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Searching for Articles published in August 2017.
Found 5 Results.

IRS Encourages Self-Assessment to Identify Fringe Benefit Errors

Posted on August 3, 2017, Authored by Mary Ellen Schill, Filed under Employment

As much as I love tax law, filling out another tax form isn’t high on my list of fun things to do.  So when the IRS issues a form that isn’t legally required to complete, should you?  If you are an employer that provides one or more fringe benefits to your employees, you may want to put IRS Form 14581-A on your bucket list.  Here’s a link to the Form.  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14581a.pdf Form 14581-A is titled “Fringe Benefits Compliance Self-Assessment for Public Employers,” and the purpose of it is to help governmental entities test their compliance with income tax laws with respect to fringe benefits provided to employees.  Through a series of eleven yes or no questions, the Form seeks to identify whether the employer is correctly withholding from, and reporting on, employee reimbursements relating to things like employer-provided meals, lodging, and gift certificates.  The Form includes a discussion of the IRS rules on such reimbursements and when they are (or are not) includable in wages subject to withholding.  For example, one question asks whether the employer includes the taxable amount of employer-provided meals as wages when applicable, and notes that meals may be excludable from income in two cases, “de minimis meals” and meals for the convenience of the employer provided on the business premises. While the form specifically references public employers, the vast majority of the rules referenced in the Form are also applicable to private sector employers.  So, everyone jump in the pool and take the Form 14581-A self-assessment today!

School Law Seminar - Fall 2017

Posted on August 1, 2017, Authored by ,

Holiday Inn & Suites 1000 Imperial Ave, Rothschild, WI To register please contact Shannon Jacobson at: sjacobson@ruderware.com or (715) 845-4336.   Online registration is also available. SCHOOL LAW ISSUES  4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Dean Dietrich, Bob Reinertson, Mary Ellen Schill, and Kevin Terry will discuss: Budget Bill implications Affordable Care Act update Appleton School District Open Meetings Law decision Fair Dealership Law decision Use of videos from school setting for student discipline Transgender treatment update. DINNER AND NETWORKING  5:30 - 6:00 p.m. PANEL DISCUSSION  6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Ruder Ware attorneys and Jennifer Smith, Executive Director, Bridge Community Health Clinic will discuss:   Mental health services in schools.   The seminar will be held at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Rothschild, Wisconsin (click here for information and directions) beginning at 4:00 p.m. and concluding at 7:00 p.m. School administration personnel are encouraged to attend.   We look forward to seeing you.

Local Government Seminar - Fall 2017

Posted on August 1, 2017, Authored by ,

Ruder Ware's Fall Local Government Seminar is set for September 26, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Rothschild, Wisconsin (click here for information and directions).  Ruder Ware is providing this Local Government Seminar to all of its current and prospective clients.  The seminar is designed to give detailed information to experienced administrators and officials as well as general information for the newer administrator/elected official.  We hope you will take the time to attend this event. Agenda CASE DISCUSSIONS  4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Dean Dietrich, Bob Reinertson, Mary Ellen Schill, and Kevin Terry will discuss: Budget Bill implications ACA update Appleton School District Open Meetings Law decision Fair Dealership Law decision WI Supreme Court case re assessor's right to enter home Municipal law update DINNER AND NETWORKING 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. PANEL DISCUSSION 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Expanding Internet access to rural areas - Lease agreements with utility companies  Holiday Inn & Suites 1000 Imperial Ave, Rothschild, WI To register please contact Shannon Jacobson at: sjacobson@ruderware.com or (715) 845-4336. Online registration is also available.

Check Your Handbooks!!! UPS Settles Maximum Leave Policy Violations for $2 million.

Posted on August 9, 2017, Authored by Sara J. Ackermann, Filed under Employment

The EEOC filed suit against UPS on behalf of approximately 90 current and former employees for multiple violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The agency charged UPS with failing to properly accommodate employees with disabilities.  Most importantly, the EEOC alleged that UPS had a maximum leave policy that automatically terminated employees when they reached 12 months of leave, without engaging in the interactive process required by law.  UPS settled the claim for $2 million, and agreed to make several changes to its policies. What this means for Wisconsin employers:  Maximum leave policies are unlawful under both Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Practices Act and the ADA.  This includes any limitation on leave after an employee exhausts leave under FMLA or a short-term disability plan.   Review your handbooks and internal policies as soon as possible to make sure you are not in violation of the law.  If you need assistance with this review, feel free to contact your favorite Labor and Employment law attorney.

Federal Court Reverses NLRB “Positive Work Environment” Handbook Decision

Posted on August 1, 2017, Authored by Robert J. Reinertson, Filed under Employment

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) created controversy a couple of years ago when it ruled that handbook policies maintained by T-Mobile USA requiring employees to maintain a positive work environment were illegal because they could be seen as having a chilling effect on employees’ unionizing and collective bargaining rights.  Last week, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the NLRB on three of the four policies in question.  The Court found that the NLRB used the wrong standard of review when it ruled that a reasonable employee reading the policies could construe them to prohibit conduct protected by the National Labor Relations Act, rather than would construe them that way. These were the policies involved: Workplace Conduct Policy.  T-Mobile’s policy expected all employees “to behave in a professional manner” and to “maintain a positive work environment” by communicating “in a manner that is conducive to effective working relationships”.  The Court’s decision noted that late night TV host Stephen Colbert mocked the NLRB decision by joking that “the government says I can’t legally ask [my employees] to be happy”. The Court of Appeals found that a reasonable employee would understand this rule to “express a universally accepted guide for conduct in a responsible workplace.” Act With Integrity Policy.  T-Mobile’s policy expected all employees to “exercise integrity, common sense, good judgment, and to act in a professional manner”.  The policy listed acts of unacceptable behavior, including arguing or fighting with co-workers, subordinates, or supervisors, failing to treat others with respect, and failing to demonstrate appropriate teamwork. The Court of Appeals found that a reasonable employee would be fully capable of engaging in debate over union activity or working conditions without inappropriately arguing or fighting. Acceptable Use Policy.  This T-Mobile policy prohibited employees from allowing non-approved persons access to any “non-public” company information without prior written consent from T-Mobile.  The NLRB felt that a reasonable employee would construe it to prohibit protected activity such as accessing and sharing wage and benefit information contained in his or her e-mail. The Court found that the policy only applied to the sort of proprietary business information that an employer may properly restrict its employees from sharing outside the company. The Court did find that T-Mobile’s policy prohibiting employees from recording people or confidential information using cameras, phones, or recording devices in the workplace was illegal.  The Court felt that the policy was so broad that a reasonable employee would interpret it to discourage protected activity, such as, for example, photographing a wage schedule posted on a corporate bulletin board.  In the Court’s views, such an employee would consider the policy as written as forbidding a means of engaging in protected union-related activity. This decision provides employers with some clarification on what many thought were common-sense handbook policies.