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 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.

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. We are still getting requests from students to work for free. We know we have to pay them minimum wage, but do we have to do more? Do we have to pay benefits or give paid holidays?
The job market is opening up, increasing opportunities for employees to change jobs if they want to. The bad news for employers: The workers most likely to look for new jobs are those that organizations would most like to keep. The secret weapon for retaining valued, high-performing employees with wandering eyes: better benefits.
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