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Category: Announcements

EEOC Files First Lawsuits for Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

EEOC Files First Lawsuits for Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed its first two lawsuits against a Pennsylvania employer and a Maryland employer for sexual orientation discrimination. The EEOC’s actions are not too surprising, given its recent decision in July of 2015, in which it held that discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation was illegal sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC’s decision is seen as controversial by some, as federal courts have historically found…

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How Much Would a Small Interest Rate Hike Affect Your Total Mortgage Costs?

How Much Would a Small Interest Rate Hike Affect Your Total Mortgage Costs?

The world is watching and waiting to see whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month, or at least by the end of 2015. A rise in the “federal funds rate” will translate pretty quickly into higher mortgage interest rates, affecting any prospective homebuyer who can’t simply pony up a few hundred thousand dollars in cash. (The fed isn’t the only driver of mortgage interest rates, but it’s a factor in the mix.) Given that nearly a…

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NEW PROPOSED REGULATIONS FOR “ABLE” ACCOUNTS

NEW PROPOSED REGULATIONS FOR “ABLE” ACCOUNTS

IRS recently issued proposed regs which implement a new Federal law authorizing states to offer tax efficient “ABLE” accounts to folks with disabilities who became disabled before age 26. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account provision was designed to enable people with disabilities and their families to save for and pay for disability-related expenses. Contributions in a total amount up the annual gift tax exclusion can be deposited to an ABLE account annually, and distributions are tax free…

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TIME TO CHANGE YOUR WITHHOLDING?

TIME TO CHANGE YOUR WITHHOLDING?

Taxpayer situations change from year to year for a variety of reasons – new job, house purchase, additional dependent(s), windfall income and/or changed deductions. Depending on your situation, this might mean you should consider a change in your withholding so you hit the necessary target of required annual pay-as-you-go payments, without allowing your employer to overwithhold, which will result in your achieving nothing more than making an interest free loan to Uncle Sam until you later file and collect your…

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Employer May Not Refuse to Hire Applicant Based on Suspicion of Need For Religious Accommodation

Employer May Not Refuse to Hire Applicant Based on Suspicion of Need For Religious Accommodation

Early last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. In that case, a young Muslim woman who wore a hijab (a religious headscarf) to her interview was denied employment because the headscarf violated Abercrombie’s “look policy,” which did not allow head wear of any kind. Without discussing the policy with the applicant, Abercrombie simply denied her employment.  (For more about the facts of this case, see our previous post, How…

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