Blogs

 

10.22.2019

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Revenue Ruling 2019-24 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-19-24.pdf), providing the first IRS guidance on tax issues relating to cryptocurrency since the March 2014 release of Notice 2014-21.  Along with the release of Rev.Rul 2019-24, the IRS issued a number of “Frequently Asked Questions” pertaining to the tax treatment of certain cryptocurrency transactions, which are available on the IRS website.

10.09.2019

Observers noted a sharp divide among the United States Supreme Court Justices during oral argument of three cases before them on October 8, 2019. At issue before the Court was whether the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of “sex” in federal Title VII includes protection from discrimination for the LGBTQ community.

09.30.2019

The federal government has announced the new salary requirements for employees to be exempt from overtime pay under federal law.  The new salary threshold is $35,568 annually or $684 weekly.

09.17.2019

Historically, gig workers (think Uber drivers, InstaCart, Doordash) have been classified as independent contractors, allowing companies to avoid having to pay benefits or minimum wage and overtime.  This may change sooner than you think.  Just last week, California got one step closer to making it harder for companies to classify these individuals as independent contractors.  While the bill still must be signed into law, experts believe that this is inevitable.  New York Gov.

09.06.2019

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, employers who agree with employees who work a fluctuating number of hours each week to pay them a base salary regardless of the number of hours worked, are then able to pay those employees half-time for their overtime hours.  This somewhat unknown, and not often used, structure generally saves employers money and gives employees the certainty of the salary during weeks working less than 40 hours.

09.06.2019

The New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) Superintendent revealed the new Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) benefit and employee contribution rates on Friday August 30. By law, those on PFL will receive up to 60% of the New York State average weekly wage (which the DFS set at $1,401.17 for 2020), for the up-to-10 weeks of PFL taken during the year. Accordingly, most employees who take PFL in 2020 will receive $840.70 per week, up about $100 from 2019, and it will be interesting to see if more employees seek to take it.

08.30.2019

On June 25, we wrote about new anti-harassment legislation that we expected Governor Cuomo to sign into law.  On August 12, he did, in fact, sign that legislation and expanded the definition of what is considered legally actionable harassment in the workplace.  The traditional standard that harassment must be “severe and pervasive” will no longer apply.  Now, a complainant must show that the conduct in question rises above the level of “petty slights and trivial inconveniences.” 

 

Additional changes are:

08.23.2019

Continuing with its’ busy employment legislation season, New York has amended the Human Rights Law to prohibit discrimination based on religious attire, clothing and facial hair.  The law becomes effective on October 8, 2019.   The law already prohibited employers from treating applicants or employees differently because of their religion, but the amendment makes clear that the definition of religion includes bias against any employee’s religious clothing, facial hair or attire.

08.08.2019

On July 18, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a long-anticipated final rule allowing nursing home operators to include a pre-dispute binding arbitration clause in resident admission agreements.    The following outlines requirements under the new rule for facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid.  This final rule goes into effect on September 16, 2019.  If a facility chooses to ask a resident, or a resident’s representative, to sign an agreement for binding arbitration, the facility must:

 

08.08.2019

The bulk of the assets that a decedent leaves to his or her loved ones are usually made up of retirement accounts (e.g., IRA, 401(k)), life insurance policies, annuities, employee benefit plans or stock options.

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