Compensation and Benefits — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 109
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Compensation and Benefits

Compensation and benefits topics – whether it’s minimum wage, workers’ compensation laws, or employee pay – if properly handled, can help you retain workers and recruit new ones.

Use our advice to craft independent contractor agreements that keep independent contractors – and your bosses – happy.

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Resourceful defense attorneys have tried a few legal tactics to help em­­ployers defend against wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits. One strategy is to “tender an offer of judgment” to the named plaintiff before the case gets to the collective-action certification stage. Unfortunately, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has removed this arrow from defense counsels’ quiver.

Smart employers document all the reasons for every rate of pay, in case someone later alleges some form of discrimination. That way, they’re prepared to justify exactly why one worker earns more or less than another similarly situated colleague.

Employees who fear they’re facing disciplinary action may quit. Then they argue that they would have been fired and quit preemptively, so they’re eligible for unemployment compensation. But if the employer can show there really was no good reason for the employee to think her job was in danger, then the employee can’t receive unemployment.

Global health care company Sanofi is keeping its own employees healthy by opening a full-service medical center and on-site pharmacy at its U.S. headquarters in Bridgewater, N.J.

Employees must be paid for their pre-shift or post-shift activities, if those activities are integral and indispensable to the performance of their principal jobs. That can stretch a workday and possibly require you to pay for employees’ commuting time. But not all pre-shift or post-shift work is the same.

The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk.  With little to lose, more and more employees are willing to stake bias claims, hoping to score a big settlement. Their allies are attorneys who will look for any reason to sue. What should employers do?
Q, We would like to institute a rule subjecting em­­ployees to discipline for clocking in late. Are we permitted to do this even though we round our employees’ time to the nearest quarter-hour?
Workers' compensation premiums are based on the frequency of a company's injury claims. So it's critical to avoid paying claims for accidents that are not covered, as well as investigate potential cases of fraud. Also, return-to-work questions arise in situations where workers' compensation interacts with the ADA and the FMLA.
Without any action by their legislatures, employers in 10 states will experience increases in their minimum wage rates in 2012 because those states tie annual increases in their wage floor to increases in the cost of living.

Execs at Diageo North America en­­courage their employees to live near work as part of its effort to help workers balance their jobs with their home lives. The company also allows employees to job share, flex or compress their hours and telework.

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