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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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified who can sue for unpaid benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
A federal court has rejected a bid by two former employees to represent other similarly situated employees, based on the employer’s claim of conflict of interest. The court agreed that these particular employees weren’t the best choice to represent other workers.
The Court of Appeal of California has finally clarified how much em­­ployers owe employees who don’t get their required meal and other breaks. The penalty is two hours of pay per day if workers missed both types of breaks.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, has agreed to settle a gender pay discrimination claim, and the con­sent decree that spells out the terms of the settlement could affect New Jersey women who work for the company. Under the settlement, 124 female pharmaceutical sales specialists will split $250,000.

Q. We have received résumés from many college students looking for unpaid positions this fall. Would we need to pay these interns?
Employees who believe they haven’t been properly paid for the time they spend getting into and out of protective gear are engaging lawyers and filing class-action lawsuits.
Restaurants and retailers often have strict dress codes for employees; for example, black polo shirts and khaki pants. These aren’t uniforms—there aren’t any logos on the shirts—but the goal is to create a consistent look for employees. The best approach may be to pay for employees’ clothing rather than risk class-action litigation over who should be covering the cost.

When an employee owes the company money, it may be tempting to simply deduct it from his or her next paycheck. But in New York, that can be a big mistake. Over the past couple of years, the New York State Department of Labor has issued several opinion letters that significantly narrow its interpretation of New York Labor Law Section 193.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidelines in August that require health insurance plans to cover eight different kinds of women’s preventive serv­ices without charging a co-payment or deductible.
Q. We have medical providers at our clinic who are paid straight commission based on the number of patients treated and the treatment cost. Sometimes, they block time out of their schedules to attend training on laser techniques or continuing medical training for their licenses. I know that most employees must be paid for training time, but this is different. Do we have to pay them?
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