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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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A coalition of small business owners is calling on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $9.80 per hour, or $2.55 more than the current rate. The goal: to increase poor workers’ spending in hopes of stimulating the economy.

When you think rewards that retain employees, you might see dollar signs—lots of them. But keeping morale high doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are plenty of low-cost or even no-cost perks you can offer to help keep employees engaged and committed.

Employers that fire a worker for being caught sleeping on the job may not be liable for unemployment compensation benefits. On-the-job snoozing can be considered willful misconduct if it’s clear it violates company policy.
To thrive in today’s economy, employers must focus retention efforts on their highest performers. Here’s how:
Absenteeism costs American businesses approximately 9% of payroll, according to several estimates. Here are a dozen ways to keep employees coming to work as scheduled, reserving sick leave for health problems—not as a catch-all bank of time off.
Nearly one in five Americans under age 65 lacks health insurance, according to data analyzed by the U.S. Census Bureau, but the rate of coverage varies widely depending on where people live.
Cleveland-based KeyBank has healthier employees and lower medical costs since it embraced a systemic approach to encouraging employees to become more involved in their well-being.

Q. One of our managers has medical problems and has used a significant amount of paid sick leave. Because we don’t have a defined sick pay policy, this manager uses paid sick time whenever she’s out (full day or half day). How can we legally cap this? Is developing a policy with specific hours our only alternative?

Employees are typically ineligible for unemployment benefits if they were fired for creating a hostile work environment. That usually amounts to willful misconduct, which disqualifies them from collecting unemployment. But not every crude or stupid action is serious enough to bar benefits, as this case shows.

Many small employers make decisions about medical plans and other benefits based on cost alone. But here’s another factor to consider: How does your organization stack up against employers of the same size?
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