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With pressure on wages still tight, employers are whipping up new employee perks almost every day. The problem, of course, is that no one consults Payroll before the big rollout to employees. That’s a mistake, since perks are taxable, unless the tax code says they’re not.

Would you know how to counter evidence about events that occurred two, three or more years ago? Employees often go back years to come up with circumstantial evidence that their employers are biased.

Conducting job interviews is one of the most legally dangerous tasks performed by managers. One misguided question could cause an applicant to think he or she was re­­­­jected due to one of the federally pr­o­­tected categories. Take this hiring quiz to see if you know which questions are legal and which are not:  

Every year, employees at SurePayroll anx­­iously await for leadership to an­­nounce who won the Best New Mistake award. Yes, the biggest mistake. Is your awards program a creaky tra­­dition or an injection of excitement? In­­vigorate your thinking with this advice:

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a busy time for many HR departments. Questions regarding overtime, holiday pay and seasonal hires often arise. As long as you know the FLSA rules on holiday pay and holiday scheduling, you’ll skate through the season in good cheer.

Rite-Solutions has created an internal stock market for employee ideas called Mutual Fun. Employees get $10,000 worth of “opinion money” on their first day, so they can show support for an idea by buying the stock. Later they’ll share in the proceeds if a project delivers real-world revenue.
Wonder what employees are really doing on those computers all day? A new court ruling shows that if they’re engaging in illegal cyber activities, you can show them the door. Just make sure you’ve shown them your cyber rulebook first …

True or false: Networking is a task, like building your house. Accumulate the materials, do the necessary hammering, and bingo, you’ve got your house. “False,” say authors Bob Allard and Richard Banfield, who assert that networking greatness comes from giving, not accumulating.

Do you want to help a local athletic organization that benefits your children? Join the booster club for an amateur sports program. You can likely write off the difference between the club dues and the value of the benefit received. But beware: The IRS is cracking down on inflated deductions.

Lately, Gianfranco Zaccai spends his time lying in a hospital bed. He’s not sick; he’s researching ideas for a health care client. As president at Continuum, Zaccai knows that he and his staff find the best ideas when they’re observing clients or putting them­­selves in clients’ shoes. He insists that staffers “go to where the lion is hunting, not the zoo.”

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