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Miscellaneous Legal Issues

Broad Definition Creates Potential Pitfalls for Employers

September 20, 2007
The voluminous Treasury Department regulations issued in April cover nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements and also regulate compensation devices that many employers have not typically considered as deferred compensation. The penalty for noncompliance is a 20 percent additional tax (imposed on the employee) on the amount of deferred compensation, which includes income plus interest. Further, employers may be subject to withholding and reporting tax penalties. Here is what employers need to know.
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Bush’s Attorney General Nominee Ruled in Cash-Balance Plan Case

September 19, 2007
Judge Michael Mukasey, in a case involving a cash-balance plan offered by PricewaterhouseCoopers, ruled last year that the plan did not discriminate against older employees. The plan, Mukasey ruled, was age neutral ‘because each participant receives the same pay credit and interest credit each year.’
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Curbing Runaway Discrimination and Harassment Costs

August 7, 2007
Employers, general counsels and HR professionals have become resourceful in developing ways to reduce or avoid employee claims and the subsequent expenses in employment law actions. Given the current Supreme Court’s willingness to apply the plain meaning of employment statutes, it may also be willing to give business a very powerful weapon in cost control—the recovery of attorneys’ fees from a losing employee/plaintiff.
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Legal Workviews Trapped by Releases

July 27, 2007
It's been routine to obtain releases from laid-off employees who waive their rights to sue in return for severance pay or benefits. But recent actions by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggest that the practice could be fraught with risks even for companies with stellar diversity programs and positive EEO track records.
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Stamping Out Workplace Bullies

July 13, 2007
Bullying is blamed for unnecessarily creating high costs of turnover, insurance claims and thwarted productivity. And anti-bullying bills keep cropping up in state legislatures. But employer attorneys say the way to deal with bullies at work is through existing harassment policies and statutes, not by enacting new laws.
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