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.

Workplace investigations sometimes open a can of worms. What if, for example, you find out that an employee complaining about sexual harassment had engaged in wrongdoing, too? Even if the wrongdoing is related to the underlying sexual harassment complaint, you can and should punish the employee for that.

Q. Are there any laws that prohibit me from charging my employees for their mandatory work uniforms?

Q. We are considering asking our employees to donate some time back to the company as a way to save costs and avoid having to lay off anyone. By “donate time” I mean working one or more hours per week without pay. Is this legal?

Many employers place arbitration clauses in their employment applications or handbooks. The idea is that forcing employees to arbitrate workplace disputes will be quicker and easier than going to federal court. A recent federal court decision by a Florida-based judge has upheld the right to take even FLSA complaints over wage-and-hour law to arbitration.

Minimum wages for immigrant farm workers won’t go up following a North Carolina federal judge’s decision to halt a federal government plan to overturn an H-2A visa regime it had implemented just last year. The injunction means farmers nationwide can continue to pay H-2A visa holders between $7.25 and $8.51 per hour.

President Obama's proposed tax overhaul includes more information reporting to help ferret out tax evaders. The administration has proposed that 1099 forms would be required for payments to corporations of more than $600 a year.

Judge Charles Hayes of the California Superior Court for the County of San Diego recently denied class certification to a group of taxi drivers who claimed they were improperly classified as independent contractors rather than employees.

Soon after Gary Lizalek was hired at a Wisconsin medical firm, he informed the company that he believed, as a matter of religious faith, that he was three separate beings. The company fired all three Lizaleks. He sued, saying the company failed to accommodate his religious beliefs.

Q. Carlos, a longtime Latino employee, frequently complains that he is paid less than his white, non-Latino counterparts. He blames this pay discrepancy on a previous supervisor who allegedly denied him several promotions in the late 1990s because of his national origin. I have heard about the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Could it affect us in this case?

This month's collection of real-world quick tips from American business leaders, brought to you by members of The Alternative Board.