Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. Alerts and Updates

Latest from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. Alerts and Updates

Last month, President Biden signed the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0) into law. Building upon the original SECURE Act passed in December 2019, SECURE 2.0 significantly changes laws governing retirement savings. The primary focus of both pieces of legislation is to help Americans better save for retirement. While a comprehensive summary of SECURE 2.0 is beyond the scope of this article, the provisions most pertinent to estate, tax and retirement planning are discussed in detail below.
Continue Reading SECURE 2.0 Act Brings Additional Estate Planning Opportunities

President Biden recently signed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) into law. The PWFA, which goes into effect on June 27, 2023, applies to employers with 15 or more employees and imposes obligations on employers with respect to pregnant employees and applicants. The PUMP Act, which went into effect December 29, 2022, amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) with respect to break time for nursing mothers
Continue Reading Employers May Have to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Pregnant Workers

RETIREMENT PLAN DEVELOPMENTSYear-End Spending Package Includes SECURE 2.0 Act
On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (2023 CAA), which includes the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0), building upon 2019’s expansive SECURE Act. SECURE 2.0 includes provisions that modernize the retirement system by encouraging additional retirement savings, ensuring greater access to workplace retirement plans and easing administrative requirements.
While most changes take effect in upcoming years, some changes became effective on the date of enactment, December 29, 2022, and others
Continue Reading Benefits Counselor – January 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed rule in December 2022 that, if issued, would eliminate a regulatory exception that exempts facilities from reporting the use of de minimis amounts of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and other “chemicals of special concern” subject to Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, certain facilities that manufacture, process or otherwise use TRI-listed chemicals must annually report releases, and suppliers of TRI substances must
Continue Reading EPA Proposes Rule to Eliminate De Minimis PFAS Reporting Exemption

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking advancing a new rule that would effectively prohibit employee non-competition clauses with all employees and rescind existing non-competition clauses. All workers, whether paid or unpaid, and independent contractors, interns or volunteers would be covered. While there is nothing employers must do now, if the rule as proposed takes effect it will have a sweeping impact on the ability of businesses to limit the employment
Continue Reading FTC Proposes New Rule Essentially Banning Employee Non-Competition Clauses: Is the End in Sight for Non-Competes?

In our prior alerts, we introduced the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0 or the Act), a portion of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. We discussed key provisions applicable to all qualified retirement plans, as well as provisions applicable to only defined contribution plans. This alert, the final alert in our series covering the retirement plan changes included in SECURE 2.0, summarizes provisions applicable only to defined benefit plan sponsors.Reasonable Interest Credit Under Cash Balance Plans. The
Continue Reading SECURE 2.0 Act and Its Impact on Defined Benefit Plans

In our prior alert, we introduced the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0 or the Act), a portion of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. There we discussed key provisions applicable to all qualified retirement plans. This alert, part of our ongoing series covering the retirement plan changes in SECURE 2.0, summarizes provisions applicable only to defined contribution plans.Provisions Impacting 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
Higher Catch-Up Limit to Apply for Ages 60-63. Individuals age 50 and over
Continue Reading SECURE 2.0 Act and Its Impact on Defined Contribution Plans

On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which includes the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0 or the Act), building upon 2019’s expansive Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (the SECURE Act). While most of these changes take effect in upcoming years, some changes became effective on the date of enactment, December 29, 2022, and others on the first day of a plan year beginning on or after
Continue Reading SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022: Year-End Spending Bill Overhauls Qualified Retirement Plan Rules

RETIREMENT PLAN DEVELOPMENTSPBGC Proposes Rule on Actuarial Assumptions for Determining an Employer’s Withdrawal Liability
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has proposed a rule to clarify permissible interest rate assumptions to calculate an employer’s withdrawal liability under a multiemployer pension plan. PBGC published these proposed rules in response to increased litigation over withdrawal liability assessments.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) authorizes the PBGC to regulate the actuarial assumptions and methods to determine an employer’s withdrawal
Continue Reading Benefits Counselor – 2022 Year-End

On November 8, 2022, Illinois voters approved the Workers’ Rights Amendment, which creates a constitutionally protected right to collective bargaining in the State of Illinois. The amendment went into effect on December 5, 2022, and is the first statewide ban of “right-to-work” laws prohibiting compulsory union membership.The amendment expands the permissible topics of collective bargaining. Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employees may engage in protected collective bargaining over traditional terms and conditions of employment, such as wages,
Continue Reading New Constitutional Amendment May Impact Illinois Workers’ Right to Collectively Bargain

On December 7, 2022, President Biden signed into law a bipartisan bill to promote disclosure of reports of sexual harassment or assault—the Speak Out Act (the Act). The Act follows the #MeToo-inspired legislation, signed on March 3, 2022, that restricts mandatory arbitration agreements for sexual harassment claims, discussed here.

The Act prevents courts from enforcing any pre-dispute nondisclosure and non-disparagement provisions related to sexual assault and sexual harassment. Employers should note that the Act applies to both employees
Continue Reading “Speak Out Act” Prevents Enforcement of Pre-Dispute Nondisclosure Provisions Related to Sex Assault

Reducing your workforce is never an easy decision. Worrying about what implications downsizing may have on your H-1B workforce makes these decisions even more difficult. The downsizing of such workers can mean they lose their ability to remain in the United States and their job. Employers of H-1B workers are also subject to additional requirements that do not apply to their U.S. employees.

For example, an H-1B worker’s employment terms are subject to those listed in the H-1B petition
Continue Reading Downsizing Implications for H-1B Specialty Workers and Their Employers

Condominium associations and their property managers should be aware of a new subsection (1r) added by the Wisconsin State Legislature to the 2021 Wisconsin Act 166 requiring condominium associations of 100 units or more to maintain a website that satisfies the conditions listed below by April 1, 2023. Those that do not comply may face enforcement actions brought by the association members, the unit owners.

The website must meet the following criteria:

  • Be wholly owned and operated by the

Continue Reading New Website Requirement for Wisconsin Condominium Associations and Their Property Managers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has weighed in on industry concerns regarding the financial and recordkeeping burden of its “forever chemical” reporting rule that will affect manufacturers and importers across a variety of industries.

On Friday, November 25, 2022, the EPA released its Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) related to the proposed rule requiring PFAS reporting by manufacturers. The PFAS reporting rule was proposed in June 2021 and drew criticism from industry groups for the potential economic impact,
Continue Reading EPA Analysis Addresses Costs of “Forever Chemical” Reporting Rule

A derivation proceeding is a novel proceeding applicable to claims filed on or after March 16, 2013 (the date these proceedings went into effect), which offers a mechanism for contesting inventorship at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The 2011 America Invents Act (AIA) replaced interference proceedings with this new proceeding. Reinhart attorneys Abdullah Akhtar and John Paul Kale discuss how inventors can contest inventorship of patented subject matter through derivation proceedings, a less expensive alternative to
Continue Reading How to Contest Inventorship of Patented Subject Matter Through Derivation Proceedings

Rule 126(2) of the European Patent Convention (EPC) establishes the “10-Day Rule” of the European Patent Office (EPO). The Rule stipulates that official communications issued by registered mail from the EPO are considered to have been delivered 10 days after the date specified on the communication, known as the “notification date.” This is important because, for some communications, the deadline for responding is calculated from this date. Uncertainty caused by this calculation has prompted the EPO to amend the
Continue Reading EPO Gets Rid of “10-Day Rule”