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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According to a new poll, 64% of Americans now favor keeping the Affordable Care Act in some form.
The U.S. Supreme Court on March 25 unanimously ruled that severance pay is subject to withholding of FICA taxes, which employers and employees pay to fund Social Security and Medicare.
Q. Is an employee who injures himself at a ­company-sponsored picnic eligible for workers’ ­compensation?
Sen. Tom Harkin, D–Iowa, has introduced legislation to create a new government-backed private pension system allowing employees to put away up to 6% of pay each year.

By some estimates, more than a million people participate in internships each year in the United States, as many as half of them unpaid or for less than the minimum wage. That can be a problem for em­­ployers: Misclassifying employees as unpaid interns can result in costly litigation, civil fines or both.

Each new group of young women entering the workforce over the past 30 years has started out at a higher average hourly wage relative to men. Here are the statistics on women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s, among 25-to-34-year-olds.
Executives of Parrot Cellular, a Cen­­tral Valley and Bay Area cellphone retailer, have agreed to pay just under $4.2 million to the company’s em­­ployee stock ownership plan (ESOP) following a probe by the U.S. Depart­­ment of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Investigators found that company owners had the plan buy company stock at highly overvalued rates.
A U.S. Department of Labor Em­­ployee Benefit Security Admin­­is­­tra­­tion (EBSA) investigation has revealed that Sunkist Growers and its fiduciaries improperly used retirement plan funds to pay salaries and benefits for several employees and managers.

One of the Container Store Group’s “foundation principles” is “1 = 3”—one great employee equals three good ones when it comes to productivity. And the 63-store chain only hires about 3% of all who apply. Then, it pays them 50% to 100% more than its competitors, and spends at least 260 hours training each new employee.

Condé Nast, publisher of The New Yorker, Vogue, GQ and 26 other magazines, has stopped offering unpaid internships following legal fallout from 2012’s “Black Swan” lawsuit.
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