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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Dear Ruder, we are getting lots of long emails from various sources about this proposed noncompete ban.  Can you please break this down in easy-to-read language so we don’t have to review the entire 216 pages of the FTC’s proposed rule?

Dear Reader, Yes we can! See our answers to some frequently asked questions below!

When will the proposed ban go into effect? First of all, there may be legal challenges (is anyone else having deja vu?).  As
Continue Reading FTC’s Non-Compete Proposal: FAQ

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started the new year off with a bang when it announced in a press release on January 5, 2023 that it is proposing a new rule that would ban many employee non-compete clauses.

The press release follows a 3-1 vote by the FTC to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.  This indicates the first step toward adopting regulations but does not mean the regulations are final or binding at this
Continue Reading FTC Announces Vote to Publish Proposed Rules that Would Ban All Noncompete Provisions Restricting Workers

The Speak Out Act (“Act”) became law on December 7, 2022.  The Act prohibits the enforcement of non-disclosure or non-disparagement provisions which are agreed to prior to an allegation of sexual assault or sexual harassment (“sexual misconduct”).  The Act applies to disputes regarding alleged sexual misconduct that occur after December 7, 2022.  A full version of the Act can be found here.

“Me Too” Motivations

By enacting the Act, Congress’s goal is to “empower survivors to come forward,
Continue Reading New Non-Disclosure and Non-Disparagement Restrictions – “Me Too” Movement’s Continued Impact on the Workplace

In a September 2022 brief concerning program integrity, the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified seven measures to identify providers who may present a high risk for improper Medicare telehealth billing.  These seven factors should serve as a guide to providers and their compliance officers when identifying potential fraud risk in connection with their telehealth programs.
The seven factors identified by the OIG as potentially indicative of telehealth fraud and abuse are as follows:

  • Billing

  • Continue Reading OIG Identifies Seven Telehealth Fraud Indicators in Recent Program Integrity Brief

    The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2023 optional standard mileage rates today for computing the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes.  The most notable change is the three-cent per mile increase for businesses.

    Effective January 1, 2023, the optional standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 65.5 cents per mile driven for business use.  This is a three-cent increase from the midyear

  • Continue Reading IRS Releases Mileage Rates for 2023

    One of the biggest challenges a compliance officer faces is establishing a strong commitment to creating a culture of compliance and obtaining recognition–there needs to be a compliance “tone from the top” of an organization.  There are numerous potential challenges to getting buy-in for this concept.  This can create frustration for compliance officers aware of the concept of compliance program effectiveness and the importance of a compliance culture beginning at the top of the organization.  A common potential challenge
    Continue Reading Compliance Officer Challenges and Commitment to Compliance Culture

    Earlier this month, the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), the organization that has jurisdiction over enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (the Federal law that we all know and love under the name HIPAA), released a bulletin (Bulletin) addressing the use of a variety of website tracking technologies.

    The central message of the Bulletin was that “[r]egulated entities are not permitted to use tracking technologies in
    Continue Reading Could Cookies and Other Tracking on Websites Violate HIPAA – HHS Warns Covered Entities About Tracking on Websites and Use of Vendors to Develop Them

    When I meet with new clients I have them fill out what we refer to as our estate planning “questionnaire.”  Basically, a form that asks them to insert personal information on the first two pages and financial information on pages 3-5.  Page one asks about marital status and page two asks the potential client to list their children, checking boxes for either biological or adopted.  The questionnaire is helpful, providing me with background information, but it does not always
    Continue Reading Shaken or Stirred? Mixed or Blended?

    In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote a blog post on how to create a valid will in Wisconsin.  At the time, we were all stuck at home by government order, and many clients signed their wills without a notary public.  Signing a will without a notary public was a short-term fix during a challenging time, not best practice.  Now that we have resumed business as usual, we recommend that you should ensure your will is
    Continue Reading Nothing to Prove: Making the Case for Self-Proving Affidavits

    Paying for nursing-home and long-term care can seem daunting when the cost can be $5,000 to $12,000 per month – or more. When a married couple is no longer able or willing to privately pay out of pocket for care and chooses to apply for Medicaid, it’s a complex process. The Medicaid agency must analyze the couple’s income and assets as of a particular date to determine eligibility.

    A Medicaid applicant is someone residing in a nursing home, a
    Continue Reading Is Medicaid for a Spouse Possible Without Breaking the Bank?

    On October 21, 2022 the Internal Revenue Service announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits.  All of the limits shown below have increased (in some cases significantly) from last year.

    Qualified Plan Limit
    Cost-of-Living Adjustments

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

    2022 – $20,500

    2023 – $22,500

    $200,000 compensation limit

    2022 – $305,000

    2023 – $330,000

    $160,000 defined benefit limit

    2022 – $245,000

    2023 – $265,000

    $40,000 defined contribution limit

    2022 – $61,000

    2023 –
    Continue Reading 2023 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2023 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

    Recently, we have been fielding a fair number of inquiries from clients who have been approached by third parties urging them to claim the Employee Retention Credit (“ERC”).  The ERC, which the federal government enacted back in 2020 to help blunt the economic impact of COVID-19, is a refundable tax credit designed to reward businesses that continued to pay employees during pandemic-related shutdown orders or experienced significant declines in revenue during the pandemic.

    Qualifying for the ERC is difficult,
    Continue Reading IRS Cautions Employers Against Engaging Third Party Employee Retention Credit Consultants

    Today the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a new poster that is required for employers covered by Title VII.  The new poster is entitled “Know Your Rights” and includes these changes:

    • Notes that harassment is a prohibited form of discrimination;
    • Clarifies that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy and related conditions, sexual orientation, or gender identity;
    • Adds a QR code for fast digital access to the how to file a charge webpage;
    • Provides information about equal pay discrimination

    Continue Reading New EEO Poster Required!

    Location: Hilton Garden Inn151401 Cty Rd NN, Wausau, Wisconsin

    Sara J. Ackermann, Mary Ellen Schill, Chad R. Levanetz, Nicole L. Stangl, Tyler M. Richardson
    <!–Tyler M. Richardson–>


    Ruder Ware’s Annual Employment & Benefits Law Conference will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn (map and directions).
    7:30 a.m.       Registration
    8:00 a.m.      Welcome & Introductions
    8:15 – 9:00 a.m.
    Take It or Leave It:  Wisconsin’s Bone Marrow and
    Continue Reading Annual Employment & Benefits Law Conference 2022

    Do you have employees in the Viking state? If so, keep reading!  On July 1, 2022, Minnesota adopted a new law legalizing the sale, purchase, and consumption of edible cannabinoid products to people aged 21 and over. The law legalized the use of edible cannabinoid products made from substances extracted from certified hemp plants.  The product can contain no more than 0.3% of any hemp-derived THC and no more than five milligrams of THC per serving (or more than
    Continue Reading Minnesota Latest State to Legalize THC Products

    Under new Wisconsin laws coming into effect soon, some important rules governing how limited liability companies (LLCs) operate will change. This article will describe some of the key changes, what LLC owners need to be thinking about, and some approaching deadlines for those wishing to be governed under the “old” rules.

    The New LLC Law

     On April 15, 2022, Wisconsin enacted new laws for LLCs. The legislation – 2021 Wisconsin Act 258 – will completely replace the existing LLC
    Continue Reading LLCs: The Next Generation Under Wisconsin Law