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. I recently allowed one of my hourly employees to telecommute full time. What actions must I take to ensure proper payment of her wages?

Q: “Is there merit to having employees sign their time cards? Is it important to have a certification that the hours shown represent an accurate accounting of time worked? Is there any type of liability if the employee simply uses an automated system of hand or card swipes and never 'approves' their time, either automatically in the computer timekeeping system like ADP or in writing on a printed timesheet? What might be the issue if this does not happen?” – Kary, Maryland

Dancers at Rick’s Cabaret, a strip club in Midtown Manhattan, just collected more than $10 million following a federal court ruling, and could make even more if an ongoing lawsuit continues to go their way.

HR Law 101: Passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 marked the first boost to the federal minimum wage since 1997. In July 2007, the federal minimum wage increased from $5.15 to $5.85 per hour. Additional raises took effect over the next two years: to $6.55 on July 24, 2008, and to $7.25 on July 24, 2009.

Consulting firms Accenture and Oliver Wyman have estimated that by 2018, private exchanges will provide health coverage for around 40 million individuals. Here are the benefits.

You need clear lines of communication so employees can complain about workplace problems. That can protect you if an employee quits because of alleged harassment and then applies for unemployment benefits. He won’t be eligible if he never gives you a chance to fix the problem. Not using the company complaint process pretty much means the em­­ployee didn’t give his employer a chance, blocking benefits.

The Obama administration is seeking public comment on proposed rules that would amend the definition of excepted benefits to include certain limited wraparound coverage for employees who buy health coverage through Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges.
NBC has agreed to settle Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit filed by interns who worked on “Saturday Night Live.” The interns filed a class-action lawsuit against the network last year, alleging that NBC used interns in place paid workers, a practice the FLSA forbids.
An employee who quits because he thinks he may be fired isn’t usually eligible for unemployment benefits. If there was still work available, quitting would have been unreasonable.
Among the victims of the Great Recession of 2008-2009 were the retirement expectations of many Americans. New research from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute has quantified just how much those hopes suffered.
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