Samantha PrinceApril 2022 — On April 1, 2022 Professor Samantha Prince presented her article on the disparate impact that employee churn has on retirement wealth of people of color and lower income workers.

She presented her article, “Megacompany Employee Churn Meets 401(k) Vesting Schedules: A Sabotage on Workers’ Retirement Wealth,” to a large group of tax professors and researchers. Professor Prince’s research shows that several large high turnover businesses use retirement plan vesting schedules that foreclose their employees from vesting in employer contributions made to the plans on their behalf. For example, when employees leave Amazon before the end of their third year of service, they walk away with no Amazon contributions that were made on their behalf. Instead, that money is reallocated to reduce future Amazon contributions or administrative fees. Most of the impacted employees are people of color and low-income workers.

Allowing megacompanies who know they have high turnover to do this is against public policy. And it exacerbates retirement wealth inequality for people of color and low-income workers.

The Critical Tax Conference celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. It was hosted by Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Critical tax scholars question the assumptions of objectivity and “color-blindness” in tax by exploring how tax law and policy impact historically marginalized groups. Professor Prince’s research and article were lauded at the conference.

Professor Samantha Prince is an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Legal Analysis & Writing at Dickinson Law. She has a Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center and was a partner in a regional law firm where she handled transactional matters that ranged from an initial public offering to regular representation of a publicly-traded company. Most of her clients were small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs, including start-ups. A significant part of her practice was in employee benefits including retirement plan design and operation. An expert in entrepreneurship law, she established the Dickinson Law entrepreneurship program, is an advisor for the Entrepreneurship Law Certificate that is available to students, and is the founder and moderator of the Inside Entrepreneurship Law blog.