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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Small business owners won't be able go online to buy health insurance for their employees until November 2014. Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests doing it the old-fashioned way—through a broker.
Here’s how employees prefer to learn about their employer-provided benefits options:
A year-end bonus isn’t the only way an organization can say “Happy Holidays!” to hard-working employees. Here are 10 alternatives to cash:
Q. Are we required to offer holiday pay to employees who are within their 90-day probationary period? Or can we start paying extra for holiday work only after the probationary period is complete?
Q. Our company policy states that employees are not compensated for the time spent changing into their uniforms, which includes special protective wear. A new employee was surprised to find out he couldn’t clock in before getting geared up. Are we required to pay ­workers for that time, or is it up to the discretion of each individual company?
The IRS has announced that employers sponsoring health flexible spending arrangements can drop long-standing “use-it-or-lose-it” rules that require employees to forfeit FSA funds if they don’t claim reimbursements by the end of a plan year.
In a case that shows courts are losing patience with employers that hire undocumented ­workers and then flout wage-and-hour laws, a federal court has zapped an em­­ployer almost $285,000 in unpaid wages and penalties, and another $150,000 to pay the former em­­ployees’ legal fees.
Bonuses are a great way to show appreciation to employees. They’re also a wonderful retention tactic. So, who gets what? You have four choices.

The Healthcare.gov website may be broken, but that doesn’t mean small business owners who want to buy health insurance for their employees have to wait. They can learn about coverage options, costs and available tax credits by working with an insurance broker who has registered with CMS to facilitate SHOP policy sales.

American Electric Power employees who adopt children get a little help from their employer: 30 hours of paid leave and $3,000 per child. One of the largest utilities in the country, American Electric Power has helped 72 of its employees with adoptions.

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