Bonita Hatchett

Of Counsel, Labor & Employment, Employee Benefits
(212) 837-2600
Location: New York, NY, Dallas, Texas
Practice Areas & Industries:

Bonita has over 25 years of large international law firm experience serving as outside HR Compliance, ERISA and Benefits counsel to national corporations, public sector entities, growth and middle-market companies, jointly-trusteed funds, as well as entrepreneurs in every major industry group, including a national retailer, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals on employee benefits matters.

For the duration of Bonita’s career, she has served as counsel to human resources personnel, providing advice on general labor and employment law and employee benefits issues.  Her practice involves providing guidance on and practice before both Federal and State law regulatory agencies on employment issues, including the laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Texas Workforce Commission, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Illinois Department of Labor and other State agencies nation-wide.

She regularly designs and writes union and non-union tax-qualified multi-formula plans established under Sections 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)/(f) of the Code, nonqualified plans subject to Section 409A of the Code, health and welfare arrangements, severance and executive compensation plans, other compensatory arrangements, and service provider agreements.  Bonita advises plan sponsors on regulatory changes and amends employee benefit plans to comply with current law, to reflect discretionary design changes, and pursuant to collective bargaining.

Bonita negotiates service provider agreements, investment management agreements, subscription agreements, other investment instruments, and represents employers and investment advisors in connection with regulatory examinations. She also represents employers in the employee benefits aspects of corporate transactions, designs the employee benefits strategy, conducts benefits due diligence, provides advice on benefits integration issues and coordinates and monitors service provider performance.


  • Georgetown University School of Law, LL.M. in Labor & Employment (Certificate in Benefits Law)
  • Rutgers University Law Center, JD
  • University of Michigan, BA

Bar Admissions

  • NJ (1997)
  • IL  (2000)
  • TX (2019)

Speaking Engagements

  • Taught over 100 2-day seminars on the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
  • TEXPERS Summer Trustee Training: Update on Regulatory Compliance (August 2017, August 2018, October 2018)
  • Did You Know? Unique State Employee Benefit & Employment Issues, American Bar Association (February 2017)
  • Social Security Benefits and DOL’s New Fiduciary Rules, Strasburger Tax Symposium (November 2016)
  • Inherited IRAs-What the Supreme Court May Do-American Bar Association Webinar (June 19, 2014)
  • In the Loop Employment Issues to Master 2013- Update on Health Care Reform (May 15, 2013)
  • The Illinois Chapter of the ESOP Association 2013 Annual Conference, Oakbrook Terrace, IL (3/7/2013)
  • Federal Health Care Reform:  2013 Is Here – Now What? – Warsaw Kosciusko Co. Chamber of Commerce, Champagne Jam, 2517 East Center Street (2/28/2013)
  • National Bar Association – Commercial Law Section, 2013 Corporate Counsel Conference, St. Regis Monarch Beach North, 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 93629 (2/23/2013)
  • Health Care Reform-ERISA- Notre Dame Innovation Park, 1400 E. Angela Blvd., South Bend, IN (2/8/2013)
  • Healthcare Reform 2013:  Post-Election Healthcare Reform and the New Regulatory Landscape Under the Affordable Care Act-Webinar (12/11/2012)
  • Federal Health Care Reform:  The Election Is Over – Now What? (11/13/2012)
  • Spring Symposia – “Employee Benefits Plans and Other Compensation Arrangement Group and Business Planning Group:  Using Retirement Plans as a Part of a Business Entrance or Exit Strategy” (5/3/2012)
  • IBA Chicago Conference 2011 – “Current Trends in Attracting and Retaining Executive Talent After the Crisis” (4/11/2011)
  • American Conference Institute Forum – “What is Next for ‘Say on Pay?’:  Preparing for New Developments So Your Company/Client is Equipped to Create Effective Plans” (7/23/2010)
  • CLE Program:  Sears Holdings Corporation – “ERISA:  The Statute’s Broad Reach” (6/4/2008)
  • Bell, Boyd & Lloyd MCLE – “ERISA:  Demystifying the Statute.  The ABCs of ERISA for Corporate Lawyers” (4/22/2008)
  • Corporate Counsel Forum – “New Strategies on Deferred Compensation” (7/26/2007)
  • Steel Manufacturers Association – “Human Resources:  Legislative Update” (11/1/2003)
  • 2003 Mid-Summer Professional Development Seminar – “Planning, Preparation and Persistence:  The Large Law Firm Hiring Process” (6/28/2003)
  • IBC USA Educational Forum – “Workplace 529 Plans:  Future ERISA and other Implications for Employers” (11/18/2002)
  • Steel Manufacturers Association – “HIPAA Compliance:  Challenges and Opportunities” (3/7/2002)


  • Human Resources 2008: “Automatic 401(k) Plan Enrollment After the Pension Protection Act of 2006” (2008)
  • Human Resources 2006:  Answers to Your Top 25 Questions – “Disaster Planning and HR” (12/1/2006)
  • Human Resources 2006:  Answers to Your Top 25 Questions  – “Domestic Partner Benefits” (12/1/2006)
  • Human Resources 2006:  Answers to Your Top 25 Questions:  “The New Roth 401(k) Plan Feature:  Expanding the Possibilities Under 401(k) Plans Through Qualified Roth Contribution Programs” (12/1/2006)
  • The Practical Lawyer – “What You Need to Know About the Prohibited Misuse of ERISA Plan Assets” (12/1/2006)
  • Human Resources 2006:  Answers to Your Top 25 Questions – “Forms LM-10 and LM-30 Filing Requirements” (6/1/2006)
  • The Advisor – “Health Savings Accounts:  A New Alternative to Cover Healthcare Costs” (9/1/2004)
  • Trustee Magazine – “What Trustees Should Know About Intermediate Sanctions” (3/18/2004)

News & Mentions

  • Equity Movement TV Network- Guest on the “Are you ready to retire?” Segment (May 2019)
  • Mention in Bloomberg Business Week Article-“When Employers Want to Avoid Paying for Health Insurance” (6/24/2013)
  • WNIT Public Television – “Economic Outlook” (1/16/2013)
  • Mention in the South Bend Tribune – “Businesses Prep for Health Care Rules” (12/23/2012)
  • Corporate Law Alert – Section 409A:  Arrangements that Require Execution of a Release as a Condition to Severance May Require Action by Dec. 31, 2012 (12/5/2012)
  • Employee Benefits Alert – 2013 Plan Year Reduction in Health FSA Deferrals (10/2/2012)
  • Mention in Society for Human Resource Management Article-“Nondiscrimination Rules for Health Plans Loom Ahead” (5/29/2013)