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The HR Specialist: Compensation and Benefits

Most employers that offer health insurance to employees also let them buy additional coverage for family members. Perhaps it’s not so unusual then that some companies provide optional pet health insurance. After all, for many people, pets are part of the family, too …

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For the first time since it became law in 1993, the FMLA has been amended. President Bush signed H.R. 4986 in January. The law grants FMLA-protected leave to workers who care for injured soldiers and families of reservists called to duty …

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Thirty-five percent of organizations offered retiree health benefits in 2007, up from 29% the year before, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Even so, benefits analysts say organizations are under pressure to drop the coverage to save money and to lessen a costly liability line on their financial statements …

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When many business people and HR pros think of offering employees flexibility in balancing work and life issues, they think in terms of providing scheduling options. But in small businesses, that’s often a deal breaker. Instead, think of flexibility as a broad strategy for business success …

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Providing affordable employee health insurance is tough for many small companies and those employing lots of part-time workers. If that sounds like your organization, it may be time to consider offering a “mini-med” plan that covers limited health care expenses at a relatively low cost. Here’s what you need to know …

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When Tim Jenkins and two friends started professional services firm Point B in 1995, they aimed to offer their employees an escape from the 100-hour workweeks and extended business travel that typically accompany high-powered consulting jobs …

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Consider yourself warned: The IRS has said it will crack down in 2008 on organizations that misclassify workers as independent contractors when they actually should be considered employees. It’s a tricky problem for HR pros, who don’t typically play a role in classifying independent contractors …

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While the federal Equal Pay Act prohibits wage discrimination against women, it doesn’t require every employee in the same position to earn the same salary. If you can point to factors other than gender (e.g., seniority, education, experience, skills, etc.), you can set different salaries for employees who hold the same job titles …

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At the University of California, Davis, new moms express milk in the privacy of janitor closets, utility rooms and restroom lounges. At least that’s what these rooms once were. Today, 34 8-by-8 nooks around campus are equipped with hospital-grade breast pumps, comfortable chairs, literature about parenting and pumping—and lots of baby pictures …

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You’re probably under pressure to reduce benefits costs as your organization tries to remain competitive in the marketplace. But don’t neglect your competitiveness in the race to attract and retain the best employees. They’re probably looking for even better benefits to offset static pay raises. Five key issues are emerging in 2008 for compensation and benefits professionals …

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