Ruder Ware News & Insights

Updates on key legal issues and business concerns.

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

    On August 13, 2021, OSHA updated Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (Guidance) related to the COVID-19 vaccine and masking.

    The Guidance now incorporates the new CDC recommendations including:

    • Wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission;
    • Choosing to wear a mask regardless of level of transmission, particularly if individuals are at risk or have someone in their household who is at increased risk of


    Continue Reading OSHA Updates Guidance on COVID-19 in the Workplace – Masking and Vaccines

    The newly-appointed General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Jennifer Abruzzo, has issued a memorandum to NLRB regional offices saying that she intends to “reexamine” positions taken by her predecessors and the Trump Era Board.

    During the Trump Administration, the NLRB overruled a number of legal precedents while taking a more employer-friendly stance.  The General Counsel has a great deal of influence over policy and legal interpretation, and can issue guidance and advice memos outlining her office’s
    Continue Reading Will Employee Handbooks Need To Be Changed Again?

    OSHA issued a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on June 10, 2021 that applied to the healthcare sector. Included in the ETS is an exemption from the masking, distancing, and barrier requirements for employees who are fully vaccinated when in a well-defined area where there is no reasonable expectation that any person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be present. For an in-depth…
    Source
    Continue Reading OSHA Responds to CDC’s Updated Mask Guidance – No Changes to the ETS… Yet

    On Friday, August 6, 2021, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed into law six new laws for Wisconsin. One of the new laws, addresses five key issues regarding the elderly.  They are:

    • Increased penalties for crimes committed against an elderly individual.
    • Increased the penalty for the sexual assault of an elderly individual.
    • Creates a crime of physical abuse against an elderly individual.
    • Creates a procedure for a court of law to freeze or seize a defendant’s assets if charged with


    Continue Reading Governor Evers Acts to Protect Seniors

    If you’re preparing to send a child off to college this fall, you should add two documents to your back-to-school checklist: (1) a power of attorney for health care, and (2) a durable power of attorney for finances.  Without these two documents, you may not have the authority to make health care decisions or manage finances for your child once they reach age 18.

    A power of attorney for health care allows your child to name agents to make
    Continue Reading Add “Powers of Attorney” to Your College Student’s Back-to-School Checklist

    After many months of mostly virtual enforcement, OSHA is back to in-person site inspections and OSHA enforcement has become a priority for the Administration. As such, businesses should be aware of rights they have and how to best respond when OSHA comes knocking OSHA Just Showed Up, What Can I Do? With some exceptions, OSHA’s arrival will be unannounced and will often take a business by surprise.

    Source
    Continue Reading OSHA Inspections – Back to the Basics

    Yesterday the CDC issued new guidance recommending Americans to “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” The site includes a link so individuals can search their particular county to find out if transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high.  As of the date of this writing, Ruder Ware’s office locations in Brown County, Eau Claire County, and Marathon County all remain at “moderate” transmission levels according to the CDC. 
    Continue Reading CDC Now Recommends Masking Indoors for Certain Areas of Country and DOJ Clears Way for Employers to Mandate the Vaccine

    Yesterday the CDC issued new guidance recommending Americans to “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” The site includes a link so individuals can search their particular county to find out if transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high.  As of the date of this writing, Ruder Ware’s office locations in Brown County, Eau Claire County, and Marathon County all remain at “moderate” transmission levels according to the CDC. 
    Continue Reading BREAKING NEWS-CDC Now Recommends Masking Indoors for Certain Areas of Country and DOJ Clears Way for Employers to Mandate the Vaccine

    “Probate” is a legal term for the Court process of transferring assets out of a deceased person’s name and to that person’s heirs and/or beneficiaries.  The difference between the term “heir” and the term “beneficiary” is that an heir is someone that would legally take if a person died without a Will.  A person’s spouse, for example, or children (if they have either a split family or pass away without a spouse).  A beneficiary is the term used for
    Continue Reading Step-By-Step Overview of Probate

    It was about this time last summer when the U.S. Supreme Court extended Title VII protections to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status. Now the federal agency tasked with enforcing these new protections has clarified just what the new protections mean for employers.

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released the information last Tuesday to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the landmark Bostock court decision. The comprehensive nature of the release, which
    Continue Reading EEOC Issues Long-Awaited LGBTQ+ Guidance for Employers