The Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark opinion on Monday, June 15, 2020, holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer from firing an individual based on homosexual or transgender status. The decision involves three cases, consolidated as Bostock v. Clayton County, where an employer allegedly fired an employee for being homosexual or transgender. In response, the employee sued, alleging sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
On May 12, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service released IRS Notices 2020-29 and 2020-33 creating more flexibility in cafeteria plan to address concerns raised by employers and employees stemming from COVID-19.
On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Act”). The Act was meant to make the provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) more lenient to allow recipients to take full advantage of the forgiveness provisions and to defer taxes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption in our relationships and lifestyles. Millions are out of work and a number of businesses will not weather the storm. Going to the office, hanging out with friends, celebrating with family—all curtailed as public health professionals and public officials battle the scourge. The equity markets are also roiled by the dislocations and uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Values in stock portfolios are subject to wild fluctuation, interest rates are at historical lows, and all this as a backdrop to what will certainly become political discord on tax policy. Although many feel helpless, or wonder what can be done, these unfortunate events do create opportunities for wealth transfer planning.
For the past few weeks, many small businesses that received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) have wrestled with the decision of whether to keep the money or give it back after confusing guidance from the Treasury Department and the Small Business Association (“SBA”) raised questions about the good faith necessity certification. Much to their relief, new guidance released May 13, 2020 provides a certification safe harbor for businesses receiving loans under $2 million.
So now that you have received your PPP loan, how do you ensure that you take the correct steps to have that loan forgiven? What are other issues that you should be concerned about? Below you will find a series of questions and answers Kennerly Montgomery has prepared regarding the necessary steps to help small businesses stay “healthy” during these rather unhealthy times.
The Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Jones v. Earth Fare, Inc., a Knox County premises liability case, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, which shows how good deeds don’t go unpunished. If you own or lease commercial real estate, this opinion might affect any future liability in insurance/injury litigation you may have.
There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the American economy, and that businesses had little time to prepare and react. Many business owners have questions regarding whether their existing insurance policies provide coverage for losses associated with this crisis. The short answer? “Maybe.”
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) became law. Given the harsh impact that mandated closures and reduced business opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act provides aid to small businesses struggling to cope with the economic uncertainty of the pandemic in the form of loans and grants through the Small Business Administration (“SBA”).
The DOL has issued some much-needed guidance on applying the six qualifying reasons for paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Act”). We’ve summarized the six qualifying reasons, including the new guidance, below.
The much-awaited phase three of coronavirus-related legislation passed the House and was signed into law the afternoon of March 27, 2020. Known as the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the almost 1,000-page stimulus package contains several provisions impacting retirement plan access and operation.
Although formal regulations will not be released until sometime in April, the DOL issued some guidance this week in the form of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”), providing answers to at least some of the questions arising from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) passed last week.
On March 19, phase two, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”), was signed into law. Of the chief inclusions, Congress made testing for the coronavirus free without deductibles or copayments under group health plans and governmental insurance programs, and it also provided waivers for certain programs relating to school lunch programs and SNAP benefits.
However, the most important codifications for both employers and employees are the introduction of mandatory paid sick leave and an emergency expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).
Here are six points you need to consider in reviewing your sick, annual, PTO, or unpaid leave policies as COVID-19 continues to spread.
On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the SECURE Act into law. The following is a brief overview of some of the key changes as they relate to retirement plan administration.
As of January 1, 2020, Tennessee citizens will find it easier to obtain a concealed carry permit for a handgun. This law differentiates between the current, older permit law, now known as the “enhanced handgun carry permit,” and the new, more limited permit, referred to as a “concealed handgun carry permit.”
“Direct Lobbying” refers to communications with legislators or legislative staff members that specifies and expresses a view on a particular piece of legislation. Another type of lobbying, Grassroots Lobbying, is also governed by general rules under Internal Revenue Code § 4911.
Two recent cases in probate law highlight the importance of thorough planning. Clients of Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley benefited from both cases and current and future clients should note the lessons to be learned.
