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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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In 2014, when the employer-mandate provisions of the Affordable Care Act kick in, 9% of employers may drop health benefits, according to a survey of benefits managers by the consulting firm Deloitte.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides compensation to em­­ployees for loss of income and for medical payments when they’re injured on the job. Since employers ultimately bear the expense of workers’ comp benefits, it’s smart to understand how the system works and the proactive steps you can take to control costs.

Q. We have an exempt employee who just returned after giving birth. She says she needs to express milk three times a day and we have to let her. I thought the federal law says breaks were just for hourly employees. Do we have to give her this time? She’s away from her desk for 20 to 30 minutes each time.

Q. Our company received a claim for unemployment compensation from one of our former part-time employees. Are part-time employees eligible to receive unemployment benefits?

Never skip a payday. That’s just asking to be sued, as the following case shows.

Employees don’t qualify for un­­employment benefits if they’re fired for misconduct. After all, it’s their own fault they were fired. Mis­­conduct generally includes actions that violate a so-called “reasonable employer” rule. However, employees who violate an employer’s reasonable rule because of a good-faith error in judgment can still collect benefits.

Q. Is an employee who resigns entitled to receive unemployment compensation under Texas law?
Minnesota employees can still collect unemployment benefits if they quit their jobs because of medical problems. However, before resigning and applying for benefits, they must ask for accommodations.
Ever since enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, pay equity has been a hot employment law topic. In the intervening years, many employers have proactively gone over their pay scales and made adjustments after discovering apparent pay inequalities that crept in over the years.

There may be many reasons em­­ployees end up earning different salaries for similar work. Pay disparities often grow gradually, over time. That can mean big trouble under the Equal Pay Act. If you aren’t tracking all pay changes and noting the reason, you may end up liable for sex discrimination.

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