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September, 2020

This month: September 15 – Extension deadline for 2019 S corporation and partnership tax returns – 3rd quarter 2020 estimated income tax is due (individuals, corporations, trusts & estates)

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Employer can’t shorten statute of limitations for bias suits

A “statute of limitations” is a law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. For example, if you’re bringing a personal injury case, depending on your state, you have a certain number of years after the date of the incident to bring your case. A lot of employers try to guard against the risk of lawsuits by having their workers sign contracts under which, should they decide to try and bring the employer to court

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‘Hairstyle discrimination’ potential trap for employers

Every employer wants their workers to represent the company well. This often means requiring that they maintain a “professional look.” And each employer has his or her own idea of what constitutes “neat, clean and professional.” But employers’ notions of what constitutes an appropriate “look” for the workplace can also be based on implicit biases embedded in their own culture, which is often the majority culture, and may be seen as a proxy for discrimination. Nowhere

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‘Service charges’ can create problems for employers

State and federal wage and hour laws allow employers to pay a sub-minimum wage (commonly known as a “tip credit”) to service workers, such as servers, bartenders, bellhops and parking valets, but only if those workers are spending most of their time on tip-generating work and making enough in tips to bring them over the minimum wage. Violation of these laws can result in lawsuits and fines. Some employers may try to make things more efficient

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Employer’s mistaken belief leads to discrimination claim

Federal law and most states forbid employers from discriminating against workers based on disability, meaning it’s illegal to fire, demote or refuse to hire someone because of their disability if they can do the job with reasonable accommodations. Generally, a worker claiming disability discrimination needs to show “animus.” That means they need to show an employer’s decision was based on prejudicial attitudes or ill will towards people with disabilities. But a recent California case should serve

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New federal overtime rules take effect

As an employer, you should know that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires workers to be paid a federal minimum wage and that wage workers and certain “non-exempt” salaried workers who work more than 40 hours in a week receive overtime pay at one and a half times their normal rate for each extra hour. During the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed new regulations to double the minimum salary level under

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Protecting an inheritance in the event of a divorce

If you receive an inheritance during marriage and later get divorced, does your spouse get to share in it? The answer varies depending on the circumstances. As a recent New Jersey case tells us, a key factor is how you treated the inheritance when you received it. In that case, a married woman received an inheritance when her daughter from a prior marriage passed away. The inheritance consisted of $162,000 in life insurance proceeds and assorted

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Should you file your taxes jointly or separately during a divorce?

One of the benefits of marriage is being able to file your taxes jointly. That’s because you get the benefit of certain tax breaks, such as the child and dependent care tax credit, deductions for college tuition expenses and student loan interest, the deduction of net capital losses and various IRA deductions. But what if you’re in the process of getting divorced? In that case, you need to determine first whether you’re actually eligible to file

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Temporarily delegating your parental authority

Imagine you’re headed off with your spouse for a weeklong vacation in Europe or the Caribbean. You can’t even remember the last time you and your spouse had some adult time away from the kids, and you’ve never left them for this long before. You know they’re in good hands with your good friends. But even when you leave your kids with people you trust, things can come up that only a parent is permitted to

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When should I modify my custody order?

Custody agreements consider factors such as vacation schedules, holidays, monthly or weekly visitation schedules, as well as details related to children’s education, religious activities, extracurricular activities and even sports, based on everybody’s needs at the time of the divorce. However, needs can change, so you might consider modifying your custody order. In most states, custody orders can be modified if there’s been a significant “change in circumstances” and if the current arrangement is no longer in

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