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 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.
Every Friday, a beer truck parks outside the Miami and Chicago offices of digital agency BGT Partners, and employees are invited to toast each other for their successes during the week. Both locations are new to the company, and execs have said what happens at one will happen at both in an effort to keep the culture consistent companywide.
Q. How can we handle an employee who routinely uses vacation and sick time on Mondays?
The Obama administration’s top workplace legislative initiative this year—the Paycheck Fairness Act—died last month when Senate Democrats failed to muster the needed votes.
Do the mental health and substance abuse benefits offered through your group health plan comply with the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008? The DOL last month issued a set of frequently asked questions that help clarify employers’ duties under the law.
Q. We need to cut our payroll costs. Is there any reason we can’t cut everyone by 10%? All our employees are at-will.
Does your health insurance or other benefit plan specifically state that it covers those who are married under Minnesota law? Then your policy terms probably apply in some unique circumstances—including when an employee is married to someone who has undergone gender reassignment surgery.
Q. Must we give our employees time off to vote? If so, must we pay the employees for the time they spend voting?
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