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

ERISA Basics National Institute

June 05, 2019 - Washington, D.C.

2018 Labor and Employment Law Update

June 13, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

2017 Labor and Employment Law Update - Chicago

October 05, 2017 - Chicago, IL

Breakfast Seminar: IRS Compliance

January 01, 1900 - Philadelphia, PA


  • Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, J.D., 1980
  • New York University School of Law, LL.M., 1984
  • University of Pennsylvania The Wharton School, B.S., cum laude, 1977

Awards & Honors

Super Lawyers 2004-2016, 2019

Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

Best Lawyers in America 2018-2020

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania