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.

Way back in March, as the pandemic began to set in, Congress quickly passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) as part of a barrage of legislation aimed at providing relief to American workers.  The Act requires that companies with fewer than 500 employees offer expanded paid leave—80 hours of paid sick leave for those unable to work due to the virus and up to 10 weeks of partially paid family leave for those unable to work due to school or daycare closures—and compensates those companies with fully refundable tax credits.  Self-employed individuals who take paid leave are…
The IRS recently offered relief to Qualified Opportunity Fund investors, waiving a penalty and pushing back some investment deadlines. This new guidance comes as investment in opportunity zones slows, stymied by brisk coronavirus-related headwinds. A recent survey of investors conducted by the Economic Innovation Group, which helped design the program before it was tucked into the 2017 federal tax law, found that 52% of respondents say the pandemic is having a “negative impact” on their operations. The program was designed to incentivize investment in economically distressed census tracts and to spur the development of new housing, businesses, and jobs. Under…
As we reflect on the close of World Elder Abuse Awareness Month, we wanted to share some information on this important issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines elder abuse as an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. This may be in the form of neglect, physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or financial abuse. Unfortunately, elder abuse has been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Ruder Ware elder law…
Back in mid-March (which seems much longer than three months ago!), many governors issued stay-at-home orders, silencing the bustle of everyday activity. Restaurants and bars locked their doors, schools moved online, and weekend traffic on Wisconsin’s interstate highways decreased 60%. It was the equivalent, Paul Krugman wrote at the time, of a “medically induced coma, done for the patient’s own good.” While it is undoubtedly true that the shutdowns served their purpose (i.e., slowing the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives), the service sector paid the price. As stupefied consumers flooded grocery stores to amass their own personal stockpiles of…
The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) $600 billion Main Street Lending Program recently launched the latest of several market interventions aimed at cushioning some of the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus. The program aims to provide loans to businesses that were doing well prior to the pandemic but are now struggling to fund operations and retain employees. Under the program, participating banks make loans to struggling businesses and the Fed buys 95% of those loans from the banks. Who qualifies? Businesses established before March 13, 2020, with up to 15,000 employees or up to $5 billion in 2019 revenue are eligible…
On Tuesday evening (June 22nd), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of the Treasury released revisions to the interim final rule on forgiveness (issued May 22nd) and the interim final rule on loan review procedures (issued May 22nd).  The revisions can be found here and are intended to update the rules in light of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act signed into law on June 5th. The most significant aspect to note is the revised rule clarifies borrowers (whether using the eight week or 24-week covered period) can apply for forgiveness prior to the end of the covered period…
Yesterday, the IRS issued additional guidance regarding two hot topics over the last six months: the waiver of the 2020 required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement plans and IRAs, and the change in the required beginning date for RMDs from age 70 ½ to age 72. Extension and Expansion of 60-Day Rollover for 2020 RMDs In our blog posts earlier this year, The Early Bird RMD Doesn’t Get the Tax Relief Worm and IRS extends 60-Day Rollover Deadline, we advised that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) waives most RMDs for 2020 and, if…
In Wisconsin, we are soon to reach 25,000 positive COVID-19 test results, over 3,200 hospitalizations, and close to 750 deaths attributed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. It is being recognized that the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the elderly, particularly those in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. People age 65 and older and those who have chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk for COVID-19. Both of these groups are heavily represented in the nation’s nursing home population, and according to AARP, these factors have contributed to why 1 in…
On June 17, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 Guidance to clarify that unlike COVID-19 testing, an anti-body test would be a prohibited medical examination.  The FAQ states as follows: Question: The CDC said in its Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.” In light of this CDC guidance, under the ADA may an employer require antibody testing before permitting employees to re-enter the workplace?  Answer: No. An antibody test constitutes a medical examination under the ADA. In light of the CDC’s Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should…
OSHA has just issued a “Guidance on Returning to Work” for what it calls “non-essential businesses”.  According to OSHA’s press release, the Guidance supplements OSHA’s previously issued guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 and the White House “Guidelines for Opening up America Again”. The Guidance recommends a phased approach to reopening workplaces, as well as development of workplace reopening plans.  It contains a list of “principles” that it advises employers to consider when developing such plans, as well as recommendations for implementing those principles.  In addition, the Guidance updates a list of frequently asked questions, and provides references to OSHA…
On June 16 the SBA issued a revised Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application along with updated instructions.  The update in large part reflects the changes made to PPP by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, enacted on June 5.   The new form can be found here, and the new instructions can be found here. The updated form accommodates both borrowers who are sticking to the original eight week covered period, as well as those who are “flexing” to the 24-week covered period.  It also includes some updated representations with respect to the available FTE…
Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a 6-3 decision that Title VII provides protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. Justice Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal Justices for the majority.  Justice Alito, Justice Thomas and Justice Kavanaugh dissented in lengthy dissenting opinions. The Court’s decision consolidated three cases argued in October—Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, ­­­No. 17-1618, Altitude Express Inc., et al. v. Melissa Zarda et al., as Co-Executors of the Estate of Zarda, No. 17-1623, and R. G. & G. R. Harris…
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will begin accepting online applications on June 15 for its We’re All In grant, which will provide $2,500 in relief to an estimated 30,000 small businesses throughout the state. Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the grant aims to help small businesses with the costs of business interruption or health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. Eligibility To be eligible for the grant, businesses must: be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business; employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (including the owner); have more than $0…
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently announced the “minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance” (“MMMNA”) has been increased from $2,818.34 to $2,873.34 starting July 1, 2020. As part of laws designed to prevent spousal impoverishment due to the high cost of long-term care, the “community spouse” (who is the spouse of an individual receiving long-term care Medicaid benefits) is… Source
A few moments ago President Trump signed HR Bill 7010 into law, which we summarized for you in an alert yesterday. Click here to review that alert. We also need to clarify that all of the revised and amended PPP terms apply to all existing and new PPP loans with the exception of the new five year minimum maturity. Existing loans will require an agreed upon amendment between the borrower and lender… Source
Both the House and the Senate have now passed HR 7010 providing PPP borrowers more favorable terms. We first alerted you on May 27th of possible changes to PPP being considered by both the House and the Senate. Last night in a second vote (the first vote failed), the Senate passed the House Bill 7010, which provides the following new and improved terms: The bill extends the PPP covered period from… Source