Ruder Ware

In today's complex business world, legal issues affect almost every business decision. Ruder Ware is a reliable single source of valuable legal expertise that helps business owners, managers, and individuals maximize and protect their corporate and personal financial assets.

With over 40 attorneys and 100 years of experience in serving business owners and individuals, Ruder Ware has established itself as one of Wisconsin's largest and most successful law firms. Through our offices in Wausau, Eau Claire, and Green Bay we guide our clients through intricate legal issues around the world.

At Ruder Ware, we work diligently to earn your trust by providing sound, responsible counsel to proactively manage and minimize legal matters so you can focus on your profit goals.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently released key Medicare figures for 2022 that will affect all elderly and disabled individuals who receive program benefits.  This notice summarizes the changes and their impact on various benefits.

As is normally the case, Medicare deductibles and premiums have both increased and decreased for 2022.  Many deductibles and co-pays are covered by supplemental Medicare insurance policies, also known as “Medigap” policies (i.e., to cover the “gaps” in Medicare coverage).

Continue Reading CMS Releases Key Medicare Figures for 2022

Last week, I provided a brief overview of the gift tax in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this blog post, I’ll expand on basic gift tax concepts, just in time to make your holiday gifts.
What is the gift tax?  Basically, the gift tax is a tax imposed on the gratuitous transfer of property during your lifetime.
Wisconsin does not impose gift tax, but some other states impose gift taxes and other related taxes,
Continue Reading What is the Gift Tax and How Does it Work?

On November 16, 2021, a panel on multidistrict litigation announced that a panel of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear the OSHA ETS litigation. All petitions that have been filed will be consolidated to the Sixth Circuit in accordance with the Consolidation Order signed today.

What does this mean for your business if you fall within the OSHA ETS mandate? We anticipate the Sixth Circuit will render a decision in the
Continue Reading Breaking News! Sixth Circuit to Hear OSHA ETS Challenge

On November 6, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted OSHA’s latest ETS by issuing an order staying the ETS until the court can conduct a full review.  BST Holdings v. OSHA (5th Cir 11/06/2021). The order states:

Before the court is the petitioners’ emergency motion to stay enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s November 5, 2021, Emergency Temporary Standard (the “Mandate”) pending , expedited judicial review. Because the petitions give cause to believe there
Continue Reading Federal Appeals Court Halts OSHA ETS! What Does this Mean for Employers?

On November 4, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued Interim Final Rules requiring many of its regulated providers and suppliers to require staff and employees to meet COVID-19 vaccination requirements.  CMS chose to mandate vaccination by revising Conditions of Participations, requirements that providers and suppliers must meet to maintain certification to receive reimbursement under the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The new regulations make the vaccine mandate part of the compliance process of CMS regulated entities
Continue Reading CMS Issues Interim Final Rules with Comment Period Mandating Vaccination of Staff of CMS Regulated Providers/Suppliers

On November 4, 2021 the Internal Revenue Service announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. The vast majority of the limits shown below have increased from last year.

Qualified Plan Limit
Cost-of-Living Adjustments

401(k) and 403(b) elective deferral limit

2021 – $19,500

2022 – $20,500

$200,000 compensation limit

2021 – $290,000

2022 – $305,000

$160,000 defined benefit limit

2021 – $230,000

2022 – $245,000

$40,000 defined contribution limit

2021 – $58,000

2022 – $61,000

Continue Reading 2022 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2022 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is here! The ETS and related guidance can be found on its website.  By December 5, 2021, employers must implement a vaccine policy in compliance with the ETS (choices are a hard mandate or a soft mandate) and advise employees as to whether or not testing will be an alternative (if the soft mandate is chosen by the employer). The hard mandate requires vaccinations for all employees with limited exceptions on account of
Continue Reading Breaking News! OSHA Issues COVID Vaccination/Testing ETS for Large Employers

Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) added more FAQs to its COVID guidance to what is becoming a very long list that started months ago. The EEOC highlights the additional religious exemption guidance as follows:

