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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Question: An employee who has child support withheld from his pay declared bankruptcy. We received a bankruptcy order that requires us to withhold $330 monthly. However, the Consumer Credit Protection Act says not more than 50% of an employee’s disposable pay can be withheld for child support. The bankruptcy trustee said that the 50% limit doesn’t apply, but this seems wrong to us. Who’s correct?
Employers must be careful not to give tipped employees too many additional duties to complete before, during or after their tip-generating activities. If more than about 20% of their time is spent on such activities, you may have to pay them the full minimum wage for those hours, regardless of how much they earn in tips during the shift.
If your organization uses independent contractors, watch out. The IRS will come after you for misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
With gas prices bouncing around near the $4-per-gallon mark, some employers are looking again at ways to help employees keep their tanks filled—or at least get to work each day. Here are some options for you and your employees:

Here’s something to consider when setting pay rates for jobs in different locations and with slightly different responsibilities: Under the Equal Pay Act, employers can set different salaries based on geographically distinct job locations.

The DOL has issued final regulations, effective May 5, 2011, that clarify and conform the FLSA regs to the current law. While most of the changes the final regs make are technical, employers that pay based on the fluctuating workweek method and employers that take the tip credit are specifically affected.
Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz.
Summer is usually when employees who belong to the National Guard and military Reserves give their two weeks of duty to Uncle Sam. Some military-connected employees may be deployed for longer periods of time. Now is the time to prepare for their absence.

This year is shaping up to be a tough one for organizations worried about employment law issues. So far, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided three big employment law cases—and every time, ruled in favor of employees. The latest expanded employer retaliation liability under the FLSA. But that’s not this year’s only press­ing wage-and-hour problem. Pay atten­tion to these other issues:

Do you try to cut labor costs by hiring independent contractors to do employees’ jobs? If so, consider this risk: Both employees and independent contractors who do the same or similar work could join together and sue over unpaid wages and overtime.
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