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.

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 ...

Immigration reform was a hot topic in Washington during the first half of 2007, but Congress ultimately failed to pass legislation to tighten enforcement of decades-old laws that regulate which foreign-born workers are eligible to work in the United States. Fairly or not, look for employers and the HR functions to bear much of the enforcement responsibilities. Your best bet: Make sure you document employees’ eligibility to work by thoroughly completing and maintaining up-to-date I-9 forms ...

Q. I own a four-star restaurant in a large metropolitan area. Unfortunately, customers sometimes skip out on their checks. Can I deduct from the waitress’s salary the money owed by a fleeing customer? ...

The new federal minimum wage of $5.85 per hour means you need to put up new posters – even if your state's minimum wage is higher. We're making it easy to comply. You can download and print official U.S. Labor Department posters – for FREE – directly from the HR Specialist web site.

Employment-related injuries are covered by workers’ compensation even if those injuries may have been caused by the negligence of a fellow employee. Employees who are hurt can’t sue the other employee directly; they must make a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. As a practical matter, that means employers will bear the brunt of any injury ...

Over the past few years, large companies such as Microsoft, Abercrombie and Fitch, Intel, Federal Express, UPS, IKEA and Burger King have been involved in multimillion dollar class-action lawsuits for violating state and federal wage-and-hour laws. Now add Wal-Mart to that list ...