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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By May 17, 2023

On May 16, 2023, the IRS announced the Health Savings Account limits for 2024.  With respect to contribution limits, the limits are higher than the ones for 2023 and the required deductible and out-of-pocket maximums have increased as well.  As a reminder, these inflation adjusted amounts are effective for calendar year 2024

HSA/HDHP Requirement
Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Limit on HSA Contributions – Self-only HDHP
2023 – $3,850
2024 – $4,150

Limit on HSA
Continue Reading 2024 HSA Limits Are Announced

Many clients wonder who is responsible for planning their funeral, selecting burial or cremation, and making other arrangements after their death.  Some clients ask what happens if family members disagree about these matters.

In Wisconsin, there is a default law that dictates who has the authority to make these decisions after your death.  The default law provides that the following individuals, in order of priority, have the authority so long as the individual is at least age 18 and
Continue Reading Who Plans My Funeral?

Last week in Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. v. Hewitt, the Supreme Court affirmed employees must be paid a fixed salary of $684.00 per week to be considered “exempt” under the popular administrative, executive, and professional exemptions. The case involved Michael Hewitt, an oil rig worker who was paid a daily rate. His paycheck, issued every two weeks, amounted to his daily rate times the number of days he had worked in the pay period, which resulted in variable
Continue Reading The Supremes Confirm Weekly Fixed Salary is Critical for FLSA Exempt Status

There is no one right answer; each family’s farm succession plan will look different. But most successful farm succession plans have a common theme—transparency. From the time children leave the farm, to the time that one or more children begin managing the operation, open conversations can help. Discussing the expectations of each individual—mom, dad, on-farm siblings, off-farm siblings and others involved in the farm—and the rationale behind those expectations helps ease the ultimate transition.
Not all individuals may agree
Continue Reading Sibling Rivalry: Splitting the Farm Between Multiple Children

When it goes into effect on January 1, 2024, a provision tucked inside the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) will impose lengthy new reporting requirements on many business entities, including many single-member LLCs. The final rule recently issued by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network clarifies the scope and applicability of these new reporting requirements. Businesses that fall under the CTA’s purview would be wise to begin the process of complying with these rules to avoid the
Continue Reading U.S. Treasury Clarifies Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirements for Businesses

If you are a federal contractor, keep reading. Last summer, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a notice to all federal contractors that the Center for Investigative Reporting had requested EEO-1 reports for 2016-2020 pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). While the motive is uncertain, it is likely that this media outlet will use the data to post stories about companies whose EEO-1 reports reveal a lack of diversity. Previously, the OFCCP gave federal
Continue Reading OFCCP Issues New March 3 Deadline for Federal Contractors to Object to Disclosure of EEO-1 Data!

By February 3, 2023

To do business in Wisconsin, a business owner needs to file numerous documents with federal, state, and local governments. Congress recently added a new one. Under the Corporate Transparency Act, most corporations, LLCs, and similar company types doing business in the United States must file a report divulging the personal information of anyone who “controls” that company. Starting January 2024, companies will file the report with FinCEN (the Financial Crime Enforcement Network, an
Continue Reading Who Benefits? The Corporate Transparency Act Requires Companies to Disclose Their Beneficial Owners Under New Federal Rules

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