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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A triple-whammy of forces—new laws, new EEOC outreach programs and ongoing economic malaise—helped push the number of employee job discrimination claims to the highest annual total in the EEOC’s 45-year history.

Adding staff? Decide before you hire whether you want an employee or an independent contractor. Under the FLSA and some states’ laws, you must pay overtime to nonexempt employees—not so for independent contractors. Make the employee-or-contractor call well before you bring someone on board. Don’t assume you can make the designation later.

Q. Our company allows employees to purchase products on an installment basis. When employees leave and haven’t repaid the full amount, can we deduct the remainder due from their last paycheck?
The owners of 11 New York City dollar stores will pay more than $485,000 to settle complaints they violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by paying workers less than minimum wage, and failing to pay time-and-a-half for overtime hours.
To deal with a down economy, employers sometimes cut employee pay. A significant pay reduction may be grounds for an employee to quit and collect unemployment.
The state Office of the Attorney General has filed a lawsuit charging eight Southern California car washes with stiffing workers out of wages, failing to pay the minimum wage, reneging on overtime pay and denying legally mandated breaks.
In a sign that some courts are flexing their muscles and resisting attempts by the U.S. Department of Labor to crack down on employers, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected an effort to force employers to cover more guest worker costs.
Much of your work as a compensation and benefits professional involves putting out fires and dealing with day-to-day tasks. But don’t let the details get you down! Start the new year by resolving to think strategically. Use this planning guide as a road map for 2011.
The contentious tax law signed by President Obama last week brings tax savings to workers nationwide—and contains several provisions that will affect HR. Here's a round-up of various elements—from Social Security withholding to tuition reimbursement to on-site child care—that you'll have to deal with when the law takes effect on Jan. 1.

How understandable are your employee paystubs? Do you get repeated questions about the same line items? As the following case shows, inconsistent payment methods and ambiguous deduction rules may spark employees to band together and sue.

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