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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Exotic dancers at suburban Minneapolis’ King of Diamonds club pay the club a fee of $20 to $100 every night they work. King of Diamonds maintains the dancers are independent contractors and “pay for the pole” in order to earn tips. The club does not pay them an hourly wage. Attorney E. Michelle Drake sees things differently.

Q. We have some employees who are earning the maximum salary for their job classifications. Can we cut their pay if we feel they’re overpaid?

If you employ seasonal labor, import employees from other countries and make payroll deductions for their equipment and transportation, you may want to hire an expert in visas and seasonal labor. That’s what saved one employer from double damages and an extra year of liability.

The journal Chief Executive again rated its 20 best companies for leaders last year, with 3M shooting up to the top from 15th place the year before. One thing that may account for 3M’s rapid rise was a greater reliance on peer assessment.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was designed to ensure pay equity for women. It does a whole lot more than that! Learn how this landmark legislation affects all protected employee classes and could influence your employee benefits program.

Move over, Google. Microsoft grabs tech headlines this month by adding zippy new features to its Internet Explorer browser. Here are four cool tricks that will save time for you and your employees.

Q. Are there any laws that prohibit me from charging my employees for their mandatory work uniforms?

Q. We are considering asking our employees to donate some time back to the company as a way to save costs and avoid having to lay off anyone. By “donate time” I mean working one or more hours per week without pay. Is this legal?

Workplace investigations sometimes open a can of worms. What if, for example, you find out that an employee complaining about sexual harassment had engaged in wrongdoing, too? Even if the wrongdoing is related to the underlying sexual harassment complaint, you can and should punish the employee for that.

Many employers place arbitration clauses in their employment applications or handbooks. The idea is that forcing employees to arbitrate workplace disputes will be quicker and easier than going to federal court. A recent federal court decision by a Florida-based judge has upheld the right to take even FLSA complaints over wage-and-hour law to arbitration.

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