Informed Employer: Back to Basics – Most Employment Settlements are Taxable Informed Employer: Back to Basics – Most Employment Settlements are Taxable

Informed Employer: Back to Basics – Most Employment Settlements are Taxable

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Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Leaves Questions About Spousal Benefits
The Supreme Court was definitive in its decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide, but what is far from clear is whether U.S. companies must offer corporate benefits to same-sex spouses. Many large and mid-sized employers are self-insured, which means their benefits are governed by a 1974 act that has no language on preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2015-07-16) Read the full article
Companies Seek to Tailor Retirement Plans to Small Firms
Small companies greatly trail bigger ones when it comes to retirement benefits. That market gap is luring new players into the field.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-07-15) Read the full article
White House Report Considers How to Digitize Immigration System
In the United States, the word "immigration" tends to divide, not unite, but if there's one thing Americans -- regardless of color, creed, or politics -- may be able to agree on, it's that the visa application process needs an upgrade. Enter the new White House report that looks at how to organize and digitize the U.S. immigration system.
(Source: Christian Science Monitor, 2015-07-22) Read the full article
EEOC Ruling Protects LGBT Employees from Discrimination
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that existing federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. The federal government and 28 states lack laws that ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the ruling gives legal weight to such claims.
(Source: Miami Herald, 2015-07-16) Read the full article
OSHA Unveils Transgender Employee Restroom Guidance
The National Center for Transgender Equality requested OSHA to develop a guide to protect restroom access for transgender employees. In response, OSHA now requires all employers under its jurisdiction to provide such employees with restroom facilities.
(Source: NBC12, 2015-07-21) Read the full article
Bullying in Workplace More Common Than Thought
Workplace bullying is the repeated mistreatment of one or more people by one or more perpetrators, and it's more prevalent than you may realize. More than a quarter of U.S. workers have encountered abusive conduct at work, but 72 percent of employers deny, discount, encourage or rationalize it, according to a 2014 survey commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute.
(Source: The Orange County Register, 2015-07-26) Read the full article
More Workers Using Doctors' House Call Apps at Office
Pager, based in New York, launched a little over a year ago as a modern twist on the old-fashioned house call. Most people use the app for in-home care, but Pager says it has seen thousands of workplace users.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2015-07-22) Read the full article
 
 
 
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Back to Basics – Most Employment Settlements are Taxable
Paul Bittner

Most settlements of employment-related claims are taxable. Plaintiffs often want to minimize this tax burden and claim that some or all of the settlement is not on account of lost wages, but rather on account of other damages. This way, the plaintiff will avoid the immediate tax withholding but also the Social Security and Medicare taxes altogether. The employer, of course, also avoids the withholding on the employer contributions. Let’s face it though, most employment-related claims contain some element of back pay, front pay or both as damages. Because both parties generally benefit by classifying settlement payments as non-wages, the IRS typically believes that such a negotiation is not at arm’s length and that the parties are avoiding the payment of these taxes.

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Over-reaching On A Non-Compete Can Be Costly
David Carr

In a recent decision illustrative of the war on overbroad language in employee non-compete agreements, one court made it clear that trying to use “catch all” language and “blue pencil” provisions may backfire in a big way. Casting a wide net may spell serious trouble for the employer.

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Avoiding Heat-Related Injuries

Employees who spend most of their working hours outdoors or in extreme heat are at increased risk for heat-related injuries including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The most common signs of heat exhaustion can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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