Sixth Circuit Holds Dismissal of Firefighter’s Retaliation Complaint

On June 22, 2016, the Sixth District Court of Appeals unanimously issued a decision and order affirming the United States District Court’s dismissal of a firefighter’s two count retaliation complaint against a local municipality, four former and current Trustees, and the Fire Chief. Plaintiff, who is of Asian descent, submitted an application for the vacant Fire Chief position to the township Board of Trustees. During an open board meeting on […]

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Contributing to a Roth IRA through the Backdoor

Many high income earners believe that they cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.  This is because they are unaware of the loophole they can use by contributing through the backdoor. The income limitations imposed by the Internal Revenue Service create the perceived barrier.  For 2016, the income and contribution limits for a Roth IRA are as follows: Filing Status Modified Adjusted Gross Income Contribution Limit Married, Filing Jointly <$184,000 Up […]

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Attorneys Win Case for Local Municipality: Plaintiff Sought $1,020,000 in Damages, Awarded $0

In a case recently won by Linda Davis Friedland and Elizabeth Rae O’Donnell, a firefighter sued a local municipality, five former and current Trustees, and the Fire Chief, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA).  Plaintiff sought $1,020,000.00 in damages and was awarded nothing. Plaintiff, who is of Asian descent and a part-time firefighter with the municipality’s fire department, submitted […]

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Public and Private Employers Subject to 50 Employee Threshold Under the FMLA: Does Unconditional Language in Employee Manual Create a Jury Question?

Both private and public employers are subject to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their employment if they meet certain statutory requirements (employed for at least 12 months, and worked 1250 hours within the preceding 12 months). The FMLA defines a “covered employer” as being “any person engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity […]

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Eleven Estate Planning Mistakes to be Avoided

We have all heard the probate horror stories. Someone’s last will and testament took five years to be probated, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees. All of the assets from someone else’s estate were stolen by the personal representative (executor), leaving the family with nothing. The probate judge was unfair. Such stories instill fear about probate administration, which can lead to estate planning decisions with unintended consequences. […]

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Signs of Identity Theft and How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

Identity theft is occurring more often, due in part to the recent data breaches with merchants, hospitals, and various websites. Identity theft also results from so-called “phishing scams,” in which the victim is tricked into revealing personal information. Even if you do business only with trusted companies, and you keep your personal information to yourself, you should still be aware of the following signs of identity theft: You see withdrawals […]

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New Tools for Consumers in the Fight Against Identity Theft and Credit Report Errors

In the wake of the Great Recession, which, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, a flurry of federal legislation was enacted to provide support for consumers.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which became effective July 21, 2010, was amended to provide for “one-call fraud alerts.”  Under this amendment, if you believe you have become a victim of identity theft, you may call […]

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Contributing to a Roth IRA through a Backdoor Option

Many high income earners believe they cannot contribute to a Roth IRA because of the income limitations imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  There is a backdoor route high income earners can take, however, to accomplish the same thing as opening a Roth IRA directly. For 2014, the income and contribution limits for a Roth IRA are as follows: Filing Status ModifiedAdjusted Gross Income ContributionLimit Married, Filing Jointly ˂ $181,000 Up to […]

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Tax Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

As a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling to uphold the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), there will be some tax effects for workers and recipients of investment income. Beginning in 2013, an additional 0.9% in Medicare taxes are assessed on wages in excess of $200,000 for single filers, and $250,000 for married, filing jointly, or $125,000 each when married and filing separately. Further, […]

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Firearms: Open Carry is Legal in Michigan

Firearms:  Open Carry is Legal in Michigan  Earlier this year Nicholas Looman walked into Aderdeen Elementary School in Grand Rapids, Michigan to vote wearing his holstered pistol on his hip.  The school officials contacted the police, and Mr. Looman was arrested for bringing a firearm into a school.  Later, William Forsythe, the Kent County Prosecutor, issued a statement that Mr. Looman had done nothing illegal because he possessed a valid […]

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