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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Any adverse employment action—including withholding an ex­­pected pay increase—can form the basis for a discrimination lawsuit. If you hold back raises to punish rule-breaking, make sure you can show you do so impartially.
The Minnesota state government has settled the last age discrimination claims resulting from early retirement packages offered to state employees.
Courts have spent considerable time sorting out the impact of Title VII on defined-benefit pension programs. Does an employer have to equalize the total amount male and female retirees receive? The answer is no.
A federal district court has ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution by prohibiting California same-sex couples from signing up for long-term care insurance through the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

With workforces lean, it’s important to squeeze every bit of productivity out of employees. But squeeze too hard by not providing employees with state-mandated meal or rest breaks, and you’re likely to face a lawsuit. Two recent cases illustrate.

The beginning of the school year can be fraught with stress and tension for kids and their parents, too. Result: less productive and often absent employees. Reminder: The federal FMLA doesn’t cover employees who take time off for school visits or to care for kids who aren’t seriously ill but who must stay home from school. Some state laws do.

US Airways employees who go out of their way to help the airlines’ customers get more than job satisfaction or a pat on the back from a supervisor. They can win up to $10,000 for their extra effort.
Q. Our evaluation process includes commitment to the community. We give all employees “points” for volunteering. The points become part of their numerical rating and could affect their rating (satisfactory or unsatisfactory) and raise potential. We don’t pay for volunteering time. Are we violating the law?
The Affordable Care Act health care reform law limits employees’ pretax contributions into health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to $2,500 for taxable years beginning after Dec. 31. The IRS has now clarified whose taxable year counted—the employee’s, the employer’s or the cafeteria plan’s.
Money worries and the steadily rising cost of health care led fewer Americans to seek medical treatment in 2010, according to a new, detailed analysis by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute.
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