IRS Issues Guidance on Refunds for Prior Same-Sex Spouse Benefit Taxes

Following the Supreme Court decision invalidating Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a ruling that legally married same-sex couples are now entitled to the tax benefits long accorded legally married opposite-sex couples. The IRS has subsequently issued guidance granting refunds for any taxes paid prior to […]

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Supreme Court Convenes, for a Week at Least

In the midst of a federal government shutdown, the U.S. Supreme Court opened for business today as it does annually on the first Monday in October. The court announced it would be business as usual through the end of the week, but further deliberations may depend on a resolution to the budget impasse in Congress. […]

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HHS Clarifies Definition of Spouse for Nursing Home Care Under Medicare Advantage

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives.  This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which […]

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ADA Celebrates 23rd Anniversary Today

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law on July 26, 1990, 23 years ago today, as then-President George H.W. Bush signed the legislation into law. The ADA contains five sections, or what are called "titles" in government-ese, to wit: Title I Employment, Title II State and Local Government, Title III Public Accommodations, Title IV […]

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4th Circuit Upholds PPACA Employer Mandate

Though the Shared Employment Responsibility provision (aka: employer mandate) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been put on ice for an additional year, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the provision as constitutional. Often dubbed "play or pay," the Employer Shared Responsibility provision forces employers with […]

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SCOTUS Makes Discrimination, Retaliation Lawsuits a Bit Tougher

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued two rulings that led Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to beg Congress to overturn with written legislation. In one case, a 5-4 decision ruled that retaliation claims must be won on a "but-for" basis, and in another case, the same 5-4 majority established that discrimination must originate from a […]

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Supreme Court Finally Agrees to Hear White House Recess Appointments Appeal

The Supreme Court today agreed to take up the issue of whether appointments made by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2012, to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were legally done under the Constitution's recess-appointment clause. Earlier this year, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the appointments were […]

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NLRB to Petition Supreme Court to Overturn Recess Appointment Decision

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced today that it has determined not to seek en banc rehearing in Noel Canning v. NLRB, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit held that the Jan. 4, 2012 recess appointments of three members to the Board were invalid. The board, in consultation with […]

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Supreme Court to Hear Donning and Doffing Case

The Supreme Court has opted to consider an appeal of a 7th Circuit Court decision that donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) is not a "principal activity" that triggers the start of the workday, and time so spent thus does not have to be compensated. The case, Sandifer, et al. v. U.S. Steel Corp., […]

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Supreme Courts Lets Ruling Stand on Private FLSA Settlements

The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal on a 5th Circuit Court's ruling that allowed a private settlement of an overtime dispute. Previously, claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) could only be resolved by a court or the Department of Labor (DOL). The Supreme Court's declining to rule on the private […]

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