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. We have an employee who regularly comes into work a half-hour or more before her scheduled shift in order to get her work station ready and otherwise get herself set up for the day. This preparation time is important to the employee because she does not believe that she can meet the production requirements of her job without it. The employee has been told that she cannot start performing her actual job tasks until the start of her scheduled shift. Our new HR manager has advised that we must pay the employee for the time that she spends preparing for her shift, even though she had no approval to work during that time. Is that right?
The Supreme Court’s June 25 decision in King v. Burwell did more than guarantee that Affordable Care Act subsidies are available to all qualified individuals, regardless of whether they buy health insurance through a state or federal exchange. It also reaffirmed that the ACA’s employer mandate is here to stay.
Recently, a retired employee challenged her retirement and applied for unemployment, arguing that she never put a retirement request in writing and therefore her employer couldn’t oppose her request for unemployment benefits.
When budgets for raises are lean, it’s tempting to reward employees with a better title than a hefty pay increase. That’s risky.
British business mogul and Virgin CEO Richard Branson is in the news again for a new workplace policy granting a full year of paid parental leave to employees of Virgin Management, the investment arm of the Virgin Group. 
Q. Is it acceptable for a company to negotiate with employees (on a case-by-case basis) to provide higher salary in exchange for the employee not taking certain benefits that the company pays 100% for (such as life insurance, AD&D, STD and LTD)? — Ed, Virginia
A new decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has upped the fiduciary ante for employers that offer defined contribution retirement plans.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has uncovered “serious issues” with the quality of employee benefit plan audits performed by certified public accountants.
Los Angeles is the latest municipality to stop waiting for federal or state action on minimum wage legislation. The L.A. City Council voted 14-1 to raise its current $9 an hour minimum wage to $15 by 2020, a move that will give a pay raise to half the city’s workforce.
Q. Is it illegal for managers to change exempt or nonexempt employees’ time sheets if they neglect to indicate that they took a day off?
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