$50 Million FCA Civil Penalty Was Unconsitutional

The District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia declined to enforce the False Claim Act’s mandatory civil penalty because it constituted an excessive fine in violation of the Eighth Amendment and the FCA did not give the court discretion to award a lesser penalty that would be within constitutional limits. The relators alleged the […]

FAC 2005-57 Implements Korea Free Trade Agreement

The Civilian Agency Acquisition and Defense Acquisition Regulations Councils have issued Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-57 with one interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The rule implements the United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement (see PL 112-41 and 19 USC 3805 note). The Republic of Korea is already party to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement […]

Costs Less; Covers Fewer People: A New Look at the Health Reform Law

One of the basic facts that often gets lost in the millions of bytes of text that have been written about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is that its most significant provisions do not even go into effect until January 2014. Since the law was enacted, politicians, pundits, professors, actuaries and the general […]

Interest rates remain the same for the second quarter of 2012

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning April 1, 2012. The interest rates are as follows: three percent for overpayments (two percent in the case of a corporation); three percent for underpayments; five percent for large corporate underpayments; and one-half percent for the portion […]

Plan’s choice of interest rate to calculate withdrawal liability not an abuse of discretion

A multiple-employer pension plan’s board did not abuse its discretion when it used what an employer described as an “unreasonably low” interest rate to calculate the amount of the employer’s withdrawal liability, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (CA-9) has ruled. Contested amount At the district court level, the employer argued that the […]

New York hair salon, EEOC resolve allegations of pregnancy bias

New York-based Warren Tricomi hair salon, with locations in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and in Greenwich, Connecticut, has agreed to pay $30,000 and provide a positive employee reference to settle a Title VII pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to an agency announcement on March 15, 2012. […]

Poll shows Americans see progress in a closing gender gap; women and men willingly make trade-offs to balance work and family life

Most Americans say that having a majority of women in the workforce is an encouraging trend for the country, despite the trade-offs that both women and men must make to balance work and family life, according to poll results announced by The Allstate Corporation and National Journal. The 12th quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll […]

CBO studies impact of increasing eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released an issue brief that analyzes the impact of raising the ages of eligibility for the receipt of benefits under Social Security and Medicare. Of course, what is driving this issue is the looming insolvency of the Social Security Trust Funds. As has been reported here previously, the latest […]

Administration’s budget proposals would limit retirement deductions for upper-income taxpayers

President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal, unveiled on February 13, 2012, would trim the deductions for certain retirement plan contributions by upper-income taxpayers. The budget proposal would reinstate the limitation on itemized deductions and the 36% and 39.6% tax rates for upper-income taxpayers. The budget proposal would also limit the tax value of specified deductions […]

Minnesota updates withholding fact sheet on reciprocity

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has updated its personal income tax withholding fact sheet on reciprocity. The fact sheet explains the reciprocity exemption under Minnesota’s agreements with Michigan and North Dakota; personal income tax withholding for Minnesota and an employee’s state of residence; reporting information on the company’s Minnesota withholding tax return; completion of Form […]