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Searching for Articles published in October 2014.
Found 9 Results.

IRS Issues 2015 Limits for Qualified Plans

Posted on October 23, 2014, Authored by Mary Ellen Schill, Filed under Employment

Autumn brings two things, at least in Wisconsin. Lots of leaves on your lawn, and the IRS announcement of the contribution and benefit limits applicable to qualified retirement plans for next year. Lets ignore the leaves for now, but the IRS limits we can help you with. Keep this chart with your important papers. Adjusted annually for cost of living, the IRS limits on contributions and benefits for retirement plans can have a significant impact on both personal and corporate tax planning. Unlike for 2014, 2015 will bring some welcome increases in the limits. Along with the IRS announcement, the Social Security Administration has also announced the taxable wage base for 2015, $118,500. Please feel free to share our handy chart with your payroll department, and get back to raking those leaves!

Protect Your Assets: Medical Care & Long-Term Planning - Fall 2014 - Eau Claire, WI

Posted on October 28, 2014, Authored by ,

Florian Gardens, Eau Claire, WI Please register by calling 715.834.3425. Medical Assistance & Long-Term Care Planning The Need for Planning Who Is Eligible for Medical Assistance Planning? Protection of the House and Vacation Home Permitted Transfers of Assets Using Trusts to Protect Your Assets This seminar is offered at no charge. It is offered at both 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Please specify a time when registering. Location: Florian Gardens, 2340 Lorch Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701

Protect Your Assets: Medical Care & Long-Term Planning - Fall 2014 - Wausau, WI

Posted on October 17, 2014, Authored by ,

Holiday Inn & Suites, Rothschild, WI Please contact Shannon Jacobson at: (715) 845-4336, or sjacobson@ruderware.com Medical Assistance & Long-Term Care Planning The Need for Planning Who Is Eligible for Medical Assistance Planning? Protection of the House and Vacation Home Permitted Transfers of Assets Using Trusts to Protect Your Assets This seminar is offered at no charge. It is offered at both 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Please specify a time when registering. Location: Holiday Inn & Suites, 1000 Imperial Ave, Rothschild, WI 54474

EEOC Brings More Complaints

Posted on October 1, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

I have written over the past several months regarding the activism at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The beat goes on. Several recent complaints have been filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seeking to protect employees from alleged discriminatory conduct by an employer. In the first case, the EEOC filed suit over alleged sex discrimination involving transgender individuals. The EEOC alleged that two different companies discriminated against transgender workers by firing the employees for being transgender and not conforming to "the employer's gender-based expectations." In both of these suits, which were the first of their kind filed by the EEOC, the employer allegedly terminated an employee who gave notice that the employee was transitioning from male to female. These cases come on the heels of recent announcements by the federal government that it is illegal for federal contractors to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In the second matter, the EEOC filed a complaint against a legal staffing firm for discriminating against an attorney applicant because of her age in violation of the age discrimination law. The complaint alleges that the company rejected a 70-year old attorney when the company allegedly discovered her age during the hiring process. The employee asked the company whether a decision was being made to withdraw an offer of employment because of her age and the company indicated that the employee would not be considered for other positions with the temporary agency. In the third matter, the EEOC brought an action against a company for refusing to hire a male applicant who refused to cut his hair due to his Rastafarian religious beliefs. The EEOC is alleging that the company discriminated against the applicant who advised the company at the time of his interview that his religious beliefs prevented him from cutting his hair. The individual was interviewed for a delivery truck driver position and was allegedly told by the company that he could not have the job unless he cut his hair, which prompted the employee to explain why he could not have his hair cut due to his religious beliefs. The case focuses on the failure of the company to reasonably accommodate the sincerely-held religious beliefs of an employee provided the reasonable accommodation does not pose an undue hardship on the employer. This is one version of litigation involving "grooming" policies which alleges that such policies are discriminatory based upon the restrictions that may be applied. It is an expansion of the religious discrimination argument which is one of the identified focuses of EEOC enforcement actions. All of these complaints are at the initial stages. They show that the EEOC is working aggressively to pursue claims against employers when it believes that the underlying conduct is discriminatory in nature. Employers have to be careful in their personnel decisions to avoid a potential claim for discrimination against an employee because of a protected category. When faced with these difficult decisions, employers must be very careful and develop a clear record as to the basis for the decision they are making.

