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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This open enrollment season may prove to be the most challenging in years, thanks primarily to two converging forces: the Affordable Care Act and the fact that employees barely understand their health benefits anyway. You can burnish your reputation in the company by having answers to employees’ questions.
Twice a week, a group of ReadyTalk employees meets at the company’s on-site gym for yoga class. On occasion, staff members enjoy head-and-neck massages, acupuncture and visits from a chiropractor—right at the office.
Employers expect health benefit costs per employee will rise by 4.8% on average in 2014, based on early responses from an annual survey conducted by Mercer.
The New York City Council has passed the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA), overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto. The law will be phased in for private employers. Under ESTA, private-sector employers with 20 or more em­­ployees in New York City will be required to offer each employee at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year beginning on April 1, 2014.
Q. We plan to lay off some of our employees and offer jobs to others in our facility in another state. We are also giving a select few of our employees the option to work from home. One of the employees to whom we gave this telecommuting option has declined it and requested severance instead. Are we obligated to pay him severance?
Bus manufacturer New Flyer has agreed to a new contract with unionized employees at its St. Cloud plant. The four-year agreement provides annual wage increases of 2.5% in the first two years, 2% in the third and 2.25% in the fourth year. The pact also freezes entry-level wages and increases the amount of time it takes new employees to max out on pay.
In April 2013, a California Court of Appeal decided that automobile service technicians, who were paid on a “piece-rate” basis, must also be paid at least the minimum hourly wage for the time that they are required to wait between their piece-rate-paid repair jobs. On July 19, the California Supreme Court refused to review the appeal court ruling, making it binding law.
Publishing giant Condé Nast is being sued by two college students who allege they were illegally underpaid while interning at two of the company’s flagship magazines.
Sheetz execs celebrated the convenience store chain’s placement on a statewide “best companies” list this summer with a rolling party that brought them to all 56 of the organization’s North Carolina locations.
Q. Several of our employees will be required to travel to another state for a seminar. What’s the rule for compensating nonexempt employees who take overnight business trips?
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