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. My daughter and I are the sole owners of our business. Are we required to obtain workers’ compensation coverage even though we have no employees?
Look for the Department of Labor to release a new proposed rule for paying overtime to white-collar workers in February 2015, a roll-back of the department’s original, self-imposed November deadline.
Be on the lookout for em­­ployees who try to pass off personal injuries as being job-related. Chal­­lenge workers’ comp claims in such cases.
For a Southern California cook, getting paid was like pulling teeth. For five months he was a private chef for a dentist, but was never paid.

Employees who quit in California must receive their last checks within 72 hours if the employee provides no advance notice. If the worker does provide at least 72 hours’ notice, the payment must be immediate. But what about employees who announce their retirement—presumably at least 72 hours before their last workday?

When Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels wanted students to get more involved in the Baltimore community, he got the school’s employees involved first.
Q. Should a small business employee handbook include a safe-harbor clause under the benefits section for their 401k plan? In the past, the benefits information in the handbook has been limited because it can change so often. Instead, the handbook just points the employee to the summary plan documents.
Q. Our employee handbook states that if employees are sick before and after a holiday and they do not get a doctor’s note, they will not get paid for those missed days. Is this legal?
Here’s a warning for employers with overly complicated compensation systems: If someone believes the pay plan is discriminatory, you’ll probably have to spend considerable time explaining the system in court. Simpler may be better.
The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a restraining order against BabyVision Inc. in Poughkeepsie after workers reported being threatened and intimidated by the company’s two owners.
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