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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Employees who quit because of substantially reduced pay may be able to collect unemployment. However, they can’t merely speculate that a new pay system will result in lower pay.
Employees sometimes think that employers have to accommodate all their schedule requests. Not usually. Often, employees fired for refusing to work their scheduled hours expect to receive unemployment benefits.
An employee who reports a serious safety hazard and stops coming to work after the employer refuses to fix the hazard may collect unemployment benefits. But that’s not true if the employee doesn’t give the employer a chance to remedy the problem and just quits out of fear.

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Warren Daniel would require North Caro­­linians who have been on unemployment for more than eight weeks to volunteer five hours a week in order to continue receiving benefits. The volunteer commitment would rise to 10 hours per week for those on the unemployment rolls for more than a year.

Employers are now free to set the percentage of employee tips that can be placed in a tip pool. In years past, several court decisions conflicted with the U.S. Department of Labor’s position restricting the amount of tips an employer could require to be pooled.
Beware if you allow employees to clock in early, but tell them not to start work before their scheduled start times. If early clock-ins are routinely unpaid, there may be a class-action lawsuit brewing.
A former employee of Brunel Energy Inc. is suing the company for failing to notify her of her right to maintain her health insurance coverage after she quit in 2010—and she has proposed making the case a class-action lawsuit that could involve hundreds of other former employees.
The Supreme Court of Texas has ruled that, under some circumstances, an ordinance that governs the work of public employees and specifies benefits may be enforceable as a contract.

Baltimore-based sports apparel company Under Armour doesn’t require its 3,363 employees to be athletes, but it does look for new hires with a love of sports and fitness. Reason: Team spirit is core to the company’s culture.

On average, U.S. workers took only 14 of the 18 vacation days they earned last year, a total of 448 million unused days. French workers, on the other hand, took 35 of the 37 vacation days they were due.
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