  • Employees and applicants must inform their employers if they seek an exception to an employer’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement due to a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.
  • Title VII requires employers to consider requests for religious accommodations but does not protect social,

Continue Reading EEOC Issues Updated COVID-19 FAQs

Conference Date:  Tuesday, November 16, 2021 (moved up from December 2, 2021)

Due to OSHA ETS being issued on November 4, and compliance required commencing December 5, we have had many requests to move up our conference to address the ETS requirements. Our conference will start with a panel presentation about the OSHA ETS and allow for Q&A! This will be followed by summary of the latest vaccine incentive and surcharge rules. If you are unable to attend on this new date
Continue Reading Annual Employment & Benefits Law Conference 2021

The Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), which is the federal agency that enforces the health care privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), recently published guidance covering various health care privacy issues relating to COVID-19.  The recently published guidance addresses a variety of HIPAA issues including whether a business or individual is prohibited from asking customers, clients, and employees about their vaccination status.  The OCR attempts to clarify some of the misconceptions members of the
Continue Reading HIPAA and COVID-19 – OCR Publishes Online Guidance on the Application of HIPAA

Today, the Social Security Administration announced in a press release that approximately 70 million Americans who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will receive a cost-of-living adjustment (“COLA”) seeing an increase in their benefits of 5.9% in 2022.

64 million Social Security beneficiaries will see their 5.9% COLA increase in January 2022. Eight million SSI beneficiaries will see their benefits increase begin on December 30, 2021. (Please be advised that some individuals receive both Social Security and
Continue Reading Breaking News: Social Security Administration Announces 5.9% Benefit Increase for 2022

The Magic Language:

The Federal Acquisition Regulation Council (FAR Council) was charged with drafting contractual language to require compliance with the guidance from the SAFER Task Force (Guidance). For a more in-depth discussion of the Guidance, see our blog post from September 24, BREAKING NEWS! Guidance Issued on Biden’s Contractor Vaccine Mandate!

The FAR Council issued a memorandum on October 1, 2021 in response to Executive Order 14042 (EO), including the contract language titled “Ensuring Adequate COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Continue Reading Update for Federal Contractors: The Magic Language and Updated FAQs

On Friday, September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force) issued its COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors (Guidance) as directed by President Biden in an executive order (EO) on September 9, 2021. Click here to see the full Guidance (a helpful FAQ starts on page nine of the Guidance.)

Who: According to the Guidance, a “covered contract” is any contract or contract-like instrument that includes the clause specified in Section 2(a) of
Continue Reading Guidance Issued on Biden’s Contractor Vaccine Mandate

So you’ve received an inheritance and you’re married. The person who left you the inheritance probably intended for it to benefit you, not your spouse, if you get divorced. How do you protect the inheritance?

Wisconsin law provides limited protection.  Under Wisconsin’s Marital Property Act, which governs the classification of assets during marriage and on the death of a spouse, property received by one spouse as a gift or inheritance from a third party is classified as the recipient’s
Continue Reading Protecting Your Inheritance

On Thursday, September 9, 2021, President Biden announced his new COVID-19 plan entitled “Path out of the Pandemic” (Plan). While this Plan includes several provisions, this e-alert highlights a few of those of most interest to employers:

  • OSHA was directed to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  This ETS will require private sector employers with at least 100 employees to ensure that their workforces are fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID at least weekly. Employers will be required

Continue Reading Biden Orders Vaccine Mandates for Certain Employers

Estate planning is a process that must be customized to fit each individual’s unique situation.  Each individual has their own priorities and issues to address.  The priorities and issues for an unmarried individual are often different than those for married couples.  Some of the common priorities and issues that arise in estate planning for unmarried individuals include the following:

  • Planning for Partners – The law provides married couples with certain rights and obligations that unmarried partners may not have. 

  • Continue Reading Estate Planning Considerations for Unmarried Individuals