Ruder Ware News & Insights

Updates on key legal issues and business concerns.

Today the Supreme Court ordered that OSHA’s ETS be placed back on hold (a/k/a a “stay”) and sent back to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.  In its order, the Court‘s majority noted the ETS may have gone too far because it required employers to remedy a “public health” concern:
The Solicitor General does not dispute that OSHA is limited to regulating “work-related dangers.”  She instead argues that the risk of contracting COVID–19 qualifies as such a danger. We
Continue Reading OSHA ETS Halted Again!

As you all know, last Friday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether the OSHA ETS vaccine mandate should be upheld. The Court has not yet issued a ruling on this issue.  As of January 10, large employers need to be in compliance with all ETS requirements.  If an employer can show it is following all of these requirements, and is acting in good faith, then it has until February 9 to require testing for unvaccinated employees.  Yesterday,
Continue Reading Reminder—the OSHA ETS is Effective Now!

The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear oral arguments on both the OSHA ETS vaccine mandate and the CMS vaccine mandate on January 7, 2022.

On December 17, 2021, we shared with you that the Fifth Circuit limited the scope of the injunction related to the CMS Mandate, which meant that 26 states were required to comply with the mandate again. (Click here to read more). On December 18, 2021, we shared with you that the Sixth
Continue Reading Supreme Court Accepts Vaccine Mandate Cases

In my experience, most physician groups rely on the “in-office ancillary service” exception to the Stark Law when determining how to allocate revenues from designated health services among group members.  The Stark Law is, of course, the primary applicable area of law that is relevant to the structure of productivity compensation issues within medical groups.  That is why a change in the regulations governing the structure of production compensation relationships, even a “nuanced” or subtle change in interpretation of
Continue Reading New Stark Law Regulations May Impact Many Physician Practices

This week I was talking to Bob, a local HR professional (you know who you are), and he asked, “So Sara, what are the chances we are going to get a ruling on this OSHA mandate before the holidays?” to which I replied, “Highly unlikely…I would be shocked if anything happens before the holidays—but I am sure if it is reinstated, OSHA will give employers a break on compliance.”  Well, I was half-right.

Last night, the Sixth Circuit reinstated
Continue Reading OSHA Mandate Back On – Shot or Test by February 9th!

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the optional standard mileage rates for computing the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, medical, and moving expenses for 2022, and the increased rates reflect the increase in the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle, primarily due to increased gas prices.  Effective January 1, 2022, the optional standard mileage rates will increase to 58.5 cents per mile for business transportation, and increase to 18 cents per mile for travel
Continue Reading Increase in Gasoline Prices Means Increase in Optional Standard Mileage Rates for 2022

CMS Mandate: At the beginning of December we informed you that a Federal Court in Louisiana issued a nationwide stay on enforcement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccination mandate. During the stay period, CMS instructed its state survey teams suspend efforts related to monitoring compliance with the vaccine mandate.
On December 15, the Fifth Circuit limited the scope of the injunction granted by the Louisiana Court. The Fifth Circuit allowed the injunction to remain
Continue Reading CMS Mandate—Back for Some But Not All

Drafting an estate plan allows a person to put into writing their wishes for division of assets upon death.  Sometimes this means making a choice to give more to one child over the other, or to completely write out natural heirs of law.  An uncle whose nephew is like a son to him may bypass his brother or sister to provide for that nephew; a parent might give more to a child with special needs or a child that
Continue Reading Pros and Cons of Using the No-Contest Clause

On Tuesday, December 7, a federal court in Georgia issued an order staying the vaccine mandate for federal contractors (“Mandate”). The Court ordered that the Defendants, which includes President Biden,

are ENJOINED, during the pendency of this action or until further order of this Court, from enforcing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in all covered contracts in any state or territory of the United States of America.

Click here to read full order. This order follows
Continue Reading Nationwide Halt to Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

A couple of weeks ago we alerted you regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Reports have emerged today that an injunction has been placed upon this CMS requirement nationwide which takes place immediately.

This is the second Federal Court injunction that has been issued enjoining immediate enforcement of the CMS vaccination mandates.  A federal court in the Eastern District of Missouri had previously issued a decision blocking immediate enforcement. However, the Missouri decision
Continue Reading Federal Court Issues Nationwide Injunction Against Enforcement of the CMS Vaccination Mandate

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).

Deductibles
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

$80,000
Continue Reading 2022 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2022 Social Security Taxable Wage Base