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 slim majority of employers—51%—say cost control is their primary compensation planning goal for 2016, after focusing more on talent retention in 2015. The result, according to Buck Consultants’ ninth annual Compensation Planning Survey: another year of stingy pay raises.
Q: “An employee went on maternity leave and will use paid time off until the short term benefit kicks in. Does she continue to accrue PTO while on short-term disability?” – Anne, Texas
Employees who report being threatened at work can quit and collect unemployment benefits if their em­­ployer doesn’t act fast to provide a safe workplace. Such a “compelling and necessitous” reason to quit makes the employee eligible.
Workers at Citgo’s Corpus Christi plant will receive a little more pay following a U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation of the oil company’s shift-change policy.
Despite well-publicized moves by retailers such as Walmart, Starbucks and Whole Foods to raise the pay of their lowest-level workers, 72% of organizations with minimum-wage employees have no plans to pay them more.
Employers are working hard to rein in prescription drug spending, according to new research by Towers Watson.
Under a law that took effect in Jan­uary, piece-rate and commission-paid employees in California must receive at least the minimum wage. Piece-rate employees must also be paid at least the minimum wage for all time spent on tasks not specifically included in the piece rate.
The much-maligned “Cadillac tax” on high-value employer-provided health insurance plans has been delayed for two years after President Obama signed a massive budget bill in late December that funds the federal government for the coming year.

Traditionally, there are four possible ways to classify people who perform work. But two classifications—independent contractors and employees—cover most work. Except, some say, in the emerging sharing or “gig” economy. Now two economists at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C., have proposed a new category: independent worker.

About a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that under the Fair Labor Standards Act, time spent waiting for security checks after the end of a shift were not compensable minutes. California, however, has greater worker protections built into its version of the FLSA. That’s why a group of Apple store employees brought a suit over their own wait time at the end of their shifts, seeking compensation despite the Supreme Court decision.