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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Q: A recently divorced employee refiled her Form W-4 to claim fewer withholding allowances. She included her name and address, but only the last four digits of her Social Security number (SSN). Payroll requested that she complete another form with her full SSN, but she balked, saying that wasn’t necessary, since the W-4 is an internal form only. Is this a valid form?
A recent Gallup poll drew lots of media attention with the news that younger workers were so battle-scarred by the Great Recession that they no longer trust stocks as a safe place to park their retirement investments. Wait a minute, said Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest 401(k) provider.
June brides who take their husbands’ names and newly married couples who hyphenate their names must get new Social Security cards reflecting their new names. Reminder: Don’t change your payroll records until newlyweds show you their new Social Security cards.
Here’s a case that illustrates at least one advantage for em­­ployers to a union workplace. If your collective bargaining agreement spells out how pay is calculated and excludes time spent donning and doffing work clothes and safety equipment, a contrary state wage-and-hour law doesn’t apply.
Premiums for health plans offered on state exchanges under the ACA this year are comparable to those of employer-provided plans offering similar coverage—and in some cases they’re much lower.
Americans’ confidence in their 401(k) plans took a big hit in the economic collapse of 2008. Then, 54% thought they could fund retirement via their 401(k)s. Now, less than half do.
The incentive to misclassify employees as independent contractors to get under the ACA's 50-employee cap may seem tempting. The real incentive is to ensure that your workforce is properly classified in the first place.
Here’s something to think about when you revise your handbook or send out an announcement outlining your benefit plan: Be sure to tell workers that benefits can change at any time and that this year’s offering isn’t a promise that the benefits described will continue indefinitely.
The Department of Labor has issued a new proposed model notice of continuation coverage rights under COBRA. It’s similar to previous versions you may have used, but emphasizes that separated workers might be better off seeking health insurance from state or federal Health Insurance Marketplaces than purchasing COBRA coverage through your plan.
Buried deep in the Consolidated Appropriations Act is a provision that requires the IRS to send a notice confirming any change of address to your old and new address. And for victims of service bureau fraud, the law also directs the IRS to give special consideration to offers-in-compromise, which may allow you to settle a tax debt for less than the full amount owed.
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