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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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While the legality of the Affordable Care Act health care reform law was pending before the Supreme Court, the IRS issued final regulations on the premium tax credit. Since the dust has settled, it’s time to take a closer look at the regs.
If you are contemplating changing your compensation structure to re­­flect today’s lean job market, do so carefully—especially if you suspect you may be overpaying some senior employees for the work they do.

A San Francisco civil grand jury has concluded that 38 restaurants built into their prices the cost of providing city-mandated employee health coverage—and then never offered the benefits to workers. The grand jurors’ suspicion: That restaurateurs pocketed a substantial portion of the money.

Some employees wrongly assume that discrimination must be to blame if someone doing the same work earns more than they do. But even under the Equal Pay Act, employers are allowed to value employees with more highly specific skills and experience.
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.

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.

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for substantially similar work. If you discover a pay disparity between substantially similar male and female employees, fix the problem right away to let women catch up. Don’t use pay policies as an excuse to slow the process.

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?

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