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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Q. An employee has not returned our calls or come to work at our hotel for over a week. She has a set of office keys and owes money for laundry. Can I hold her check until she returns the keys or pays for her laundry? Alternatively, can I deduct the cost of replacing the keys and laundry from her last paycheck? —I.C., Maryland

Compelling a prisoner to work without pay is not illegal, a federal court has ruled in considering a Texas inmate's request. The prisoner worked in the prison laundry and claimed he should be paid at least the federal minimum wage ...

Q. I work for a nonprofit agency, and we plan to start using an agency credit card. But we also need a policy that covers who can use the card and when, plus some other things I haven’t thought of yet. What should the policy include? —M.M., Pennsylvania

HR professionals in New York have worked hard in recent years to try to improve the state's expensive workers' compensation system. But you'll have to wait at least another year for reform ...

To ensure that employees working on Katrina recovery projects are paid according to the law, the U.S. Labor Department has sued a Houston drywall company for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations ...

Q. Can we require an employee to sign an agreement to reimburse the company for half the expenses related to training, if the employee resigns within six months? —S.D., Northern Marianas

The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which regulates employee benefit plans, usually covers employees' claims related to their benefits. However, Texas employers who opt out of the state workers' compensation program may receive a nasty surprise ...

Q. Management wants to institute a policy that requires cashiers whose registers are short at night's end to replace the disputed amount out of their own pockets. Does this violate the law? —B.B., New York

Make sure you're ready for the state's minimum wage increase, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2007, and will affect about 430,000 Pennsylvania workers ...

Q. Does asking independent contractors to complete a time sheet jeopardize their independent contractor status? —P.M., Washington, D.C.

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