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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When one CEO decided to pay all his employees at least $70,000 per year, accolades rolled in. The raises even came out of the CEO’s own compensation package. So why, then, did there come such terrific backlash?
In the brave new benefits world defined by Obamacare, a new creature has sprung forth: the ERISA challenge.
In 2016, IRS rules will allow employees with self-only coverage under high-deductible health plans to continue contributing up to $3,350 to health savings accounts. The minimum annual deductible for an HDHP remains $1,300. Maximum out-of-pocket expenses increase $100, to $6,550.

Workers whose employers make it unbearable to come to work are still eligible for unemployment compensation. That’s called constructive discharge. But what about an employee who files an EEOC complaint alleging unbearable working conditions and then settles the case for a lump-sum payment in exchange for resigning? According to a recent Minnesota decision, that’s a voluntary resignation, blocking benefits.

If an employee dies of an accidental prescription drug overdose, you’d think it would be hard for the family to claim workers’ compensation death benefits. But as the California Supreme Court shows, if an employee can claim the injury was work-related, an overdose on the resulting medications could trigger a workers’ comp claim.
Two former servers at Red Robin Res­­­­taurants in Wilkes-Barre and Dick­­son City, Pennsylvania, can proceed with their Fair Labor Standards Act class action against franchisee, Lehigh Valley Res­­tau­­rant Group, Inc. The suit alleges Lehigh’s tip pooling scheme violates the FLSA because it includes workers who only have a de minimus interaction with customers.
Average health savings account balances increased from $1,408 to $1,933—up about 37%—in 2014, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
About half of employers surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management offer some kind of investment advising benefit.
With health care costs rising and Affordable Care Act compliance efforts in full swing, employers are turning toward wellness programs to counter some of the financial strain.

Workers who are collecting unemployment compensation benefits and “perform services” for 32 hours or more per week aren’t eligible to receive benefits for that week. If they work for fewer than 32 hours, they do receive benefits. But what about time spent on-call? Do those hours count toward the threshold? A recent court decision says they don’t.

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