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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The state of Illinois has taken a series of steps to cut employers’ workers’ compensation costs. Employers should consult with their workers’ comp carriers to ensure workplace injury reporting procedures and posted notices are up-to-date and comply with the new law. The following reforms took effect Sept. 1:

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.

It’s 1999 all over again for at least some in-demand job candidates and employees: those with IT expertise. Companies looking to lure candidates are offering unusually generous inducements and perks. Who’s benefiting from the largesse? Cloud computing engineers, data security experts, mobile app developers and tech sales people.
Employees who were automatically enrolled in a defined contribution retirement plan—401(k)s and 403(b)s, for example—and who participate in automatic contribution increase programs have a 25% higher contribution rate than other employees, according to the Mercer consulting firm.
A common gripe among employees is that they don’t understand their health care plans. As a result, they end up making mistakes and choosing plans that don’t meet their health care needs or budgets. The federal government aims to diminish confusion by changing the way employers explain health care plans to employees.

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.

The home office of Cydcor, a provider of outsourced, face-to-face sales teams, is sending a little something extra to its 200 independent sales offices—and asking them to pass it along. Through the Neighborhood Leader Program, the offices are encouraged to donate their time and talent to nonprofit, charitable organizations in their communities.

The Obama administration proposed new rules in August that require employers and health insurers to give health plan participants a clearer picture of their benefits in plain English. The rules propose a new template for the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).

Five Detroit companies are offering employees cash incentives to live down­­town. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michi­­gan, Compuware Corp., DTE Energy, Quicken Loans and Strategic Staffing Solutions will give employees more than $4 million over five years if they move into any of six downtown neighborhoods.

Here’s something to consider when reviewing your pay and compensation packages: Employers that lose an Equal Pay Act claim may end up paying double damages.
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