Perhaps one of the most critical issues to
parties involved in—or threatened with—
construction litigation is timing. As a plaintiff, failure to bring your claim within the required time limit can bar your claim.
Tennessee Code Annotated § 35-15-510 enables married clients to transfer property to a joint trust—the Marital Asset Protection Trust (MAP Trust)—and obtain the same asset protection as property held as tenancy by the entirety. This was previously unavailable with the use of revocable trusts.
Looking into the Recent Scripps Media, Inc. Case
Here's what you need to know.
In May, Governor Lee signed two new bills which made several changes to Tennessee law in the areas of wills, estates, and trusts. Some key changes are outlined in this article.
On Friday, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that North Carolina's tax on trust income attributable to contingent beneficiaries is unconstitutional on due process grounds. What does that mean for Tennessee which has the same law?
Nine federal agencies recently proposed rules that aim to clarify the rights and responsibilities of faith-based and community social service organizations receiving Federal funds. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Michael R. Crowder discusses the substance of these proposed rules, the background behind the rules, and any recent developments.
The National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel recently released important guidance on employee handbook provisions that have been found unlawful. Ben D. Cunningham’s memo discusses the General Counsel’s guidance and its implications for all private employers.
The ministerial exception prevents the application of anti-discrimination laws to the employment relationship between religious institutions and their ministerial employees. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Michael R. Crowder and Zack R. Gardner discuss generally the background behind the ministerial exception, recent developments to the doctrine, and the ambiguities that still exist.
Federal law allows members of the clergy to exclude a “ministerial housing allowance” from income for federal income tax purposes. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Zack R. Gardner discusses generally what constitutes a “ministerial housing allowance”, who may take the allowance, and the rules governing when the allowance may be taken.
Recent IRS regulations provide longevity protection by allowing individuals to defer required minimum distributions from certain qualified retirement plans past age 70 1/2. This article by Michael Crowder discusses QLACs.
The Department of Labor recently published a new rule under the Family Medical Leave Act amending the definition of “spouse” for FMLA purposes. Michael R. Crowder and Zack R. Gardner discuss the new rule and its implications for Churches and Church-related organizations in this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter.
We have recently been learning some new things here at Kennerly Montgomery regarding estate planning and retirement planning. Please find attached our Estate Planning Newsletter. This particular edition focuses on optimizing Social Security benefits for married couples.
"What is COBRA continuation coverage, and who pays for it?" and other questions will be answered in this article.
Effective July 1, 2014, Public Chapter 995 amends several of Tennessee’s existing employment statutes to bring them in line with their related federal counterpart. Specifically, the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) has been amended to remove liability for individual supervisors or agents for claims against the employer.
On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the rule established by the Sixth Circuit in International Union, United Auto., Aerospace, & Agricultural Implement Workers of Am. v. Yard-Man, Inc., 716 F.2d 1476 (1983).
In M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the Court rejected the Sixth Circuit’s inferences concluding that (i) if a benefit plan’s provisions were silent as to termination, then those benefits were to vest for life and (ii) provisions were “illusory” if they benefit one class while not benefiting another...
Tennessee’s general assembly passed a new statute allowing convicted criminals to apply for a certificate of employability and providing protection to employers who hire employees who have received a certificate of employability. Ben Cunningham’s memo, attached, discusses the new statute.
In the wake of the United States v. Windsor decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Department of Labor (DOL), on June 26 2013, revised the definition of spouse for FMLA purposes to include same-sex spouses legally married and residing within a state that recognizes same-sex marriages.
Final Regulations Published on the 90-Day Waiting Period Limitation
A “church plan” is generally exempt from the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) unless the plan sponsor affirmatively elects ERISA coverage.
Which plan is right for you and your employees?
What are RMDs, and when does a retirement plan participant/IRA owner begin withdrawing RMDs?
How are RMD amounts calculated?
What consequences do plan participants and plan sponsors face after failing to withdraw full and timely RMDs?
What are the RMD rules for retirement accounts and IRAs that are inherited?