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Recent Blog Posts

DOL Publishes New FMLA Forms

Links to the new forms are below, or visit the DOL website to browse them at this DOL web page.

Notices (pdf format)

Certification forms (pdf format)

Sports Betting: Coming to a City Near You

Last May, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 ("PASPA") was unconstitutional.[1] PASPA was enacted to prohibit state-sanctioned sports betting and effectively outlawed sports betting outside of Nevada (which was given an exemption). As a result, sports fans often turned to black market bookmakers to place wagers on their favorite sports teams.

The Game of Risk (Allocation)

According to Benjamin Graham in his book, The Intelligent Investor, "Successful investing is about managing risk, not avoiding it." This same concept holds true and can be applied to transactions involving the purchase or sale of a small to medium sized business. Even with unlimited resources to conduct due diligence, there will always be risk for both the buyer and the seller in any business transaction. One of the most significant sources of risk in a business transaction is the risk of the unknown: in all cases, the buyer or seller "does not know what he or she doesn't know".

Do's and Don'ts When Your Company is Sued

Even in the age of tort reform, lawsuits are prevalent and an inherent cost of doing business. For most companies, it is not a question of if you will be sued, but when. Preparing for inevitable and arming yourself when that time comes are vital to protecting your interests and ensuring the longevity of your company's success. To assist in that process, below are a few general do's and don'ts for litigation success.

Supreme Court Holds Mandated Public Sector Union Agency Fees Unconstitutional

On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court declared that fees charged to dissenting employees pursuant to a union agency shop arrangement violates the First Amendment. In a 5-4 vote in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, No. 16-1466, the court found in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois public employee who refused to join the union yet had so-called agency or "fair share" fees taken from his paycheck every month, adding up to more than $500 each year.

Recent Tax Legislation Eliminates Deduction for Confidential Sexual Harassment Settlements

Last December, Congress responded to an avalanche of sexual harassment and abuse claims across the country by including a provision within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at Section 13307 impacting an employer's ability to obtain a tax deduction for settlements paid that include nondisclosure agreements. Internal Revenue Code Section 162(q) now provides that no deduction will be allowed for any settlement or payment related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if such settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement. Deductions for attorney's fees related to such confidential sexual harassment settlements or payments are also prohibited.

Supreme Court Upholds Mandatory Employment Arbitration Clauses, Even Those Prohibiting Class Action Proceedings

In a major victory for employers, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that individualized arbitration clauses in employment contracts are enforceable.

Deferring Taxes through Qualified Opportunity Funds

Background

Most taxpayers are aware of the lower tax rates and the new pass-through business deduction implemented by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "Tax Act"). However, two less publicized sections, 1400Z-1 and 1400Z-2, added by the Tax Act provide taxpayers an opportunity to defer and even reduce taxes on the sale of property.

Opportunity awaits small business owners who are PREPARED to sell their business

According to a report published by BizBuySell.com, an online market place for small business sellers and brokers, the number of small businesses which sold in 2017 increased by 27% over 2016. Based on survey data, this growth in business transactions was driven by: (1) strengthening revenue and profits of small businesses; (2) an increasing number of owners looking to sell; and (3) an increase in the number of qualified buyers in the market. The survey data suggests that the number of businesses sold will continue to grow into 2018.

Real Estate and the Tax Bill

On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into legislation the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Of importance, the bill repealed and/or limited many deductions for individuals, such as implementing a $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes, which includes property tax. This cap, however, does not apply to state and local taxes paid while carrying on a real estate trade or business. The change has led to a spell of homeowners hurrying to prepay their property taxes in order to take the deduction when filing their taxes in April of 2018. Outside of the many changes which will affect individuals at a personal level, there are also many changes, as well as preservations, which will affect the commercial real estate industry.