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.

Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz ...

Employees have to pay 7.65% of their wages in Social Security taxes, while employers pay a matching 7.65%. Independent contractors have to pay the entire 15.3% themselves. But what happens if an independent contractor is misclassified and should really be an employee? Can the individual sue her putative “employer” for the 7.65% the company should have paid? ...

A recent GAO report sharply criticized the Bush administration for mishandling overtime, back-pay and final-paycheck complaints filed by U.S. employees. The report said U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division auditors often failed to thoroughly investigate claims ...

When Barack Obama takes office in January, get ready for the most sweeping employment-law changes the HR world has seen in years. Attorney Mike Fox walks you through the legislation likely to reshape HR, possibly even in the first 100 days of the Obama administration. Here’s how to prepare.

The IRS and the individual states figure they have a better chance at catching employment tax scofflaws by working together.

We’d like our retail staff to wear uniforms. Can we charge them for the uniforms? ...

Q. We pay our nonexempt employees weekly on a salary basis, no matter how many hours they work during the week. These employees have not worked overtime hours in the past. However, the company’s operations have changed, and we expect to require some overtime work in the near future. Will we have to pay the employees time-and-a-half for those overtime hours? ...

The IRS is rarely lenient when it comes to unpaid employment taxes that are withheld from employee paychecks. If you are found to be a responsible party, you could be held personally liable for 100% of the amount owed for a willful failure to deposit such withheld employment taxes on time. And you don’t necessarily have to be the person assigned to do the job.

An investigation by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) revealed that lavatory attendants at county fairs in western New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were not only unpaid, but were forced to give 50% of their tips back to their employer, Portlock Maintenance Systems.

Q. Some union employees are wearing buttons and T-shirts as well as posting signs advocating presidential candidates. At first it was not bothering anyone, but now it has gotten out of hand. Is there anything I can do to prevent employees from exhibiting their political views in the workplace? ...