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.

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 ...

Q. We fired an employee for destroying company property. The manager wants to deduct the value of the damaged property ($2,500) from the employee’s final paycheck (approximately $2,700). I don’t think we can take so much from the employee’s final paycheck ...

When it comes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), unpaid overtime claims are perhaps the most feared charges. It’s important to have solid records showing the hours worked, even for exempt employees. If it turns out the employee should have been classified as nonexempt, you’ll have to provide compelling evidence of the hours the employee actually worked ...

The following sample policy was excerpted from The Book of Company Policies, published by HR Specialist, © 2007. Edit for your organization’s purposes. _____________________________ Purpose: “All employees have the right to work in an environment free from physical violence, threats and intimidation. The Company’s position is that violence is a form of serious misconduct that [...]

Consider yourself warned: The IRS has said it will crack down in 2008 on organizations that misclassify workers as independent contractors when they actually should be considered employees. It’s a tricky problem for HR pros, who don’t typically play a role in classifying independent contractors ...

While the federal Equal Pay Act prohibits wage discrimination against women, it doesn’t require every employee in the same position to earn the same salary. If you can point to factors other than gender (e.g., seniority, education, experience, skills, etc.), you can set different salaries for employees who hold the same job titles ...

Employers must stay abreast of an alphabet soup of federal laws—ADA, ADEA, FMLA and so forth—each with its own requirements. To comply, you first must know which laws apply to your business, based on the number of people you employ. Here's how to tell which laws affect your workplace ... and which ones you can safely ignore.

How can you cut operating expenses down to size? Using more independent contractors might be the answer. But you can’t simply label workers as “independent contractors” when it suits your needs. Stick to your guns for legit arrangements. In a pinch, you might rely on “Section 530 relief” to bail you out.