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.

North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system protects employees who are injured on the job by replacing lost wages while they recover. The state Industrial Commission (www.comp.state.nc.us/) administers the law ...

You may think that by cooperating with a U.S. Labor Department audit under Fair Labor Standards Act, you’ll avoid a lawsuit. Unfortunately, the fact is that the audit may be only the beginning of your troubles—even if you go ahead and pay everything the department says you owe ...

Congress this year pushed the federal minimum wage up to $5.85 per hour, with 70-cent jumps planned for the next two summers. But some lawmakers want to keep that mojo working. A group of Democrats, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., are proposing to push the federal minimum to $9.50 per hour starting in 2009 ...

Employees injured at work are entitled to wage-loss payments while they recuperate. But they don’t get payments for the times when they wouldn’t normally have been earning wages ...

Michigan courts have generally upheld as valid and enforceable provisions within an employment application or employment contract that place time limits on when employees can sue their employers. Thus, while the statute of limitations for filing a claim of discrimination under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act is three years, a Michigan court has upheld contractual provisions providing for a shortened limitations period of six months ...

If your business is seasonal, you may rely on an independent contractor to provide extra workers during crunch times. Whether it’s harvesting a crop, having the office cleaned or counting inventory, you must take steps to ensure your contractor pays his or her employees minimum wage and overtime ...

Good news: The Texas Supreme Court has refused to create new liability for organizations that do work through independent contractors. The case points out how important it is to make sure independent contractors stay that way ...

State examiners looking into wage-and-hour violations at North Carolina businesses opened 7,665 investigations in 2006. That’s an 18% increase over the previous year and a nearly 40% increase from 2003 investigation levels, according to the North Carolina Labor Department’s 2006 annual report ...

The government hasn’t required much in the way of compliance when it comes to special executive retirement perks and bonuses. That changed in April, when Congress enacted a slew of IRS-enforced regulations known as 409A. Bring your deferred-comp plans into compliance now, or your executives could face stiff tax penalties.

A Federal Court of Appeals recently ruled that auto mechanics paid on a flat-rate system are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The court found that the flat-rate system used in the auto repair industry is akin to a commission system for FLSA purposes. The case opens the door for some employers to restructure their pay system to avoid costly overtime ...