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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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Q. Our employee handbook states, “If you do not return a piece of property we will withhold from your final paycheck the cost of replacing that piece of property.” One of our employees recently quit on the spot. My boss wants to almost double the actual replacement cost of the item. Can we do this?
A Commonwealth Court has ruled that a veteran professional chicken catcher’s bad attitude was reason enough to deny him unemployment benefits. The man was fired from his job of five years with B&B Catching Services in Northumberland County for persistently squawking about what he perceived as a stingy 2012 holiday bonus.
Q. If our organization offers voluntary employee training, which takes place during lunch, do we have to pay employees for the time spent attending training?
Each new hire at CPA giant Plante Moran is assigned an experienced “buddy” to show him or her the ropes—and a team partner tasked with helping the newbie achieve personal and professional career goals. An employee committee researches and recommends programs and policies that promote work/life balance.
Ignorance of the law—and labor regulations—is no excuse. If your supervisors don’t understand that they need to give employees regular breaks and an uninterrupted meal period, they’re likely to trigger a class-action lawsuit.
For all the recent talk about raising the national minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, it’s worth noting that 22 states already require pay higher than the current federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.
When an employee who would other­­wise qualify for unemployment benefits can’t work because she’s too ill, she loses her eligibility.
Q. We hold a team-building retreat every year where we give employees prizes after completing certain challenges. Are those prizes considered taxable income?
Charlotte was one of several cities where fast food workers staged November protests calling for higher wages. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) organized the protests to spotlight the low wages many in the fast food industry receive.
President Obama on Feb. 12 signed an executive order implementing the change, which becomes effective in 2015.
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