- The Federal “Speak Out Act” Takes Effect
The Speak Out Act took effect on December 7, 2022, which prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign pre-dispute agreements that contain nondisclosure clauses or non-disparagement clauses that would have the effect of silencing employees concerning claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault.
Why it Matters: Requiring employees to sign such agreements is now a violation of federal law. Employers should review their current employee confidentiality agreements and revise them as necessary, keeping in mind that many state laws also limit what terms can be included in an NDA or similar agreements.
- IRS Announces 2023 Standard Mileage Rates
The IRS announced the 2023 standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. Beginning on January 1, 2023, the rate for business use is 65.5 cents per mile, an increase of 3 cents from the 2022 midyear rate.
Why it Matters: Self-employed individuals who operate an automobile for business use, as well as employers who reimburse employees who use their own vehicles to conduct business, should take note of these changes.
- FTC Proposes Rules Banning Noncompete Agreements for Workers
On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a proposed rule that would effectively ban the use of non-compete clauses in most employment agreements. The FTC’s guidance in proposing the rule says that 1-in-5 American workers are bound by some form of non-compete clause or agreement.
Why it Matters: These regulations (if adopted) will have wide-ranging impacts across many sectors of the economy. Employers should keep a close eye on these rules and be prepared to amend or revise their employment agreements accordingly.
- Fed Issues Final LIBOR Replacement Rule
The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced that the U.S. dollar LIBOR will cease after June 30, 2023. On December 16, 2022, the Federal Reserve Board issued its final rule governing the replacement of LIBOR as an interest rate benchmark.
Why it Matters: The final rule is complex. Businesses using LIBOR as a benchmark or index should make note of this upcoming change. Fraser Trebilcock attorneys will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates. Contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorneys if you have any questions.
- Estate and Lifetime Gift Tax Exemption Update
Per the IRS, the 2023 Estate and Lifetime Gift Tax Exemption has increased from $12.06 million to $12.92 million. Additionally, the use of electronic signatures for Estate and Gift Tax forms has been extended to October 31, 2023.
Why it Matters: Individuals should take note of the increase in 2023 and plan accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact your Fraser Trebilcock estate planning attorney.
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