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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Remember: The title that you decide to give an employee has no impact on whether or not she should properly be classified as exempt from overtime pay. What matters are her duties. If they are routine and menial in nature, she’s not exempt, even if she holds a lofty title in the organization.

The typical working household has virtually no retirement savings, according to a study by the nonprofit National Institute on Retirement Security. When all households are included—not just those with retirement accounts—median retirement savings added up to just $2,500.
Pay attention to the deal struck recently between the top automakers, GM and Chrysler, and the United Auto Workers, the largest union representing autoworkers.
A former intern is suing Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Dualstar entertainment, alleging she received neither pay nor college credit for four months of work. The former intern seeks to make the suit a class action by including 40 other interns.
Pittsburgh has passed a sweeping ordinance granting paid sick leave to employees of almost every private employer based in the city. The ordinance covers both full- and part-time workers.
If you use an arbitration agreement for Texas employees, be aware that including terms that limit the kinds of relief employees can seek in arbitration aren’t legal.

Employees who no longer work because they lose access to child care are sometimes eligible for unemployment compensation. But they must first seek help in the form of a reasonable accommodation from their employer and be turned down. Even so, the worker still has to look for “suitable employment” to retain the benefits. He or she can’t reject every job offer based on inconvenient day-care scheduling.

More working-age Americans had health insurance in last year, even though the rate of coverage through employment-based health plans remained essentially flat. That’s according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Q. I manage a popular sports bar. May I institute a tip-pooling policy?
Q: “We have a nonexempt salaried employee who is required to work 40 hours a week. She rarely works overtime, but when she does she gets 1.5 times her hourly rate. My question is, if she works less than 40 hours in a week, does not have any PTO left and does not make the time up, can we dock her salary?” – Maria, West Virginia
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