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.

Q. During our slow season, we would like to require employees to work just four days per week in order save on labor costs. Can we require exempt employees to participate? ...
As a general rule, once a union organizing drive is under way at a nonunion workplace, management can’t make any changes to the terms and conditions of employment. But what if the changes management wants to make are ones that the company has routinely made around that same time of year? ...
Q. If I work from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., can my employer allow a 10-minute break in the morning, lunch at 11 a.m. and no break in the afternoon because I didn’t work four hours after lunch? ...
Q. Are employers required to pay employees their hourly wages when they are assigned to attend training classes? Our employees travel from Colorado Springs to Denver and are not paid or reimbursed for their travel time. They also are not paid during the two- or three-day training course. Employees travel to and from the training daily. If the employee does not stay with the company for one year and one day after completion of the training, the employee is required to reimburse the employer for the school. Are these practices legal? ...
A California Superior Court decision ordering coffee giant Starbucks to pay its baristas $100 million in lost tips has the company in a froth. Trouble has been brewing since it instituted a policy letting supervisors split tip income with hourly workers. You don't want to find yourself in the same hot water.
Minnesota’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA) limits employers’ ability to test employees and independent contractors for illegal drugs and alcohol. While DATWA does not require employers to perform drug testing, it governs the process if employers elect to do so ...

Minnesota has a two-tiered minimum wage. Large employers (with annual receipts of $625,000 or more) must pay workers $6.15 per hour. Small employers (with receipts of less than $625,000) must pay $5.25 per hour. But many of those small employers must also comply with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires paying a minimum wage of $5.85 per hour ...

More and more courts are ignoring the labels companies and independent contractors put on their relationships—and even rewriting the relationship in some cases. That means that someone an organization has carried on the books as an independent contractor can be reclassified as an employee ...
In a decision some hope will lead to fewer local laws controlling how employers manage their work forces, a California Superior Court judge has struck down a Los Angeles ordinance that made it illegal for large supermarket chains taking over local grocery stores to fire existing employees ...
Local governments in Minnesota sometimes legislate their own rules for employers within their jurisdictions. For example, Minneapolis and St. Paul have living-wage laws stipulating higher pay than the state minimum wage ($6.15 per hour for large employers), while a Duluth ordinance prohibits discrimination based on familial status ...