Telecommuting: The New Frontier in ADA Accommodation?

What does it mean to provide "reasonable accommodations" to temporarily or permanently disabled employees so they can do their jobs, without causing "undue burdens" on employers? (This type of accommodation is required by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.) The answer is not static, but evolving. Here's the latest information and some guidelines to consider when an employee asks for a telecommuting arrangement.


Supreme Court Weighs in on ESOPs

In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling that limits certain legal protections affecting Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). This action, combined with a crackdown by the Department of Labor, makes it clear the management of many ESOPs will need to be tightened. Here's a quick review of the current legal landscape, which may help you assess how your own company's ESOP is being handled.


Pregnancy Discrimination is Alive and Well in the American Workplace

Today's workforce includes a growing number of women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And where there are women, there may be maternity issues. A federal law specifically prohibits discrimination against pregnant women. Yet long after the passage of this law, the EEOC continues to handle a steady stream of complaints alleging discrimination. Take a look at three recent cases and some guidelines that may help businesses stay out of legal trouble.


Hobby Lobby Case Puts the Supreme Court Focus on Religious Bias

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby decision puts the spotlight on the exercise of religion in the workplace. Although the controversial ruling involved the religious convictions of the owners of a retail chain, the matter of respecting employees' faith also requires a careful balancing act. Here is a look at the High Court's ruling and some pointers on preventing workplace religious discrimination.


How to Get the Best of Health FSA Carryovers and HSA Contributions

To carryover or not to carryover? That is the question many taxpayers face when they don't use up their health FSA funds but want to switch to an HSA. Carryovers of unused health FSA balances generally prohibit taxpayers from contributing to HSAs for the same tax year, according to recent IRS guidance. HSA-compatible health FSAs offer an exception -- if you make a timely election. Read on to find out how.


Tax Court Cautionary Tale: Classifying Workers as Contractors

Businesses often prefer to treat workers as independent contractors to lower their costs and administrative burdens. But the IRS may challenge an employer's classification. Here's a look at seven factors the Tax Court considers when deciding whether to classify workers as employees or independent contractors -- and how they were applied to a home health care manager in a recent case.


IRS Employers’ Obligations on ACA Mandated Medicare Surtax

Since the beginning of last year, employers have been required to withhold an additional nine-tenths of a percent for the Medicare surtax on high earners since the beginning of last year. The rules are somewhat complicated, so the IRS recently updated its frequently-asked questions on how it works. These questions and answers provide a helpful overview, but ultimately you should consult your trusted tax and payroll advisers to be sure you're in compliance.


 

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