The HR Specialist: Compensation and Benefits

If you’re planning to offer jobs to new college graduates this summer, you’ll be competing with a growing number of organizations that pay signing bonuses. Nearly 54% of the employers responding to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2008 survey said they will use signing bonuses to sweeten the deal for potential hires …

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But does the FMLA cover leave taken by an employee who thinks he has a serious condition and needs some tests to check it out? Yes, it does. That’s why employers should never discipline or fire employees while they’re in this “limbo” medical stage …

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When employees take leave to deal with serious health conditions, inform them that you plan to charge that time against their allotment of unpaid FMLA leave. If you fail to do so, it will be relatively easy for her to sue and show she was harmed by the lack of notice …

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A traveling mammogram van visits software maker Intuit’s Tucson, Ariz., campus once a year, while a mobile dental office stops at the company’s Mountain View, Calif., campus every week. Each of the company’s major campuses features different perks, depending on “what’s the most meaningful for that particular population,” says Jim Grenier …

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Washington, D.C., has become the second city to guarantee employees paid sick leave to care for themselves or a sick child. More than a dozen states are weighing legislation to mandate paid sick leave for employees …

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It’s considered impolite in many circles to discuss money, but don’t try to stop employees from talking about their pay. Setting a policy that prohibits employees from sharing information about hourly rates, salaries, bonuses or the terms of their employment could violate the National Labor Relations Act—even if your employees do not belong to a union …

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When global accounting firm KPMG hires a new employee, that recruit gets five weeks of paid vacation time—on Day One …

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In a decision that could spark more lawsuits against retirement plan administrators, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Feb. 20 that participants in 401(k) plans could sue to recover losses if they think their accounts were mismanaged …

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Does your organization operate on shifts or have unusual work hours? If so, it’s fair to both job applicants and the organization to be ultra-clear about what hours new hires should expect to work. The best approach is to ask about work availability up front—right on the application …

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After remaining untouched for its first 15 years, the FMLA has received a makeover in the past couple of months—first by Congress, and then by regulators at the U.S. Labor Department. Here are the highlights …

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