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. Our business recently was forced to implement layoffs—and most of our remaining employees walked off the job. All were given a COBRA notice, but only one chose to take the coverage. Since this was a group insurance policy and only one person will now be insured, the insurer is canceling our policy. What’s our responsibility to that ex-employee?

Despite popular ire over excessive CEO pay, shareholders remain blasé about the topic, at least according to a preliminary analysis of proxy votes compiled by the Skadden Arps law firm.
Make it clear that it’s essential to complete time sheets on time. Dis­cipline those who don’t follow the rules. If you have to fire time sheet ­slackers, rest assured they won’t be eligible to collect unemployment benefits on your account.

Many of the police officers, firefighters and paramedics in Minne­­sota municipalities are members of the military reserves and National Guard. When those workers are de­­ployed for military service, towns and cities often have to pay overtime to remaining first responders. A bill before the state Legislature would provide state funds to municipalities to cover those additional costs.

Q. When our employees come in to work, they spend part of their time getting their equipment running. Do we need to compensate them for that time?
Working mothers are 52% more likely than other women to leave their jobs if they work more than 50 hours a week in a field dominated by men, according to researchers at Indiana University.
Employees of the Council of Better Business Bureaus spend nearly 30% of all their working hours at home. The 114-employee organization last year was able to move out of the office building it has occupied since the 1980s and into one about half its size.
When the owner of Windswept Envi­ron­mental Group died in Nov­ember 2008, he left behind more than a business. The Bay Shore company’s 401(k) retirement plan was orphaned, too, since the owner was the plan’s only fiduciary. Now the DOL has asked a court to appoint a fiduciary for the plan.

When most employees change jobs, they either cash out previous 401(k) accounts (bad move) or roll them over into an IRA (better). Very few opt for what may be the very best money move: rolling retirement funds into a similar 401(k) plan at their new organization.

Participants in Ameriprise’s 401(k) plan are suing the investment firm, claiming it operated the retirement program for its own benefit, not its employees and retirees.
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