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.

When Barack Obama takes office in January, get ready for the most sweeping employment-law changes the HR world has seen in years. Attorney Mike Fox walks you through the legislation likely to reshape HR, possibly even in the first 100 days of the Obama administration. Here’s how to prepare.

The IRS and the individual states figure they have a better chance at catching employment tax scofflaws by working together.

We’d like our retail staff to wear uniforms. Can we charge them for the uniforms? ...

Q. We pay our nonexempt employees weekly on a salary basis, no matter how many hours they work during the week. These employees have not worked overtime hours in the past. However, the company’s operations have changed, and we expect to require some overtime work in the near future. Will we have to pay the employees time-and-a-half for those overtime hours? ...

The IRS is rarely lenient when it comes to unpaid employment taxes that are withheld from employee paychecks. If you are found to be a responsible party, you could be held personally liable for 100% of the amount owed for a willful failure to deposit such withheld employment taxes on time. And you don’t necessarily have to be the person assigned to do the job.

An investigation by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) revealed that lavatory attendants at county fairs in western New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were not only unpaid, but were forced to give 50% of their tips back to their employer, Portlock Maintenance Systems.

Q. Some union employees are wearing buttons and T-shirts as well as posting signs advocating presidential candidates. At first it was not bothering anyone, but now it has gotten out of hand. Is there anything I can do to prevent employees from exhibiting their political views in the workplace? ...

The IRS and the courts are increasingly ignoring the “independent contractor” label that companies increasingly slap on their workers. Instead, they’re reclassifying those relationships as “employees.” And that’s not good for employers ...
Federal wage-and-hour laws require you to have a reliable system to accurately keep track of employees’ hours and pay. Casual timekeeping systems can easily trigger a back-wage lawsuit. Here's the bottom line on how to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act's complicated requirements.

When a valuable employee is injured on the job, what you do—and when you do it—can determine not only when the employee will return to work but also whether he or she will return at all. Why? The longer employees stay out on workers’ comp, says the Workers Compensation Research Institute, the less likely they will return to their current employers ...