Attorney Kevin J. Terry Elected to Wisconsin School Attorneys Association

Posted on October 13, 2014, Authored by ,

October 13, 2014 - Ruder Ware is pleased to announce the appointment of Attorney Kevin J.T. Terry to the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin School Attorneys Association (WSAA) effective October 3, 2014. He will serve a four-year term. Kevin has concentrated his practice on working with employers in both the public and private sectors. As legal counsel for many school districts in northern and central Wisconsin, he works directly with school boards on issues such as open meetings and public records law. Additionally, Kevin advises school boards and administrators on labor and employment concerns, student expulsions, and other matters affecting Wisconsin schools in the post-Act 10 world. The Wisconsin School Attorneys Association (WSAA) is a 104-member organization of attorneys representing school boards on an attorney-client basis. WSAA was created to assist and facilitate the exchange of information among attorneys practicing school law in the State of Wisconsin. The members of the WSAA are attorneys serving as legal counsel for members of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB); since 1971 the organizations have worked closely together. The WSAA does not get involved with legislative advocacy and is not registered to lobby.

If You Are A Federal Contractor/Sub-Contractor Your Workers Got a Boost In Pay: $10.10 New Minimum Wage for Workers on Federal Contracts

Posted on October 7, 2014, Authored by Sara J. Ackermann, Filed under Employment

On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, "Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors," to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers on Federal construction and service contracts. The President took this executive action because boosting wages lowers turnover and increases morale, and will lead to higher productivity overall. Raising wages will improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to the government. The Executive Order directed the Department of Labor to issue regulations to implement the new Federal contractor minimum wage. The Department today announced that it will publish a Final Rule implementing the provisions of Executive Order 13658. This Order applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the Federal Government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015 or to contracts that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015. For more information, please visit the Wage and Hour Division's Executive Order 13658 web page at http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/eo13658/ or call your favorite employment law attorney.

2015 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2015 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

Posted on October 23, 2014, Authored by Mary Ellen Schill,

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. Many of the limits shown below increased from last year. All of the above are plan year limits (i.e., for the plan year which begins in 2015), with the exception of the Code Section 401(k) and Code Section 403(b) elective deferral limit, which is a calendar year limitation. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services has set the maximum taxable wages for the OASDI portion of the social security tax at $118,500 for 2015. If you have questions regarding the above, please contact Mary Ellen Schill, the author of this article, or any of the attorneys in the Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Practice Group of Ruder Ware.

U.S. Supreme Court Reviews Notice Requirement

Posted on October 29, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to review a decision on a case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against national clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. which focuses on the duty of an employee to request an accommodation for religious beliefs. This decision will have a significant impact on employers and employees when dealing with religious discrimination and providing notice of a need for an accommodation. In this case, Abercrombie & Fitch decided not to hire an applicant who wore religious garb (a Muslim woman who wore a black head scarf (hijab)) because her look did not fit the collegiate style of clothing sold by the company. The applicant for employment wore the hijab to an interview but never requested an accommodation to allow her to wear that piece of clothing while working. The company felt the appearance of the employee did not fit the company look and did not offer employment. The EEOC sued for failure to accommodate religious beliefs and alleged religious discrimination against the company. The trial court found in favor of the EEOC, but the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held there was no discrimination because the applicant did not ask for an accommodation. The case is now before the United States Supreme Court for consideration. Briefs will not be submitted until early 2015, so it will take some time before we receive a decision from the Court. The decision will ultimately tell us whether an employer must assume the need for an accommodation for religious beliefs or require the employee to make that request before an employer must give consideration to such an accommodation. This and other cases will focus on the topic of religious discrimination which is becoming a popular cause of action against employers. Companies should check their policies to make sure they are giving consideration to an accommodation for religious beliefs when making hiring decisions and continued employment decisions.

Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Appeal on Plan Design Issue

Posted on October 27, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently announced that it will be considering 13 new cases during its upcoming session. Absent from that announcement was a decision to consider the appeal by the City of Milwaukee Police Union which sought Supreme Court review of a decision over the City implementing changes to the health insurance plan covering police department employees. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has held that a determination of the amount of payment by police employees for deductibles and co-pays under the City health insurance plan was not a bargainable issue as a result of legislative changes which excluded health insurance plan design from being a bargainable issue for public safety employees. This non-decision is the latest in the saga over the limits on collective bargaining for public safety employees. The ruling in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court case held that the amount of contribution by the employee for deductibles and co-pays under the health insurance plan was part of "plan design" and therefore not subject to the duty to bargain that still applies to police and fire employees in local government. As a result, local governments are allowed to establish the amount of the deductible and co-pays that would apply, and would not be obligated to negotiate with the union over how much of the deductible and co-pay amounts would be paid by the employer. The local government body has the right to make that determination and implement it for employees without bargaining first with the public safety union. There are still suggestions that the Legislature will impose all of the Act 10 requirements on public safety unions. The outcome of the Governor election and the agenda of the majority Republicans may well determine whether or not collective bargaining, in its current state, will continue for public safety employees.