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.

Tough economic times raise some tricky HR issues—for example, when an employee’s financial straits begin to affect his employer ...

Employers and employees in cash businesses often bluff, wink and nod their way around the edge of wage-and-hour law legality. But when it’s time to settle workers’ compensation claims, all the cards must go on the table. A recent Florida workers’ compensation case shows just how wrong things can go when employers give their employees unrequested advice on reporting income ...

Two Bronx carwashes, Tremont Car Wash and Webster Car Wash, and their corporate president have agreed to pay $707,298 in back wages and damages to 237 employees. U.S. Labor Department investigators found that employees at both carwashes were required to work more than 70 hours per week without being paid the federal minimum wage or overtime ...

Q. We allow our employees to “borrow” unearned vacation time. Our policy provides that if employees quit or are terminated with a “negative” vacation balance, the amount that they owe us for the vacation time taken before it was earned will be deducted from their final pay. Can we do this? ...

Q. My work hours fluctuate a lot depending upon the flow of work. To help manage its cash flow, my employer asked me to sign an agreement where I would receive a set salary each workweek regardless of the number of hours I work. In weeks where I work more than 40 hours, I am paid half-time for overtime hours, instead of time and a half. Can my employer do this? My position is nonexempt ...

A worker walks into your HR office and makes allegations of harassment and a hostile work environment under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. You check the personnel file and realize that she actually is an independent contractor who provides services to your company. You’re off the hook, right? Not necessarily, according to the New Jersey Appellate Division ...

A group of fired Thai workers have settled an unpaid-wages lawsuit with Creekside Mushrooms of Worthington. The mushroom grower will pay $17,376 in back wages to four workers ...

The owner of several Sonoma County McDonald’s restaurants has agreed to pay $1,155,407 to settle wage-and-hour claims brought by its workers. A class of approximately 1,000 workers claimed that DCT Inc. and Mendes Family Enterprises Inc. denied them overtime pay and breaks ...

Here’s a trap that may catch you unaware unless you regularly compare jobs and who actually holds the positions. If two jobs are roughly comparable, but mostly women hold one of the jobs and mostly men hold the other and you pay one more than the other, you are asking for trouble ...

Employees are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Independent contractors are not. That difference can save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars on their labor budgets—but only if they really are using independent contractors. But if those “independent contractors” are actually employees, they can sue for unpaid wages and overtime ...