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. 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?
With key pieces of health care reform going into effect, employers that offer health benefits have even more to consider when implementing this year’s open enrollment. Make the most of your annual benefits sign-up by following this checklist.
As employees of EmblemHealth get healthy, they get a little bit richer, too. Last year, the health insurance company handed out cash rewards ranging from $375 to $750 for activities like taking online classes, participating in fitness challenges and working with wellness coaches.

The SEC voted on Sept. 18 to propose new rules that would require publicly traded companies to report the ratio between the compensation of chief executive officers and the median pay of their employees. Public companies must already report total CEO compensation.

Small businesses owners seeking to go online to buy health insurance for employees through the government’s Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) will have to wait until November, the Obama administration has announced.
An IRS ruling may change a long-standing practice in the restaurant industry when it takes effect Jan. 1, 2014. Gratuities that restaurants impose on large groups will no longer be considered tips after that date. Instead, restaurants must count them as wages.
If you offer severance packages to terminated employees, don’t assume they’ll only settle for a lump sum of cash. With the economy still recovering and uncertainty simmering over health care reform implementation, employees are choosing less severance pay and more benefits.
Q. Does California’s reporting-time pay law apply to workers who report to work but appear to be unable or unfit to work?
Initially, there was talk that employers would be hit with $100-per-day fines for failing to notify employees of their health coverage options by Oct. 1. But the U.S. Small Business Admin­­is­­tra­­tion announced last month that “there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice.”
A critical function of the individual health insurance exchanges is to verify that taxpayers are eligible for advance subsidies. But what’s to stop an em­­ployee who has access to affordable group coverage from gaming the system and getting those subsidies anyway? And how will you know?
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